25 Devotions – Day Eight

The Native: The Shepherd King

Luke 7:11-17
11 And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.
12 Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow:and much people of the city was with her.
13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.
14 And he came and touched the bier:and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.
16 And there came a fear on all:and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.
17 And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.

There are four words I’d like to focus on in this event in the life of Jesus. They are Nain, Widow, Not, and Rumor. The first comes from a Greek word for beauty. It says that the word is originally from a Hebrew word meaning pasture. In the definition it uses a phrase, “abode of shepherd”.

This village, located at the mountain called Little Hermon was not far from Nazareth. This lady, and her son had lived in the vicinity of the Shepherd King for an untold period of time. They spent their lives in a place known as beauty, and pasture, oblivious of the fact that He was so near.

When we look at the word widow, it’s definition appears very obvious. However, the translator added a footnote that gave a new insight to it. It explained that, metaphorically, a city stripped of its inhabitants, and it’s riches, is represented in the figure of a widow.

It’s no coincidence that to this day, when we think of Nain, we think of her. The Scripture even says that much people of the city was with her. You see it wasn’t only the Widow who needed a miracle. The city needed a Shepherd.

The problem is of course, Shepherds don’t usually live in cities. They may pass through them, but Shepherds are usually found in the fields. There were exceptions, one in particular comes to mind. It was a different city, Jerusalem by name, that had a resident Shepherd. His name was David. What Nain probably didn’t know, was that this Shepherd and that one had a lot more in common than a birthplace called Bethlehem.

The Root and The Offspring Of David didn’t wonder into this city. If you’ll excuse the pun, He flocked to it. You see, The Shepherd always goes where the sheep are hurting. He went there to quiet the cries of a Mother. I find it interesting that, not too far in the future, another Mother would need her tears wiped away. That Momma would be His own.

There is no reference of an interaction with Joseph the Carpenter after The Lord is twelve years old. While we don’t know for certain, it is highly possible that Joseph passed before Christ started His Ministry. If that’s the case, the One who returned the widow’s son to her, may have been the Son of a widow Himself.

We know that God is strategic, we know His first Miracle was at the wedding in Cana. That means, if Joseph died before that, He had to stand by His own grieving Mother and allow it to happen. We feel helpless so many times when we are powerless to change something. Can you imagine how hard it was to have the power to alter something and have to let it happen for our sakes? The timing of the start of His Ministry was no accident, it was ordained.

When the reference is to a Shepherd, I can’t help it, Psalm 23 comes to my mind. It also brings with it a problem. If the city Nain, in the Hebrew means pasture, then we have an issue. According to Psalms 23, there is rest in the pasture.

Death is in a valley, not on the side of a mountain. Like the Widow, what do you do when your mountain turns into a valley? It is then that you need someone who knows how to deal with tragedy, no matter where it happens, or what it is.

If you are already in a battle when a crisis occurs, it’s not easy, but you’re a little prepared. What do you do when one minute you’re on the mountain of victory, and the next you’re picking up the pieces of a broken future? That is when you need The One who returned Isaac safely to Abraham on Mount Moriah.

He had compassion on the Widow. He had compassion, told her to weep not, and touched the coffin. The word not there is translated “God forbid.” Need I say more? Death, you may one day part these two, but not today, and not this way! To paraphrase, The Lord Jesus was saying, “If it had happened yesterday, you may have gotten away with it. If you had tried, it may have worked. The problem is that today is the day of Salvation!”

The people carrying the dead stopped, and then He spoke. Christ didn’t come to only raise the dead, but to alter the route of those heading for the grave yard. If you’re on your way to trouble, I would advise you to stop and listen to The Master speak. He will not only save, He will prevent some battles, when we listen.

Jesus said, “Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.” Notice that, He didn’t just say Arise. He said “Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.” First, He never spoke to death. Death had the young man, but the only recorded conversation between Christ and death was reported by Paul later. “O death where is thy sting?”

This tells me that death had no choice in the matter. God spoke to the soul of the young man. He returned him to his body. Whatever is holding you, has no power to keep you, once The Master releases you. That doesn’t mean we won’t fight battles, but it does mean that our victory is secured!

Second, He was saying to the young man, “You need to know who is speaking. This isn’t a hireling talking, this is The Messiah. The same One who created life, still knows how to restore it. The Lord Jesus is still powerful enough to walk into the trial that you think will bury you, and turn it into a celebration.

