Friday, December 09, 2011

December 9, 2011 … Christ’s Outward Appearance

Passage of the Day: Philippians 2: 8a [ NIV - see highlight passage in bold/underlined] … 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!

My Journal for Today: The most important question anyone will ever confront and answer in this life is “Who is this Man, Jesus?” At one point, as documented in Matt. 16: 15-16, Jesus even asked His inner core of disciples this pointed question, "Who do you say I am;” to which Peter got the pop quiz right by intellectually responding, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” But Jesus knew that Peter, even though he answered with the true answer, he and the Disciples had not yet internalized that truth; and they would later fall in disbelief several times before Jesus died on the cross.

For years I was a fool and pretended the answer to Jesus’ question was unimportant. But finally I came to recognize the ultimate importance of answering that question correctly; and I was brought to a place by God so that I could see Him for Whom He really was and is … and that is Jesus, The Messiah and the Son of the living God.

Today’s verse in the Phil. 2 passage (i.e., verse 8a), in the context of the verse immediately proceeding, i.e., verse 7, shows the degree to which Christ was willing to experience the humiliation of humanity to reveal His deity in a way that mankind could identify and see Who He really is. But having been one of those blinded to His deity, I now wonder how mankind, including myself, could not see Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords, … the Savior of all mankind. The “fools” of Christ’s day, even most of the ones who saw Him physically, even as He performed wondrous miracles, saw only Jesus’ “appearance” as a man. That word “appearance” in today’s verse is the Greek term “schema,” from which we get our word, “scheme.” It means the “outer form” of anything … that which we can see or perceive with our senses.

In other words, as Christ walked the earth, even doing incredible miracles that only God could do, most of those around Him only chose to only see His “schema,” … His humanity; and most could not – or would not – see God in the God-Man. That even included the twelve chosen disciples who were closest to our Lord during His three years of earthly ministry. As I said above, I was that way for 39 years of my life. I would have been like those in John 6: 42 or 8: 48, rejecting Jesus for Whom He really was/is. Our human, selfish logic often only allows us to see the outer “schema” of a person, not being willing or able to see inside to perceive the real person – or in the case of Jesus, being blind to His deity. Though I must admit that it’s tough for me to see how his twelve disciples, who had seen Jesus feed thousands from a few fishes and loaves and who saw Him walk on water, could bolt and run when he was taken by the Romans and Jews to be crucified. But truth be told, had I been one of His inner circle, I probably would have been one of the cowards myself.

Take it from one who knows; … it’s so easy to humanize God or to rationalize the truth concerning Jesus, rather than to deal with Christ or His word personally. Jesus and His truth demands that we accept Him for Whom He is … in faith. Jesus of Nazareth was/is God! And His Gospel is truth, the real message of the Advent Season in which we find ourselves at this time of the year! We must accept it and deal with it … from the inside out – totally – not just the outer skin.

I pray that we’ve all done that … but stay tuned … we will get to know this Jesus even further during the rest of this month. >>>

My Prayer Today: Lord Jesus, You are my King and my Lord! Amen

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