That Was No Accident, The Lord Stages Events In Our Lives Just To Reveal Himself To Us

By: Tia Johnson 0 Comments   7/8/2012

When my first-born was a toddler, she often asked to go to Jesus' house. All this talk about Him seemed to necessitate a visit to see Him.

As her parent, I assured her that someday she would see Jesus face-to-face. That's a promise: one day all of us will face Him. But as for now, He sees us and knows all about us, and just as we can't see the wind, yet know it is there, our inability to see Jesus does not negate His movement about us.

However, "seeing" Jesus does not necessarily mean we will recognize Him for who He is, either. Hundreds saw Jesus walk this earth and passed Him by. When Jesus appeared to His disciples after rising from the grave, one- Thomas- demanded a sign.

Though he was facing the fleshnd-blood of Jesus Christ, Thomas wanted further evidence of Jesus' presence. Thomas believed when Jesus showed him His scarred hands, yet Jesus said, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

No Accident

Faith is required in the life of a Christian. Hebrews says, "without faith it is impossible to please God." Yet I believe that God does not expect us to blindly assume He is the One. In a neighborhood full of backyard barbeques, our noses could take us to any one of a plethora of gods which may suit our taste buds. No, I am convinced that God is even more concerned about us knowing the truth than we are, and has provided imperative cues to direct our hearts toward His.

This is demonstrated clearly in Scripture. Jesus did not expect us to believe in who He is just by His claim. He even said, "If I bear witness of myself, My witness is not true." Yet further witnesses exist: God and the Holy Spirit serve as witnesses, as well as John the Baptist and the prophets before Him, and numerous followers after Him.

The numerous prophecies surrounding Jesus' birth, life and death provide just one piece of evidence proving who Jesus is. 

But there's more. Twice God spoke from the sky, stating audibly amidst a group of people that Jesus was His son (at Jesus' baptism and transfiguration).

Jesus' miracles also served as witness of Him. After Jesus fed 5,000 men plus women and children, scripture says that the men said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world."

Yet for much of Jesus' ministry the people were stirred-up about who Jesus was, even the disciples. Some were convinced He was their Savior at the sight of Him as a babe. Others remained quite skeptical.

The confirmation of who Jesus is and skepticism from others grew when Jesus healed the blind man in John 9. Jesus said that the man's blindness was caused, "that the works of God should be revealed in him."

Again, before Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead (which really caused a stir among the people), Jesus said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it." Then, before raising up the body of His dead friend, Jesus said aloud, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me."

Jesus' intentions are obvious in scripture: He came to give glory to God, to point us to Him! As His ministry progressed, many did believe in Him, but many were also too afraid to confess Him. Sound familiar?

I recently read an article that details this very truth: many know He is God but are too afraid to stand in that truth. This is a sorrowful epidemic among our rising culture.

We Need To Stand With Him

The article, titled, "How to Win a culture war and lose a Generation," offers thoughtful research that young people are turned off to Christianity and the church because to them it flags, "antihomosexual... judgmental... too involved in politics." Rachel Evans, the author, states that "eighty million twenty-somethings have left the church" because of this.

Many young people have built friendships with those who are pursuing a gay lifestyle. This I applaud- we need to reach out our hands and be engaged in culture, just as Jesus did. But as we do this, we need not compromise what we know to be true.

Evans suggests that the Christians tone down on political activism for the sake of posing a better image for these upnd-coming young people. But I certainly disagree. Christians need to be involved in every step of politics and make their appeals known. The concern is not with Christians who voice Biblical truths respectfully (I must highlight- RESPECTFULLY). The concern is with a generation of young people who are more concerned about their image than they are about identifying what is true.

That's the same struggle the pharisees and governing rulers had in Jesus' day.

Which brings us to the closing of Jesus' life- another instance where Jesus made it known who He was. When the soldiers came to arrest Him- a troop of them, armed with weapons to battle one man- Jesus asked, "Whom are you seeking?"

They answered, "Jesus of Nazareth."

Jesus said, "I am He," and when He said those words, the troops drew back and fell to the ground.

Imagine being in their company that night. By human standards, Jesus was outnumbered. Yet these soldiers had no power over Him. At the mention of His identity, they drew back and fell down- not on their own power. It is by God's grace that the soldiers in the garden fell at the mention of "I am He." At that moment, they had to have known that this was no ordinary prisoner.

Maybe some were just obeying orders that day. At least one member of these forces, looking on at the cross, was convinced, after experiencing the darkened sky, that Jesus was a righteous man. I wonder how many soldiers became Christians that day. Someday in heaven, I would like to meet those men who put Him on the cross, because in my sin and unbelief, I was one of them.

Why is God so concerned with us knowing the truth? Why would Jesus waste His breath making a point about prophecy being fulfilled if He did not care so much about us knowing the Truth?

John 8:32 says, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."  Is it possible that God cares this much about our freedom? 

God has revealed Himself clearly through His son. How often has He nudged us today? He says now just as He did then, "I have made myself known to you. See who I am! Will you not trust Me?"

Most Christians have longed at one time or another to have lived in Bible days and seen Jesus in person. Perhaps the parable of the vineyard expresses well our desire to see more evidence, and what has resulted. When the owner of the vineyard sent out servants to collect fruit, the vinedressers beat them and sent them back empty handed.

This summarizes the experience of the Old Testament prophets, who were sent by God to His people and were turned away. In the parable, the owner of the vineyard relents, "Perhaps they will respect my own son if I send Him." On the contrary, however: the vinedressers cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Sounds like a brief synopsis of the Bible, eh?

God has given us enough road signs on our map of life to point to the Truth. Yet He has required the faith on our part to actually follow the course. The road may look untraveled and a bit treacherous at times, and other roads might tempt us with smoother pavement and nicer looking cars. But unlike all other paths, you won't come to a dead end on God's path.

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