January 24th 2016

listen to last Sunday’s worship set.

BREATH OF HEAVEN:The Point is a Person   John 5:39-40 & Hebrews 1:1-3

My wife, Kelly, and I met on a backpacking trail a number of years ago.  I felt like I made quite the impression on her.  Things had gone well on that trail.  I was convinced, if I could talk her into it, that I was going to marry her. I wasn’t sure she was as committed as I was, nonetheless, she had thrown out on the trail…if you ever want to come to Durango and spend some time and hang out, it’s an open invitation.  I filed that away in the very front of my file cabinet.  We got off the trail after spending a week together and I waited all of two days to call her.  I called her house.  This is back in the day where phones were attached to the wall.  You had to call and actually talk to somebody’s parents in order to ask them out on a date!!!  Her dad answered the phone.  He was a football coach for 20 years in Durango.  He said hello.  I answered, “Hi! This is Ryan. Is Kelly there?”  I hear him yell to Kelly, “Kelly, Ryan’s on the phone.”  Kelly yells back, “Ryan who??”  Evidently I didn’t make as great an impression as I thought.  I asked, “Does the offer still stand to come down and visit you?”  She said, “Yes, absolutely.”  This is also before you could plug an address in your phone and it would tell you how to get there.  I got a map and looked up Durango to figure out how to get there.  She said, “When you get into town, it’s basically one street in town, you’re going to make a left at Mustang and then you’re going to weave up and you’ll eventually get to where I live.”  She gave me the directions.  I asked my parents if I could borrow one of the cars.  They said they were using both of the them that weekend.  So I went out and bought a car!  Got in my car and drove…..I said—-I’d seen Goodwill Hunting a few times—“I gotta go see about a girl!”  I get in my car and drive to Durango.  I drive all the way through main street and I don’t see Mustang.  That’s the street I’m looking for….Mustang.  I come back through and still don’t see it.  I do that a number of times.  Kelly was at work at this point in time and there was no way to call her at work.  I go back through again and think I didn’t just buy a car to come down to see about a girl for it to end up like this.  As I’m driving back through, I see a gas station named “The Mustang.”   I realized that although Kelly is brilliant and beautiful, she is geographically and directionally challenged!!  I realized that if I have the wrong goal, I’ll never end up in the right destination!

Same is true for your life and mine.  If we have the wrong goal, we’ll never end up in the right destination.  You can plug an address into the GPS of your phone and it’ll take you there, but if it’s the wrong address, who really cares?  I read this book a while back by this guy by the name of Bob Goff and here’s what he says: “I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”  The goal matters, doesn’t it?  The goal matters in life.  All of us have read stories or heard testimony of people on their deathbed who reevaluate everything they did.  Like a sandcastle built right on the shore, the wave is just going to come up and take it down.  It’s in significant moments in life that we have a clarity of the things that really indeed do matter.  The goal of making money really, in the grand scheme of things, pales in comparison to the goal of making friends.  But we very rarely have that goal in mind.  The goal of knowing and being known is far greater than the goal of being famous.  None of us are going to lay on our deathbed and go I wish I really would have updated my Facebook a few more times.  We’re just not.  I wish my social media presence had a little bit larger reach.  Never!  It’s not going to happen.  The goals that we embrace will eventually determine the destination that we end up at.

The same is true in the reading of the Scriptures.  The goal that we have when we come to the Scriptures is going to determine where we end up.  I think a lot of us have the wrong goal.  I think we have the wrong destination in mind.  I think we’re looking for a street named Mustang and we’re not going to find it.  This is the reason that as you interact with people….and if you tell people….if this is indeed where you’re at this morning…if you tell people you’re a follower of Jesus and they’re not, they’re going to respond with do you really believe the Bible?  Do you take the Bible literally?  How do you reconcile a portrait of God in the Old Testament that sometimes doesn’t look like what we see in Jesus in the New Testament?  Have you ever heard that question?  Have you ever HAD that question?  I’ll stand before you as your pastor and say I have!  Only every time I read it.  Regardless of how intellectual we can be and regardless of how much we think we can unpack the argument, there’s still some questions that we have.  God, sometimes it looks like you ordained things in the Old Testament like genocide that just don’t look like Jesus saying well, if somebody wrongs you turn the other cheek.  And if they take your cloak, give them your tunic also.  If they make you go one mile, go with them two.  God, some of this just doesn’t seem to add up.  Here’s why?  Because we’re looking for Mustang. That’s why.  We have the wrong goal.  My goal this morning is to reaffirm what Scripture says is the goal of you reading the Bible.  No small task and there’s no small disparagement amongst followers of Jesus about what the goal is, but here’s the thing.  There was no ambiguity in the life of Jesus as far as what the goal of reading the Bible was.

