JESUS – AMAZING, WONDERFUL
There are at least four major things revealed in the gospel about Jesus.
Amazing! You cannot get through to the President. Don’t even try. You may have to go through 2 or 3 secretaries to get to a preacher. Jesus? Out among the people. The sick, outcast, came to him. Little children were wanted (the disciples overruled). He always had time for any and all. All also felt free to criticize him. His family, friends, disciples, enemies. Even on the cross Jesus was available to a penitent thief.
Jesus saw the blind, deaf, demonic, grieving, hurting. He also picked up on the self-righteous and proud. Some of us maintain we are too sensitive to visit hospitals or go to funerals. That is “selfish sensitism.” Not Jesus. He was compassionate – the friend of sinners. The common man hears him gladly, Jesus always had his antenna high.
Our slogan here is, “Treat People Right.” Luke says, “He went about doing good.” He was helpful. He gave sick children back to parents; He gave a dead boy back to his Mama. Jesus helped the apostles; Jesus helped women. He always met man at his felt needs. Man did not have to come to a certain standard before Jesus would aid him.
Jesus was amazing! He turned water into wine – the first miracle. He walked on water. He talked to a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. Nothing was programmed. One sheet never fits all beds! He “free-lanced.” Every person is both unique and different. Jesus never called two men the same way. He went where people were and accepted them where they were.
What an amazing Savior. Would that my Savior were your Savior, too!
Charles Hodge via Forrest Park Church of Christ September 24, 1989
STRANGER AT THE DOOR
“Behold I stand at the door and knock: if any man hears my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20).
A man stands at the door, knocking. There is a tear in his eye, a lump in his throat and a prayer in his heart. He has been rudely evicted from the abode of one he dearly loves and, although he is an innocent victim of another’s evil, he longs for reconciliation. He was once the welcomed guest, the beloved companion, the intimate friend . . . but today he stands without, a stranger, and knocks for entrance.
This is not just any man; the door is not just any door and the issue is not merely friendship between two individuals. The stranger is Jesus. The door is the sovereign will of sinful man and the issue is eternal life or death. May we, then, makes some observations from this moving scene that can enrich us all.
There is first the love which draws Jesus to the lost. We see it exemplified in His ministry from Capernaum to Sychar to Jerusalem. Everywhere the publicans and sinners drew near to hear Him (Luke 15:1). One of his apostles later wrote, “for we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice, and envy, hateful and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared. . . (Titus 3:3-4). What marvelous love that compels God’s son to seek and to save us who are lost! (Luke 19:10).
A second fact that captivates us is the long-suffering of God with those he loves. As it was in the days of Noah, “when once the long-suffering of God waited,” so today the patience of God with us is manifested in the continual pleadings of our Savior. Peter extolled God’s desire that, “not any should perish,” and declared that we ought to account the long-suffering of God as salvation for us (1 Peter 3:9-15).
Third, there is conveyed in the stranger’s presence God’s respect for the sovereign will of man. “If any man hear my voice, and open the door . . . “– these words reflect both the intense longing of the Savior for our salvation and at the same time His profound respect for our will! He created us beings of choice, and, however great His sadness or our danger, He will not overrule our hearts. He longs so much for us to “hear,” and “open,” to respond to His plea because we love Him and want Him to save us; but it must be our decision.
The man at the door of your heart is one Himself wo was tried and tempted and overcame (Revelation 3:20-21). He took our form, tasted our trials, and took our place on the cross that we might share with Him the glories of the Father’s house. Today he calls to you if you are in sin. He is a stranger now, but if you will hear and answer his plea, he will become the Friend of friends to you both now and forever!
Larry Fluitt, Sweetwater TX Via The Treasure of Truth, Dasher Church of Christ Valdosta GA
JESUS, OUR BEST FRIEND
Friends are our most valuable possessions. Marshall Keeble was fond of saying, “I wouldn’t take anything in the world for my friends.” With friends the poorest man in the world can be rich; but without friends the richest man in the world is poor. Christians are blessed above all people to have an incomparable friend in Jesus. Here are some of the attributes of friendship we have in Jesus:
A FRIEND HELPS US BEAR OUR SORROWS. The hymn we often sin, which was written by Joseph Scriven, says it well: “What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.” Isaiah wrote regarding our Suffering Servant; “Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. . . (Isaiah 53:4).
A FRIEND CAN EMPATHIZE WITH OUR TRIALS. Because Jesus became a partaker of flesh and blood (Hebrews 2:14), He could be tempted, and, as a result, be touched with the feelings of our infirmities. (See Hebrews 4:15)
A FRIEND IS SOMEONE WE CAN TALK TO. We often sing, “Are you weary, are you heavy hearted?” Tell it to Jesus.” Not only does he listen, but he pleads our case before the Father – 1 John 1:21
A FRIEND IS SOMEONE WHO IS LOYAL. No one likes a “fair-weather friend; someone who forsakes us when the going gets rough. Jesus never betrayed His friends (even though some of them betrayed him). (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5). He will never forsake us!
A FRIEND IS SOMEONE YOU WANT TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH. We enjoy sharing moments in our lives with friends; the good times and the bad. Similarly we should want to spend time with Jesus – time in study, prayer, worship and fellowship.
Will you be a friend to Jesus? If so, He’ll be a friend to you.
John Tracy Via North Avenue Church of Christ Hapeville, GA October 1992