When Jesus read from Isaiah 61 and said to the people of Nazareth that the prophecy about preaching good news to the poor, freedom for prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind, release for the oppressed and proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favour, the people were amazed.
I wonder how many people in our churches today would show the same kind of amazement if they were to hear and see what happened when Jesus went about His earthly ministry fulfilling all these prophecies. Yet there is such great need for this kind of ministry.
It’s sad to know that there are some groups of believers where there’s no expectation of such a ministry because they’ve been taught, and believed, that ‘when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away’ (1 Corinthians 13:10). This verse has been taken by some groups of believers to refer to the completion of the canon of Scripture, the Bible as we know it. Yet I believe Paul here seems to be referring to the Second Coming of Jesus.
As we look forward to Jesus coming again do we have the real excitement which being with Him for eternity should produce? From teenage years I’ve always had the expectation that Jesus could return during my life-time, and it excites and challenges me. Here’s the challenge: is there anything in my life that would make me feel ashamed before Him at His coming? ‘And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming’ (1 John 2:28). As we anticipate this exciting event, can we sing with the hymn writer, ‘When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there’?
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for dying for me on the cross in order to cleanse me from my sin. Thank You that You rose again from the grave and now live anticipating the day that Father God tells You "Go, and bring those You have saved home". Thank You for the promise of Your return, and please keep me walking uprightly before You so that I stand without shame when You return. Amen.
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