If you have your Bible, turn to John 5:39-40 with me.  Listen to the words of the one whom we’ve sung about and have declared as Messiah.  He’s speaking to the Pharisees who are trying to catch him in a tough spot.  They want to test him.  They want a reason to kill him.  He responds to them by saying:   You search the Scriptures (Old Testament) because you think that in them you have eternal life.  {That’s your goal.  That’s your Mustang.} It is they {The Scriptures.  They testify about me.  The whole story is about me, Jesus says.} …and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.   Here’s what Jesus wants to do:  He wants to redefine the way and the reason that you open your Bible.  He wants to redefine the goal when you read the Scriptures.  The goal of reading the Scriptures is NOT to know the Scriptures!!  You can know the whole thing cover to cover…..you can memorize the whole thing and still miss the point.  You can go to it and still be searching for Mustang and never find it.  That’s what he says to the Pharisees.  Remember, these are the religious elite.  When he says “you search the Scriptures,” he means you have plumbed the depths of them.  You’ve given your life to them.  You’ve memorized the Torah.  You recite Shema three times a day.  You are living into….you are giving your life to this book.  But you miss the point.  Jesus redefines the goal and having the right goal is the thing that leads us to the right destination.  Here’s what the goal is:  To come to Jesus that you may have life.  The whole point is a person!!  The whole entire point of the Scriptures is a person.  We’ll say it like this today:  The point of the Scriptures is to lead us to the person of Jesus.  PERIOD. If the Scriptures don’t lead us to Christ than we have missed the point.  So you’re saying Paulson, I can have my whole entire AWANA sash with all of the awards and miss the point?  Yes.  You’re saying Paulson, I can read the thirty days that we’re doing together at South Fellowship and miss the point?  Yes!  You’re saying I can memorize all the Scriptures and miss the point?  Yes, except that this is one of the Scriptures that we’re asking you to memorize in hopes that we don’t miss the point.  The point is a person.  His name is Jesus.

The goal of reading the Scriptures is not to find evidence that demands a verdict.  The goal of reading the Scriptures is to have an encounter with the One who says I’m over it all.  The goal of reading the Scriptures is not to acquire more information, although information is good and information is absolutely necessary.  It’s just not the goal.  The goal is not to acquire more information, it’s to receive and respond to the invitation of Jesus. “You refuse to come to me and have life.”  I think if we’ve missed it anywhere in modern, current evangelicalism it’s that we’ve confused Christianity with biblicism.  We take the Bible seriously, yes, but the Bible is not our Lord!  Jesus is Lord.  Jesus is Savior.  Jesus is the head of the church.  Jesus said all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to the Bible!!  No, no, no, no, no!  Jesus said all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to ME!  It is He who holds the authority.  The Scriptures are not an end in and of themselves.  They’re not a cul-de-sac that we get into and go continually around.  They’re a portal into relationship with the Living God. That’s what they are.  They’re a portal into relationship with the King of kings and the Lord of lords.  Post-enlightenment thinking has taught us to read the Bible for answers.  But Jesus invites us to read the Bible for encounter.  It’s absolutely clear!  Do we need answers?  Yes.  Are answers good?  Yes.  Will you ever bow down and worship an answer?  No!  Absolutely not!  We will bow down and worship a person for all eternity.  The Bible will not be on the throne, Jesus will.  And that changes the way that we read it and I think a lot of us are looking for Mustang.  We’re looking for the Bible to worship.  But the Bible says that’s not the point of the Bible. The point of the Bible is to lead us to Jesus and Jesus is who we worship.  I love the way that Dr. Mark Strauss puts it: “Our passion should not be for scripture per se, but for the One who reveals himself IN the scriptures.” We have a relationship with a person, not a relationship with a book.  In the great old hymn, Break Thou Bread of Life, by Mary A. Lathbury, she says:  “Beyond the sacred page I seek thee Lord; My spirit longs of Thee, O Living Word.”

