Scripture’s hush regarding the first 30 years of Jesus’ life can speak volumes to us if we have ears to listen (see my earlier article here). There is a great feast of the knowledge of God at the table of Christ’s early years as a growing man. Various facets of His family life, the customs of Galilee, the geography of Nazareth, and the religious culture of the Jewish people collectively paint for us an informative picture of what Jesus’ days might have been like. The loud silence heard in these years serves as a unique doorway of fellowship with Him that is foundational to seeing Him rightly in the rest of the gospels.
It’s Passion Week and I haven’t written here in a while, so I figured I’d give you a little bit of what the Lord has been speaking to me. Since the beginning of this year I’ve been intensely focused in studying the gospels and the life of Jesus. Through my study, I’ve realized that the gospels cannot simply be another item on my Christian checklist. If Christianity is biblically defined as conformity of my life to Jesus' life, than the story of His life can never be exhausted of its relevance for growing in intimacy with Him and becoming like Him. The story of His life is important to me because He is important to me.
In the last two articles (read them here and here), I’ve written about how every choice, word, action, and moment of our lives should not end in self-exaltation but rather rebound to the glory of Christ. In today’s potently narcissistic culture, modern Christianity has presented a version of Jesus that exists for our pleasure and comfort instead of us existing for His fame and renown among the nations. The Jesus of the Bible and His call to discipleship have been marginalized, but the Holy Spirit is committed to restoring the first commandment to its rightful place in the Church as He puts the supreme worth and excellence of Christ on display.
In my last post, I wrote about how our lives must be completely other-oriented, where we realize that the reason why we take in breath right now is ultimately for Christ’s glory, renown, and fame, not for ours. I wrote about how self-denial and a daily death march to the cross is what we are beckoned to by Jesus Himself (Luke 9:22-26), because a life of self-denial is the way to bring the most glory to Another.
Why are your lungs filled with breath right now? Why is your heart beating? Humanity has sought the answer to this question for ages through philosophy, science, and religion. The Bible’s answer to this question is simple – you exist for God alone.