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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Come and see for yourself

I often explore with people their "learning style" - in other words, how do they best learn?  This helps me to craft my lessons with them - especially if they need to get tough concepts or practices down pat.  If they are visual learners, telling them what they need to know just won't cut it.  They may get the information on how something is done, but because they haven't seen it, they won't get the full grasp of it.  If they are hands-on learners, they need to experience it for themselves - see how the parts fit together to make whole. Once they do it a few times, they begin to get the hang of it and pretty much could teach the next one.  Maybe we are all a little like that - we need to see, touch, and experience things in Christ before we really "get them".  I don't think God is caught by surprise that any of us don't just "get him" by reading his Word alone.  Perhaps this is why he gives us such convincing evidence in the fellow believers we have as examples and the fact that Jesus took on the form of flesh to help us "get him" in a way we can actually wrap both our minds and hands around.

Philip went and found Nathanael and told him, “We’ve found the One Moses wrote of in the Law, the One preached by the prophets. It’s Jesus, Joseph’s son, the one from Nazareth!” Nathanael said, “Nazareth? You’ve got to be kidding.”  But Philip said, “Come, see for yourself.”  Jesus said, “You’ve become a believer simply because I say I saw you one day sitting under the fig tree? You haven’t seen anything yet! Before this is over you’re going to see heaven open and God’s angels descending to the Son of Man and ascending again.”  (John 1:45-46; 50-51 MSG)

Jesus is just beginning his earthly ministry and as he does, he finds there are some drawn to him - maybe out of curiosity, or perhaps they are just "ripe" to meet the next "big teacher" in the region.  There were likely those with hearts prepared to see the Messiah come and to redeem the nation of Israel.  In fact, their eagerness to embrace Jesus as "Teacher" or "Rabbi" suggested they were hungry for the Word to be made clear to them.  Little did they know that the Word had become flesh and was actually dwelling among them!

These are hungry hearts - men searching for the Messiah - eager to embrace him with all they have, yet there is a moment or two of hesitation when someone comes and brings the news that he has arrived.  Why?  Perhaps it is because they never expected him to look the way he looked, to act in the mild and meek manner he consistently displayed, or just because they had some preconceived idea of how he would come.  Some were brothers - and they hesitated even when their closest relative shared the news that the one they had waited so long for was finally here.  We all know our nearest and dearest can pull a prank on us on occasion, right?  Maybe they thought it was a big prank!

Yet, in the midst of the commotion of having found the Messiah, the message rings out clearly:  Come see for yourself!  There is no room for doubt when there is an opportunity to see it for yourself.  There is nothing quite like coming into the revelation of truth - when it becomes real and personal to you specifically, it is awesome!  In "coming to see for themselves" they came into the revelation of truth become flesh - God incarnate.  The Son of God, the Messiah, the awaited one stood in their midst.  Their immediate response to "seeing" was "believing".  Maybe this is why we often say "seeing is believing".  So much of what we finally come to believe is because we have been granted even a smidgen of a window into "seeing" something.  

God's greatest hope for his children is for them to come to a place of recognizing him in their lives - seeing him as Lord is one thing, embracing him as Savior is another.  Seeing him as creator of all things is one thing, embracing him as the one who transforms your very soul is another.  Seeing him as your heavenly Father is one thing, embracing him as "Dad" (ABBA) is quite another.  God plans for us to see - for in seeing we come into a place of belief like no other.  Yes, there is a place of belief which begins without seeing, but it delights God to bring "revelation" of what is believed without seeing!  

What has God been teaching you of late?  Chances are the lessons he is training you in today have not been fully revealed to you as of yet.  In taking the first steps of belief you come into a place where he may show you what he intends for you to learn by walking in the truth he reveals.  These disciples did not know what the next several years would hold for them.  They had no clue the deeper revelation of truth they would experience.  Yet they came - eager to see for themselves this Messiah - the great Teacher.  Little did they know they were standing in the midst of their Redeemer God, the one true and holy sacrifice for all of mankind's sin.  Little did they realize the intensity of their own need for such a redeemer.  In time, they would come to see the truth which escaped them at that moment.  It was in "coming" that they were positioned to have greater truth revealed.

My challenge to you and I today - come and see for yourself!  There is never a more ready soul than the one who is "on the journey" to find truth, to see it revealed in all its glory not only around them, but IN them.  For in seeking truth, truth comes to where you are.  Just sayin!