Let’s go back to the first century and take another look at our Lord. “Come and behold Him”.
We bless and are blessed as we “behold Him”, not as we boast of talents or do great things, but as “we look full In His wonderful face.”
As we each behold Jesus – gaze upon Him – Jesus is revealed more and more in our lives.
Watch Him at a wedding Cana. According to the custom of the day, the bridegroom was responsible for supplying the food and wine. You know the story. The wine ran out. This represented a social disgrace – a grave oversight on the part of the bridegroom.
Behold you Lord’s first miracle. He turns water into wine – but no ordinary wine. He creates a wine that is finer than the wine that had run out. In one brilliant stroke of compassion, Jesus Christ removes the bridegroom’s shame. He supplies the lack. He covers the mistake. He removes the disgrace. He reverses the failure. And He makes the bridegroom look like a champion. John 2:1-12
What a Messiah.
Watch Him as he encounters a battered, abused, shamed and forgotten woman. She’s the Samaritan of ill repute – a five-times divorcee. Your Lord breaks all social conventions by talking to her in public. But that’s not all. He shares with her one of the greatest truths that a human being can know. In addition, He breaks Jewish custom by using her utensils and eating with her friends in a Samaritan village (something Jews were forbidden to do). Here is a Lord who embraces a dejected woman and draws her and her friends to Himself. John 4:1-42
What a Christ.
Watch Him as He allows a prostitute to love Him in the house of a Pharisee. She pours expensive perfume on His feet, unbinds her hair and uses it as a towel to anoint His feet. Such an act is scandalous. The Pharisees move straight into judgement mode of Jesus and the woman. And what does the Lord do? He accepts the woman’s extravagant act of love and adoration and rebukes the finger-pointing Pharisee for his self-righteousness, saying, “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” To the woman he said “Your faith has saved you, go in peace.” Luke 7:47, 50
What a Messiah.
Watch Him as He sits before a woman caught in the act of adultery. See her with bleeding cuts in her body, dragged like a rag doll before a hungry mob of judgemental men, waiting for the first stone to crush her head and bring her to a death that she justly deserves. Behold your glorious Lord. He asks one question, a question that pierces the heart if every man who is ready to send this woman to her grave. Mesmerised by the Lord’s words, each man drops his stone and walks away. Jesus’s parting words to the guilty woman? “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” John 8:11
What a Saviour.
As we read the Gospel accounts, we cannot help but be awe-struck by the wonderful person they present. Yet the startling reality is that this same Radiance that we marvel at in the pages of our New Testaments has come to continue His life in and through us.
Genuine Christianity is learning to live by an indwelling Christ. Consequently, the Christian life can be reframed as God’s life come to earth and displayed visibly through human beings. The Christian life is the outflow of “Christ in you”, the breaking forth of God’s uncreated, indwelling life – the radiating of God’s own energy in fallen human vessels.
“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” 2 Cor 4:7
Based on The Jesus Manifesto - Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola
This weeks worship play list is available here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHnJn7EgQjAxZGdAW0Z7RooPBLy9czdT2