pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Can You Remember When…

Reading: John 1: 29-42

Verse 39: “Come and see”.

Two of John the Baptist’s disciples leave and begin to follow Jesus as he passes by. They decide to check out Jesus based upon John’s declaration that Jesus is the “lamb of God”. What was it the led these two to follow Jesus? They do not know much about him. At present, though, they are only following him physically, not spiritually. Andrew and his companion are surely curious. They may even have sense something about Jesus that is special. Maybe John’s declaration was enough to make them want to tag along with Jesus.

Can you remember when you first heard about Jesus? Way back at the beginning of my faith journey, when I was just in early elementary school, I heard of Jesus. It feels like I’ve always known who Jesus was, but there had to be a day when I first heard the word “Jesus” and started to learn about him. If you were a little older when you first heard about Jesus, you might have a clearer memory of when it began for you. We read about Andrew and Peter’s day today in our passage.

Jesus quickly senses the tag-alongs and asks them, “What do you want”? It is not asked in the tone or with the intent that we said these words to our little sister or brother. It is asked as an invitation into conversation. In their response we can see that Andrew and friend do not really know what they want. They answer the question with a question: “Rabbi, where are you staying’? They are hinting at wanting to spend some time with Jesus. His response is loving and encouraging and welcoming: “Come and see”.

After spending the day with Jesus, Andrew is convinced enough to go and get his brother, Simon Peter. His declaration to Simon Peter mirrors the content of John’s declaration to Andrew. The words are different but both men know that the one who has been promised of old is now present among them.

Can you remember when you came to this truth in your heart? Maybe this is a day that is easier to remember. Maybe it is a moment that you can recall but do not know the exact time. At some point all who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior hear and respond to the invitation to “come and see”. From that day forward we are on a journey to come and see Jesus every day, over and over, growing daily in our relationship with him. Today, may we each reflect on our “come and see” moment and upon the journey since. May we rejoice and thank the Lord our God.

Prayer: Lord, it has been a long and wonderful journey these 40+ years. It’s been a journey with ups and downs, but even these have smoothed out as the journey continues. I thank you today for being with me in the good days just as much as in the bad. I praise you for being my Lord and my Savior. Amen.


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To Save the Lost

Reading: Luke 19: 1-5

Zacchaeus was a man  who probably had few friends.  We are told he was wealthy.  So he was probably ‘good’ at his job as the chief tax collector.  He became wealthy by extorting extra taxes from the people to line his own pockets.  He also likely collected a slice of what those working under him collected as well.  So Zacchaeus was not very well liked.  There is a reason he went alone to get a peek at this Jesus.

Just prior to today’s reading, in Luke 18 we find the story of Jesus’ encounter with the rich ruler.  He comes to Jesus seeking  to know how to inherit eternal life.  In their initial conversation he tells Jesus he has kept all the commandments since he was a boy.  In both of these things, he is an opposite to Zacchaeus.  But he is unable to do what Jesus asks of him: sell all he has and then come follow Jesus.  This man went away very sad; he was unable to part with his great wealth.

Zacchaeus finds a place in a tree because he is short and really just wants to be able to see Jesus as He passes by.  He is curious.  Zacchaeus does not go out that day to have his life changed.  He is content with his wealth.  Yet Jesus picks him out of all those in the crowd that day.  He calls Zacchaeus down and invites Himself into his home.  While there Zacchaeus is changed.  He admits his sins and joyfully pledges to make restitution to all he has wronged.  Jesus responds by saying that salvation has come to Zacchaeus’ house this day.  In what almost seems like an afterthought, Jesus says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost”.  It is an answer to the crowd’s judgment of Jesus going to a sinner’s home and also a declaration for us.

In choosing Zacchaeus, Jesus is saying He will come to anyone.  After all, He came to you and to me.  Jesus wants to come into people’s lives today with the same intentbthat He came into Zacchaeus’: to save the lost.  Who will you introduce to Jesus today?