I remember the first time I encountered Shakespeare and Homer’s Iliad in ninth grade. It made my head hurt. Every-one told me how magnificent the writing was and I am not saying they were wrong. I just needed to face the reality that I didn’t get it. I wasn’t as “smart” as I thought I was. I had that same feeling as I struggled through Calculus III and then years later in seminary tried to fight my way through Hebrew language acquisition. Can you relate to things just not clicking? You read it over and over or look at it from different angles but it just doesn’t get through.
In the spiritual world, humanity has had this basic problem ever since sin entered the scene. The filter or the processing mechanism of our hearts and minds seems to make things foggy instead of clear, or messy instead of clean. The core reason for this problem is we think too highly of our own abilities and want to go about life as the ruler instead of being ruled by God.
The beginning of the letter of Hebrews starts by telling us that God has always come to us and He still does. He speaks into our lives and our souls. God has come to us in all times and in various ways, culminating in the arrival of Jesus. God is not silent and He speaks clearly. The problem has always been that we just don’t want to listen or we don’t like what He has to say. Either manifestation of the problem ultimately results with people telling God “NO” in one way or another.
But the really good news is that one of the over-riding themes of the Bible is that God knows this and it is why He keeps speaking and keeps coming to us. It is really one stream of words from God that in the end reach their culmination in the birth of a baby in Bethlehem. All the words, actions and engagements of God in the Old Testament were “earlier chapters” in the story of Jesus.
God’s main purpose for the creation of Israel in Genesis, through Abraham and his descendants, was to bless the world through the Savior to come. As Israel grew from one family to a large kingdom the primary purpose was always to bring forth the arrival of the “ONE” and not the growth of the earthly kingdom of Israel. This is an important reminder for the Church of Jesus Christ today. We need to guard against getting caught up in “big” or “impressive”; instead we are to be consumed with the arrival and growth of Jesus in us.
This upcoming Sunday our text in Hebrews will speak to all people, in all times, and in all places that have ever wondered – hey, what is God like? The writer to the Hebrews tells us that the answer to that question is found in Jesus. In verse 3 we read, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” I invite you to come this Sunday and hear God speak into your life.
Pastor Nick Mundis