Which do you see. A beautiful young woman or a tired old lady?
The answer is that you see what you are looking for. It is amazing to me how different people can look at the same picture or hear the same words and draw different conclusions.
The Gospels are a perfect illustration of this.
Matthew saw and presented Jesus as The King.
Mark saw and presented Jesus as the servant.
Luke saw and presented Jesus as man.
John saw and presented Jesus as God.
They each tell the story of Jesus through the lens that they viewed Him.
I completely understand this because I present Jesus to others through the lens that I see him, in fact, this is something that we all do.
I was reading the book of Mark this morning and saw something that I had missed in reading that had reflected in my view of God which in turn had defined my presentation of God to others.
Well I missed it too, so let me re-list this passage with what I had missed underscored. This missed portion truly impacts the way that we see Christ and in turn, present the Christ we see to others.
"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;" ~Mark 1:1
The word Gospel simply means, "Good News".
So you could read it this way, "The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ..."
The presentation of the Gospel or the "Good News" of Jesus that is presented in any of the four Gospels is in fact just the beginning of the Gospel or the "Good News".
We are the ones that put the period to the Gospel after the resurrection, not God.
You mean to tell me that there is more to the Gospel or the "Good News" of Jesus than His arrival in a manger, living sinless among us, being crucified for our sins, and rising on the third day?
ABSOLUTELY!!! That is just the beginning!
We look at the title, "The Gospel of Mark" and assume that the "Gospel message" is what is written within the bookends of chapter one and chapter sixteen. Just because the Gospel of Mark concludes sixteen chapters later does not by any means place a period to the Gospel or the "Good News".
If all there was to the Gospel then God's forgiveness and grace would truly be just a license to sin, but there is far more to the Gospel than that!
"Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; (What is the mystery that was hid from the ages before the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified and ressurected?) which is Christ in you, (When He ascended to heaven, the Holy Spirit descended) the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily." ~ Colossians 1:25-29
We now have what the greatest of old testament saints never had. A permanent abiding Holy Spirit of God within us! Hebrews tells us that they received not the promise, but we did!
"And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect." ~Hebrews 11:39-40
I don't care how incredible the heroes of the old testament appeared, we have God within us!
"Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." ~Galatians 4:3-7
The rest of the gospel is Christ living today through you and through me!!!
Christianity is not about how many events that we attend in a building or how many chapters we read in His book, it is about the living Christ expressing Himself through us to a world that is perishing without Him!
He did not come to earth to be crucified just to love us, but rather so that we in turn could now love like Him!
How we see the gospel or the "Good News" will determine how we present Jesus.
It will determine how we handle setbacks, hurts, wrong doings, and our responses. How do you see Jesus? If it is just as a divine employer who only values you for what you can do for Him and His organization then you may need to look at the picture again.
He desires you to know Him, and in turn express Him for who He is and not what we think He should look like.
Climbing with you,