The Bare Soul - January 30, 2011
Jesus the Messiah

The following is the message text and audio recording of a sermon titled "Jesus the Messiah" delivered to the homeless
at the Kansas City Rescue Mission Chapel on January 27, 2011.

Jesus the Messiah - January 27, 2011

Matthew 23:39 - "For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, 'BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!'"

As the adage goes, familiarity often breeds contempt. Ask those who are hosting in early December, how they might feel when their visitors are still house guests in early January. As Solomon stated, The end of a matter is better than its beginning ... (Ecclesiastes 7:8). In the case of the aforementioned illustration, this is undoubtedly true in many cases. However, the end of something can also bring regret that particular opportunities were not seized, or worse yet, lost altogether. Jesus' woes to the Pharisees regarding their stiff-necked resistance to the Gospel was a manifesto of their eternal doom. Hopefully, a few heeded the warnings. Unfortunately, we can surmise that collectively they remained hard-hearted toward Christ's rebuke. The religious order of that day had undoubtedly taken for granted the Person that none should discount or dismiss. And by their ultimate denial of Christ's Messianic personage, they received a promise yet to be fulfilled from the Lord regarding their rejection. Until the Jewish people could receive Jesus as the Messiah, they would not see Him. Until they could say in all humility, "Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord", their hope of salvation was hopeless.

While Christ's pronouncements were directed primarily toward the Pharisees, his indictment also rang true for many of those in Jerusalem who were either Pharisaic followers or who were guilty by indifference. Many of those who were looking for a messiah that would ultimately restore the state of Israel and its former glory were undoubtedly dismally disappointed in this "Son of David" who had made his triumphant entry only days before. They wanted a savior that fit into their own lives, irrespective of what God desired or sought on their behalf. When Jesus didn't fit their expectations, many undoubtedly fell in behind the religious order, dismissing the true Savior as another messianic-wannabe. Jesus was quick to point out to all in his heartfelt cry for Jerusalem that they would not see him until they had eyes to see their folly (Matthew 23:37-39). His heart broke over their obstinacies, yet He would never force compliance. By their freewill, He knew that someday the Jewish remnant would cry out with passionate hearts of love, embracing His return with the same zeal as the rest of His end-time Bride. As Paul states in the book of Romans, an end time remnant will be saved (Romans 9:27). However, this won't happen until the fullness of the Gentiles (or the ingathering of the nations) occurs (Romans 11:25). The Gentile church has a remarkable opportunity of "seeing" the truth before the end. It is all about seeing Christ through an acknowledgement that He is the Savior of all mankind.

Jesus told the Jews in the twenty-third chapter of Matthew that they wouldn't see Him until they possessed the humility to do so. Comparably, those who are of the Gentile nations (who is anyone that isn't a Jew), have the privilege of seeing Jesus NOW through the spirit of humility and trust. Many who aren't Jews fall into the same category as their Semitic counterparts by looking for a messiah that will fit into their belief system.  Some might say, "Jesus demands too much ... He is too narrow-minded and doesn't give me the power of self-expression. I want a god that will let me be me!" Unfortunately, the devil made this same claim upon the God-head, touting his prideful independence and rejecting humility before the Most High. Every other religion in the world is based on this demonic lie of self-assertion through self-awareness. It's all about actualizing their own "god potential". Jesus rejected this mind and heart-set with the Pharisees and He continues to do so today with everything that would raise itself up against the wisdom of His salvation. This "narrow-mindedness", as labeled by some, is the kindness and mercy of God that leads many into His saving grace (Romans 2:4). Rejecting Christ and the "narrow way", is denying one's blindness and the inability to see Him for who He is. Christ will never be what our sinful natures desire to see, but He will always be the changeless Savior that will restore our sight to see and understand His great salvation if we will only heed His grace.

As Jesus dealt with the stiff-necked Jewry in ancient Palestine, He likewise deals with those in our present age who refuse His grace. Conversely, those who will humble themselves, confessing that the "messiah" they've been seeking is a self-centered counterfeit of the true Messiah, to these Christ has promised to give them eye salve to spiritually see (Revelation 3:18)  and a heart to repent. While we still have breath and before His second coming, we all have the opportunity to say, "Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord". By saying this, we lay down our rights of assuming what our Savior should resemble. We give Him the liberty according to His irrefutable Law to be the Messiah according to His loving will. May we all see Jesus as we bless Him for who He is, as we wait expectantly for His great appearing.

Lord Jesus, thank You that You are the Messiah. Thank You that whomever will come to You with humility and contriteness, You will grant eternal life. Help all these who don't know You to acknowledge that You are indeed the Savior of mankind and that You desire none to perish. Help those of us who know You to continue to submit to You as our Eternal Savior, knowing that Your return is imminent. Give us all eyes to see the Blessed One in all of His glory. In Your Name, Yeshua, Amen!

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

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