So why is having Jesus as the goal so important?  Because whatever our goal is it shapes the direction that we go.  It shapes the course of our life.  If my goal in coming to the Scriptures is to know the Scriptures, I can get into a dead-end cul-de-sac where I know them but miss the point.  But if my goal is:  I want to hear the words of life that are Jesus, the Living Word, God incarnate, human flesh…..if that’s my goal then I can come to Jesus and have eternal life that the Scriptures point to. I would say, anecdotally, that a number of the discussions that we have about…well, I don’t get this about the Bible and I don’t get that and I don’t understand why God looks a little bit different in the Old Testament than He does in the New…could actually be answered if we understood this concept a little bit better.  Let me attempt.  I want to answer the question:  How does having an understanding of Jesus as the point shape everything?   I’ll argue today that it does.

Turn with me to Hebrews 1:1-2.  We’ll spend the rest of our time together in Hebrews to see that the Bible is indeed revelation and at its heart it is revealing not some THING, but it’s showing us some ONE.   Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets. {I’m convinced that when he says long ago, many times and in many ways, he’s talking about the Old Testament.  He spoke to us through the prophets. They wrote things down for us.  They recorded the oracles of God, according to the book of Romans.}  …but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.   Here’s what the author of Hebrews just did.  He said in the past, the way that God declared things was through the prophets, was through the writings, was through the law, was through Torah, but now things have changed and God has a different word for us today.  His word has a name.  The name is Jesus.  So we’ll say it like this:  Why is it so important to have the right goal when we go to the Scriptures.  Because Jesus is THE definitive Word of God.  Did you know that the term “the Word of God” is used over 41 times in the Scriptures.  And less than a handful of those times does it actually refer to anything written down.  I’ll say that again.  The term “the Word of God” is used a lot of times in what we would call the Word of God, only what we call the Word of God the Scriptures usually don’t.  The Word of God in the Scriptures is the declaration and message of Jesus.  The apostles speak the word of God and what they’re not doing is reading from a book.  They’re telling a gospel message.  That’s number one.  Number two, the word of God in the Scriptures is the person of Jesus.  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word became a BOOK!  That’s often how we think about it.  No, no, no, no, no.  I’m just quoting from John:  In the beginning was the Word….and the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  The word of God is the person of God, his name is Jesus.  So….implications.  When we go to the Scriptures, if Jesus is what God has to say, and that’s what the author of Hebrews just said, then we can’t read the Bible like we read a cookbook.  We can’t read the Bible and have everything mean the same thing.  We can’t give weight to everything.  If you read a cookbook, you need to put all the recipes…..or if you just open your Facebook and see all those ridiculous videos about recipes going around right now that make me real hungry….every ingredient is needed and necessary and each ingredient carries the same weight.  You can’t read the Bible like a cookbook.

If Jesus is what God has to say, which is what the author of Hebrews just said, we don’t read Jesus alongside of other passages in the Bible.  We read Jesus on top of other passages in the Bible.  He is our lens through which we read the entire Old Testament.  He is the lens by which we interact with all of the portraits of God that we have.  He is the definitive word of God, the lens through which we read all of Scripture.  We tend to read the Bible as a flat text.  It’s not.  At least according to Jesus it’s not.  It’s dynamic.  It’s living.  It’s active and we don’t put Jesus alongside of other texts in the Scripture, we put him above other texts in the Scriptures and He’s the lens.  Why?  Because He’s the point that we read the entire Bible through.  We only begin to see how Jesus reframes the storyline of God’s dealing with His people if we place His revelation over all previous revelations. That’s how we read the Bible.  Let me make three points on that, because I know some of you are either scratching your head or you’re picking up stones.  I understand.  These are difficult things.  Number one, here’s what we see:  The entire Scripture points to Jesus!  And all I’m doing is listening to the words of Jesus.  On the road to Emmaus, He’s interacting with people.  And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:27)  Some other translations say he “unpacked” {that’s my words} how everything pointed to Him.  Can you imagine what this walk must have been like?  This would be like having a cup of coffee with William Shakespeare and walking through Hamlet or Macbeth with him and having him go yeah, did you catch that allusion there?  I didn’t catch any of them, Billy! Can you imagine Jesus unpacking the Old Testament with the point that this is all about me.  Always has been, always will be.

