Tuesday, September 24, 2013

All a matter of time

At the end of his recounting of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, John states that he is only recording a fraction of the things that Jesus did during the three and a half years that John walked with Him as an apostle.

"And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written." John 21:25

We might be tempted to simply attribute that statement to the sheer amount of time that John spent with Jesus. Based on the time frame of 3-1/2 years, that comes to:

42 months
180 weeks
1260 days
30,240 hours
1,814,400 minutes
108,864,000 seconds

That's a LOT of time! I can only imagine the number of people that Jesus met during that time. I can only guess how many meals He shared with the apostles and others. 

During His life, Jesus was fully God, while fully Man. He chose to be bound by the physical restraints of a human body. He could only be in one place, could only speak to one person at at time, could only do one thing at a time.

Now, He sits at the right hand of the Father, constantly making intercession for His saints.

Consider that for a moment...some surveys put the total number of Christians alive today at approximately 2.2 billion people. That number obviously includes people that identify as Christian, but have no personal relationship with Jesus. Taking half that number, Jesus was intimately aware of what happened to one billion people yesterday...adding that up, that means that He experienced:

24,000,000,000 hours yesterday
1,440,000,000,000 minutes yesterday
86,400,000,000,000 seconds yesterday

We couldn't record what Jesus did in one MINUTE yesterday!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Do recognize when God matures someone?

My family and I have been blessed to be members of a vibrant, growing, missional church for the past 16 years. During this time, we've seen many of our children's peers grow up to become missionaries and ministers in the Kingdom.

I sat and talked last night with one such man. He was an adolescent when I first met him, a typical teenager. He has since finished his BA and has his MDiv. As a matter of fact, he's teaching my NT Survey course at NOBTS's Mid-South Extension Center. During our discussion, we talked about hermeneutics and eschatology. As we talked about the variant camps of interpreting Revelation, I was struck by how much he had not only grown in knowledge, but God had matured him greatly. I had to mentally re-adjust my view of him a smidgen more, as the goofy teen had been replaced by a man of God.

The Bible records several instances of this happening:

Consider David, when he came to the battle front to check on his brothers. His older brothers scoffed at him and did not treat him with respect. Remember, though, at this point, David had already killed a lion AND a bear while defending Jesse's flocks.

What about Timothy? Lois and Eunice, who watched their grandson and son become a leader in the early church, had to accept him as such.

Then, remember how the people of Jesus' region received Him? "Isn't this the carpenter's son?" Luke 2:52 tells us how Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, but those around Him refused to see Him with clear eyes and to recognize Him for who He was, instead of who they viewed Him to be.

We must be careful to allow our views and opinions of those around us to grow and mature. The neighbor's idiot son could be the next Billy Graham or Adrian Rogers.

Even more so, we must continue to allow our view, opinion and understanding of Jesus to grow. He is not a good teacher. He is not a great man. He is God incarnate, the atoning sacrifice for those who confess and believe, and the grand example of how we should live in obedience to the Holy Spirit.