Several years ago on tv a commercial would begin with a group of people happily and noisily chatting. But as a certain man began to speak, suddenly the crowd would go silent and strain to hear every word which would fall from his lips. A narrator would announce, “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.”
This commercial exaggerates the respect and behavior people show for those whom they respect. But such riveted attention is appropriate for how we should respond to Jesus.
While Jesus was fully human just as we are/1, he was also much more than just another prophet announcing God?s message. The Word which was with God in the beginning and which was God and through whom the world had been made took on flesh, blood and bone in order to live among us./2 Jesus was the Son of God./3
Accordingly, Jesus cried out to the crowds, “I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world.”/4 “I speak the things which I have seen with My Father.” /5
For us to comprehend and embrace Jesus? teachings about himself, frees us from the apathy and ambivalence which comes from doubting whether truth is knowable. Jesus? teachings recast our lives within the mold of assurance, meaningfulness and certainty. Their importance for our lives is seen in his pronouncement:
“If anyone hears My sayings, and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment, what to say, and what to speak.” (6)
What did Jesus teach?
+ If we are left to ourselves, we will not receive eternal life
+ He has made it possible for us to receive eternal life.
+ He came and died in order that we might be saved.
+ Unless we believe what He has taught about himself and respond appropriately, we will die in our sins.
+ It is foolish to ignore Him in order to pursue other goals thus losing our own life in the end.
+ To follow Jesus involves dying to ourselves in order to live for God. This path of following Jesus is not a difficult burden.
While God used man to write down His message, the Bible is the Word of God, not a human product. May we all listen appropriately to the message of the Word which became flesh and was laid in a manger.
1/ Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 4:2
2/ John 1:1-3,14
3/ John 1:17
4/ John 8:26 (NASB)
5/ John 8:38 (NASB)
6/ John 12:47-49 (NASB)
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