ENCOUNTERS WITH JESUS

FALLEN AND FAITHLESS HUMANITY 

For a few moments Peter, James and John saw the glory of Jesus: a brief glimpse of his eternal, divine identity. The limitations and anonymity of his humanity had been ripped away and the deep meaning of Peter's earlier confession uncovered.

This man Jesus, with whom they walked and talked, is the Lord of glory. But it was not yet time to reveal that glory. There was still something that he, as man, had to accomplish. Something that Moses, the representative of the Law, had anticipated in his writings. Something that the prophets, represented by Elijah, had foretold.

Coming down from the mountain he was immediately confronted by the fallen and faithless world for which he was about to die.

In confronting the evil spirit in the boy [Luke 9:37-45] he anticipated his confrontation with Satan on the cross. Here he released one boy from Satan's destructive bondage: there in his death he provides for the liberation of all, not just from physical bondage, but from that bondage to sin and separation from God in which Satan holds us bound.

In confronting the self-centred, self-promoting mindset of the disciples [Luke 9:46-48], he anticipated the mindset of the kingdom that he would inaugurate through his death. Because of Christ's death we are so secure in God's acceptance, so assured of our relationship with him, that we no longer need to defend, justify or promote ourselves.

In confronting the disciples' legalistic quickness to condemn [Luke 9:52-56], he rejected all the legalism and religions of men in which we have to perform in order to be accepted. He did this knowing that shortly through his death he would inaugurate the kingdom of grace in which there is no condemnation, no judgement, no punishment, no divisions based on human merit.

Here in this man Jesus, God walked among us. Here in this man Jesus, God touches and exposes our bondage and our brokenness. With steadfast purpose he walks towards Jerusalem. With quiet and unshakeable determination he moves towards the cross [Luke 9:51].

There he lifts up the fallen. There he gives faith to the faithless. There he makes all things new.

Scriptures: Luke 9:28-36, 37-56; Romans 3:22-24; 5:17,21; 8:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2004,2008.