August 31, 2018

His Feet

Part 6 in a series on Jesus’ Body

We conclude our look at Jesus’ body by gazing down at His feet. And I remind you of three wonderful truths concerning those feet:

First, Jesus' feet are “lovely”. In Isaiah 52:7 we read this memorable exclamation:
How lovely on the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who announces peace
And brings good news of happiness,
Who announces salvation,
And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
And, oh, does that ever describe the feet of our Lord Jesus as He proclaimed good news to sinners! “How lovely” were Jesus’ feet as He trekked across Galilee and Judea, “announc[ing] salvation” to the people there! And, though that earthly task is now complete, “how lovely” the feet that performed it remain! And “how lovely … are the feet of” those, today, who carry on in Jesus’ mission! Let us be among them! And let us praise God for Jesus’ own “lovely”, gospel-carrying feet!

And then, secondly, let us remember that, at Golgotha, Jesus' feet were pierced. “They pierced my hands and my feet” (Psalm 22:16). Why? “He was pierced through for our transgressions” (Isaiah 53:5). The same feet that carried Jesus from place to place “bring[ing] good news” were eventually staked to a Roman cross in the event that is the very centerpiece of the good news! His feet were pierced in order to pay the penalty for all the sins of all His people for all time! That is good news, indeed! Praise God that He loves sinners that much!

Finally, let us remember that Jesus’ feet will return (along, of course, with the rest of His body!). Seeing into the future, the apostle John wrote that he “looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion” (Revelation 14:1). And Job said of Jesus that “at the last He will take His stand on the earth” (Job 19:25). Jesus will, “at the last”, plant His feet, once again, “on the earth”! May you be ready for His second coming by repenting of your sins and believing in this same Jesus whose feet, at His first coming, were “pierced through for our transgressions”!

August 25, 2018

His Hands

Part 5 in a series on Jesus’ Body

What a wonderful thing it is to consider Jesus’ hands!

With His hands Jesus healed the sick (Luke 4:40). With His hands He blessed the children (Mark 10:16). And with His hands He washed His disciples’ feet (John 13:5). And, oh, let us “sing for joy at the works of [His] hands” (Psalm 92:4)! And let us remember that Jesus is still healing the sick, and blessing children, and serving His people even today! And let us imitate the hands of Jesus by using our hands to serve one another (John 13:14)!

And then there is this wonderful account of the use of one of Jesus’ hands, in Matthew 14:28-31 (emphasis added):
Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
What a strong and merciful hand that was! And praise God that, still today, Jesus reaches out to His people in our doubts and, with great strength and mercy, keeps us from drowning by them!

Then, of course, we must never forget that Jesus’ hands were “pierced through for our transgressions” (Isaiah 53:5) … “that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Do you believe in Him? Have you trusted in the Savior whose hands were pierced for sinners?

Note also that, in His resurrected body, those hands carried “the imprint of the nails” – such that His disciples were certain that the One whom they encountered in those days after Golgotha was none other than the Lord Jesus Himself, risen from the dead (John 20:19-29)!

Oh, the marvelous hands of our Lord Jesus! Let us love those hands! And let us love Him whose hands they are!

August 17, 2018

His Mouth

Part 4 in a series on Jesus’ Body

“His mouth is full of sweetness.” So said that famous woman of Solomon’s song, regarding her beloved (Song of Solomon 5:16)! And so we can say of our Lord Jesus (although for different reasons than hers) – “His mouth is full of sweetness.”

One reason is because Jesus’ mouth reminds us that He really did take on our nature; that the Word really did become flesh. For, with His mouth, Jesus ate (Matthew 9:11). He needed bodily sustenance just like we do! Because He really is one of us!

And not only did He eat, but Jesus ate “with the tax collectors and sinners” (Matthew 9:11) – so that this particular use of His mouth not only reminds us of His humanity, but also of His grace! He came to minister to those who were spiritually sick – and eating with them was an entry point to such ministry!

Further, not only did Jesus eat before His death, but also after His resurrection (Luke 24:36-43), demonstrating Himself to be no mere spirit, but bodily risen from the dead!

But then it’s not just what went into Jesus mouth that makes that mouth “full of sweetness” – but also what came out!

On more than one occasion, the physically impaired had reason to praise the Lord for even the very saliva that came from Jesus’ mouth (Mark 7:31-37; Mark 8:22-26; John 9:1-7). Did Jesus need to use His spit to perform these healings? No. He could have “just [said] the word” (Matthew 8:8) and the miracles would have been effective. But He chose to use the very secretions of His mouth to grant these healings. And the people who received them could surely never think of His mouth, again, without recognizing it as “full of sweetness”!

But, oh, it’s not just (or even mainly) the physical drippings from His lips that make Jesus’ mouth “full of sweetness” … but the verbal drops, as well! In Luke 4:22 “all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips.” Do you ever find yourself doing the same? Jesus’ mouth is what Solomon calls “a fountain of life” (Proverbs 13:14)! And we drink from that fountain, still, as we take in His word today! Drink from it, my friends! And as you do so, may God enable you truly to say that “His mouth is filled with sweetness.”

August 8, 2018

His Ears

Part 3 in a series on Jesus’ Body

A discussion of the various parts of Jesus’ body must surely include His ears, right? For one of the lovely qualities of our Jesus is His listening … both to His Father, and to His people.

In a beautiful messianic passage, recorded by Isaiah, Jesus speaks of the opening of His ear to the Father:
“He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.
The Lord GOD has opened My ear;”
Isaiah 50:4-5
Each day the Father would awaken His Son and open His ear to listen – to hear the Father’s words by reading and/or meditating on the Scriptures, and perhaps as the Father sometimes spoke to Him in other ways as well. And what a reminder this is of the value and weight of the heavenly Father’s words! And what a reminder that we need open ears, too; that we need to hear from God, day by day. And what a call this is for you to ask God to do for you what He did for Jesus – “morning by morning … awaken[ing your] ear to listen as a disciple.” Ask God to do so, and then open His word and listen. And as God gives you an ear like Jesus, the word of God will mold you into Jesus’ likeness in many other ways as well!

And then we also note that Jesus’ ears are not only tuned in to the voice of His Father, but to the cries of His people as well! I love the example of this which is given to us in Luke 18:35-43. Blind Bartimaeus is “sitting by the road begging.” And “a crowd [is] going by” (making the kind of noise, v.36, that you’d expect a crowd to make). And Bartimaeus hears that Jesus is in the crowd, and begins calling out to Him for help: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Will his voice be drowned out by the din of the crowd? Will Jesus perhaps not hear poor Bartimaeus, for all the other noises bouncing off His eardrums? Or will He, perhaps, even join some others in the crowd in telling Bartimaeus to pipe down? Not a chance! The Son of David does hear (and care about!) the blind man’s cry! And, oh, what a reminder this is of Christ’s dealings with you as well, believer! No matter how much clatter may be ringing out around you, and no matter how unconcerned others may be about your pleas, Jesus hears (and takes deep interest in!) the cries of each and every one of His people! His ears are open to us!