John 1:1
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Last of all, is verse seventeen, and the word rumor. The amazing thing is that the Greek for rumor here, shares it’s meaning with a word found in John’s first chapter. The word rumor comes from Logos, just like in John one concerning The Word.

Too often, I’ve wondered why a battle had to happen, or why I had to face a certain trial. That was until the completion brought The Gospel to another soul. Judaea comes from Judah, which means Praise. If you’re fighting for your survival, and can’t understand why you’re facing what you are, take courage. Perhaps the tears you’re crying isn’t for you, but for someone who needs to see you still abiding in the city, even when it’s far from easy.

God wants His word to feel every heart, that is why He endured Calvary. If my trial will further The Gospel, then let us walk it with joy. Joy, not for the suffering, but for the result. The Lord wants every man and woman to know what it feels like to go from death to life. To meet their new Mother called the Church, and to rejoice in the kingdom of The Shepherd King!

iPainting Letter Writing Day 2017

Today is Letter Writing Day, and while no one seems to know how it started, it’s a great idea.  Write, text, or email a friend Today something kind. Let them know they’re not alone.

Watercolor And Poem A Child Of Hope

Poem A Child Of Hope

A Child of hope,

A Vessel of Light,

Seeing Farther in scope,

Than one Bethlehem night,

Knowing one day,

Star filled skies,

Would soon give way,

To cruel men’s cries,

As The One born this night,

Turned His darkest hour,

Into Salvation bright,

Unlocking Life’s tower,

With Timbers crossed,

And an empty tomb,

Willingly paying the cost,

Conquering death and making room,

To those who answer His call,

So unlike the inn that turned away,

Hope offered to one and all,

An eternal place to stay.

25 Devotions – Day Seven

The Native: The Gypsy Robe

Psalms 24:7-10
7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
8 Who [is] this King of glory? The LORD and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift [them] up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he [is] the King of glory. Selah

The Jews had formed their opinion of what The Messiah would look like. Prophecy after prophecy had been passed down. They felt they would know Him when they saw Him. Israel longed for a Conquering King. One that would sweep in, and flood Rome out of existence. They expected Jerusalem to rule the known world. Israel wasn’t looking for a Shepherd to reveal the unknown, and to open up the Eternal.

John 7:46

46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.

I suppose that the twelve year old setting in the Temple was not what they had expected. If He had looked like David, perhaps they could have understood better. Young David had killed a lion, and a bear. This was a Carpenter’s Apprentice. To look at Him, was not to see the regal King they wanted, ah, but when He spoke.

The Bible says that He both asked, and answered questions of the Doctors. Is it possible that some of those veterans said, “He doesn’t look like what I expected?”  If so, they followed it with, “He sounds like more than I could have ever hoped!”

It’s not unusual for a King to hide in pauper’s clothing. To visit His subjects, He donned a fleshly robe. To borrow from the theater, He donned what they would call a Gypsy Robe.

In the American theater, specifically Broadway musicals, there is a tradition that dates back to the fifties. It started with members of the chorus, or ensemble. They were known as Gypsies, because they passed from one show to another.

Theater people consider this to be a good luck charm. The youngest recipient was twelve year old Brynn Williams in 2005. The member of the chorus, or ensemble, who has been in the most shows is awarded it.

The robe is then  passed on to another actor in another show, until the robe was filled. Then it would be retired at one of three locations, including the Smithsonian.

Matthew 2:15

15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

The word Gypsy is appropriate because of the history surrounding it’s meaning.   Groups of the Romani people were mistakenly referred to as Gypsies, thinking they originated in Egypt. The legend is that they were exiled as punishment for harboring the infant Jesus. While this is probably just a myth, the analogy is apt.

We were spiritually trapped in Egypt, bound and scarred, needing someone to rescue us.  To do that, He had to become one of us.The Lord Jesus spent thirty three and a half years on this Earth in a robe of flesh.

For the majority of that time, He limited Himself to the boundaries of mankind.  As a man He slept, as a man He ate. On the outside, He looked like everyone else.  The Robe was accomplishing it’s mission. It concealed His greatness until He was ready to reveal it.

