Tower or Ladder….I’ll take the latter

You won’t believe it but I have finally finished the first chapter of John.  OK, to be honest, I have almost finished the first chapter of John.  I stopped on the 51st verse because I noticed something.  Also while we are being honest I stopped along the way but it was more personal revelation than something to share.

Anyway, here we go…….

He (Jesus) then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open up, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man”
John 1:51 NIV

So here’s the deal.  Jesus said things to the people of His day that to us does not always make sense.  When we read these things we have to do our best to try and understand what He was communicating to the people of His day.  This verse is a great example because this one of the first hints of His deity.  This one phrase is actually very important and I think we should take a look at it.

What does He mean?  Glad you asked.  To understand we need to flip a few pages back (actually almost all the way back) to Genesis and because I am a nice guy I have done it for us.

Then he (Jacob) dreamed, and behold a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
Genesis 28:12 NKJV

The scene continues where Jacob says that God was in that place and he did not notice, he then goes on to say this is the ‘Gate of Heaven’ and names the place Bethel which means House of God.  Now, why is this important to go back and read?  Because what Jesus is saying in John is I am the ladder Jacob saw….grasp.  Jesus just hinted at something beyond what all other teachers, religious teachers, and good men say.  He is affirming that He is all that Jacob saw and proclaimed.  That is pretty heavy and in case you think I am reading too much into it read Colossians 2:9.

This is a profound statement because every good Israelite knew the story of Jacob’s Ladder.  It’s like two plus two.  This simple looking statement has deep implications.  It was three days after this statement He performs His first earthly miracle.

What can we take away from this, though?  As a modern individual, where do we go with this?  Honestly, we go to the same place in my opinion, and I think it would help if we look at Genesis 11:4.

Genesis 11:4 is where we learn about the Tower of Babel and the consequences of this failed building project.  This was one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken and it was also one of the greatest failures ever recorded.  I mean it is such a stunning failure that the name of the man in charge is now an insult (Nimrod).  This was a horrible, horrible failure.  Not many things have failed this bad.  Get the point?  This was stupid.  But what was it that failed?  What was so dumb?  If you guessed the tower itself you are wrong but I won’t call you a Nimrod.  It’s OK because the first time I read those verses I honestly thought that was the problem, and in part that is true.  The big issue here is not so much the building but what the building represents.  What the builders were attempting to do was meet God on their terms.  They had been commanded to spread out and reproduce on the earth, you know the whole be fruitful and multiply deal.  Instead, they stayed together and said we will do what we want and we will go to God and tell Him we stayed.  We will go to God on our terms and by our strength.  God disagreed, and not just in a ‘come on guys’ kind of way.  He was pretty adamant about wanting them to spread out.

When we look at the Tower of Babel and the Ladder to Heaven that is Jesus we have a pretty black and white contrast.  The tower is mankind’s attempt to reach up to God, while Jesus is God reaching out to us.  It does not get much clearer than that to me.  Seeing as there are two options here I think I take the Ladder, please.

Just a thought,
Mike

 

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Who are you? or Who do you think you are?

It’s funny how the question of ‘who are you’ can be asked differently depending on the inflection of your voice.  Or you can add a few words and the question takes on a whole new meaning.

I think that is what we need to keep in mind when we read John 1:19-23 and yes I realize I am never going to finish reading John if I keep stopping every couple of verses but there is so much here.

Here is the abridged version.  The priest and Levites sent men to ask who this John fellow was.  They asked him first who are you and also tried to interject who they thought he might be.  John answered them each time simply saying no I’m not that guy.  He knew who he was not.  Finally they reached a point where they asked one last time but I think the tone was more of a ‘Who do you think you are?’  Simply put they were probably getting a little frustrated with the locus eating hippie.  After all he was out here baptizing people talking about the Christ, but says he is not the Christ, or the Prophet, or Elijah.  Just who does he think he is then.  Come on man we have got to bring answers to people who do not like surprises.  John knew who he was though.  John told them he was simply the one calling out in the wilderness “make straight the path of the LORD.”

John knew who he was, he knew who sent him, and he knew what he was supposed to do.  I notice from reading these verses (and the ones after) that John also knew who he wasn’t and what he wasn’t supposed to do.  It is easy to try to become someone you are not when you don’t know who you are.  When you are unsure of what you are supposed to do you can easily do what your not supposed to.  But what happens when you know who you are supposed to be and when you know what you are supposed to be doing?  What happens when you can stop all the noise and only do what you are supposed to do?  I’ll tell you what happens….something happens.  Yeah that’s right something happens.  That something is also far better than the nothing that happens when we don’t know who we are or what we’re doing.

How’s that for some profound insight; something.  I am not going to say something ridiculous like the earth shakes, money rains, and AIDS is healed.  I’m also not saying that cannot happen.  But what I think does happen is you become something new, something great in the hands of God.  I believe that when you know who you are and what you’re supposed to be doing you becomes a great mom, or dad, or son or daughter, or teacher, or technician, or librarian, or preacher, or whatever you are and do.  When we get rid of the noise, and stop trying to let people tell us who we are then we can become something different.

When these men came to John notice again that they did not just ask who are you.  They asked who are you, are you…..  They thought they knew who he might be and they decided to fill in the blank.  Many people (and good natured ones at that) do this to you and I.  They think they know who we are or should be and if we are not confident then we can fall into what I like to call the OH CRAP I DID IT AGAIN hotel.  Yeah been there and I have a room on reserve.

We forget sometimes who we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to be doing and start doing what others think we should be doing.  But I want to encourage you that if you know your supposed to’s then hold on to them and return to them if you need to.  If you do not then I cannot tell you even if you wanted me to.  Are you supposed to work there?  Are you supposed to live there?  Marry them?  School there?  How would I know?  I don’t write your plans and supposed to’s.

Here is what I do know: God loves you.  God has a plan for you?  God has a wonderful supposed to for you that He wants you to know too.  He will not tell you the whole plan but He will give you enough direction to get started and hold on to.  He will give you just enough so that you do not have to check into the OH CRAP I DID IT AGAIN hotel.  All you have to do is ask Him.

Just a thought,

Mike

Can you see me?

No one has ever seen God, but God the one and only who is at the Fathers side has made Him known. John 1:18 (NIV)

In this first part of the verse, it says that no one has ever seen God but some verses in the Old Testament talk about so and so seeing the Lord on High and seeing the appearance of God. This catches my attention because both statements cannot be true. What I mean is you cannot both see and never have seen someone at the same time.

If we do some digging we find that Greek definition for the word eōraken (stay with me here I promise not to use anymore Greek right now) means to see, perceive, and attend to. I like to give analogies so here is one. My bride can see me like no one else does. You can see me and you can know me to a point but no one knows me like her, no one sees me like she does. She can look at me and know what I am thinking or feeling. In a similar way, others may have seen a part of the Father or part of His glory but none have seen Him like Jesus sees Him.

Jesus and the Father are one and that means that Christ has and does see the Father in a way that we never can. We are redeemed and saved but I think we will spend eternity in heaven always seeing something new about God. However, Jesus sees the Father completely and wholly.

This brings me to the second point and I will keep it brief. Jesus is God, He is not the first creation, not the most important creation but He is God in flesh. He has always been and will always be. He is part of the Holy Trinity. If someone tries and get you to believe anything other than that about Jesus they are not preaching the Jesus of the Bible.

What’s the Point

Good evening all,

 

Just a quick word on the whole point of this blog.  First I know what you are probably thinking “why do I want to read another blog?”  Well that is a good question, and  I would recommend you don’t read this blog.  You have enough things you should be doing and reading.  You have enough commitments and obligations you are already shirking and it would be very unfair of me to place another demand on you.  So here is my promise…..I promise to not badger you, or guilt trip you into reading.  If you do then great if not I will probably just lay down and cry because now I know you don’t love me.  Oh look-e-there  I broke the promise nice and early (whew glad we got that out of the way).

 

So the topic is what’s the point and here it is….

 

I love to share with hurting people, I find few things give me the same high as helping people who are hurting and who need to know what true love is.  What makes me an expert on hurting people, well honestly nothing.  I am no expert on hurting people but I do know what it feels like to hurt.  I know what it feels like to hurt yourself.  I know what it feels like to not want to be anymore .  I know this pain and I want to let others know you do not have to feel this way anymore.  I want to let others know healing has come.  I am what some might refer to as a “Bible Thumper” or a “Holy Roller” and sometimes a “Born Again” and I plead guilty even though I still do not understand what a Holy Roller is but I’m thinking it has something to do with dice.

 

Make no mistake every point or thought I intend to present will be Biblicaly based but we have already seen that I can break a promise (see paragraph one).  If you want to read great if not I will still feel like you don’t love me and I will probably cry.

 

Two last items….

1. If you want to talk or want to have someone share with a youth group, young adult group, church, homeless gathering then just let me know.  I find great joy in sharing where I came from and where I am know in Christ (oh snap I just dropped the C word)…..

2. If my wife does not proof read then sit back and enjoy the lousy grammar and misspellings.