Since so many people heard the message that Jesus brought into the world, we have more than sufficient evidence to confirm His birth and His life. In John 1, we are told “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”. Jesus, the second Person of the Trinity became a living human being in every aspect except sin. The angels brought this message to the shepherds and it was confirmed by the many signs and wonders that Jesus did while here on earth. Then at the crucifixion of Jesus every sin ever committed or that ever will be committed was poured into Him. Those sins were properly punished by His death as His blood poured out from His body. After the Resurrection, Jesus was seen by many people and then His message was again confirmed by miraculous acts from God. The believers spoke the words given to them by the Holy Spirit. Amazing, awesome things happened as the disciples spoke the truth and thousands upon thousands were saved. That same miracle-working power is still available to us today. God has given each of us a spiritual gift that we are to use for His glory and the edification of His church. Our lack of faith and refusal to believe that God is the “same yesterday, today, and tomorrow” has limited God in what He can do now, just as the children of Israel limited what He could do in their wilderness journey.
17 And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them.– Romans 16:17
From the first century church until now, there have been those who use the Gospel for their own benefit. No matter what size the congregation, satan seems to always have one of his minions involved. Whether they are misleading people for financial gain, power or popularity, the reason really doesn’t matter. We must be aware of anyone whose message doesn’t quite align with the scriptures. Even more dangerous are those whose words ring true but their actions do not agree with what they say. These people are usually easy on the eyes and their speech is very eloquent. It is extremely hard for the flesh to resist them. But, as we have learned, following them leads to death. Sometimes spiritual death, other times both spiritual and physical death. We need to pray for discernment so that we will be aware of these deceivers. We are warned over and over in the Bible that these people will abound more and more as the second coming of our Lord and Savior grows ever nearer.12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.— Jude 12-13
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
2 For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you.
On the day of salvation, I helped you.”
Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.
— 2 Corinthians 6:2
Why God chooses to use ordinary people to spread His Word is one of the mysteries of Christianity. Throughout the Bible, we find God choosing shepherds and other common folk to deliver His message to the people. He takes those people and puts them through His training program and makes great leaders of them. Moses was born to an Israelite woman, raised in an Egyptian culture as a prince but had to become nothing before God could use Him. He learned to trust God in the wilderness. Joseph spent years in prison being trained for his position as the second most powerful man in the world. David was the youngest in the family of Jesse. He was not even allowed to go to war with his brothers. God used the years that David spent as a shepherd for His training. Each of these men and many more spent time in God’s training program preparing for the “one day” when they would lead Israel back to God’s protection again. For that “day of salvation”. He raised up women as well, there is Deborah, Esther, Ruth and Mary. Each just common ordinary folk until God touched them and prepared them for that “one day of salvation”. Which one of us ordinary folk has God chosen to be the next messenger of salvation? Which of us is in training at this very moment to lead our nation back to God to experience that “day of salvation”? Are you that person and is today that day? Every Christian is that person and today is the day.
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. — Titus 2:11-14 NIV
When Jesus was born, “the grace of God that brings salvation appeared to all men”. The location and situation may not have been glorious from a human point of view, but from a heavenly point of view it was celebrated. A bright, magnificient star was placed in the sky and His birth was heralded to shepherds by an angel speaking to them. That angel was joined by a host of heavenly angels praising the birth of this Jesus.
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” — Luke 2:13, 14 NIV
I think it is safe to assume that there was a huge party going on in heaven. After all, the Creator of the universe had just fathered a Son. This Son would spend His time teaching us that “we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age”. He came in the flesh to give Himself “to redeem us and to purify for Himself His own special people”. These people (Christians) would be zealous to do good works. By His lifestyle and His death, He showed us the true meaning of love. Not just for a day, not just for a season, but every day 24/7/365.25.
38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.– Acts 10:38 NKJV
That is the example He set for us, to make “doing good” our lifestyle, not just a day or a seasonal event, but the complete and only reason He came to earth. And He is still here living inside us. It wasn’t just for a day or for thirty-three years, it was for eternity.
30 “Why, that’s very strange!” the man replied. “He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know anything about him! 31 Well, God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. 32 Never since the world began has anyone been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he couldn’t do it.” 34 “You were born in sin!” they answered. “Are you trying to teach us?” And they threw him out of the synagogue. 35 When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and said,”Do you believe in the Son of Man?”—John 9:30-35 (NLT)
This blind man that Jesus had healed had become very bold. He tells the Pharisees and the religious leaders that it is strange that they, of all people, would not know something about this man. After all, they were the teachers of the law, they were the shepherds that were supposed to lead and take care of the flock. How could they possibly not know anything about a man who could heal people? He also tells them that God is ready to hear those who worship Him and do His will. No one has ever opened the eyes of a person born blind. Only a man sent from God could do that. This angered the leaders even more, to the extent that they cast him out of the synagogue, telling him that he had been born in sin. At least, they got that part right.
At this point, the former blind man might have been wondering why the leaders had so many questions and so few answers. He was probably feeling like he needed a friend. But, as always, when we need a friend, Jesus shows up. He is still showing up today. Jesus is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother. And, yes, He is still asking us the same question He asked this man, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”