What would you ask? (John 1)

So here He is, the Messiah!  Jesus Christ in the flesh, the Lamb of God, is standing right in front of you!  And He looks at you and asks “What do you want?”

What would you ask?  I mean, this is God here!  As a religious person, you’re likely to have a whole lot of questions in mind and heart.  So many things have happened in your life, and you want to know why.  What they all mean.  And you want to know what all these passages in Scripture are talking about.

Well, this was the situation with the first two disciples of Christ.  They finally meet the Lamb of God, face to face, and He has asked them what they want.  Their deep desire is the answer to the question… “Where are you staying?”

What?  Are you kidding me?  They could have asked so many things, but they want to know where He’ll be sleeping tonight?!

Maybe they were overwhelmed.  Maybe they didn’t understand the opportunity before them. 

Or maybe they did understand.  I don’t think there’s enough information here for us to conclude what was going through their minds.  But there is enough information to tell us something about their character.

Jesus answered their question in a way that He often answered questions.  With opportunity to learn in ways that a simple answer could not afford.  He said “Come, and you will see.”

What did they do?  They didn’t press Him to tell them, they followed. 

How many times has God said to us “Come, and you will see,” only to have us reply “No, I’d rather an answer now thank you.”  I’m not looking to make some deep metaphor out of “Come and see” here.  I’m simply trying to consider our response to God.  When He calls us beyond the limits of our understanding, calls us to step off of the cliff and out of our lives, how do we respond?  Do we continue to push for our selfish desires, for our comfortable Christianity?  Or do we walk with Him, following Him whether it’s a leap off of the cliff or to simply see where He’s laying His head that night?

Knowing where Jesus was going to go to sleep was probably not the most exciting thing to learn when faced with God Himself.  But they listened to the answer and followed.  Not only that, but they took advantage of the opportunity it provided them to bring others to Christ.  The first thing Andrew did was run off and tell Peter “It’s Him, it’s the Messiah!”  And then he brought Peter to Christ.

What is your question for God?  And how are you going to use that answer for the Peters in your life?  I hope that we use what He has given us to bring others into the presence of the Messiah.

It’s YOU!

Continuing on in John 1…

So imagine you are born as a Jew into the world around 3AD, and as you grow up you are taught the truth of Judaism.  You embrace Judaism, and Jehovah God.  And as you grow up you hear your family talking; they speak of the Messiah being already born, and of salvation for the Jews finally being at hand.

Now imagine what it would have been like to read Isaiah 40:1-2:

“Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God. 
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand
double for all her sins.”

Imagine you’re trying to work through all that, not knowing what we in the 21st century know about Jesus and His blood. The passage is talking about something big, about a change.  God Himself is going do something amazing for His people.

Then you read the next three verses:

“A voice of one calling:
“In the desert prepare
the way for the LORD;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” “

Wouldn’t you be eager to hear this voice?  Wouldn’t you want to find the one calling out?  Now imagine, if you can, that you are told that you are to be that voice!  And it’s not just some dude coming up to you and saying “Hey, what if…”  You know without a shadow of a doubt that this passage is speaking specifically, directly, and exclusively about you.  You! 

There’s a prophecy about you in the Holy Writ.  People have been reading this for hundreds of years and wondering who it would be.  When it would be.  How it would happen…  Well, now you must show them.

That’s a lot to take in for one sitting.

And then imagine that you continue in your walk with God, learning more about His word.  You have to now view Scripture knowing that you are a part of it in a way that’s different.  Your free will choices will prove the prophecy true, and you know that somehow it will not be any other way.  You read on about the Messiah, and now you must think about your direct involvement with Him here on earth.  For you are the one who is to reveal Him to Israel.

You are John the Baptist, the voice in the desert.

What a life directing event!  What a mind-altering realization! 

What a burden…

What an honor!!

