Behind The Motions

We know the life of Jesus through the different accounts of the three years of His public ministry. But with the lessons we learn from them, it seems that we are hardly changed.

It's interesting that the Bible never tells us He was rushing through them. It's us who are the ones rushing through Him. We learn all we could in the quickest way possible, but do we really understand what it means? 

That's why it's best to take everything slowly. We get to know the details so that we can apply the lessons learned from there well.

There are several important moments from His life we can learn. And as said, we are to take them deeply. So with this, here are these accounts:

1. the birth of Jesus in a manger
We know this story. But it's pretty amazing that He, who is even bigger than the galaxy, shows His willingness to make Himself a tiny egg or a microscopic sperm. Added to that, He chose to be born in a manger, rather than just a royal palace or somewhere elegant.

Not only that, He chose to become human like us. It's something beyond imagination. And it's all because He had to do what He needed to do. He needed to do His part in restoring the relationship between God and man that was separated by sin. His death on the cross is the only way possible. This act shows His humility. And through His humility, He is given glory.

2. Jesus and the Samaritan woman
This is a well-known story of  Jesus revealing Himself to this woman in the well, but it's more than just that. Jesus breaks tradition during those days. He chose to talk to a Samaritan, which is forbidden since Jews and Samaritans don't associate with each other. He chose to talk to a woman, which is a no-no. He chose to ask water from a woman, which is also a no-no.

Jesus also uses the power of mystery to the woman. He introduces Himself in that manner in order for her curiosity would work in knowing about the Messiah. From here, it goes to show that Jesus is a redeeming God. He knew about where she came from, but in spite of this He shows her there is unconditional acceptance and always a fresh new start in life.

3. the calling of Matthew as a disciple
Matthew is one of Jesus' disciples. Before he was a disciple, he was a tax collector. Tax collectors at that time were the most hated. They overcharge people and cream the profits off the top for themselves. With this, they are seen as socially & morally corrupt they make a living through defrauding others of money.

When the call came, he just followed. He wasn't told to change his lifestyle. He was accepted as he was. And it must have been a gracious moment until he became the person he is known now. But his Gospel account teaches us a valuable lesson about the being of God. It is the unconditional acceptance of people regardless of who they are. His treatment of kindness can turn even into the heart of someone to be a new person.

4. Jesus calms the storm
This is a story where we all learn that all it takes is faith in Him. But can we fully apply this learning when the storms of life strike us? This account serves as a reminder that no matter how far we have gone in our spiritual journey, it's difficult to be completely filled by faith all the time.

When facing these, it's important to know that God never promised to never see a storm in life. But in spite of this, He promised that He will be with us in the storm. If He can calm the storms of the sea in one word, He can calm the storms of life as well. And He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it. That is an assurance we can trust and rely on.

5. Jesus and the woman bleeding for 12 years
This is one of the well-known miracles of Jesus recorded in the Gospel accounts. But there is a key point we can learn from here. Considering that she has been in that condition for long and she has tried every possible way to be healed but worked to no avail, there's that desperation to be healed and determination to do so when she heard of Jesus being on His way to heal a dying daughter of an official.

When that big moment came when Jesus asked who touched Him, it must have been heart-pounding for her. She risked everything to make her confession of faith, This same faith that empowered her to stretch out her hand now gave her the strength to step forward. But it was a good thing that Jesus came to affirm, not to accuse. And with that, her faith was rewarded. This is a faith that stands out.

6. the arrest of John the Baptist
John the Baptist is known for paving the way of the coming Messiah. He had a strong conviction for His beliefs and principles, especially when facing the religious leaders of those times. But when the point came that he was arrested by Herod, there's a question that floats: Why would he have to face this though what he fought was right?

His hopes must have been down. But when he heard about Jesus' miracles, I'm pretty sure that he had his hopes rise again. So if there are things we can learn from here, it's that he has a whole-hearted faith in Christ. He shows that anyone can be a strong witness for Him and that our faith should stand firm no matter what the circumstances. Now that is a face worth emulating.

7. the resurrection of Lazarus
This is an account that shows how God works in strange ways. Lazarus is the one of the people He loves. And upon hearing the news about Lazarus' condition, He stayed for two more days. But he explained that it will be for God's glory and for the disciples to believe. These will manifest as the story goes.

Lazarus' sisters were affected, most especially Mary. But the remarkable thing in here was that Jesus wept. There must be something about sorrow. From here, it shows that it's okay to express our honest disappointment with God. But it's wrong to let depression start to control us and let us stop trusting Him. And as seen, His purposes have been fulfilled, and there's that trust rising. This is faith in a different level.

8. Jesus washes the disciples' feet
The disciples must have been shocked by what Jesus did. This is a dirty job usually performed by the lowest ranking person in the room, and this is a task no one wanted to do. He is their Leader, yet he does what a servant does. This all point to two things: humility and servanthood. It is one of the best traits He has that we can emulate. And through that, we can be greatly blessed.

9. Jesus' death
This account is where we see prophecy fulfilled. We see things that are to happen for the restoration of God's relationship with mankind. If there's something we need to be reminded from here, it's that the cross shows us how much He loves us. We deserve death because we are sinners, but Jesus was willing to take the price for us. It's a love unimaginable, but worth it. If it weren't for it, we wouldn't receive the salvation we have from Him now.

10. Jesus' resurrection
Only Jesus can do this. He overcame death through His resurrection. The disciples must have been into mixed emotions from here. He told disciples over and over about what would happen to the Messiah, and his disciples refused to accept. When He suffered, his disciples were hopeful that divine intervention would come, but there wasn't. When they buried Him, they thought He wasn't the Messiah they expected Him to be. But all changed when He resurrected, and they were stunned and astonished.

It goes to show that God's plan had been fulfilled through Jesus' death. And we have experienced this when we accepted Him as Lord and Savior. We died to our old self and resurrected to a new self. But it doesn't end there. It continues on until we meet Jesus at the end of the road. So from here, we continue on.