Second, the revelation of Jesus carries more weight than what we had previously in the law and the prophets. I’ll say it like this….I’m going to say it delicately, but you can write this down….this is where I stand. Everything in the Scripture is equally inspired, but not everything in the Scripture is equally applicable.  Here’s how I know you agree with me.  Because all of you are wearing clothes with two types of threads on them today.  Because most of us indulged in God’s gift of bacon at some point within in the last few days.  None of you have stoned anybody, right?  This is the way we read the Bible.  I’m just saying it.  We do not apply all sections of the Scriptures equally.  Now, that does NOT mean that they’re not all equally inspired.  We firmly believe that they are ALL equally inspired, but they are not all equally applicable today because of Jesus.  You read the Bible like this.  I read the Bible like this.  We just need to admit that this is true and then we have to sort of unpack a grid of…….well, then how do we decide, Paulson?  Are you just going to pick and choose then? Absolutely not.  I’m going to pick Jesus and then I’ll let Him choose.  Is that good?  Just so you don’t think I’m making this stuff up, here’s what Jesus says in John 5:36.  He’s speaking to the Pharisees:  But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John.  For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.   You know what’s interesting? Earlier Jesus said that there’s nobody more prominent, born among women, than John.  What Jesus just said is my words and my works are weightier than John’s and John’s are the weightiest we’ve ever seen.  He put them on a scale.

The entire Scripture points to Jesus.  The revelation of Jesus carries more weight than the law and the prophets. Three, the revelation of Jesus supersedes the law and the prophets.  Jesus is the FINAL word and he reframes the way that we see the entire Scripture.  Let me explain it like this.  Has anybody seen the movie The Sixth Sense?  Huge spoiler alert.  The whole movie…this little boy sees “dead” people.  We think the whole time that this one character, played by Bruce Willis, is alive the whole time.  The ring falls off at the very end and you realize he’s been dead the whole movie!!  You can never go back and watch The Sixth Sense in the same way.  Because you know that this is what it’s pointing to.  This is the culmination of the movie.  Once you know that all the Scriptures point to Jesus, you can never read it the same!  He stands above it all!  He reframes the whole story.  Let me show you two incidents where He does this explicitly.  In the Sermon on the Mount, He says:  You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you…{All he did was quote from the book of Deuteronomy 19:20-21.  What he’s not going to do is say yeah, let’s do that.  That’s a good idea.  If you want to say it crassly….Jesus….he doesn’t disagree with the Scriptures, he just takes it further than the Scriptures originally took it.  And further than anyone would have imagined.  See, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth….for this near east culture like Israel….was actually a way to limit retribution.  It was a picture of grace back then.  But Jesus says no, no, no, I’m taking this even further than limited retribution.  I’m taking it to no retribution.  “But I say to you”…..I’m going to reinterpret this.  I’m going to redefine it.  I’m going to take it further.  Why?  Because I stand above it.}  ……But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil.  But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.  {He goes I stand above it all.  I can do this.  I’m Jesus.}

In John 8:4-7, there’s a woman caught in the act of adultery.  The law in Deuteronomy 22:24 would say that they should stone this woman caught in adultery.  Technically, it said they should stone the man AND the woman.  It’s a whole other story as to why the man’s not there if they were caughtin the act, right?  There’s probably a guy there too, but…..they’re into redefining the law anyway.  Jesus calls them on it.  …they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.  Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.  {Just write in your Bible Deuteronomy 22:24.  Yes and amen.  Yes, it did.}  So what do you say?”  This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him.  Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.  And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sing among  you be the first to throw a stone at her.”    You really want to play this game of law?  Because all of you are guilty under the law.  {Pssst! Look up at me!}  That’s the point of the law.  We are ALL guilty under it.  We all fall short.  Tell me you wouldn’t tremble if you were in the same position and Jesus bent down to start writing in the dirt about YOU!  He stands above it!  He reframes for us the word of God.