So John followed what the Scripture said he would do.  He revealed the Christ, who by the way happened to be a man he was related to.  It’s hard for me to put myself in John’s position.  The man from the prophecy in Isaiah 40.  The man who would show the world who the Messiah was.

I don’t know how exactly how John found out this passage was about Him.  But one didn’t just go around Jerusalem claiming to be the voice in Isaiah 40.  One didn’t casually go around declaring who the Messiah was.  And we see the humility John displays when they asked who he was; he said he’s not even worthy of loosing a sandal strap.  This wasn’t a man who had any reason to doubt the fact, or a proud man looking to pull one over on people.  Somehow John knew for sure that he was the one the Scripture spoke about.

Can you imagine?

John 1- Jesus is God

Jesus is God.  Why is that so hard for people to accept?

 

I’ll admit, understanding the nature of God can be difficult.  How can Three be One, and One be Three?  What’s the difference between Them?  How exactly does the Holy Spirit live in us, and how does He move us?  Why didn’t God make another way for our sins to be forgiven, some other way that didn’t include Jesus dying?  How can He be eternal?  Why does He allow evil?

 

These are difficult things to understand, and I don’t know that any man can fully explain any of them.  But I don’t believe that they are difficult to accept.

 

Understanding and acceptance are not the same.  Sure they relate to each other, and even lead to each other.  But one cannot call them equals.  We do not need to understand God to accept what He says about Himself.  Why is it so hard for people to accept that Jesus is God?

 

There are a lot of things we do not understand, yet we accept them without reserve.  Do we understand how gravity works, what drives it?  Do we know why music impacts us so deeply?  Why a beautiful sunset makes any difference to us at all?  Do you know exactly how your brain is interpreting the words you’re reading right now?  How do you know for sure that you even have a brain?  If you’ve seen your own brain, how do you know it does all the things that you’re told it does?  Who can explain life itself? 

 

This list could probably go on for the rest of your life.

 

We accept so many things that we don’t understand.  We accept so much understanding based on what others tell us is true.  Certain truths force themselves upon us in the fact that we live in reality.  We accept them as true, or deny reality.  Our understanding of a thing does not always accompany acceptance of the thing.

 

Why is it so hard for people to accept that Jesus is God?

 

John 1:1 says, speaking of Jesus, “the Word was God.”  We accept the Bible as God’s truth, and that God is always true.  But some feel that God did not communicate exactly as He should have.  So they add in little words to alter the truth of the statement.  For those who don’t know what I’m referring to, I’m speaking mostly of the Watchtower here.  They are the authority of those who falsely call themselves “Jehovah’s Witnesses”.

 

It amazes me how people in general can be so blind.  This is an example of that.  One only needs to read the text here (without added words) to see the point of the entire passage: Jesus is God, and He has come to His own people.  Yet they take a few verses and alter them in an effort to take that meaning away.

 

It’s like taking a picture of a mountain, and writing a caption that says “This is an anthill.”  It’s like writing the biography of an 80 year old man and saying “He only lived to be two years old.”  It’s like pointing to the moon and calling it a firefly.  It’s a foolish and obviously desperately intentional attempt to use Truth to speak against Itself. 

 

But Truth can never speak against itself, for it is always True.

 

Jesus declared Himself to be God.  Jesus is God.  We are not called to fully understand that fact.  But we are called to accept, embrace, and love it. 

 

To accept, embrace, and love Him.

Daily Devotions

So in dedicating this blog to God it seems fitting to me to speak a lot about His Word.  I am going to attempt to post daily on passages I’m reading in the Bible, hopefully on a daily basis.  Some of these posts may be simply reciting the passage, some may be expository studies, and some may simply be thoughts that arise from reading the passage that day.  

Whatever the type of post, my goal is to glorify Christ. 

If you read these posts, please make time to read the passages yourself, in case my opinion strays from the truth of His Word (I pray that it won’t).  Feel free to post your thoughts, but remember that the Bible is the only message we can say is always irrefutable and true. 

He is the only Rock that will never fail.