If Jesus is the desire of ages, the fulfillment of all prophesies
If Jesus is the exact image of the invisible God and the final revelation of all dreams for a perfect man
Then everything in scripture needs to be seen, interpreted and lived out through His eyes and His perspective!
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
This statement means that His words in the gospels become the final authority in all matters of life and death and beyond death. His values, attitudes and truths become our foundation for living and the yardstick for interpretation of everything that matters. All other revelations and commentaries remain incomplete and fragmented shadows. What He spoke about himself, God and His kingdom, life, relationships, the world and death, all become the final word.
He calls us to follow Him
The Voice tells us to Listen to Him
Apostles encourages us to behold Him.
He matters more than anyone here and now.
Our minds can fathom Him and understand Him only partially even as a man. He draws our hearts and our attention. He is full of truth and grace. Our hearts burn within as we listen to what he says. Yes, a compassionate, uncompromising radical who brought light and life to our world. Gentleness and kindness poured out from His being.
He had love for all. So spacious was he with open arms, yet he could not be trapped or manipulated or taken for a ride. He knew how to handle power. He displayed utter humility. There was nothing in Him to respond to evil. He knew the tempter, his voice and his offers.
Jesus had the final word. Yes, He said some hard and difficult words unpalatable to our liking. He talked about a better home. He did not hide the reality of evil and the nothingness of hell. He was proactive, yet surrendered His will to lay down His life. His trust in His Father was so complete. Yes, His humanity moves me to adore Him and want to take a second look at Him. There is something about Him that makes me wonder who he resembles, more than a man, different, unlike anyone else.
There was no fear in Him, no malice, no hypocrisy. There was nothing wrong in Him yet a mystery surrounding Him. In His transparent presence, sinners felt comfort, religious people felt threatened, children laughed, women found dignity, the tired found rest, the broken found wholeness, the sick found healing, the demons fled, nature obeyed. He generated faith in many, anger in some but questions in all. No one could remain neutral.
The more I look at Him
The more I look at Him, the more I want to understand Him, love Him and be accepted by Him. I want to touch Him and be touched by Him, to feel His acceptance and embrace. There is a deep longing to be united with Him, to be His friend and for Him to be mine.
His humanity draws out my humanity from its dark dungeon and floods my life with His light.
His truth awakens all I know to be true deep in my subconscious mind.
His humanity gently edges me to ask the unthinkable, “Could this man be God”? If God has a face will it look like Jesus? If God walked on earth, will it be same as this man?
Happy are those who move from seeing His humanity to worshiping His divinity!
Seeing and believing His divinity: always a revelation
No amount of logic can make someone believe that He is man as well as God. It’s a miracle and supernatural. This revelation can take place on a mountaintop, behind closed doors, on a walk to Emmaus, on the road to Damascus or in a garden. It can be in a moment or through a series of encounters.
My attraction to him transformed into worship
My friend becomes my God
My lover becomes my Lord
The lamb becomes the Lion
The son of Man becomes The Son of God.
This change of mindset challenges me to take His words seriously and obedience becomes an expression of my devotion and love.
His followers take in all the words that he spoke and let His words dwell in their hearts and minds. His words in the gospel become our living bread. His spirit takes these words and makes it flesh and blood to us for all our thoughts and actions. This act of “Taking in” becomes the point of transformation. It gives life, energy, reason, healing, joy and confidence in the midst of darkness and confusion. His followers will face all the temptations their master faced. Yes, Jesus through His spirit and promises stays with us through thick and thin and gives us wisdom to go on. We learn to align our will to His will and learn the intimacy of communication. This prayer becomes the very atmosphere in which we live and actions become an expression of what He desires for the world and for us. His kingdom becomes our focus. He becomes its message. We are called to share Him, lift Him up and he has promised to draw all to himself.
All scriptures are God inspired
People who were moved by God’s spirit in the past wrote them. These writings are good for giving us instruction to live a Godly life. There are lessons to be learnt by what happened to people when they obeyed and disobeyed.
God inspired and God breathed
Prophets, who watched the events and analyzed and interacted with people and authorities, wrote down the historical facts from a heavenly perspective. Others experienced God’s movements and His presence in the world and human affairs, wrote down their experiences and their understanding of God’s mind. Some had direct revelations about the future.
All these writings were breathed upon by God’s Spirit, animated or made alive with the potential to give life and wisdom to those who accept and believe and obey. These words became like seeds that could be planted and could bring life. It has built-in life principles within itself to generate new life. Unlike all other words of philosophy and writings, the scriptures claim to have this unique power to change lives. It educates us on life and draws our hearts to look at the Creator and worship Him and obey Him. It gives us partial understanding of the unseen God. It is incomplete and fragmented but promises a fuller revelation some day.
Just like Adam who was made out of the earth and became animated when God breathed to his nostrils the breath of life, words of men and women became animated when God breathed on these people and their writings. It became God’s word in the sense that it had His authority about what is permissible and what is not accepted. It reveals a way of living in a damaged world with damaged relationships and environment, but opens up the possibility of hope for a better life. It does not edit events but truth is told. Wherever there is truth, God’s spirit is active. We may not accept or understand the past, but basic human makeup, behaviour, needs and longings are similar and the applications of truth in any context ought to produce similar results.