Then, at a Wedding in Cana, it started.  From there, people realized that He was unlike any other.  At 12, The Doctors of the Law had gotten a preview of what was now unfolding. As God, He raised the dead, walked on water, and healed the leper. God in a Gypsy robe walked among men.  He revealed something far greater than an Earthly King, the revelation of an Eternal Savior!

The Ruler Of Heaven, wrapped in a fleshly robe, born in Bethlehem to die for us. Prophets had simply passed away. Moses transitioned to Joshua. They all said goodbye, folding up their earthly robes and closing their eyes. Jesus was different. Unlike David, He didn’t need His own grave. Jesus borrowed one from Joseph of Arimathaea. He used it for three days and three nights, and gave it back.

Jesus said, “…lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.”  Jesus went to the grave to destroy our sins. He walked out of it to give us a new life. He put on a Gypsy Robe so that one day, we could put on an Eternal one.

1 Corinthians 15: 53-54

53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.

54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

Barley Candy And Chicken Bones

“Barley candy and chicken bones for Christmas, it’s a Canadian tradition. It’s stick sugar candy that looks like Santa and Snowmen.” Zack told an unbelieving Emiko. “In Tokyo we drink barley tea, and eat fried chicken on Christmas.”

This dumbfounded Zack. “What do you eat for dessert, tuna ice cream?” Which he knew she had tried, but didn’t care for.

“It’s a whole lot better than fruit cake I’ll tell you that. Christmas dessert for us is what you call Strawberry Shortcake. Sponge cake shaped like a Christmas tree, with strawberries and whip cream.”

Zack smiled at his college bride. They had dated for six months before he proposed, and had planned a small wedding, with mostly family and a few friends. Through no fault of them, or their family, only friends made it to the wedding.

An emergency landing kept Emiko’s parents from making the ceremony. Thankfully they were all right. Zach’s Mom and Dad were both doctors at the same hospital, and emergency surgeries called them back at the last minute.

The couple had tried to postpone, but each parent insisted that the wedding not be ruined. The wedding was beautiful, and the Zach and Emiko’s friends had photographed and videoed every aspect of the wedding for each set of parents.

Anne and Marty, Aika and Hisashi had both felt horrible about it. So they reached out to the others and came with an idea to make it up to the two young people. They had went on a small honeymoon, putting most of the money towards a future home.

The Hobbs and Ishikawa families promised to give the couple a Christmas trip to anywhere they wanted. Now Zack and Emiko were dreaming of where that would be. They ruled out place by place, as they realized that this was one of those once in a lifetime family memory trips.

Family Memory Trips were what Marty had always called those adventures that Zack and his family talked about years later. Like the time they had went to Colorado to ski. It was the most fun he remembered anyone having with a broken leg.

His Dad had fell off the ski lift the first day, but he did his best to keep everyone else laughing. He didn’t find out til years later that his Dad was in severe pain, but didn’t want to ruin everyone’s trip.

Then there was the time they went camping in September. They didn’t tell the kids, but the reason for that trip were cut backs at the hospital, which eliminated the vacation budget that year. The kids didn’t know the difference.

Emiko listened for awhile, then added her own stories. Her Dad opened his own business when she was 13, and worked a lot of long hours. Still, for her birthday, he closed the shop, and spent the entire day with the family. He didn’t say anything, but her Mom told her he had lost a major client because of this.

Then she talked about the time her Mom had went through major surgery. That Christmas, they expected to be very low key, but her Mom decorated every room in the house. Story after story, they realized the sacrifices their parents had made for them.

“We can’t take the trip we were thinking about a few minutes ago can we?” Zack said, knowing her answer. “No, but we can do something much better.” As she picked up her phone to text her brother.

That night they both talked to their siblings, and worked out a plan. Instead of a major trip to some exotic place, they chose a small bed and breakfast near their home. Hank Crenshaw cut the price he charged Zack’s parents to almost nothing, just enough they hoped, for Marty not to make the connection. They split the remaining cost of the rooms with Sally, Zack’s sister.

Emiko called the local travel agent, and orchestrated her parents booking their tickets through her. Her brothers helped them with the cost for Aika and Hisashi.

Each set of parents didn’t say anything to them, but they were both suspicious. Still, they had promised to do whatever the kids wanted. So the four of them prepared for the Christmas trip.

Each were a little disappointed when the other siblings made excuses to keep their parents from buying their tickets. The two couples arrived a little sad, afraid the whole family wouldn’t be together for Christmas. It was a week before Christmas, but the kids had a plan.

