I love this next passage so much. It is a divine biography that pulls back the curtain of reality and gives us a look behind the scenes to see who Jesus is beyond His life as a carpenter's son.
This morning I am reading it and imagining that Paul is on stage giving an introduction to the keynote speaker at an important meeting. He is giving credentials and warming the audience so that they will pay attention.
'...and now please give a warm welcome to our host... the one who saved us and brought and calls us all by name... the Savior of the world...'
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister." - Colossians 1:15-23 ESV
And the crowd rises to its feet with thunderous applause...
Who Is like Him? Demons cower when He Is near. Storms are hushed by His quiet command. He was active in creation. He is the focus of redemption. He Is and always was... He Is the LORD.
I just want to park here this morning and worship. He Is worthy.
Still... In a way our meeting Him is still an underground meeting. He cross is everywhere hanging in Churches but His identity is not known and He Is hated. I love this next passage. It shows Jesus' strategy of presenting Himself in hostile places.
"After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him. Now the Jews' Feast of Booths was at hand. So his brothers said to him, 'Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.' For not even his brothers believed in him. Jesus said to them, 'My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.' After saying this, he remained in Galilee. But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, 'Where is he?' And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, 'He is a good man,' others said, 'No, he is leading the people astray.' Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him. About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. The Jews therefore marveled, saying, 'How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?'" - John 7:1-15 ESV
For now, we worshippers worship Him underground. Even if we do it thousands at a time. Believing is still an underground movement. In this age and it will continue to be.
The world, the flesh and the devil hate Jesus.
Wherever we go today Jesus will be with us... just like He snuck into the feast He will invisibly enter the room as we enter. He will go into the places hostile to the Gospel. We will know Him but many in the room won't.
If He Is to be made visible it will be through us. Let's introduce Him like Paul does here in Colossians.
He snuck into the feast but then He openly spoke truth without holding back.I want to ponder that today. I want to hear the voice of the Father and know what to say and when to say it. I need to know when to hide myself and when to appear. Only the Father can show us as we walk by faith.
We trust You God. Give us boldness but also give us discretion. We need both in equal measure. We applaud You and marvel at your Son as we worship You in The Spirit. Send us into the world. Help us. Guide us. We trust that You will.