Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words. Luke 19:47-48
As I continue this week with the Margaret Feinberg’s #LentChallenge, reading the Gospel of Luke and closing in on the final week of Jesus’ life on earth for the third time, I find myself feeling a soul restlessness that is not unfamiliar. Winter has been exceedingly long, even for this Snow Lover. I want to shake off the cold and remember what Spring is like…I can’t recall. I headed to walk along the Ocean road this morning, the first day of Spring and was met with cold so intense my fingers were frostbitten! I think Spring has forgotten she needs to wake up.
Maybe it’s the long season, maybe it’s all of the horrid news, maybe it’s just me. But my soul is restless and my mind still wanders to images of the 21 martyred on a faraway shore just a few short weeks ago. Jesus continues to point to His imminent death on the Cross and I can’t help but wonder if his followers were getting it. Sort of like I wonder in this here and now if any of us is getting it. Because, the more I read His words the less expectation and hope I have in this world. It’s not that we don’t need to be Salt and Light in this here reality…because we do, but there are Christians who are banking on this here life. Seeking security, significance and satisfaction in the Here and Now. Maybe if I’m honest with myself, I am guilty as well. But the more I ingest the words of my Savior, the more I feel the earth beneath my feet give way.
Because friends, it’s giving way.
Meanwhile I’m hanging on His words. Because they have the hope we need for the here and now and the hope that secures salvation forever.
I want to ask you something.
Are you hanging on His words?
Because, although Jesus now comes gently as a Lamb, He will also come again as the Lion.
I don’t find in his own words, compromise. Be warned, there is a lot of deception and outright false teaching going around about Jesus. Christian, you need to make it your business to devour His Word, while it is TODAY. You need to know the One you claim. The One who commends faith in Him as necessary.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
You need to know the One who challenges with statements such as:
So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” Luke 17:4
We need to ask along with the disciples, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:6)
The same Jesus who also said:
So he told them, “You try to justify yourselves in front of people, but God knows your hearts, because what is highly valued by people is detestable to God.
Jesus does not play favorites. He came for sinners. Not those who have no need for a Savior. (Luke 15:7) Do you need Jesus? I hope you do. Because if you think you don’t, I fear for you. I really do.
But, hey…don’t take my word for it. You need to read the words of Jesus for yourself…The One who claimed to be God. Who preached, Heaven, Hell, Repentance, Forgiveness…and Judgement. I don’t know who you think Jesus is. But, I know who He is. I also recognize who He is not. You need to be sure you know who Jesus claimed He was, before you make any claims to His name. Do you know Jesus? Do you know the One who called Himself the Christ? The One who infuriated the “religious” folks of the day because those who were supposed to be teaching others about God, kept others from Him. God is not impressed with your “goodness”. Your goodness is the same sin that my badness is. It nailed Christ to the Cross. No, Jesus made it clear, all are welcome in the Kingdom, but not all will come. Religion kills. Christ is life for those who believe.
Are you hanging onto His words?