ON THE SPOT: JESUS

HIS LOVE IS LIFE 

 

17On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18Now Bethany was less than two milesb from Jerusalem, 19and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

28After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

32When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34“Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35Jesus wept.

36Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

37But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead

38Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39“Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

40Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

41So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

43When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” (John 11:17-44)

Impossible. And yet, He made possible what should not be.

He was so much loved, Lazarus was. The Bible records one of the most poignant scenes in the shortest number of words possible. Jesus wept. (John 11:35)

It had been four days. How awful the stink must’ve been! How much decayed the flesh must’ve been! 

And then He stood before the tomb and called out the impossible: Lazarus, come out! (John 11:43) In an instant, the stink of death dissolved. In that instant, muscle tissues reformed and blood began to flow again. In that flash of an instant, a dead heart revived and beat once again. And then… The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. (John 11:44)

Like that beloved who was dead, we too, can find ourselves alive again. Haven’t our lives been empty so far? Even in the pinnacle of success. Even at the heights of indebtedness for all the “good deeds” we have dedicated our lives to. Even as we commit our every waking moment for the most worthy of causes. Even then, we are not really alive. Something is missing.

That something is, in actuality, Someone. He is Jesus.

Let Him come and touch your life. And in an instant, you whom He loves so much that He gave His life as a ransom, will rise from the deadness of existence. In that instant, you will find yourself reformed, born into this world again. In that flash of an instant, your heart will begin to truly beat again. And then… He will make possible what everybody has said cannot be.

One instant is all it takes.

His love is life. Be that miracle. Kneel and pray.

ON THE SPOT: JESUS

(HIS INEXTINGUISHABLE LIGHT)

29As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

31The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

32Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

33“Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”

34Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him. (Matthew 20:29-34)

Never knowing… this isn’t the way to truly live!

What kind of life they must’ve led. Never having seen the smile of their mothers from the day they were born. Never having seen the brightness of life in any flower or any tree. Never having seen the color that the day showers on every living creature or the contrast of the night in every human eye. And then excluded from everybody else, both by the unintentional choice of those around them and the compulsory choice of their circumstances. That kind of life… never knowing.

So when they heard about Jesus, who could fault their insistence? Let everyone think what they want, I will be healed! Let everybody say what they want to say, I want my sight!

Jesus knew what these blind men wanted, but still, He just had to ask, “What do you want me to do for you?” He had to ask, not because He did not know, but because He had to bring them face-to-face with the greatest, deepest longing of their hearts.

What is the greatest, deepest longing of your heart? 

I want to see. I want to see my mother finally happy after all the hardships she has had to go through for me. I want to see myself finally recognized for the capable person I have always known myself to be. I want to see courage in myself and in those around me as we face the impossible. I want to see hope. I want to see peace.

I want to see. In Jesus alone can we find the inextinguishable light that devours the darkness in our hearts, in our lives. He knows what you need but He still needs to ask. Not because asking will make Him more aware and in touch with what you desire, but because He needs to get you to truly face what it is that you truly long for.

I want to see. How about you? Then come before Him on bended knee. Face the greatest, deepest longing of your heart. And even as you ask, find how truly He can light up the darkness of your life. Come now, and seek His light.

ON THE SPOT: JESUS

IN HIM IS LIFE 

25A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. 26She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. 27She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. 28For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” 29Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.

30Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”

31His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”

32But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. 33Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. 34And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” (Mark 5:25-34)

“Hopeless. The same thing every single day. When will this suffering ever end? This is no way to live!”

      She must’ve been quite rich in the past as she has had the money to pay doctors off continuously for twelve years straight. She must’ve lived a better life before her illness as her desperation speaks of a yearning to go back to how it was before her insufferable disease came into her life. 

      Day after day. Night after night. She must’ve said the same things over and over again. Like a mantra she’s taught herself to cling to, probably not because she believed, but because there was nothing else to live for. “Hopeless. The same thing every single day. When will this suffering ever end? This is no way to live!”

      And then Jesus came.

      At just one touch, hope returned. 

      At just one touch, the seemingly never-ending cycle was broken.

      At just one touch, she found what it meant to truly live again. To be whole and free again.

      We may have found ourselves caught in a joyless existence like this in the past, or maybe r someone dear to us is in this situation right now. Whatever it is, it can’t be too far removed from the joyless life of that poor bleeding woman in the crowd.

      Like that woman – 

            we may be without hope, 

            or joy 

            or wholeness 

            or freedom. 

      But like that woman, we can be all that again. We just need JESUS. 

      It takes just one touch to again be able to live life to the fullest.

      For in Him is life… at just one touch.

      Open up and let Him touch your heart today.

 

ONE GOD, SO MANY CHANCES

ON THE SPOT: JESUS

ONE GOD, SO MANY CHANCES

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,

and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)

 

“Mama, do you love me?”

It’s this little book written for children by Barbara M. Joosse. And it goes on to detail how the mother explained how she loved her daughter even if her daughter saddened her, repeatedly angered her, even if she sought to frighten her and accidentally hurt her. The book closes with the words, “I will love you forever and for always because you are my Dear One.”

                How great is a mother’s love.

                But even greater than a mother’s love is the untiring love of the Creator who saw a world steeped in sin and felt only compassion… of the Father who sent His Son to save uncaring humanity and saw Him spat at, beaten and lashed at until the ground was red with blood… of the Saviour who was hanging at a cursed Cross yet pleaded, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing!”

“…I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:22 NIV)

                Our God… the God of so many, many chances.

                It doesn’t matter how dark your past is, how many times you’ve hurt and betrayed the ones you love. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve let other people down… how you’ve let yourself down. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve thought that this job, this cause, this family, this relationship, this life… is no longer worth fighting for.

                Jesus – He’s more than glad to carry all these for us. We are invited to take up His offer “Take my yoke… Let me carry your burden…” Give Him your burden of sin, your burden of hurt, your burden of betrayal. Let Him carry your failures and your despair. Let Him.

                And let your soul, while you are yet living in this world, finally, joyfully, find rest.

                His joy is to give you one more and one more and one more chance.

                Take it now.