Who is your Jesus? {Part 2}

course

Yesterday we saw here how Jesus cares for us. Personally and deeply.

In looking at John 11:25, I want us to consider today how Jesus has knowledge and power.

2

Mary and Martha knew who Jesus was, they knew he cared for and loved them, because Mary went to him for help.

But this story might not really be as we expect.

Yesterday I made mention of Spiderman and Batman: two great childhood heroes.  Spidey has Spidey sense. A tingling feeling at the base of the skull alerting him to danger.

And his actions result in the donning of this red suit and zipping along buildings with these gigantic spider web rope thingies…which, might I add, seem to magically just disappear. I mean, that’s a lot of spider web that must be left in his wake. So, off Spiderman goes, he locates enemy that caused tingly sensation and yeay, the hero succeeds.

What about Batman? Well, Batman does have the Batmobile. Pretty cool.

And I have been fairly reliably informed that although Batman does not have any actual powers “he makes use of his genius intellect, martial arts skills, physical prowess, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, provocation of fear and intimidation, and an indomitable will in his continuous war on crime”.

And so what do all these guys have in common? They’re pretty well portrayed by the media and cinematic world. Stunning CGI makes them appear lifelike and real. They generally look cool, unless you see some very early TV versions that are a bit dubious. They are good guys, they save the day. They get a few bad guys serving jail time.

Ach, not bad for a day’s work.

But they are not THIS.

Take a look again at verse 25:

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”

I mean, this is the stuff we should be teaching a whole generation of kids who love Spiderman and Batman.

Yeah they’ve got cobwebs and a Batmobile, but Jesus…he just wipes the floor with these superheroes.

Just compare them.

Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne. Men who, by night, defeat some crime. I say that fairly lightly because their activities are largely confined to one city/metropolis/geographic region. Usually America. Not to detract from their intellect, or prowess, but it’s sure easier putting away two bad guys in one city than it is taking care of the entire world.

So, ordinary men. Who take the form of something greater but they have limited power. Some other useful skills/equipment.

And kids adore these guys.

But they are fiction. They do not last beyond our wide eyed childishness.

There is no Superman to swoop in. No Captain America. They are figments of active imaginations and their fiction will only ever yield nothing.

But let’s just take a look at Jesus. There is no fiction here.

Not a man, but God who took the form of a man. With limitless power and knowledge.

Limitless power and knowledge.  God’s sovereign knowledge is limitless and vast and beyond our comprehension.

But he doesn’t sit on a lofty throne, handing out favours to loyal subjects who deign to do his bidding. No, instead, he came to earth in the body of a man. Made himself like us.

And even back then, they didn’t expect this. They were expecting a King to appear in majesty, not borne of a young girl in a lowly stable.

I used to teach in this great school down South, and not long after I first started teaching, they appointed a new head teacher. The talk was that she was quite incredible, had this amazing track record, turned schools around.

And I remember, because I was a register teacher for this year group, there being an assembly where this new headteacher came to meet all these 16 year olds. A fairly small, unassuming character stooped in, dressed in a pleated calf length skirt and a pale coloured blouse, short fair hair. There was nothing formidable about her at all. And these 250 kids, well there was a ripple of a snigger that swept around the hall.

The image of her was not at all headteacherish, if that’s a word. And what could be felt strongly in the hall that day was the sense that these kids thought they had nothing to fear; they were going to get off with everything lightly…I mean what could this person possibly do?

They couldn’t have been more wrong. She was more than formidable and quickly proved that you did not tangle with her. She transformed what was a school on the brink of failing into the most outstanding education institute in the county.

If all we ever see Jesus as is a man in the form of a human, weakness of body and all, then we have underestimated him entirely.

Let’s look back at John 11. Verse 4 shows us how Jesus revealed his power and knowledge. We have seen that he was not remote from the emotional side of life, but let’s see what happens when he hears that Lazarus is sick.

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

Jesus knew the future. He knew what would happen to Lazarus and how this would all turn out.

How often do we find ourselves plunged into crises? And I mean real crises. Genuine panic, or fear.

Uncertainty rocks us often and in different ways.

In 2008, when the economic downturn really started, a month before Christmas my husband came home and said he was being made redundant.

I was a stay at home mum, my two children were very young, we lived in a modest two bedroom apartment in the centre of Coventry, but this kind of news rocks your world.

No job, a month before Christmas.

Life’s circumstances come upon us. Sometimes swiftly and without warning. Sometimes we see them coming and they’re careening out of control and we have no way to halt their onslaught. And with them comes pain and loss and grief and fear and uncertainty and sometimes, we’re left just saying, “what’s going on, God?”

But you know, whatever your circumstances today. Whatever they may be in two weeks, four months, a year from now, God wants you to know, “I’ve got this”.

Grace and Love

Helen x

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  1. […] days, we have been looking at this passage from John 11 and seen that Jesus has care and love and knowledge and power. Today, we’ll conclude this short three part series and look at timing and […]

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