Number one, why does it matter and why is Jesus the goal?  Because he is the definitive word of God.  If you don’t write down anything else for that point, simply write down Jesus is what God has to say.  Two, (Hebrews 1:3) He is the radiance, the splendor, of the glory of God!  {Oh, man!  The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.  Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. (Psalm 19:1-2)  But they don’t even come close to displaying the glory of God as is found in the face of Jesus Christ.} …and He is the exact imprint of his nature and he upholds the universe by the word of His power.  So, Jesus is what God has to say and Jesus is what God is like.  Jesus is, according to the book of Hebrews….and this is why it’s so important that we read the Bible through the lens of what is the goal? the goal is to know Jesus, because Jesus is the exact representation of God.  Jesus is the EXACT representation of God. {I’ll say this as carefully as I can.}  The Bible is not the full revelation of God….Jesus is.  Now, I’m not saying that the Bible isn’t completely true, it is.  I’m not saying that the Bible is NOT inspired, I 100% believe that it is.  But Jesus IS, not only what God has to say, but Jesus is definitively what God is like.  His glory….the glory of God…is captured in, and only fully in, the person of Jesus.  Glory is this idea of like weightiness or splendor or invisible attributes being made known and the author of Hebrews says if you want to know what God is like you look no further than his son.  Jesus would affirm this in John 14:9.  Philip says to Jesus, “Jesus, show us the Father.”  And He responds by saying, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen Him.”

In the ancient world, they would have these presses that made coins.  Typically, the coin would have on the face of it the picture of an emperor.  This is the illustration that the author of Hebrews is pulling into when he says he is the exact imprint of his nature.  It’s as if to say that throughout history, previous to Jesus, God has been sending sketches, but not He’s given a stamp—the exact representation of who He is in Jesus.  Jesus is what God is like!  In the book of John you’re going to see, even in the first chapter and the first 18 verses, most of what I’ve already said.  John gets a little more nuanced and intentional towards the end though.  Listen to what he says:  For from his (Jesus’) fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.  For the law was given through Moses; {So he’s going to start making a distinction.  The law given through Moses.} ….grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.   {They have different points.  They have different purposes, but if you want to know what God is like, don’t look to the law….although that reveals a portion of what God is like, no doubt.  Is the law false?  No, it’s not.  It’s true.  It’s good.  It reflects God’s nature and character….imperfectly.  I’m not making this up.}  No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.  But what has He made known?  God.  What is God like?  Grace upon grace.  That’s great news, church!  That’s breathtaking!  That this is what God is like.  So when we read portraits that don’t seem to line up with this…..people have issues with that.  I admit it, I have issues with that.  What we say and what the Scriptures say is not that the Old Testament, in any way, shape or form, is untrue or false or bad history…no!  What we say is that it’s a shadow of the reality that’s seen in Jesus.  But if you want to see the real thing, if you want to know what God is like, look no further than Jesus.

I love the way that N.T. Wright, the great New Testament scholar, put it: “When travelers sail across a vast ocean and finally arrive on the distant shore, they leave the ship behind and continue over land, not because the ship was no good, or because their voyage had been misguided, but precisely because both ship and voyage had accomplished their purpose.  During the new, dry-land stage of their journey, the travelers remain—and in this illustration must never forget that they remain—the people who made that voyage in the ship.”  But he’s going there’s two stages to this story and we need to read the Bible aware of that.  It makes all the difference in the world.  In fact, Paul would even say: For Christ is the end of the law….(Rom. 10:4)  The end in the sense that He’s goal, and the end in the sense that it’s terminated because He has fulfilled it.

He says: He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.  After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…  I love this because the author of Hebrews is going to circle around back to the fact that Jesus is the great High Priest and that He doesn’t offer sacrifice year after year, but He offered sacrifice once and for all in His body given and His blood shed on the cross.  And, friends, you have a Savior who is SEATED. That didn’t hit you the way I hoped it would.  Here’s why that’s huge!!  Because Jesus is done with his work. The work of salvation is accomplished in the person of Christ.  So, Jesus is what God has to say.  Jesus is what God is like.  And Jesus is the culmination of the mission of God to seek and to save the lost….of whom you and I are. Jesus is the completion of God’s salvation plan.  And the greatest picture we have of Jesus is in the giving of his life on the cross for you and for me.  His mission of self-sacrificial love redeems humanity, redeems humankind.  {Zoom out a second and circle back around to what I just said.}  If the mission of Jesus is completed, in the cross where Jesus would rather die for his enemies than kill his enemies, THAT’s what God is like.  That is God chasing after humanity saying I will not let sin, death, get the final word.  I love you enough to redeem you.  Paul approaches the church at Corinth and says I know nothing except Christ crucified and that’s enough. (1Cor. 2:2)  I love the way that Martin Luther says it:  “When I read the Scripture, I only know Christ crucified.”  And in Christ crucified what we see is the wrath of God satisfied.  Poured out on Jesus, taking the place of humanity.  We see in the cross that God indeed does hate evil.  He hates it enough to redeem it! That’s how much he hates it.  By his own blood to step into the story and to say I love my creation enough, not to condemn them, but to redeem them and to bring them back.  That’s what God is like.  He hates injustice.  He hates evil. He hates it so much that He steps into the story and says I refuse to let the story end without my blood redeeming humankind.  We have to read the Bible that way.  It reveals that God hates sin and it reveals the extent of his love for you and I.  “O praise the One who paid my debt, and raised this life up from the dead!” Amen!

