Friday, September 29, 2017
Men of the Bible - Jesus
His name means: "Yahweh Is Salvation"
His work: Although a member of the Holy Trinity who participated in the creation of the universe, his assignment was to come humbly to earth as a man to serve as Redeemer and Lord.
His character: Fully God, fully man; sinless perfection.
His sorrow: Taking upon himself the sins of every human being to satisfy the wrath of a holy God—the sins of those who lived before his birth, those who lived during his lifetime, and those who were to follow.
His triumph: The completion of his mission as the Savior of the world.
Key Scriptures: The Gospel of John
A Look at the Man
The first day of school, the first day on a new job—these are landmark moments, times to celebrate, to give your best, to set a pattern for the days to follow.
Jesus could have begun his public ministry with a healing service or a deliverance session. He could have gathered twice as many people as John the Baptist had and begun by excoriating the religious leaders for their sins. Instead, he performed a miracle, turning water into wine so that a bride and groom could avoid embarrassment, so that a party could continue.
Didn't Jesus have more important things to attend to? What was he thinking? What about all the hungry people who needed feeding, the blind who needed to see? What about restoring worship in the temple, freeing the demon-possessed, silencing gale-force winds, and walking on water?
Jesus knew the time would come for him to confront the ugliness in people's hearts. He knew about the suffering that lay ahead and the resistance he would face. But right now it was time for a party. True, the bridegroom hadn't been quite ready for the wedding, running out of wine before the celebration was half finished. Jesus wasn't quite ready either.
But three years later, as he hung on a Roman cross dying for our sins, it was a completely different story, because now the Bridegroom was ready. That day Jesus declared his work "finished," for the purpose of his life and ministry was to prepare his people to become his spotless bride.
At Cana he had changed water to expensive wine. On the night before he died, he lifted a cup of wine, saying to his friends: "This is my blood, shed for you." On the cross he turned the costly wine into his own precious blood.
After Jesus' resurrection, the Spirit of God moved on the disciples so powerfully that three thousand people became believers in one day. Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in his followers, was drawing people to himself, changing the course of history, giving us the best news we could ever hear, throwing the greatest party anyone had ever attended.
Reflect On: Matthew 26:36–46
Praise God: For his love.
Offer Thanks: For his Son—the child born of a virgin, the boy who grew in character, the one who lived a sinless life and died to redeem us—the groom who not only loved his bride but gave his life for her.
Confess: The temptation to forget who Jesus really is and to treat his life as only an example of right living rather than to fully embrace his purpose for coming to earth.
Ask God: To fill you with his Spirit, to live as a person who has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus, to teach you to pray and to celebrate.
Today's reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book's title must be included when sharing the above content on social media. Coming this fall: watch for Wicked Women of the Bible by Ann Spangler.