Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Shout! Shout! Let it all out!

The Final Word was JESUS, He needed no other one.  
(Michael Card's "He Spoke the Incarnation")

John1:1 -- "In the beginning was the Word (logos - the Spoken Word) and the Word was with God (the Creator, most high God*) and THE WORD WAS GOD.

I am reading the Bible from the presupposition (an assumption made before or at the basis of something) that a) The WORD of God is true, and b) according to the WORD of God, Jesus (who is the LOGOS) is God incarnate.  

Jesus is YHWH (pronounce Yah-way) -- the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Moses, the Great I AM.  And Jesus is a man.  He really really became flesh.  He walked the earth, He did not float two inches above its surface!  Creator became created.  Excuse me when I say, my mind finds that so hard to grasp.  It's like seeing a coin from both sides at once... I catch myself focusing on one or the other.  Odd Thomas puts it like this:

All of this to tell you about Matthew 9:
Because the region of Decapolis asked Jesus to leave, He left.  How heart breakingly simple.  He will leave if we ask Him to.
Jesus then gets in a boat again and goes back to Capernaum, where some friends of a paralytic bring the cripple before Jesus.  They carry him in on a bed, actually, there is no room to move in the house, so they open the roof and lower the man.  I had not noticed before that this happened in Capernaum, Jesus's new, "adopted" city; the city that welcomed Him after Nazareth rejected Him.  And here he also finds the first scribes grumbling about... well, about the fact that he presumes to be God.  By looking at the man on the bed and telling him his sins are forgiven (not the usual, "be healed") He staked a claim that he was YHWH, for only YHWH can forgive sins.  Up till now the scribes welcomed a teacher who taught with authority, who could heal and who fed crowds.  But this, this was a whole different matter.  Claiming to be God?  Not just any god, but the Ancient of Days, the Holy one of Israel, YHWH, the One who's Name we don't even speak because it is so holy?

And it occurred to me: Jesus's life on earth is not just God's final WORD, but it is YHWH shouting, "I am! I AM!"  He is shouting "Immanu-El, God is with us!  I AM!!!  I AM the answer to all of your questions, the satisfaction to all of your longings, the peanut in your butter, the cream in your cheese, I AM!!!"  The ONE is shouting; it doesn't get louder or clearer than this.

So he stakes His claim when He forgives the paralytic and then, verse 9 and following, He claims His purpose.  "I AM!!  And I have come for the broken-hearted, the disappointed, those who have been ravished and raped by life, by sin, by choices they've made!  I have come for the discarded, the weak, the dirty, the unholy, the ones society casts out!  I AM!!  I have come to seek the lost, to save the dying, to heal the broken, to turn that which the enemy of your souls has meant for evil into a glorious ending, a glorious good!  I AM!!"  

This is our King, people!  This is the ONE who is returning to rule and reign on earth FOREVER!  This is the King of Kings to whom every knee will bow and of whom every tongue will confess that he is, indeed, LORD of lords.  This is the one who will restore and rebuild Israel, who will capture her heart and return her to the Father and to Himself.  I don't know about you, but my heart bows down and jumps up excitedly all in the same move.  I long for the day of revelation to see Him as He is.  But in the meantime... if this is our King and we are His subjects... then shouldn't we be about His work?

Man’s maker was made man 
that He, Ruler of the stars, might nurse at His mother’s breast; 
that the Bread might hunger, 
the Fountain thirst, 
the Light sleep, 
the Way be tired on its journey; 
that Truth might be accused of false witnesses, 
the Teacher be beaten with whips, 
the Foundation be suspended on wood; 
that Strength might grow weak; 
that the Healer might be wounded; 
that Life might die.

—Augustine, Sermons 191.1

God is SHOUTING.  Do we hear Him?

*Strong's 2316 theós (of unknown origin) – properly, Godthe Creator and owner of all things (Jn 1:3; Gen 1 - 3).[Long before the NT was written, 2316 (theós) referred to the supreme being who owns and sustains all things.]  --

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