Perhaps you, like me, have read the gospel accounts many times. If so, they are familiar--maybe even overlooked. I started a chronological read through the Bible a couple of years ago and am just now at the gospels-! There have been a couple of interruptions as I've come alongside others to get their own discipline of Bible reading off and running. I've stopped to catalog and organize books like Proverbs just to get a better grasp on knowing and remembering what God has to say.
This time, in reading through the four gospel accounts, I was moved to study each author's intent; to highlight words and phrases that point to their reason for writing about Jesus.
It's always been there--that's the way Scripture is--but it was like new. The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), read differently today as I look at Jesus, the LORD and sovereign--the King on earth--humbly speaking to and leaving His words behind for those of us who would never otherwise hear Him.
Jesus promises heavenly rewards and eternal consequences. Who does that? Who has that authority? Who even knows?
Who, but the Lord, can promise the kingdom of heaven? (v. 3, 10)
Who, but the Lord, can promise comfort? (v. 4)
Who, but God Himself, provides satisfaction? (v. 6)
Who, but God, extends mercy? (v. 7)
Who can promise an audience with God, face to face? (v. 8)
Who, but Jesus, guarantees me an identity with God--as His child? (v. 9, 16, 45, 48)
Who, but the Lord, can personally extend the riches of Heaven? (v. 12)
Who, but Jesus, determines one's entrance to Heaven? (v. 20)
Who, but God, determines my eternal, heavenly reputation? (v. 19)
And, who, but God, has the power of hell at His disposal? (v. 22, 29, 30)
It's no wonder that as Jesus spoke to the people, they sat in awe and wonder. This God, this Christ, came to them in human form and extended Himself--His riches, His kingdom, His very life--for their benefit.
Oh, God, forgive us for taking you lightly, for not looking on you with the reverence and wonder you deserve. Forgive us for our blindness, arrogance, and earthly distraction. We are so lost, so unaware, so ignorant of Your greatness, power, and might.
May today be a day you see Jesus more clearly as the Lover of you soul, the Son of God, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end--and worship.
And they *sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
O Lord God, the Almighty;
Righteous and true are Your ways,
King of the nations!
“Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy;
For all the nations will come and worship before You,
For Your righteous acts have been revealed.” Revelation 15:3-4