Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Day God showed Himself

In one remarkable day in the spring of of what we call AD 32 the Creator of the world revealed Himself to a hostile world. It had to be one of his worst days of ministry outside of "Passion week."

First, his cousin John the Baptist has just been executed for the "crime" of preaching against the public sin of the "king" of Judea. The provential ruler was a pawn of Rome and as such had no "real" claim to David's throne. However, he had succeeded in locking the prophet away. However, his "wife" of the time was an unlawful union with his brother's spouse! And SHE had manipulated the situation to literally "have his head on a platter."(Matthew 14:1-12)

When the news came to Jesus, he took a ship to a hide-away to grieve. But alas, his fame has spread so that he could not hide. People flocked to the wilderness to be healed, and to hear him teach. In spite of his grief, he compassionately healed the sick all day long. In this he was fulfilling his role as a prophet. No one suspected that he was any greater than John, thought the Baptizer had not been a healer. (Matt. 14:13-14)

But then, the humble carpenter from Nazareth revealed himself to be much more: He fed the crowd "out of nothing"! Five loaves and two dried fish was made to be enough food for as many as 12,000 hungry people. It is no wonder that the people wanted to make him their King! But Jesus was yet to show His full divinity. It could be argued that this same type of miracle had been accomplished by Elijah (1 Kings 17:8-16). (Matt.14:15-21)

After Jesus sent his disciples away in their fishing boat he successfully dismissed the satisfied crowd and got away to pray alone in the hills. But then a storm blew up that threatened the life of his disciples. So he went straight to them, not even letting miles of stormy sea stop him.

The time had come to show Who he truely was.

Suspending the laws of nature, he walked across the top of the waves as if they were pavement. It was a sight so unexpected that the disciples that they thought he was a ghost! And so, Jesus comforted them, saying "Be brave. I AM. Don't be afraid"

That's right, he said the equivalent of the divine name (Exodus 3:14). The Greek "ego eimi" is a translation of the Hebrew "AHWH" (ahweh: I am > Yahweh: He is). He left no question in the minds of the twelve. They proclaimed: "Truely, you are God's son." (Matt. 14:22-33)

The following year would prove to be a trying time for Jesus and his small band of disciples. But they at least knew that the Master was the best One with whom to spend it.

No comments: