“The blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor” (Matthew 11:5).
Do you remember the song lyrics made popular by the Gaither Vocal Band a number of years ago, “get all excited, go tell everybody that Jesus Christ is King?” Back in the 1970s and 80s, many of us sang this song with gusto. But how many of our lives actually reflected that excitement? Think about it. Jesus’ life created a stir, from His conception right through to his visible return to heaven. People were healed...the dead were raised back to life...the hungry were fed. And the word got out. So much so that during a period in His earthly ministry, Jesus was no longer able to travel freely. After Jesus had healed a man of leprosy, He told him not to tell anyone, but like most of us the man couldn’t keep a secret. “The man went and spread the word, proclaiming to everyone what had happened. As a result, large crowds soon surrounded Jesus, and he couldn’t publicly enter a town anywhere. He had to stay out in the secluded places, but people from everywhere kept coming to him” (Mark 1:45).
Jesus didn’t just amaze people with miracles. He irritated the establishment to the point that they wanted to kill Him. He ignored the conventions of His day...made the Pharisees look foolish...and took it upon Himself to clear the Temple of all the merchants, dumping tables, creating chaos of their commerce. And the word got around! He became a wanted man and a price was put on His head. There wasn’t anyone in His day who had not heard of Him.
If Jesus lived in our time, living out His life as He did in first century Palestine, He would undoubtedly garner the most ‘hits’ and ‘likes’ on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter...far more than some of the stories that have become so prevalent in our day. Some would love Him. Some would hate Him. And while some would recognize His miracles as from God, others would become further entrenched in their skepticism. But there is one thing we would all share in common; we would be talking about Him!
So why aren’t we? If you are a Christian, you should know the stories, or be in the process of learning them through regular reading of the Bible. Those of us who have grown up in the Church and heard the stories all our lives can become too familiar. Yes, Jesus walked on the water. Yes, He fed 5,000 people the biggest picnic with only five loaves and two fish. Yup, He died and rose again...hold on! What was that? JESUS WALKED ON THE WATER?! JESUS FED 5,000?! HE ROSE AGAIN?! These things should absolutely astound us! Just because we can recite the stories doesn’t mean that we know them. We need to remind ourselves of just how amazing and unbelievable much of Jesus’ life was. He was no ordinary man!
Today, I would challenge anyone reading this to contemplate one of the stories of Jesus, anew. Put yourself in it. Imagine the desperation, rejection and chaos turned into joy, acceptance and order through the amazing work of Jesus. As you allow yourself to experience the story in a fresh way, allow yourself to experience the excitement that would have gone along with it. The Jesus we read about in the Bible, is still the Jesus of today. What would happen if His Church allowed Him to work freely in their lives? If we allowed the Holy Spirit to fill us up with His fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)? If we allowed ourselves to get so excited, we just had to go out and tell somebody?
The truth of the matter is that Jesus is still doing exciting work in our world today. If we really believe it, we should be telling others. There shouldn’t be a person alive who knows you that isn’t familiar with your life’s headline, “I am a follower of Jesus!”
~ Pastor Jane
Need some inspiration? Watch this clip from Episode 8 of "The Chosen,"
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2262755974028732 (access through Facebook)
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!