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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Sixtieth (Do You Know Jesus?)

I hope your week went well! In case you didn't receive last week's post, here's a link to it: What is a god. But as for this week, have you thanked Yehovah lately? For what, you ask? I can't tell you that, it's up to you! We are to come before Him singing, and enter His gates with thanksgiving (Psalm 100). We are to enter His courts with praise, being thankful to Him and blessing His name. Did you know this is a reference to the Temple? There were gates to get in and a courtyard before you get to the Holy Place where the presence of the Lord was. I believe this Psalm is still applicable today despite the Temple being obsolete based on Jesus' sacrifice. We should give thanks in everything since that is the will of Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:18). On this Shabbat, we're looking at that man, Jesus Christ, and asking the question that has almost turned into a catch phrase: Do you know Jesus?

I think most people approach that question with the same preconception: there's a "right" and "wrong" answer. It's sad to me that this is the approach taken when people are trying to share Him with those that don't know Him. Is Yeshua the same man that sacrificed Himself for us 2000 years ago? Yes. But is He the same man for me that He is for you? Not necessarily. And is He necessarily the same man for me now as He will be tomorrow? Or during some tribulation I may have to endure in the future? No.

What do I mean by that? The Son of God, the Word in the flesh, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end has not, does not and will not change. For everyone that accepts Him, He is our Savior from the result of our sin: death (Romans 6:23). He became our substitute death (1 John 2:2). However, there are other things that Jesus is to us based on our trials, our past, our personality, or our needs.

When we sin, He is an advocate for us with the Father (1 John 2:1). The Greek for this is parakletos, which is what we call an attorney or lawyer. His act of coming to earth in the flesh, living a human life, and being condemned by the world, has given Him the unique ability to be able to genuinely represent us in the "court of the Father." Have you considered His wilderness temptation? If you haven't read it lately, you can find it in Matthew 4:1-11. It's interesting to me that the title of this section in my KJV bible is "The Three Temptations of Jesus," so matter-of-factly. He was in the wilderness for over forty days and forty nights (since the three temptations were given after this time period) and "the tempter" did not just sit around waiting for Jesus to get hungry (Luke 4:2). I believe that throughout His whole time in the wilderness, He experienced every type of temptation we experience and His time culminated in the three temptations recorded in Matthew and Luke 4.

When we are sick, He is a healer (Luke 4:40, and many others). When we are desperate, and nothing else we have tried works, nothing of this world and nothing we can do for ourselves, He can, and will, heal by His power (Mark 5:25-29). The interesting part of this account of healing is that while there was definitely power that left Jesus to conduct the healing (Mark 5:30), He tells this woman that it was her faith that healed her (Mark 5:34). This tells me two things: 1) Healing, much like many things, cannot be exercised by us and us alone. We require His power to be healed. And 2) He cannot give us the healing we need without our actions of seeking Him and having faith in His power. All the accounts of healing involve people seeking Him, and thus having faith that by His power they will be healed. Jesus does not force Himself or His help on anyone that does not want it.

When we are tormented, He is a deliverer (Mark 1:23-26 and many others). His authority, and the Holy Spirit which descended, filled Him, and remained with Him, gives Him the power to command demons and they obey. When we are tormented by them, they must obey His authority which He has given us: power over the enemy (Luke 10:19, Acts 10:34).

When the time comes, He is the judge of His church (2 Corinthians 5:10). To be clear, this judgment is specifically being referenced to believers, since that is who Paul was writing to in Corinth. That is separate from the great white throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-13); the great white throne being the one that Yehovah Himself sits on (Revelation 5:1-7 shows Jesus, the Lamb, took the scroll from Him who sits on the throne, who then must be Yehovah). This great white throne judgment is the one in which all those who did not rise in the first resurrection are resurrected and judged. Both judgments will be complete, covering literally everything we do or say, and what was in our hearts, throughout our entire life. Even "empty" words (Matthew 12:36).

The judgment from Jesus includes a separation of His true sheep and those who look similar to sheep but are not the same as sheep. The goats (Matthew 25:31-46). He will separate those who truly believed in Him and became His body on earth to take care of the sick, hungry, imprisoned, naked, from those who only took His name in vain and claimed to be His disciple while not continuing His ministry after He rose. He will tell those goats that despite using His name to prophesy, cast out demons and do wonderful works, He never knew them. In fact, they are considered by Him to be a worker of iniquity (Matthew 7:22,23). Not only that, when the door is shut, no matter if you ate and drank in His presence and taught for Him, you will also be considered a worker of iniquity (Luke 13:25-27).

Now these are really strong words, don't you think? "I never knew you." Imagine someone you've known their whole life coming to you at the very end looking for help, looking to be saved from something, and you tell them that because in their heart they were not the person they claimed to be on the outside, the person you thought you knew. If you look at the remainder of the passage in Luke, you can see that in verses 28 and 29, Jesus is referring to His millennial reign on earth. Those that were resurrected at His coming will be seen in His kingdom and they will come from all corners to sit in His kingdom.

So if Jesus needs to know you in order for you to join Him in His kingdom, and in order for you to not be thrown into everlasting fire (Matthew 25:41), you need to know Him. And there's a lot to Him as you can see! So how do you get to know Him? Same way you get to know anyone! Talk to Him, study Him, His Word, seek Him. Ask Him to be with you, to help you, to be your friend. He wants you to!

Shabbat Shalom and have a wonderful week!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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