Wednesday April 3, 2019
Today’s Focus Who do you say Jesus is?
Today’s Scripture Reading Luke 7:18-23
18 The disciples of John the Baptist told John about everything Jesus was doing. So John called for two of his disciples, 19 and he sent them to the Lord to ask him, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting,[b] or should we keep looking for someone else?”
20 John’s two disciples found Jesus and said to him, “John the Baptist sent us to ask, ‘Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?’”
21 At that very time, Jesus cured many people of their diseases, illnesses, and evil spirits, and he restored sight to many who were blind. 22 Then he told John’s disciples, “Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard—the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” 23 And he added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.[c]”
Daily Reflection Pastor’s reflection
“Religion – a human attempt to understand an un-understandable God”
What do we do and how do we respond when Jesus turns out to be someone other than the One we thought he was? That’s what’s at stake in John’s question. For John was “expecting” a different kind of Messiah. Perhaps he was waiting for a general who would liberate the Israelites from Rome. Perhaps he was expecting a Messiah who would on the spot punish wrongdoers instead of offering forgiveness. But by the mere fact that John poses this question to Jesus I think we can assume that Jesus didn’t fully live up to the “billing” that John had received. Jesus at the end of his statement suggests that God blesses those who do not fall away from belief because of Jesus.”
If we truly search our own heart we must understand that we all carry an image of God within us. Perhaps it’s a shepherd in the middle of a field holding a lamb, or perhaps it’s Jesus knocking at a door. But if we were to worship in the “deep South” we would see images of Jesus portrayed as an African American. If we were worshipping in China we would see images of Jesus portrayed as Chinese.
The truth is, we think we know who Jesus is, what Jesus looked like and how Jesus would act in a given situation and if our views are challenged we like John may say “Are You the One, or should we look for another?”
Regardless of our own image of Jesus for those who confess Jesus we should be sharing in the joy that God has shown in caring about human suffering and human bondage and we share in the call to follow Jesus in ministering to those whom God loves. Our image of Jesus is only the beginning, not the end, and not the be all end all of how God loves.
Some questions for reflection
- If Jesus came back to the world today in human form, what do you suppose we should expect to see, where might he/she show up, and how might he/she act within the world?
- Must all of our images in Christ be the same in order for us to have unity in Christ? Why or why not?
Today’s discipleship challenge
Take a risk and really share your image of Christ with the group. What does he/she look like, act like, how would Jesus today respond to issues of injustice. Be honest with yourself and with others. Then see how there might be unity in the diversity of your images.
O God of all, with wonderful diversity of languages and cultures You crated all people in Your image. Free us from prejudice and fear, that we might see Your face in the faces of people around the world; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.