There is a great danger in receiving a greater revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ . . . one that moves from shallow waters into the depths. It’s the peril of allowing our first seeing of Christ to shape the way we recognize Him for the rest of our lives.
(Please read that sentence again.)
I’m going to make this shockingly pointed: The Lord Jesus Christ always ends up coming to us in ways that make it easy for us to reject Him.
If we are pressing on to know the Lord, He will eventually come to us in a way that makes it easy for us to ignore Him, dismiss Him, and even reject Him. I’ve watched it repeatedly among Christian groups that felt they had a solid handle on knowing the Lord.
Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday, and forever. Do you recall the way that He came into this earth?
Consider the situation. For centuries, Israel had waited for a political Messiah. They expected Him to break the yoke of Roman bondage and liberate God’s people from Roman oppression.
But how did the Messiah make His entrance into the world? He came in a way that made it easy for His own people to reject Him. He entered this planet as a frail baby, born in a feeding house for animals. The King of the universe was born as a weak human being in the ill-starred town of Bethlehem, in the midst of the stain and stench of animal manure, to a needy Jewish couple.
I would say that’s quite an easy way to reject the promised Messiah who was expected to overthrow the mighty Roman empire and set Israel free from Gentile oppression.
Interestingly, none of the Bible scholars who had the Old Testament memorized and knew the prophecies about the Messiah’s coming were present at Christ’s birth. The only people who were present were those who were led to the stable by revelation. Ironically, all of them happened to be shepherds and pagan astrologers, not Bible scholars.
When He grew up, He ate and drank in their presence, and He taught in their streets. Luke 13:26. He was unassumingly modest . . . of humble origin. A mere carpenter. The son of a carpenter. Growing up in the despised city of Nazareth, fraternizing with the despised and oppressed. But more startling, He befriended sinners. Luke 7:34. As such, the people of God didn’t recognize Him. Why? Because He came in a way that made it easy for them to reject Him.
And what about the disciples? Read the story again. Jesus continued to break out of their expectations. He couldn’t be pinned down, figured out, or boxed in. The Twelve were constantly confounded by Him. His teachings were offensive. His actions scandalous. His reactions baffling.
The greatest offense of all was the cross. It offended everyone—both Jew and Gentile. The only crown the promised Messiah would accept was a crown of thorns. A suffering Messiah . . . a defeated King . . . boy, it’s easy to reject Him.
This finds us all of out, doesn’t it?
Written by Frank Viola, author