THE MAN part 2 UNREVEALED Rev. 1:13

THE MAN part 2 UNREVEALED Rev. 1:13                              

HIS PREEMINENCE   And in the midst of the seven candlesticks

HIS PERSONALITY   one like unto a Son of man

When we examine the particulars of Jesus human appearance there is a stunning suddenness of how ordinary He looked. The woman of Samaria, who Jesus interacted with at the well in John 4:9, felt Jesus was just a racially intolerant Jew. The Jews were full of prejudice against all races. Her question reveals that Jesus looked like an average racist Hebrew. 

Isaiah 53 writes that there was nothing attractive about Him. There is nothing about His physique or face that would make anyone take any notice of Him. He was actually looked down on.

After Christ had been crucified, to the two men who were trekking on the Emmaus road, Jesus wasn’t recognizable. He had been taken down from the cross and buried. These two didn’t realize that He had blown the grave open and risen. He just looked like any other person on the trail, but He appeared out of it, since He wasn’t pessimistic about the current events of brutality where Jesus with all His claims had been beaten and tortured to death.  Luke 24:18.

Even after the resurrection when Jesus appeared in His glorified body, Mary at first mistook Him for the gardener John 20:15. We don’t know exactly but maybe He was leaning on a shovel.

His own close friends confused Him for another man when they returned from their fishing; trip John 21:4–5.

Could this be what John saw in the midst of the Church today, a Jesus that doesn’t stand out initially? Is He just a below average person in appearance and presentation?

When talking to Thomas, Jesus displayed His ordinary physical structure as a core for faith. “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see” Luke 24:39.

What a concept, handle me, and see; for a spirit doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you can see that’s what I have. He wasn’t made up of ectoplasm. Jesus is not in His present appearance an ethereal spiritualism. He isn’t some eerie substance emanated from the body of a medium during a trance. The Lord Jesus is not the outer granule-free layer of cytoplasm. He is a real, solid body. His body, the body they had seen being taken down from the tree to be placed in the tomb is now a body that is resurrected and ascended.

We don’t understand His body now. What kind of body is this where His Hands can be handled and feet that can be held? “When the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst” John 20:19. His new resurrected body is not limited by time and space and material. What an amazing body. He doesn’t need a door to enter a room. He is just there.

They were still not fully convinced. “And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have you here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and honey. And He took it, and ate before them” Luke 24:41-43. He wasn’t a vegan. His resurrection body was real. He was able to sit down at a table and eat solid food. This is positive, prosaic, matter-of-fact proof. Is He any different now? Do we walk, talk and listen to a man? Is He really in our (midst) life as an ordinary man?

 

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THE MAN part 1 UNREVEALED Rev. 1:13

THE MAN part 1 UNREVEALED Rev. 1:13                              

HIS PREEMINENCE   And in the midst of the seven candlesticks

HIS PERSONALITY     one like unto a Son of man,

There is only one solution to adversity and trouble? If we’ve corrupted and confused our most important relationship, we need someone who can enter into our loss. We need someone who can associate with us where we are. We need an ally. We need a connection and a close acquaintance.   We need a relationship with someone who has understanding, familiarity and awareness. We need a person with a genuine personality. We need one like unto a Son of man

Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III, better known as Aloe Blacc sings the song, “I’m the man.” It is a catchy lyric (extremely repetitive) but Aloe, even though he’s a captivating tune writer, is not “the man.” He is a man but not “the man.”

When I listen to the song I get caught in up with the beat, and the fantasy, that maybe I could be “the man” in a few lives. But then memories slap me in the face and time has dashed by. My opportunities appear to have evaporated. I realize, I’m not “the man,” but then, neither are you. We may be able to claim to excel in particular masculine or feminine things, but that doesn’t make us “the man.”

Jesus is the real man, “the Son of Man,” This is Jesus preferred title that He used to introduce Himself to others. Of all the self-introductions “the Son of Man,” as an intro, appears ambiguous, vague and an almost confusing I.D. Jesus presents Himself in this way over 80 times. He uses this title more then any other. It is His favorite.