Zack and Emiko knew they were the offspring of mystery lovers and crossword enthusiasts, so they had to give them an ‘aha’ moment without spoiling the entire surprise. So, when they got in the car that had been sent for them from the airport, Emiko’s oldest brother was the driver.

When they got to the hotel, Zack’s sister greeted them from the desk, where the hotel clerk would normally have been. Over the course of the first hour, each child surprised the parents with their presence. This was sure, they reasoned, to throw the four off their guard.

The next few days were a whirlwind of activity. Zack and Emiko had planned different things, but those turned out not to be more monotonous than memorable. It was the unexpected moments that became special.

Marty couldn’t sleep that night because of his acid reflux, so he slipped downstairs to sit in the lobby and look at the decorations. Zack’s sister got her Mother’s looks, but her Father’s stomach. She was popping antacids as she walked down the steps. “Dad, why are you up?”

Seeing the pills in her hand replied. “I didn’t have those. Share with your Father.” Then after a few minutes he pulled out his phone. Sally was disappointed for a minute, afraid the special moment would be ruined by distraction.

“I’m not tweeting, I’m getting your brother and his pre-middle aged stomach out of bed to join us.” It took three rings, but soon he joined them, unshaven and hair out of place, still smiling.

The three of them didn’t go to bed until long after the antacids had kicked in. The only detriment was, breakfast became brunch for everyone the next morning, precautionary meds were the first course. Late nights were one thing, burping up dinner was another.

After this, Aika and Anne decided they were going shopping. The men thought they’d stay back while all the girls attacked the mall. The ladies didn’t think so. For love of their spouses, Hisashi, Genzo, Haruto, Zack, and Tom, Sally’s husband, all went to a mall before Christmas.

These are the men who ordered everything online two months ahead just to avoid this nightmare. They walked into every store, were attentive as the women found nothing to wear, then carried the bags of “nothing” all through the mall.

Coffees, popcorn, and all sorts of sweets were sampled. Pictures were taken with Santa, and yes, they all waited in line for an hour to get the pictures. The men even purchased the ugliest Christmas sweaters they could find. Much to the detriment of each spouse. It was a wonderful afternoon.

That night, Zack surprised them all with a sleigh ride through the snow that he had scheduled. It was ok, but forgettable, until Tom lost his balance getting out of the sleigh, and tumbled into the snow.

That sparked a snowball fight, started by Genzo’s wife, Mina, which turned out to be the highlight of the night. It was another late night, only this time everyone joined in. Soon it was Christmas Day, and everyone gathered for a huge feast, spontaneous holiday karaoke, with very bad, off key, wonderful noise, and gifts.

True to tradition, the parents insisted the kids go first. The four had pooled their resources to give Zack and Emiko got two tickets to Hawaii. The parents had guessed the plan, and planned accordingly.

Not to treat the daughter any differently, Sally and Tom got the European trip they had dreamed about. Aika and Hisashi got their two sons, and daughter-in-laws each a trip. One to Alaska, and the other to Australia.

The last few years had been good to the elder Hobbs and Ishikawa’s businesses. They were able to give their kids what they hadn’t been able to years before. Each had raised good children, and were now able to reward the wonderful adults they had become.

After the money they knew had been spent on this special trip, they didn’t really expect large gifts from the kids. An while they weren’t that expensive, they were very special.

Marty got a banjo from Zack. Though an old one, it was a fairly inexpensive, used one, with one special feature. Zack had found it online, then brought it with him to a local bookstore to get an autograph from a musician that he knew his Dad loved. The banjo player had just wrote a book, which was the reason for Zack’s purchase of the banjo.

He knew his Dad would love an autographed book, but he’d love the autographed banjo more. Zack made sure it was just vintage enough to earn the interest of the musician and author, and he was right. Zach even got a song played by the artist on the banjo, and a video for his Dad.

Marty had tears, not so much at the gift alone, but the love behind it. Anne expected something more commercial, knowing it was hard to capture lightning twice. So she prepared herself for the huge smile, regardless of what was in the box.

What she didn’t expect, was a pack of assorted notes wrapped in ribbon. Confused at first, she recognized the writing almost instantly. It was from her best friend of over thirty years. The next was from another friend she hadn’t seen in almost that long.

