Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Proclaiming the Messiah
Acts 5:42 And every day in the temple and at home they did not cease to teach and proclaim Jesus as the Messiah.
The Apostles had already faced many obstacles when it came to proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah. The religious officials were hounding them, wanting them to stop. They were threatened with imprisonment and beatings, and yet, they counted that a privilege. They had fallen in love with Jesus and were now serving him, whether in difficulty or in ease. None of that mattered to them because they were so filled with the Holy Spirit that they could not stop talking about Jesus! Every single day and everywhere they went, in formal and in informal settings, they proclaimed “Jesus as the Messiah.”
What is my table conversation like?
Is Jesus proclaimed in my home?
My husband and I are blessed to the parents of two incredible daughters and some of the best theological discussions we have ever had occurred around our kitchen table. I will be forever indebted to our dear Russian friends who taught us a great deal about community and the fellowship of sitting around a table and enjoying discussion. It was around Russian kitchen tables that the gospel of Jesus Christ continued to be spread, even during the dark years of communism.
The disciples learned to use every means possible to tell people about the Messiah. Yes, there was the place of the Temple where they would publicly preach, but then there were the homes where they would converse with people over spiritual matters. I’m afraid that too often we believe that spiritual teaching should be confined to the pulpit and not spill out around the dinner table! However, returning to our daughters, I believe it was probably around the dinner table where they received their greatest spiritual formation. We tried not to be in too big of a hurry to get away from the table, but to sit back, relax and ask about their day in school. There were times that they were puzzled by the things their teachers had presented to them, and there we could sit together and wrestle over the questions that they were mulling over in their minds. Day after day we would talk about spiritual matters and what that was supposed to look like in our daily lives.
What would it look like if every follower of Jesus Christ made it a matter of habit to proclaim Jesus every day? I don’t mean in an obnoxious kind of way — like with a bullhorn at a ballgame! No, I am suggesting that teaching and proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah became like breathing to Jesus’ disciples. They couldn’t help oozing Jesus because they were so filled with him. Therefore, whether engaged in “formal” teaching, or “informal” they were continually sharing about Jesus. It just became normal to them and when we are filled to the brim with Jesus it should become the norm for us as well. Jesus should simply drip from every part of our being. The scripture says “they did not cease to teach and proclaim.” I would like to suggest they COULD not cease! They were just too overcome with Jesus.
May Jesus so fill us today that we too find it impossible to not talk about him. May he be proclaimed at our dinner tables. May he be spoken of in our homes. May Jesus ooze from us as we step out into the world today.
Lord, please fill me to overflowing today. Amen.