My, Devotion to Him #280
If Jesus seems distant to you, you are not alone. For many, Jesus is abstract. He is like that piece of modern art you just don’t get and have trouble relating too. But this is not the Jesus in the gospels, not even the Jesus that the whole Bible talks about, nor is this the Jesus of the early church. Jesus is right here, right now and that idea will renew your life and strengthen your spiritual walk. But we must grasp ahold of this.
1. Jesus is fully human and fully God which changes everything.
In the moment when God became flesh, God was with us in a more profound way than ever before which is a HUGE advantage to us. Jesus took on the form of a person in order to forever bond the spiritual and physical which bridged the gap that sin had created.
Verse Passage: Matthew 1:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). – NIV
This changes everything! Right now, if God is with us, then what can stand in opposition of us? (see Romans 8:37-39).
This is so amazing that He as God chose to come in human form, be born the way we are, grow the way we do, and live the way we do. Such a personal aspect of Him that we far too often overlook and take for granted. He is so interested and so desires to be with us that He even came down as a human and lived among us.
Verse Passage: John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – NIV
God is dwelling among us. So many times we profess Jesus as Lord, as God and we forget His humanness in the process. It was His humanity that allowed for Jesus to be our suffering servant (see Isaiah 53:10-12) It is His humanity that allows for Him to directly relate to us which is amazing not only in thought but in the simple fact that it has become reality (see Hebrews 2:10-18)
This is why the early church fathers so adamantly opposed a belief known as Docetism. The idea that Jesus was not a real person but instead only spirit (or God). Yet today we often act like Jesus is somehow far away that He is only a spirit. Let’s reclaim Him as the suffering servant too, as God, as the human among us, as the Word that was made flesh to come save us and dwell with us!
2. The hurting and oppressed reveal Jesus’ face.
Around the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, He proclaims His purposes by quoting the prophet Isaiah.
Verse Passage: Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” – NIV
I believe that if we take a careful look at those that are hurting and oppressed we can see Jesus crying out. He is crying out “THEY NEED FREEDOM! Here is your ministry.” So many times we miss this. Sadly even in the church. Even on a simpler note. I see people go to the alter and I stretch out my hand and unleash the power of tongues. Because I know not what to pray for but the spirit man does (this is one of the reasons tongues is such a powerful tool and lacking heavily in many churches.) I see people just sitting there, while the pastor, elders, and others are laying hands praying. People just sit and look around, look at their phone, the church bulletin or watches. Yes some are praying. But oh how my spirit stirs in hurt that even a congregation can miss this. If they are missing it the whole world is missing this.
Jesus explains to His disciples that at the end of all things the following will happen.
Verse Passage: Matthew 25:37-40 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ – NIV
This is saddening people. If we are missing this in the church then we are missing this with people who won’t step into the church. So many hurting, so many desperate, so many in need of help.
Jesus tells us, when we serve the hurting, we serve Him: We see Him. I have held the hands of these hurting that Jesus mentions and heard them cry out in prayers to God for redemption, healing, forgiveness, and ultimately for freedom. I have felt their pain. I have felt it so much that I cried in pain with them. I have seen Jesus stand alongside them in their pain, loneliness, and in their darkest hours. But I have also felt the burden of the great needs of our generation in the process. Jesus is among the hurting and the oppressed. The question is will we?
3. Jesus is not just beside you but in you.
Jesus sitting beside you, in conversation is a wonderful picture and an even better feeling. I long to feel that close to Jesus on a daily. To picture Him here, talking with me. And this is precisely what Jesus wants and seeks. This is the only type of relationship He has envisioned through the Holy Spirit in us. Near the end of His time on earth, Jesus tells His disciples.
Verse Passage: John 16:13-15 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” – NIV
There is a direct connection here between the Holy Spirit’s relationship within the Trinity, and our relationship with Jesus and God the Father. We need to embrace the idea of Jesus as friend, sitting beside us through the work of the Holy Spirit among us and in us. It is through the Holy Spirit that renewal is brought to our lives.
4. Jesus is there when breaking bread.
After His resurrection, Jesus shows up on a road, walking with two disciples. At first, they don’t recognize Him (see Luke 24:20). The disciples tell Jesus of all the events that have occurred with the crucifixion and the account of His resurrection. But despite Jesus’ words about the necessity of His death, according to “the Prophets,” they still don’t recognize Him (see Luke 24:25-26). They hear, but do not yet believe. But then something amazing happens.
Verse Passage: Luke 24:30-32 “When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” – NIV
It is in the meal, and likely in the act of remembering Jesus through the Eucharist, that they see Him, as He is. Their hearts may have burned, but this is when their eyes are opened. Hospitality, blessing, a focus on Jesus’ sacrificial act—this is how we see Him. It’s simple. When they focused on Jesus they saw Him. They did stare at Him. They were focused on Jesus’ acts in which then their eyes were opened at who was at the table with them. When we tune in and focus on the ministry of Christ and who Christ is, we too can have our eyes opened. Because He is among us. Because we must be tuned into Him. And yes that requires us to take our mind off other things and bring it back to Him. It is there we find Him. The Bible is constantly filled with verses and statements that back each one up. This is no different. We can see that when we seek Him we find Him (this will require work on our end and focus. See Jeremiah 29:13, Matthew 7:7, Proverbs 8:17)
5. Jesus is in the movement to unleash the gospel to the whole world.
Jesus as a person and as our God, is not merely an idea. We must take action. Jesus wants to offer physical healing to our generations, to our earth, and we have the blessing of being able to be apart of it. But the poverty of our world runs beyond what can be seen. I have said this countless times. We are not only dealing with physical poverty but it is also spiritual poverty that plagues this earth. The greatest and most deadliest plague in history that continues to ravage our land is spiritual poverty.
There is such a need for churches to stand up, and take action. To bring the gospel where it is not accessible. Not every church has the same mission. You cannot have all churches going after one mission which is to reach all areas where God has not been taught yet. Because then our homelands start to dry up. There is missions for each church and each church needs to straighten up and get in tune with their God given mission and take action! It not just about who is in the congregation (that is a very big part no doubt) but each city is in need, each state, and nation is in need for the Word of God.
Matthew’s Gospel records that after Jesus’ resurrection, He met His eleven remaining apostles and said to them.
Verse Passage: Matthew 28:18-20 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – NIV
Copyright © 2021 By Jacob Olinger
2 thoughts on “Jesus Is Always There”
This is amazing! Praise the Lord! You are seeing what we need to be in the middle of. Helping and searching for the needy and poor in spirit among ourselves. So many times we think that we need to travel (which you know that I go to Argentina) to preach the Word but there are those in our on cities that need us AND GOD!
Keep preaching the Word!!
Thank you a million! To each He gives talents, each of them must decide what to do with them before He returns! Trying to use them to the best that I can and in such a way that is pleasing to Him. No matter what everyone else is doing. If we each use our talents honorably and for the kingdom, then we have done our part in service of Him.