The Lord Jesus has various Son-ship titles; He is the Son of God, signifying His deity; the Son of Man, suggesting His humanity; He is the Son of Mary, showing His Nationality; the Son of David, identifying His Messianic royalty; the Son of Adam, referring to Him as the promised seed; and the Son of Abraham, emphasizing His redemptive work in fulfilling the covenant to Abraham.

“The Son of Man,” is actually a bold title. This designation links Him with the deepest scope of relationship to all humanity. This name on the surface is a description of Jesus as a human. He is a man in perfect identity. But what does that mean, to have an identity that is impeccable? We’re a fantastic contrast in our broken defective lives. We, in various degrees, are flawed, incomplete and display a high level of damage. We are needy. Sure we have an assortment of veneers to present our wholeness. But we are still extremely scrappy and fragmented.

There are many facets to intimacy with Jesus in our everyday lives. And it is more then just occasional junctures in our lives where we need His closeness. It’s one thing to say I had a good time with the Lord this morning. But what would be inconsistent about having a good time with Jesus all day? We can sing that He is tenderly close at every moment. We claim that He’s dependable in every aspect and circumstance of our lives. But do we really sense Him in that way?

I don’t claim to have ratcheted up my inner person to the point of sensing Jesus at every moment. I don’t even want to claim that I had a good time with Him at a given point. I have detected Him in my life and my discovery about “the Son of Man, Christ Jesus” is I need Him every moment. I need to depend on Him, relax in His love and adore His greatness and intimacy. He is “the Man.”

 

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THE CHARACTERISTICS (WHAT HE SAW) Revelation 1:13 UNREVEALED-HIS PREEMINENCE

THE CHARACTERISTICS (WHAT HE SAW) Revelation 1:12-16  

   UNREVEALED V.13                              

     HIS PREEMINENCE   And in the midst of the seven candlesticks

The word preeminent means superior to, or notable above all others; outstanding.  It means having paramount rank, dominant dignity, or central importance.

Paul in Colossians writes about the physical body to illustrate the spiritual body of Christ. He is teaching that Christ is the head of the group of people that make up the church. Christ is the “preeminent one” or the head, the thinker and the spokesman for the church. We depend on our head to send the correct signals to our body.

When we look at each other the distinguishing thing that makes us distinctive and unique is our head. People don’t recognize us until they see our face.  When others look at the Church they need to see Jesus Christ in the midst.  He should be the core and hub of His people, the focus and heart of His Church.

In the book: Putting Jesus in His Place by
Robert Bowman; J. Ed Komoszewski; and Darrell L. Bock.

An acronym called hands is employed to describe our duty to lift Christ up in our individual lives.

Honors: Jesus shares the honors due to God.

Attributes: Jesus shares the attributes of God.

Names: Jesus shares the names of God.

Deeds: Jesus shares in the deeds that God does.

Seat: Jesus shares in the seat of God’s throne.

HIS PERSONALITY    one like unto the Son of man,

HIS PRIVACY               clothed with a garment down to the foot,

 

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THE CHARACTERISTICS (WHAT JOHN SAW) Rev. 1:12-16 UNRECOGNIZED V.12

THE CHARACTERISTICS (WHAT JOHN SAW) Rev. 1:12-16  

UNRECOGNIZED  V.12  And I turned to see the voice that spoke with

                              me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

How do you see God who is invisible?  God exists outside our dimensions. He lives eternal and infinite outside of time and space as we know it. It is problematic to “see” Him. We are like the horizontal people caught into our finite past and present, occupied with our surroundings.

God has to reach out to us, down to us in our bondage. He stretches to all our limits and boundaries of self imposed restrictions. Jesus is the image of the invisible God and we are told to see Jesus.  The challenge of The Spirit is explicit as He invites us to set our feelings on things above.  We are to let the word of Christ live in us richly.  We are to turn and see the voice that is speaking constantly.  Jesus is relentlessly knocking, incessantly moving and persistently present in our midst.  He asks us to make Him the core and hub of our feelings and thoughts by seeing His voice in His Word.

