Monday, October 12, 2015

Where You Meet Jesus

The Gospels are rich with the story of Jesus, it's true. But these are not merely the stories of God-become-flesh; they are also the stories of the countless individuals who met Him in that flesh. And although we often talk about the Jesus who comes to us, the Gospels are overwhelmingly told in the stories of the persons who come to Him. 

In the manger, God comes to us in the form of a baby. But on the streets of Jerusalem, the shores of Galilee, the roads of the nation of Israel, it is us who are coming to Him. We're coming in the form of the hemorrhaging woman, sneaking through the crowds for a chance to touch His robe. We're coming in the form of the blind men, who dare stand on the sides of the roads and cry out His name. We're coming in the form of the tree climbers, doing all we can to get a better look at this Man. We're coming to Him in the form of the disciples, eager to hear His wise words. 

We're coming in the form of the paraplegics, who come not carrying their own burdens, but being carried as burdens, but who come nonetheless. We're coming in the form of the sinners, called out in the presence of this merciful God. We're coming in the form of the dejected, the rejected, the outcast, whose stories unfold in quiet obscurity.

We're coming in the form of the Pharisees, thinking we've got this whole religion thing "right." Thinking we know holiness better than even the Holy One standing before us. We're coming in the form of the Sanhedrin, sitting in judgment of this Jesus, this so-called Son of God, unable to believe that He could ever be the One He claims to be. I mean, just look at Him. We're coming in the form of the Romans, holding Him accountable to our measures of law and justice. 

Two thousand years later, we're coming in the same ways that men and women came to Him in the Gospels. 

It's impossible to tell all of their stories. It's impossible for us to reflect on each and every one of them, for we know only the few that are given to us in the remembrances of the disciples. It's impossible for us to know to how many hurt, how many broken, how many wounded, how many sinful persons Jesus truly came and in what ways and what those encounters were really like. 

But for the hurt, the broken, the wounded, and the sinful among us, what we have is a beautiful start. So I thought I'd take a few days this week just to look at some of those stories. Just some of them. Just to see what it is that we had in common with these persons who came to Jesus and what we can learn about Him from those very encounters. 

Because we're not so different from the blind men, from the bleeding, from the broken, from the blessed. We're really not. And the Lord they met is no different at all from our Lord. In fact, we know He is the same. 

Yesterday and today and forever. 

So pack a bag, lace up your sandals, and come with me on a journey to the places where you, me, we all meet Jesus. 

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