Jesus Christ came to earth and died on the Cross to fulfill the demands of the Law. He freed us from the impossible observances of those Laws…giving us instead His perfect Law that offers freedom from sin and guilt. For anyone who puts their faith and trust in Jesus…the old Law-keeping vanishes, as the new covenant is activated in their heart.
The persistent crowds followed Jesus wherever He went…pressing close and clamoring for attention. But in this Scripture we see a completely different picture of the Lord. He’s holding little ones on His lap…taking the time to hug and cuddle babies and toddlers…seemly unaware of the crowds around Him. Jesus was practicing the gift of unhurried joy. Of taking the time to show someone just how important they are with no regard to time, schedules, or deadlines. Our greatest gift to someone we love, is unhurried time with them…calm, peaceful, focused time – not glancing at our watches or phones, but rather at them. Who in your life today needs to receive the gift of your unhurried time?
Early in His Ministry, Jesus returned to His home town of Nazareth. There, He practiced the Ministry of Staying Put. Many of us rail at that Ministry, for we’d rather be used in the far-flung reaches of the world than to be utilized by God in the place we were born and raised. Just this past Sunday in Church I heard of an opportunity to go on a short-term mission to Guatemala to work in an orphanage of shunned and outcast children with handicaps and congenital defects…and my heart went out to them and their suffering. Does this mean I will go? That’s entirely up to the Lord, and I leave it in His hands. For my mission may be to remain where I am, touching the people around me… in the town where I was born and raised.
Jews didn’t associate with Samaritans, and any self-respecting Jewish man surely wouldn’t make a point of traveling through Samaria…but Jesus did. He didn’t have to plan the trip that way…most would have gone around Samaria…but Jesus didn’t. You see, Jesus had a divine appointment arranged for a woman at Jacob’s well…a meeting that would not only change her, but many of her fellow towns-people. The Lord is ever reaching His saving hand into places we’d probably never go…into prisons, crack houses, seedy motels, or dark alleyways…places where the forgotten, shunned, and hopeless live. But no soul is beyond His reach…no life is beyond His grace and mercy.
This scripture doesn’t mince words…you either have eternal life, or you don’t. You either claim Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, or you don’t. In this wishy-washy world where no one wants to commit or take a stand, it’s pretty black and white…you either believe in Jesus and have eternal life, or reject Him and have God’s wrath on you.
The world’s deception isn’t blatant…it’s a sly twisting of the truth that may ring true in parts, but in the whole, is false. For the causal listener, it sounds fine…but is it really? The world wants to mislead, trick, and fool us…to lull us into a false sense of security that a loving God would never send people to hell…never judge people who go against His Laws…never pass sentence on those unwilling to recognize Him as Lord. The world’s deception has been a slow and insidious process…like a slow-growing cancer. What was taboo for our Grandparents is now touted openly…what was considered risqué then, is now in everyday commercials. Our minds have been slowly desensitized and deceived over the years by a twisting of what we should believe today as “normal”. But our God will not be mocked and soon all will stand before Him to be judged.
God sent Jesus on a mission of rescue…lovely drawing us to Him and saving our souls. Psalm 91:14 says, ” ‘Because he loves Me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name.’ ” Jesus is still on that mission of rescue today…desiring none to perish.