It is so easy to create God in our image that we lose sight of Who He truly is.
John 18:4 – Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?
In our Text for Today, we find Jesus, after three hours of prayer in the garden of Gethsemane, being confronted by troop of temple guards supplied by the high priest and Pharisees, and led to Jesus by Judas Iscariot. They had come to arrest Him, desiring to put and end to His ministry. Judas Iscariot had already indicated to them that the man he kissed was the one they wanted. Coming into the garden, they found Jesus with His disciples, likely returning to Jerusalem after His prayer time. I can only imagine His appearance. He had prayed earnestly, sweating profusely for three hours in intense prayer. The pressure on Him was so great that His blood pressure had increased to the point that blood was actually flowing forth through sweat pores, mingling with His sweat, and mixing with the dust on His face where He had fallen on His face in prayer. He surely looked like a man who had been in a blood-letting fight for his life. This is the appearance of the man Judas Iscariot kissed, thus identifying Him to the temple escort he brought with Him as Jesus. Apparently, they still were reluctant to take hold of Him, so He asked them, “Whom seek ye?” Their response was clear; “Jesus of Nazareth.” And His response was just as clear; “I am He.”
My point in describing this scene it this. Jesus had been with them daily for the past week, teaching and healing every day in the Temple. They knew what He looked like. Yet at the point in time they came for Him, His appearance was already so marred they did not recognize Him. It is to that end that I offer the following query. Have we been with Him for so long, so frequently, that we no longer count His presence as something to be strongly sought, prized, treasured, and lovingly desired? Have we become so accustomed to our “routine” church services that we fail to recognize His true presence? Have we created an image of our King that is so commercial that we would not recognize Him outside the special lighting, without the culturally acceptable music, and in a time frame that demands our attention for more than 15 or 20 minutes? I realize this is not the case in all churches, but I assure that some or all of the description I have just offered can be easily found in so many of our churches today, not just in America, but around the world. I encourage you with all my heart, Jesus hasn’t changed, though we certainly have. get to know Him afresh, as He is, and let us believe and work together to see the glory He has given us restored in our lives, homes, and churches.
Manna for Today – John 18:1-11; Matthew 7:7; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8