Jesus beyond words
By Tommy Retton, Trinity Christian School
It is a wonderful gift to open our Bibles on a daily basis. Some rise early while the sun remains asleep, making their way towards dimly lit porches with a leather Bible in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.
Others are self-proclaimed night owls, preferring the backdrop of the moon to study a chapter of Romans or devour large quantities of scripture as the quiet of night sets in.
Still others read throughout the day, meditating on a verse or piece of scripture read off of their phones, seeing the goodness of God as they work, drive and spend time with their families.
Regardless of how you read your Bible, let us never forget what a gift it is to read the very words of God. Just as special is having the opportunity to daily read about the life of Jesus - the prophesied Savior, the One who came as fully human and sympathizes with us in every way, God in flesh.
I am astounded when I read about the life of Jesus. Through the viewpoints of four uniquely different Gospel writers, we get a front-row view to the daily life of this man who “taught as one with authority”. The words of Jesus are life-changing on the surface, while simultaneously piercing the soul on a much deeper level. Every word of Jesus is part of a series of the most important words ever spoken; each word shows us how the world truly operates, how our lives are best lived, and how he is the only One who grants eternal life. The words of Jesus should be accepted with reverence and seriousness, applied to live a life with any type of genuine meaning.
What is often just as astounding is the way he lived His life. It is an incredible joy reading about the continual ways Jesus defied nature and proved His Godship, performing miracles and actions that revealed the glory of God. He rose the dead, healed those marked as unclean by simply walking through town, and fed thousands with croutons and a can of sardines.
But if we are willing to read between the lines, we see a third viewpoint of Jesus’ life that can be beneficial to us in numerous ways.
Jesus - I am sure purposefully - lived a daily life that can be modeled by every believer. It is a completely counter-cultural lifestyle to the climate we currently find ourselves in, one that features an eternal mindset instead of a temporary one. By simply reading the Gospel accounts, think of all of the simple things Jesus does that can be mimicked by us today: He walked with an intentionally slow pace; He rose early and prayed often; He humbled Himself and served, in simple ways like listening and washing his friends’ feet; He took time to get away and be alone; He treated all people groups with the same amount of respect and love (understanding the eternal significance of each person, including the Pharisees, who he often publicly rebuked); He made time for people, through constant travel and growing fatigue; He combatted the devil’s words with the truths of scripture, realizing satan is not a goofy red devil wielding a pitchfork but a strong, manipulative adversary.
As we read through the Gospels, every account of Jesus is overwhelmed with seemingly small daily actions that can be modeled and help us grow in our walk with God. If we were to list everything that can be garnered from Jesus’ lifestyle by just reading the four Gospels, this would no longer be a blog but a quite lengthy book.
It is truly a wonderful gift to read the Bible. Let us continue to read the active Word of God on a daily basis, in both exciting seasons and in drier times where we are crawling through the desert. Let us find a personal system where we best interact with Scripture, whether it be meditating on scripture throughout the day or reading whole books at a time. Let us read the Gospels with anticipation, reveling in the fact that God came in human form to speak, act, and live in a way that can be modeled. Let us never stop reading to simply grow nearer to our God, as the old hymn reminds us, “for He is so precious to me.”
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