Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Ministers today often know more about Calvin or Wesley or Aquinas than we do Jesus, who is the shepherd and bishop of souls.  These other men died, so we can forget them when we want but Jesus says, I stand at the door and knock, Rev. 3.20.  Catholics prefer a pope, Protestants treat the Bible as if it were philosophy, Pentecostals seek spiritual gifts.  In His day, Jews searched for a sign while Greeks sought wisdom.  But who welcomes Jesus?
  He was not like one of us, yet He was among us.  He was tempted by Satan and demons, we are demonized by cookies.  His food and drink was to do the will of the Father, ours is to have the most toys.  He fasted and prayed, we want fast cars and quick answers.  He spoke, we text.  He knew what was in man, we know what's in our pockets.  He knew who He was and where He was going, we have psychologists.
  We push Him away, yet we know in an underslung way we are excavated souls.  Our own emotions drive us to depression.  Our ambition drives us to immorality.  Our emptiness gnaws at us like worms in a grave, our drinking drenches us in dissolution, drugs scatter us senseless.  If any of these things worked even once, we could put them away...but they don't.
  According to John, the beginning was the Word.  Then that Word was light and then that Word became flesh.  That flesh showed glory, which the people of that day saw.  Once John brought Jesus into the Jordan, there would be no turning back.  God had come.  As Jesus of Nazareth, He asks us to come and you will see, John 1.39. 
  The Jews saw Him first.  A Jewish ruler came to Jesus at night.  Nicodemus was not a religious man but he knew Jewish law.  He knew there was something about Jesus.  But then Jesus said something radical.  He said a man had to have God in him, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God, John 3.21.  Nicodemus would not see the kingdom of heaven until God was in him.
  Paul came to meet Jesus later than John.  On a road Paul saw the light written about in John 1.4, he heard the voice Moses heard.  By the time Paul regained his sight, he knew Jesus was the Son of God, Acts 9.4.  John had written, as many as received him, He gave the right to be sons of God, even to those who believe in His name.  Understanding this, Paul wrote that all who are being led by the Spirit, these are the sons of God, Romans 8.14.  John said if we are sons of God, we shall be like Him because we shall see Him as He is, 1 John 3.2.
 This is the soft invasion of God.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


The NT often uses the expression, in Him.  But who is He?
  For most of us, Jesus is a foreigner.  He was a Jew, probably with black eyes, black hair, sunburned olive skin.  As a man of His day He probably was 5 1/2 feet tall.  He could walk for miles.  He was a carpenter's son from the tribe of Judah living in a small town, known by His neighbors and family.  He read the Hebrew Scriptures.  He had no credit card, no formal education, no car, no home or family or career as we do but He did live in the tradition of Jewish wisdom.  He grew in stature with God and man, but His soul did not change as we often do.  He did not leave relationships, He did not die or decay or change as the earth does, the stars, rocks, trees, birds or time itself.
  His cousin John saw water drip off His face at His baptism.  The lame, crippled, blind and dumb lay at His feet. A woman known as a sinner washed those feet.  Children felt the touch of His hands and heard His voice.  His disciples saw Him sit around a fire, teaching in a room, leaning at a table.  They saw His fingerprints, His eyebrows, they heard Him laugh and tell a joke and wash His face.  They saw Him eat fish, and sip soup and talk about God.  The disciples lifted up their eyes to see no one but Him.  Lepers felt His embrace.  Religious leaders heard the accent in His voice.  His friends heard Him cry.  He rebuked His own mother. He took a beating without protest.  He died a violent death by crucifixion, the punishment for insurrectionists and rebels.  Soldiers tore at His robe, His disciples scattered, His mother went to live with a close friend.
  After He ascended into heaven, some traditions had difficulty with Jesus as God so they looked for signs of His humanity long after His life.  They sought a relic,a robe, a chalice, a crypt.  Some traditions had difficulty with Jesus being a man, so they sought His divinity in miracles, signs, wonders, visions.  He is still a stranger today.