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Prayer mingled with praise 1Sam. 2:1

Prayer mingled with praise is a beautiful participation that goes beyond any other communication that we interact in.  We try to interrelate and develop a common bond on various levels with others but there is nothing that can equal this relationship we partake in by leaning on God in prayer.  We have a God who never sleeps and is always with us.  He enters into every feeling and need of our hearts and blesses relentlessly with His amazing presence.

In the prayer of Hannah in 1Samuel 2 we hear the echo of our hearts as she pours out her wonder in our incomparable God.

And Hannah prayed and said,

“My heart exults in the Lord;

my strength is exalted in the Lord.

My mouth derides my enemies,

because I rejoice in your salvation. 

I enjoy Peterson’s paraphrase of this: I’m bursting with God-news!  I’m walking on air.  I’m laughing at my rivals. I’m dancing my salvation.

Paul said, “Rejoice in the Lord constantly” Phil. 4:4

The Psalmist prayed, “Will You not revive us again; that your people can rejoice in You?” Ps. 85:6

Experiencing an individual revival in our hearts where we feel God’s life in our soul and His presence in our lives is a moment-by-moment need.  God’s presence is always with us in the face of difficult circumstances.  Even though we feel weighted down with spiritual weakness because of the rigors of undesired pressures we can rest in His faithful working.  We may have to stand alone in misunderstanding from others who don’t come along side in our need. But we can rely and be confident in God’s enabling.  God’s reviving and new life in us keeps us from spiritual ruts. Hannah demonstrates in her prayer how to intertwine the appeals of her needs with praises of joy for God.

I’m reminded of the song by Casting Crowns “I’ll praise you in the storm” Though our heart is torn we’ll praise Him in the storm…our help comes from the maker of heaven and earth.  He is the one who is infinitely high and yet intimately near.

THE INEVITABILITY OF A SONG 1SAM. 2:1-11

DELIGHT IN GOD’S DELIVERANCE v.1

And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoices in the LORD, my horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over my enemies; because I rejoice in Your salvation.

DELIGHT IN GOD’S PERFECTION v.2 There is none holy as the LORD

   DELIGHT IN GOD’S SIGNIFICANCE    for there is none beside You

DELIGHT IN GOD’S SECURITY neither is there any rock like our God

DELIGHT IN GOD’S SENSIBILITY v.3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogance come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

DELIGHT IN GOD’S STRENGTH v.4 The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.

DELIGHT IN GOD’S SATIRE v.5 They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.

DELIGHT IN GOD’S SEVERITY v.6-7 The LORD kills, and makes alive: he brings down to the grave, and brings up. The LORD makes poor, and makes rich: he brings low, and lifts up.

DELIGHT IN GOD’S SUPPORT v.8-10

THE SWITCHING WITH OUR ENEMIES v.8 He raises up the poor out of the dust, and lifts up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them.

THE SILENCE OF OUR ENEMIES v.9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.

THE SUBJECTION OF OUR ENEMIES v.10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces;

THE SHATTERING OF OUR ENEMIES  out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed. 

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Psalms 71:2 FREEDOM FOR RIGHT

Psalms 71:2 FREEDOM FOR RIGHT 

Bend down to me I’m shabby, I’m feeble, I feel threadbare and frail. Please hear my weak sighs. I ask for Your rescue from this prison of exposure and vulnerability. I need You to stoop over me and place Your healing touch on my hurts and wounds.

Deliver me in Your righteousness,

George Mueller used arguments in pleading his case before God. He would remind the Lord that the orphan in his care were not his orphans, they were God’s. He quarreled that God is the Father of the fatherless? It was God’s work, not Mueller’s. He contended that God was bound by His promises to care for them.  Could God suffer His glory to be diminished? Could God appear ugly and not beautiful in His handling of those He was obligated to care for?  What would people think and feel about God if He didn’t act?  Isn’t God’s responsibility to silence the sneering ridicule of doubters?  If He doesn’t intervene with help how can the scoffer and the skeptic be quashed?

Abraham prayed overwhelming appeals, plea after plea.  Shall not the judge of all the earth do right. 

