From time to time, someone says, “Jesus never claimed to be anything special—it was his followers who made him out to be Messiah.”
Yet, the Bible gives eyewitness accounts in which Jesus declares himself to be the one the world is waiting for. For example, when the Samaritan woman at the well says to Jesus, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us,” Jesus responds, “I who speak to you am He.” (John 4:25-26)
She believes in Jesus, and her life changes so dramatically that many of the Samaritans believe in him, too, on the basis of her testimony alone. A crowd of others, however, who listen to Jesus speak firsthand, say to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.” (John 4:42, emphasis mine)
In The Robe, a 1953 film about a Roman tribune who’s in charge of crucifying Jesus, one scene depicts people hearing the news that Jesus is entering their village. As I watch them jump up and run toward him, I feel a stab of envy, realizing that if I’d been there, I’d have run to see him, too!
Although we can’t flock to hear Jesus in the flesh, we learn about him and his work through the Bible, which was recorded by prophets who investigated salvation’s mysteries, “things into which angels long to look.” Peter, one who walked with Jesus throughout his ministry, wrote, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 1:12b-13, emphasis mine)
The idea of preparing our minds for action, which suggests that we won’t be sitting on the sidelines as spectators, raises tons of questions that I can’t answer, such as where, when, why, and how we’ll be taking action. Fortunately, our hope rests in Jesus, who’ll be there to direct us!
From October readings for Days 12, 13, and 14
Jeremiah 30-31, 32-34, and 35-38
Ecclesiastes 9, 10, and 11
John 4:15-26, 4:27-42, and 4:43-54
James 5:13-20, I Peter 1:1-9, and 1:10-16