“I emailed, called, and text everyone I could get a hold of. You never were much for gadgets, so I thought this may be special to put a little old fashioned into your Christmas. The last few letters are from each of us.”

Anne’s face soon matched Marty’s, as hugs were exchanged to everyone. Emiko handed her Mom her gift first. It was large, and Aika couldn’t figure out what it was. When she opened it though, she was ecstatic.

It was a portrait of her Mother in the traditional Nihonga style. “It was from that old photo you love. I think the artist did a really good job, but it’s unsigned.”

Her Mother laughed through tears. “It doesn’t have to be signed. I recognize my daughter’s brushstrokes. Don’t you know I’ve been a fan of your art since preschool crayons?”

Emiko blushed. Not used to painting this way, she was saving this little tidbit of information until she saw whether or not her Mother liked it. Her Mom insisted she sign it right away. Aika knew her daughter, who like most artists, were never far from their tools.

Emiko handed Hisashi his gift. Like Anne, he was prepared for, not a lesser gift, but a less spectacular one let’s say. He too, was pleasantly surprised. Hisashi, a Jazz fan, opened the box to see an original record and cover of “Ella and Louis”. Plus one of those portable turn table that he could hook to his laptop.

Each of the other siblings had gifts just as special, and the parents treasured each one. A vintage pocket watch for Marty from Sally. Plus, a doctor’s bag from the turn of the century for Anne.

Each of Hisashi and Aika’s boys, and their wives, got their Dad special records, including one of Bing Crosby’s Christmas records. Aika was given a classic typewriter for her office, plus a limited edition fountain pen. After telling each child they spent too much, records were played, and gifts were enjoyed.

The treasure though wasn’t the crackles of vinyl, clackety typewriter keys, or banjo strings. The real art in the room wasn’t even the painting, or the letters. It was the children, each parent looked at their most precious contribution to their legacy. Which was the happy faces of the gifts that God had given them.

Because of a Child, Christmas became a reality. An while no other is quite like Him, I do believe He intended for Christmas to always be filled with children. May your home, and heart, be filled with both Christ and the children, those precious gifts, He gives this Christmas.

Merry Christmas from PruittWrites!

25 Devotions – Day Six

The Native: And It Came To Pass

Luke 2:1

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

We hurry pass them, those first five words, but Isaiah would have paused.  Every Old Testament Saint would have rejoiced with a combination of tears and shouting.  After thousands of years, and numerous prophecies, God was now wrapped in a fleshly body, carried in a Virgin’s womb!

They would have all been at the birth, no one would have missed that night.  Our response is of course, neither would we, but how many calls have we ignored?  We may not be at the manger side, but He has called us to prayer in the night.  At times, we have answered, too many others, we turned over and went back to sleep.  When we say, “I’ll pray for you.”  Do we write it down?  Will we remember it past five minutes later?

Thankfully, though so many overlooked, He still came.  Even though, we have failed at times to heed His invitation, there is still time.  I don’t believe that there is much time left. I believe we are near the end.  If you’re reading this though, let me encourage you. Whether you seek to draw closer, or you’re miles away from His presence, He is still near.

The journey with Jesus starts with a conversation. Like any relationship, there is more to it than that, but it is a beginning.  We call it Repentance.  It’s a first step in every walk with God.  It means that you’re not only sorry for the past sins, since Adam we all have sinned.  It means that you want to leave them behind.  You choose to follow, not the road of man, but the path of God.

Luke 2:10-11

i10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

i11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

If you are scared, for Eternity is a heavy subject, don’t be.  It was the promise of the Angels, “Fear not… For unto you is born this day … a Savior, which is Christ The Lord.” Start your journey today, let Him do for you what He did for Bethlehem.  Christ turned a small, forgotten town into the birthplace of The King Of Kings.  Let Him do the same today for your heart.

25 Devotions – Day Five

The Native: More Than A List Of Names

Day Five…

Matthew 1:4
And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;

Have you ever noticed the two lists, one in Matthew, and the other in Luke? They are genealogies. According to Scofield, Matthew lists Joseph’s lineage, and Luke lists Mary’s family. Luke mentioning Joseph because he was her husband.

Some may wonder why The Lord took time to recite them all. Others may have wanted it to be filled with information about the Infant Christ. The wonderful thing is, God intentionally made a place for what others may think as just a register.

