When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But you,” He asked them, “who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:13-15, HCSB)
Looking for a Messiah was a way of life for the Jews.
Though Jesus was among them and His birth (and life) events fulfilled the prophetic Scriptures that spoke of a Messiah, many missed Him. Perhaps it was because He wasn’t the kind of Messiah-King people expected or wanted. I can hear them saying, “Why should we believe Him, a lowly carpenter and son of plain ole’ Joseph and Mary of Nazareth? Come on! He isn’t cut from a Messianic fabric. It is just too hard to believe that Yahweh’s Messiah would be, well, Him!”
Despite His ministry of love and compassion, miraculous works, and authoritative teaching, it was just easier to keep looking for a Messiah than to trust that Jesus was Who He claimed to be. I think it was easier to keep looking for a Messiah than to finally have one. Sadly, it still is.
To have a Messiah means I must trust Him. It means I am no longer king of my own castle ruling all my affairs based upon what I deem worthy and right. It means relinquishing control and confessing my inability to do life well on my own. It means realizing that I am powerless when my son gets terribly sick and struggles to breathe. It means trusting that Jesus knows me best and loves me most, even when I feel unloved or forgotten. It means I must take steps toward my loud, not-like-me, doesn’t-share-my-values neighbor, rather than take steps away from him. It means biting my tongue. It means trusting that since God created life He knows best how to live it. It means that anything that doesn’t have Jesus as Lord of it or in it, is ultimately nothing. But Jesus Christ without anything added to Him, is everything. Jesus is the Messiah and that makes Him King of the universe.
Ultimately, having a Messiah means much more than believing in Jesus and worshipping Him weekly. It means believing Him and learning to worship Him daily.
So I wonder if we need to be reminded to stop looking for a Messiah. I wonder if we have stopped seeing the Messiah for who He is and started looking for another.
I wonder if we need to be reminded to stop looking for a Messiah. He has come. He’s not Oprah, the President of the United States, John Calvin, or Charles Spurgeon. He is Jesus. He has come.
I wonder if we need to be reminded to stop looking for a Messiah. He’s not a better job, better spouse, or better friend. He is Jesus. He has come.
I wonder if we need to be reminded to stop looking for the Messiah. He’s not “good” worship music or “good” preaching. He is Jesus. He has come.
I wonder if we need to be reminded to stop looking for a Messiah. Some of us are so focused on His second coming that we are growing dull to His first.
I wonder if we need to be reminded to stop looking for the Messiah. He’s present, redeeming, restoring & holding all things together, even while we wander, wonder and waver.
What is it going to take for us to trust Him? What else does He need to do that He hasn’t done already for us to move from merely believing in Him to believing Him?
May God give us the grace to rest our hearts, slow our minds, listen intently, trust fully, obey wholly, love freely and pay closer attention. He is Jesus. He. Is.