We can cast everything on God.  He pleads with us to entrust Him with every concern, every feeling, every distress and each ache and pain of our heart and body.  We can lament and howl out our innermost being to our God to deliver us in His righteousness.  The Judge of the earth will do right for us.  In all our afflictions He is afflicted.  All our difficulties, our disorders and our diseases touch His tender heart and He will fulfill all His promises to us.

FLIGHT FROM RUINS

      HIS PATH OF ESCAPE      and cause me to escape:

      HIS PERCEPTIVE EAR     incline Your ear unto me,

      HIS PLANNED EVASION and save me.

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WE NEED HELP IN DECLINE PSALM 71:1

PG_41E_-__Man_-_showing_progressive_aging1-1

To feel God’s hands on the steering wheel of our life is hard when it looks like we’re heading over a cliff.  But to have a consciousness of his supportive help when stuff is going haywire is an encouragement beyond words.  Confidence builders are few and far between.  The Lord wants our trust.  He asks that we draw our confidence in Him no matter what the disorder and uncertainty of our circumstances.

“Glorify you the Lord in the fires” (Isa. 24:15)

PSALM 71

THE EXPECTATION OF HELP v.1-4 

DIRECT US IN TRUST v.1 In You, O LORD, do I put my trust:

Where do we run when we can’t run any longer?  Where do we run when our body is wracked with pain and physical defeat.  The only place to run is to run for our dear life to God.

“David Livingstone runs there when he can run no longer.  He was away up in the swamplands around Chitambo’s village, alone except for a few native carriers.  He had come to the end of his tether.  His feet were a mass of ulcers, his tough physique sapped to the point of utter exhaustion.  He was bleeding inside.  The last distinct entry in his diary reads tersely: “Knocked up quite!”  A drizzly rain was falling as his porters built a rough shelter into which he could creep.  Like Jesus in Gethsemane, the worn-out old missionary had three men with him. He allowed two of them, almost as worn out as himself, to seek their rest. He asked the third to watch.  But presently he, too, fell asleep.  After the night watches, dawn appeared at last over the eastern horizon.  The man left on watch awakened with a start and peered into the shanty.  There he was, the valiant old warrior of the cross— not in bed but on his knees alongside it.  Calling the other two, the man waited and then the three of them crept into the shelter.  Livingstone was dead—alone dead on his knees.

Had God let him down? No, a thousand times no! Into that lonely hut He had come, He who had promised never to leave nor forsake.  Beside that camp cot He had kneeled, beside the wasted form of His missionary friend.  Around that wasted form had gone those mighty, everlasting arms. “Now then, David,” He had whispered, “you’re coming home with Me.”  And so He had. The character and compassion of God had been tried to the uttermost and found to be true—true to the very last moment of time, to the very last breath of life”! as related by John Phillips

And where do we run?  In You Oh Lord do we put our trust!  How much trouble does it take before we recant our trust in God?  What level of discomfort and pain does it take before we renounce The Lord?  Would we every abandon Jesus because we feel He’s abandon us?  Does life need to be falling together according to our expectations and timing for us to rest in confidence in God?

DELIVER US FROM TURMOIL  let me never be put to confusion.

Aging is intensely confusing.  The word confusion can be rendered ashamed, embarrassed, and crushed.  Old age does that to us.  We can end up feeling beat up by our decline.  What we may have thought was attractive about us now is not.  Deterioration stares back at us in the mirror.  Wrinkles, sagging, things hanging limply, atrophy is seizing our being and we no longer trust our abilities.

Why would God allow this?  What kind of creative love could allow such individual devastation?

Prov. 28:26 says those who trust in themselves are fools.

Could it be that the Lord in His faithful compassion is training us to be wise and trust in Him.  It’s humiliating to live in a collapse and lurch in a slumping crumble.  These felt difficulties are tragedies used in sympathy.  When we know someone, when we’ve studied them through what they’ve said to us, then we begin to lean on them in trust.  It’s by intimacy with Jesus that we relax in His process with us.  There is no other way to reduce the damage.  We have to let Him have the wheel.

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