To Him, this is more than a list of names. These were living, breathing members of His family. Men and women that He had walked with, people who committed their lives to God. He would no more forget them than He would ignore us. They are an illustration of His promise, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.

This Christmas, a lot of people are suffering, it’s been a wonderful year, but incredible doesn’t always mean easy. Whatever battles you’ve faced this year, whatever trial you’re dealing with, remember this. He never forgot the names of friends long gone, those covered in the dust of history, so He will remember us.

You and I don’t know much about Aram, but God can tell you what were his greatest dreams, and hardest battles. Every tear that others ignored, The Savior collected. Just like you and I, He carried those tears from a wooden manger to a timber cross. The God who always remembers, made it possible to forgive, and forget all of our sins at Calvary. Casting them, as The Bible says, as far as the east is from the west.

Malachi 3:16-17
16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.
17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

Four hundred years separated The Old Testament and The New Testament, but time didn’t weaken God’s memory. Centuries didn’t destroy God’s promise, nor circumstances alter it. If armies couldn’t stop it then, they can’t silence your hope now.

He remembers you as much as He remembers them. He recalls, He cares, and He will cause you to give birth to your promise. One day, as He did in Matthew and Luke, He will read our names out of The Lamb’s Book Of Life. He loves you and I so much, He wrote down our names! Merry Christmas!

25 Devotions- Day Four

The Native: His First Words

This is the continuing celebration of The Native, in words and pictures.  

Matthew 3:15
And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now:for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

A child’s first words are huge. I would guess that every parent remembers them. We don’t know what The Lord Jesus’ first words were, each Gospel chooses a different phrase to introduce us to The Master’s Voice. In Matthew, He is talking to John The Baptist. Suffer in the original means allow. Jesus is saying, Allow this now, for we are called to fulfill all righteousness.

Mark 1:14-15
14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand:repent ye, and believe the gospel.

The verse before it is very important as well. The catalyst of this setting is John’s imprisonment. In the Hebrew John means “Jehovah Has Graced”, or the Grace Of God. Man had sinned, and fallen into despair and degradation. For us, the possibility of Salvation was non existent before Calvary. That was when The Lord Jesus walked into the center of the world preaching The Gospel.

In Mark He mentions fulfillment again.”The time is fulfilled, The Kingdom Of God is here, repent, and believe the Gospel. ” In other words, Grace is here, it’s time to make a choice, discard your sins, and believe.

Luke 2:49
And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

Luke gives us the earliest words of Jesus, at twelve years old. This is not the bearded face of The Carpenter, this is Christ in transition from boy to teen, the age that began the journey from child to man.

Sought: g2212. ζητεω zeteo; of uncertain affinity; to seek (literally or figuratively); specially, (by Hebraism) to worship (God), or (in a bad sense) to plot (against life):— be (go) about, desire, endeavour, enquire (for), require, (x will) seek (after, for, means).

He made statements in Matthew and Mark, in Luke and John He asks a question. Jesus uses a word, sought. He had experienced it’s meaning, in both a positive and a negative way. The Shepherds and The Wise Men sought to worship Him. Herod sought to kill Him. Every one will seek in some way. Either to join Him, or to attempt to destroy Him out of their life.

The Lord Jesus second sentence clarifies our options. If you seek Me, then it’s going to be about the work of God, the work of Redemption. Everything else is secondary. Jesus later said “Seek ye first The Kingdom Of God, and His righteousness …” Prior to saying it, He lived it.

John 1:38
Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye?– They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day:for it was about the tenth hour.

In the fourth Gospel, He is followed by two disciples of John. They were Andrew and John. His simple question, “What Seek Ye?” The answer, was, where you dwell, or abide. Jesus’ response to them is His answer to us all. “Come and see.” His life, death, and resurrection made it possible for us to be with Him. Something that was impossible until a child cried in Bethlehem.

When you combine the message of all four of “His First Words”, you see The Kingdom’s Mission Statement. The Lord Jesus allowed Himself to go through all that He suffered so that He could impart His righteousness to man. He made it possible for us to choose Heaven as a future. To leave all our sin, and all our past at an altar. To join Him in the work of The Gospel. Asking others in pain, like we were, what are you seeking? When they ask if this is really an option? We can smile with the hope of Heaven, “Come and see.”