When [Jesus and his disciples had crossed over the lake], they came to land at Gennesaret. After the people of that place recognized him, they sent word throughout the region and brought all who were sick to him, 36 and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed. Matthew 14:34-36 NRSV [Brackets Mine]
The first point of my sermon was the idea that, “When we truly recognize Jesus, We are again reminded of who God is.” The people of this town, recognized Jesus, as God in the Flesh and they came to him for healing. They were so moved by who he was, that they changed their agendas and came to him for restoration. When we see Jesus, we see God.
If we want to get closer to God, we need to let our lives be influenced by Jesus’ life and teaching. Hebrews 1:1 says that “In these last days, God has spoken to us by his Son”. This means that the ultimate way that God has revealed himself on earth is in the person of Jesus the Messiah. As Christians, we don’t need to wait for any other revelation of God. Colossians 1 says that “All the fullness of God dwells in Jesus.” When we see Jesus, we see God.
This can only be authentic if we allow ourselves to be truly challenged and transformed by Jesus. Many of us, including myself, are in danger of “editing” Jesus so that he sounds like he just approves of everything we already do. We say things to ourselves like, “Basically, all God wants is for us is to try to do our best to be nice to people not to murder someone or rob a bank.” If we keep making Jesus a status quo “Mini Me” of our acceptable morality, we miss out on repenting from our sinful habits, seeking justice for the oppressed, inviting others to trust in Christ and placing our hope in his return. What if instead of painting Jesus to look just like us, we asked God to help us look more like Christ? What if, when we see Jesus, we see God?
Here’s a prayer that was written for a small group of Christians over 2000 years ago. May we make it our prayer again.
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, So that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe. Ephesians 1:17-19 NRSV