There are only X more shopping days until Christmas! People ask, “Have you got all your Christmas shopping done yet?” For those who are familiar with the annual adrenalin rush, the question is one of many “kickers” that either brings exhilaration or panic.
“I’m running out of time!” We respond to who and what is calling our names the loudest and longest. In so doing, we may miss the still, small Voice of the One Whose Birthday we profess to celebrate. Already in Jesus’ time, people were beginning to drift away, distracted by what they could see and not interested in what they could not see.
There was plenty of evidence that God was present in the universe. Besides revealing Himself through nature, God also had revealed Himself in unique ways in individual lives. He had assured the stories were repeated and handed down to new generations.
God had given very specific laws about how to live. He had psalmists sing songs about Him. He sent prophets to encourage and correct His People. But still His Beloved Children did not turn from their sins. Their sins separated them from God.
It obviously was going to take much more to get the people’s attention. But what? God’s solution? Condense His Awesome Power into a human body called Jesus. Jesus was God, but He allowed Himself to take on the characteristics of humans. He allowed Himself to be tempted and tried in the same way as you or I would be. No one would ever again be able to say, “Well He is God and He just doesn’t understand what I am going through.”
Jesus experienced the full gamut of joy, sorrow and pain. He was tempted by satan. He lost friends and cried. Those He trusted betrayed Him or denied they even knew Him. He saw the hardness of hearts up close and became angry. He got so nervous before His Trial that He sweat drops of blood. He asked God to change things, so life would be easier. He vacillated between full acceptance of God’s Will for Him and believing God had forsaken Him. Have you been there?
But through it all, Jesus was submitted to His Father, praising and thanking Him, living to do His Will. He knew with certainty that when He exited the human body, He would be in Paradise that very day. And He knew He had the joy of bringing others home with Him.
God called Himself Jesus, the One Who would save people from their sins. He gave a picture of a relationship humans could understand … Father and Son. Jesus was called the Son of God. He told His Disciples plainly, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father!” (Hint! Hint! Nudge! Nudge! Jesus‘ other Name was Immanuel, which means, “God with us!) Did people recognize Who He was?
Peter was Jesus’ right hand man. Surely Peter’s hanging around with Jesus spoke of a friendship that mattered. But there came a day when Jesus asked Peter a question that took things to a level more than just friendship.
“What about you?” He asked.
“Who do you say that I am?”
Jesus is asking you that same question right now. Is He just a baby in a manger Who will go away on December 26th? Is He just an interesting guy in history? Did He only come to give us “fire insurance” and snatch us back from hell? Who is He?
Simon Peter’s answer reverberates all through history.
Simon Peter answered,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!”
Take a few moments to realize Jesus is with you at this very moment. He has enjoyed His Time with you, but He wants this season to be different from all the rest. He is giving you an invitation to change your priorities. He wants you to have Life to the Full, both in heaven and right here on earth. But first He needs to know …
What about you?
Who do you say that I am?