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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

I Stand In Awe of Him

This past Sunday I preached on one of the most familiar texts and stories in the Bible - the feeding of the 5,000. As with all passages that I have known most of my life, when I prepare to teach/preach that text, I must look at it with fresh eyes and set aside the familiarity which wants to bring so much contempt. The miracle of feeding the 5,000 (though the number is really so much higher) is staggering, with only five loaves and two fishes. Surely it was a God-thing. But in this text, I also see the humanity of Christ along with his deity. I find this in the context of the text. In the previous chapter of Matthew (chapter 13), Jesus spoke in numerous parables and concluded with a striking narrative of him in Nazareth, his home town. He went into the synagogue and preached, yet the people opposed him and scoffed at him. Why? Because they had known him since he was child. This was the carpenter's son. This was Mary's little boy. Where does he get this authority and power? He's no Messiah; he's our neighbor next door. And it is interesting to see that Jesus did no mighty works there because of their unbelief, but the reason why he couldn't was because they rejected who he was and the message that he taught. I think today Jesus chooses not to do mighty works still admidst people who reject him and his teaching, and think of him as "my homeboy next door." Secondly, at the beginning of chapter 14, John the Baptist, Jesus older cousin, is beheaded because he would not compromise and stood for righteousness. John was the man to whom Jesus said that "there was none born of woman greater than he." He baptized Jesus, probably grew up with Jesus, and outside his disciples there was possibly none more close to him than John. Surely, the news of hearing this brought him much grief - grief that could have easily taken him out of ministering to people, away from the needs of the people. Thirdly, the demands of the people was at its highest peak. People were streaming from surrounding cities and villages and traveling miles on foot just to hear his message, to have their loved ones healed, and to experience his touch. They found him in "desolate places" on the mountainside, and like "Jewish paparazzi", they seemed to harass him at every corner. Yet none one did he send away. Not one was a nuisance to him. Not one did he not have compassion. Finally, the disciples could not embrace the heart of Jesus for ministry. They were utterly clueless and selfish, and it is easy to see how Jesus could have been discouraged, disappointed, and frustrated over the actions and attitudes of his followers. After all, they had been with him for quite some time, having seen him minister, having heard his message, having felt his love. Why did they not get it? Yet Jesus did not allow this failure of his followers to keep him from ministering. He was patient, longsuffering, and as a loving father, taking his own under his wings, even in rebellion, and taught them by example. Given all this, the rejection of his hometown, the dejection over the death of John, the pressing demands of the people, and the failure of his followers, Jesus still did what no one could ever do. In light of all this, the miracle is all the more miraculous. He was tired. The day had ended. He was hurting, grieving, and discouraged. He wanted to be alone. And still, he saw the multitudes, filled with compassion, took them in, embraced them, healed the sick, and fed them. I feel his humanity. I see his divinity. I cherish his example. What a Savior! What a Minister! What a Wonderful King! I stand in awe of him.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Rev said...

I am thankful for the work that the Lord has done in you because it encourages me, convicts me, challenges me to think and so forth and so on..

6/22/2005 09:29:00 PM

 

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