Children love to pretend. Yet as they grow up, they learn that the culture frowns on pretending. Pretending must give way to practical. And so we push books and sports instead. In fact, I fear some of us might be so practical we squish our kid’s imaginations because we feel they need to “grow up”. Of course, if your son is wearing a cape and jumping off the furniture at age 17 you might have a problem!
I’ve seen my kids pretend to be many things … a super hero, a pirate, a nurse … whatever. But I’ve never seen them pretend to be God. Kids don't usually do that. One boy did however!
Imagine growing up with Jesus in Nazareth. Imagine being his parents or his friend. The other kids were pretending to be super heroes, he’s “pretending” to be God. They are eventually moving on with their lives, he’s apparently stuck in Nazareth hanging around with his parents: never went to college, never got married, never “grew up”.
Jesus never grew out of His claim to be God. He never left room to only view Him as a good man or great teacher. He'd claimed to be God. He was unbending in that claim and held it to the death.
“Jesus told people that their sins were forgiven. This makes sense only if He really was the God whose laws are broken and whose love is wounded in every sin. I am here trying to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who is merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher, He would either be a lunatic – on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of hell. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
CS Lewis, Mere Christianity
Read: Mark 6:42-52
42They all ate, and were filled. 43They took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and also of the fish. 44Those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.
45Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat, and to go ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he himself sent the multitude away. 46After he had taken leave of them, he went up the mountain to pray.
47When evening had come, the boat was in the midst of the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48Seeing them distressed in rowing, for the wind was contrary to them, about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea, and he would have passed by them, 49but they, when they saw him walking on the sea, supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out; 50for they all saw him, and were troubled. But he immediately spoke with them, and said to them, “Cheer up! I AM! Don’t be afraid.” 51He got into the boat with them; and the wind ceased, and they were very amazed among themselves, and marveled; 52for they hadn’t understood about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.
Let’s see what this “boy” from Nazareth can do!
Jesus fed 10,000 people. That would be a feat for any catering business with 6 months of planning! Jesus pulled it off on the fly with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Either those were really BIG fish or something supernatural is happening here. He made sure there was exactly enough left over for His disciples (v.43) and got them into a boat for rest away from the crowd (v.45).
When God does miracles for you, when He answers prayer, do you recognize it? The disciples didn’t (v.52). No, it is too easy to caulk up God’s work to coincidence if we are not careful.
Jesus walked on water. That would be a feat for any creature, any time. Either it was some kind of lighting trick or something supernatural is happening here. The disciples miss it again (v.49). So like me …. I don’t want to know all that I miss. It would be embarrassing.
Jesus showed that He is God. To calm his scared disciples Jesus reminds them that He is in control. He does this in 2 ways, He: 1. Tells them His name: I AM (v.50) & 2. Shows them His power (v.51).
“Let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” The disciples learned it that night in a boat. They were more sacred of Him after He got in the boat than ever before (v.52).
Ask God to show you where He is at work today and join Him.
Make sure you are clear on who Jesus is. Is He Lord to you? If so, how could others tell it? Is there anything in your life that makes it clear you serve a Master other than self?
Jesus said in Luke 6:46, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I say?” Something to think about.
If you have time, listen to “Jesus Messiah” in the Worship Center below.
DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.