Jesus himself - Part 1
God has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.
Jesus is the most important person of all time, the one after whom our era is named, the one who is loved and worshipped by more people than anyone else who ever walked this earth. Jesus is absolutely everything for those of us who have accepted him as our Lord and Saviour. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He gave everything for us '“ and we should also give everything for him.
In this and the following Bible studies, I would like to invite you to join me in thinking about him and some aspects of his being and ministry.
Jesus the storm handler
Lake Galilee was in a rage, lashing and clawing like a monster at one little boat. A dozen fellows rowed desperately to escape its fury. But the harbour was three miles away across the raging water.
They were alone. That is, Jesus, their Lord, was not with them. If Jesus is not with people, they are always alone. Then suddenly they saw him. He emerged like a ghost out of the gloom and spray. It was unbelievable. He was walking, treading the waves under his feet like snarling wild creatures. He walked straight across to the boat and got in: ''˜Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid!' Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down.' (Mark 6:50-51)
Then, another inexplicable experience, they arrived at the shore straightaway, without knowing how it happened. It was all real but so fantastic that the disciples never forgot it, nor could they ever fathom it.
It goes without saying that the God who created the universe knew how to handle all things in a storm '“ and so did Jesus. The task of getting a boat across to shore in a matter of minutes was no problem to the one called 'the Word'. He only needed to re-arrange a few atoms.
Jesus the maker
That brings me to another aspect of our glorious Lord. He is the maker of the universe and every single atom. What is everything made of? Whatever it is, the Maker can use it as he wishes.
'Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.' (1 Corinthians 8:6)
In the past 50 years science has found that the building material of the uni-verse comprises not only atoms but also particles, a mass of mere points of energy. There is no order or system; they obey no law of nature but dart about at random and in apparent chaos. Then at an appropriate stage they shape up like soldiers commanded to form lines. The formless dance of points of energy suddenly becomes things we recognise '“ elements, water, the planets and the sun.
We ourselves are like that. Nobody knows how and why we appear as we do. Psalm 139:13-16 uses phrases like this:
'For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.'
God makes us and upholds us moment by moment. 'In him we live and move and have our being' (Acts 17:28). He harnesses and controls these points of energy, compacts them, transforms them and gives them form and shape. He upholds all things in existence. That Maker is the creative One we are talking about.
The dancing particles that form our bodies act in ways that are a mystery to science. What they do seems impossible, yet we ourselves are made of those elements. Many people do not believe in miracles. Yet it is a fact that life would be impossible without them.
The impossible happens in the presence of the Lord '“ all the time. The super-natural comes naturally to him; the impossible is possible. Hebrews 1:2-3 says that the Son of God 'sustains all things by his powerful word'. Job speaks of the universe as 'but the outer fringe of his works' or 'the mere edges of his ways' (Job 26:14), like tracks on wet grass. It seems to me that creation happened simply as he passed by. And indeed, wherever Jesus went things happened. You could tell when he had passed through a Jewish village '“ there were no sick people any more. All it took was for Jesus to pass by. Where he is, there is no problem about walking the waves, transporting a boat with the speed of lightning, and feeding five thousand with a boy's packed lunch. It just happens; cosmic forces bend to his will
'In all things God works for the good of those who love him' (Romans 8:28). That is who we are talking about when we talk about Jesus in the Bible. To him be all the glory!