Deep down Man has not changed
His cries for love, purpose, and security all remain the same.
In Jesus the complete revelation of God is seen. His words are not just inspired. He is the word. He claims to have come from above. His word is life. Every one may get inspiration once in a while but He alone promises E-life. Others can give good advice, suggestions and an 8-point program for healthy living. All may be good and appropriate and helpful. It can modify our behavior and excite us to change our lifestyle and help us towards civility with many rules and regulations to contain the hidden darkness in man.
Jesus talked about a new life different from all the other forms of life. It is not just an improvement but so radical that it looks out of place. It is not a controlled and modified human behaviour based on fear or rewards but results from “having God’s life within as a source”, a spring of living water, abundant and ever-flowing.
As far as the Gospel is concerned, I believe that the disciples sat together and recollected stories, events, sayings of Jesus; their collective experiences of Him. The Spirit reminded them of their time with Him. They talked about what happened to their friend and teacher and its significance. Peter helped Mark to put it all in writing at a later stage. Luke too investigated various stories and interviewed people who encountered this carpenter and compiled a more accurate document. May be he met with Mary to get a personal understanding about His birth and early years. Mathew too added other events to give connection with the Jewish history. John wrote about those intimate talks and personal moments with Jesus and showed us the lover’s heart. These writings are special and that’s the reason the church all over encourages people to stand while The Gospel is read. They are the WORDS and ACTIONS of the Lord Himself. They demand our total attention. The ETERNALWORD became flesh and lived among us, speaking life-giving words. So let the words of Christ dwell in us richly.
Jesus himself talked to the disciples about various prophecies and its fulfillments in the events that took place. He alone knew which part talked about Him from earlier writings. He spent many days after His resurrection explaining about the kingdom of God and its message. Whatever we need to have faith in Jesus to receive this E-Life is available in the gospels.
All the other New Testament writings are written to various people-groups who took the step to have faith in this Jesus about how to conduct their lives in this world. It was also written to give sense to His humanity and divinity and to challenge us to walk in His steps.
It is like the Ten Commandments Moses gave
It was not given to people in Egypt or to Hebrews in Egypt. It was given to a delivered people group from the power of Pharaoh and to those who experienced God’s mercy.
It was a message of radicalism to slaves who embraced the Egyptian lifestyle for 400 years. They had become idol worshipers of multiple gods; people who swore all the time, who had no rest for their bodies or minds. They had lost respect for their parents, they were used to a life of lies, cheating, murder, adultery, greed and covetousness.
Ten commandments are a call to total reversal of their habitual destructive lifestyle. They had to learn a new language of life before they entered the Promised Land. But most of them remained illiterate and unwilling to learn the new way.
We too are delivered, liberated, redeemed and transferred from the power of Evil buy paying a ransom. Our debts all cancelled. All accomplished by God through Jesus Christ. We had nothing to do with it. We only have to believe and accept this as grace and extreme mercy.
But once we believe, we are given a model to live by. In order to live out this model of Jesus we need to discard our habit pattern of disobedience and self-worship. Time and again people refused to live by this model and the disciples wrote letters to encourage them to come back to a real life, filled with the presence of God. It’s a call to live out what’s already in.
So faith in Jesus is followed by a life lived out in His way. This is what the kingdom message is all about. When a small community begins to embrace this message and live out its truths, people around are affected. Light begins to disperse the darkness. There will be justice, peace and joy.
Let us soak ourselves in the Gospel. Let our imagination go wild and enter those stories and dialogues with Jesus. Let us walk the dusty roads with the Nazarene and see people and situations through His eyes. Let us see God, the Father through His eyes. Let us behold this Eternal man in the Gospel. Let us whole heartedly enter His vision of kingdom living.
Many have to go thru various stages of seeing Him
Maybe as a good man, a wise man, a compassionate man, a man with authority.
Then some may see Him as a miracle worker and a prophet.
In others it may raise questions like” Could this be the promised one?’
Some will come to an earlier understanding like ‘The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’
There will be those who remain at a lower level or in a negative frame of mind. They will see Him only as a clever somewhat misguided man. Maybe crazy, demon-possessed and blaspheming disturber of peace.
A sudden revelation of His divinity can shock and paralyze others.
Also it can take an intense form of revelation of utter unworthiness about oneself! Which may make them say, “Depart from me”.
Both beauty and the beast are revealed in that encounter.
We are left with the responsibility of making a choice, to follow or walk away. He gives us the option. We alone are responsible for this decision. The outcome may surprise us.
Only the sick need a doctor
Jesus made it very clear that only the sick need the doctor and the lost one needs to be found. But if we do not feel the need or think differently, he allows us to take our choices and pursue our own path. But those who decide to follow, he offers the cup of pain and joy along with the promise of the presence of the triune God on a daily basis. When we accept this offer, the spirit will take the words of Jesus and make them alive in us. This word, which is living, will take our mortal bodies, our eyes and hands, to become His to reach out to others and touch their lives just the way He did 2,000 years ago. Our surrender to this love and union with the triune God will become heaven on earth in a small way. So let us share this Jesus, the Man for all, to those who are around us in a meaningful and loving way. Let us pray that all those who will see his humanity will also have a revelation of his divinity.