Jesus claims to have fulfilled the Scriptures.  Yes, he does.  But not by accomplishing every command exactly the way that it’s written.  That’s not how he fulfills the Scriptures.  Just read his interaction with Sabbath alone.  He intentionally breaks the Sabbath {if you’re reading through Luke with us, you saw this} to make the point that Sabbath is not about taking a day to rest.  Sabbath is about finding true rest for your soul in a person whose name is Jesus.  He is what Sabbath was a shadow and He is what Sabbath is pointing to.  He is the true home for exiles.  He is both the judge and the defender.  He is the ultimate covenant saying you are now found and shaped by my sacrifice and my blood.  He IS the kingdom and everything that God is working towards and lifting up!  When Jesus speaks of being the fulfillment, he’s not meaning he accomplishes every command exactly as it was written, but that he completes the story of God’s redemption and love for humankind with his own body given and his blood shed.  That’s what he means.

I think a lot of us are looking for Mustang.  We read the Bible and we’re looking for answers that the Bible doesn’t even ask questions about.  And we don’t read it nuanced enough and we don’t read it intentional enough to see that the entire point of it is Jesus.  That he stands above it all.  He IS the point.  The word became flesh and dwelt among us.  In it we see love declared, sin atoned for and forgiven, and mission accomplished.  Jesus is what God has to say.  Jesus is what God is like.  And Jesus is the completed mission of God.  Therefore, the Bible leads us to:  A person to walk with, not a program to follow.  The Bible leads us to:  A community to belong to, not commandments to execute.  And I would say not PRIMARILY commandments to execute, because you’re going to go Paulson, are we suppose to follow the Bible?  Yes and amen.  Please come back next week, we’re going to talk all about that.  But the fact that you eat shellfish shows me that’s not as easy a question to answer as we might think it is.  The invitation is to a community to belong to, rather than just….well, what does it say…I’m going to do that.  No.  It’s a part of being a part of a community that preaches and speaks and encounters the Living Word, Jesus the Messiah.  And it’s a story to be found in, not strategies to implement.  I think a lot of us are looking for Mustang.  We’re driving down the road……   We open the Bible every single day and we drive right by the point.  The point is a person and his name is Jesus and he invites us to walk with him, to know him, to encounter him, not just to find evidence that would suggest that he existed.  That’s all there, but that’s not the point.  The point isn’t evidence, the point is encounter.  The point isn’t information, it’s invitation.  We can have all the information in the world…..and miss the point.  Because the point is a person! Always has been, according to Jesus, and always will be.  The point has a name.  His name is Jesus.  He, and he alone, sits enthroned above the universe.  Angels and saints bow down and they worship Him.  You and I join with ALL of creation in giving Him honor and glory.  He is the point of ALL of God’s creation….including the Holy Scriptures.  They point us to the Living Word better than anything else.  The Living Word’s name is Jesus the Messiah.  Read to know and encounter Him.  Let’s pray.

Jesus, it’s all about you.  You’re sufficient.  You’re enough.  You’re good.  Lord, in the difficulty in trying to understand how the whole Bible works together to point to you, would you open our eyes?  Would you shed grace on us that we might, not only understand, that’s really important, but Jesus, would you help us to see? Because we know that the same voice that spoke into darkness and created light, also speaks into our lives. You often speak into our lives through your Word and your Spirit illuminating your Word and we pray would you just continue to do that.  The same voice that spoke light into darkness would shine on our hearts and ultimately that you would show us the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  It’s all about Him.  Lord, help us know You through your Scriptures.  It’s in the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.