September 14, 2009

Looking for Jesus

Julia’s eyes lit up. We had just finished reading the story of little old Gideon, with God’s help and against all odds, winning a battle and rescuing God’s people … when I said: ‘Can you think of any other stories in the Bible where one person rescued God’s people when everything seemed to be going against Him?’ After thinking for two or three seconds, her eyebrows raised and a big grin came across her face. ‘Jesus!’ she exclaimed.

I just love that. Each night in family worship, no matter what the story we’re reading, we always find a trail back to Jesus. Isn’t that what He said we’re supposed to do? Don’t “Moses and … all the prophets” speak “the things concerning” Jesus (Luke 24.27)? So of course we should read of Gideon and think of Jesus! And the same is true when we read of Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Esther, Samson, Ehud, and so on!

Every portion of the Bible is, somehow, pointing us to Jesus. Maybe it’s direct teaching about Him (as in the four Gospels). Or perhaps the passage you’re looking at is a prophecy about Him (see Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, etc.). Other passages of scripture are foreshadowings, or pictures, Jesus. That is, they tell a story that is a lot like the story of Jesus, and that was meant to help people expect and recognize the coming Savior (as in the accounts of Gideon, or the Passover, or the serpent on the pole in Numbers 21). Still other parts of the Bible point out our need for Jesus (i.e. our sin) – think of the Minor Prophets, the first two chapters of Romans, and so on. And of course, much of the latter portion of the New Testament explains the aftereffects of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus (answering questions like: ‘What has Jesus actually accomplished for us?’ ‘How do we take advantage?’ and ‘How do we live once we become His followers?’)

The way a passage points to Jesus is not always the same. But, in some form or fashion, they are all about Him (again, Luke 24.27) … and you should read them that way. You should read your Bible, do your Sunday School prep, teach your children, and listen to lessons, lectures, and sermons LOOKING FOR JESUS … every single time. And you should hold your teachers accountable to do so, too!

And I am so excited when I sometimes hear that some of our folks are really getting this! Recently someone said to me:

‘I am studying Exodus, and it has been so exciting, each time I study, looking for Jesus.’

Someone else recently said of the sermons:

‘I listen to you … expecting, in each sermon, to hear the simple gospel message somewhere. And when it happens, I say: “There it was”. '

A couple of years back, someone said to me after a lesson I taught:

‘I kept waiting and waiting for you to get to Jesus … and if you didn’t get there, I was going to stop you and make sure we did!’

And, more stingingly, someone recently said to me:

‘I think that might have been the first time when I can’t remember you showing us how the passage pointed to Jesus.’

All these things warm the heart of this pastor – even when it is being pointed out that I, perhaps, missed the mark. These remarks mean that many of my people are getting it. They’re getting Luke 24.27. Are you?

The whole Bible – indeed, the whole universe – is all about Jesus! So keep thinking (and reading your Bibles) that way … LOOKING FOR JESUS!

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