By Liu Fang, China
When it comes to the name Messiah, we will naturally associate it with the Lord. After the Pharisees of that time heard the prophecies of the coming of the Messiah, they employed their bountiful imaginations based on the literal meaning of the prophecies. In their mind, since the prophecies said that the Messiah would come to rule, then He must have a heroic bearing and commanding presence, He must be extraordinary and different from others, and, moreover, He must be born into a royal palace and after growing up, He would be as brave as David in battles so that He would lead His people to drive the Romans out of Israel, ending their suffering of being ruled by the Romans.
However, when thecame, He wasn’t called the Messiah, nor was He born into a palace as they had imagined. Instead, He was born in a manger and lived in a very average carpenter’s home. His external appearance was not as majestic and extraordinary as the Pharisees had imagined, but was very ordinary and normal. He did not lead the Israelites to overthrow the rule of the Romans but walked among the people, preaching the way of repentance, and teaching them to practice forgiveness and tolerance and loving others as themselves. When this ordinary and practical Messiah appeared among the Israelites and was not compatible with the Pharisees’ conceptions and imaginations, they couldn’t accept Him but stubbornly held on to their own notions and imaginations, and they didn’t seek to listen to God’s voice with a humble heart. As a result, based on the excuse that the Lord Jesus said He was the , they nailed Him to the cross, committing a monstrous sin, offending God’s righteous disposition, and were subject to God’s punishment—the destruction of Israel.
Some people reacted the exact opposite. They had once been full of fantasies about the coming Messiah, but when the Lord Jesus came to carry out His work, they recognized through the Lord Jesus’ words and work that the He was the coming Messiah, even though His appearance didn’t conform to their conceptions and imaginations. For example: The Samaritan woman recognized that the Lord Jesus was the Messiah when the Lord Jesus spoke out her secret, for she knew that only God observes the depths of man’s heart. Nathanael recognized that He was the Messiah after the Lord Jesus spoke out what he had done under the fig tree. Besides, Peter, John, and other disciples were able to put aside their own imaginations, and practically sought and investigated the work and words of the Lord Jesus, through which they recognized God’s voice and confirmed that the Lord Jesus was the Messiah. This is how they followed the Lord Jesus and received His salvation and blessings in the end.
Now in the last days, we are waiting for the return of the Lord Jesus just as the Israelites at that time waited for the Messiah. Theprophesies: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20). “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (Jhn 16:12-13). In the Book of Revelation there are also several mentions that “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev Chapter 2-3). And “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1Pe 4:17). “He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (Jhn 12:48). From these prophecies, we can clearly see that when the Lord Jesus returns, He will speak and utter His words. God’s sheep can hear God’s voice. When they hear God’s voice, they will go out to welcome Him and thereby can come before God. Now the prophecies about the Lord Jesus’ return have basically been fulfilled and many people are openly testifying online that the Lord Jesus has returned and done a step of work of judging, chastising and purifying people. Facing all this, how should we treat the prophecies about the Lord Jesus’ return? What attitude should we take toward welcoming His return in the last days to avoid walking the Pharisees’ path of failure?
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