Thursday, October 1, 2015

Seen Jesus Lately?

I think I’ve used that title – or something similar before – but it came to mind as I’ve finished 30% of an e-book by Jeffrey McClain Jones, “Seeing Jesus.” There are a couple of lines that I really like so far. One is from a former girlfriend who was just convinced Jesus was there and asked:
“How is this possible”
Philly shrugged. “Grandma prayed,” he said
Another was when Phil was “amazed at how silent Jesus remained through most of the day. He didn’t preach or pry, or interrupt Philly’s work.  Rather, he waited silently, patiently, always present, always ready and never perturbed.”  A little later he thinks, “Everyone could use a serene supporter, ready and waiting with an encouraging smile, throughout the day.”

The problem is that Jesus works through people – and Phil doesn’t quite get that Jesus could work through him.

Do we think He can work through us? Or do we leave His work to the Holy Spirit? Gotcha there, didn’t I. Where we do we see the work done by our Lord? Through the actions of those who have been reconciled with God is my answer.

I know how it was with Saul:

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. (Acts 9:3-6 KJV)

I have never expected to have such an on the road experience – but my God is not limited by what I expect. What I do expect is that once we experience our own meeting with Jesus, we do as He told others, and I expect He tells us:

And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matthew 4:19 KJV)

. . .  follow thou me. (John 21:22c KJV)

I’m afraid my response “But first”ed, as these others:

And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:59-62 KJV)

Am I alone when I qualify me response with “But first let me . . . .” What could I possibly be doing that would override our Lord’s request? Caring for my family? That’s what it sounds as though the Luke 9 examples are doing. They would follow Jesus as soon as they buried the dead or bid farewell to those at home. Did they not realize that those should have been the first to hear, “I’m following Jesus, let me tell you about Him.”

Were they looking more for the companionship of Jesus, the crowds He drew, the places He’s been and surely would be visiting? Why couldn’t it be to tell the ones we love the most that:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
(John 3:16 KJV)

That’s a short verse – but we’ll need to explain where to learn about God, why He loves the world, who was His only begotten son, what it takes to believe in Him, why it’s important we not perish, what we can expect with everlasting life – and how we even know about these things. Short compound sentence, but it can take a lifetime to understand and respond.

My apologies - I've overstayed my usual time - but so many interesting questions are raised, aren't there?

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