As mentioned in my last post #109, dated 13 April 2017, this is the continuation as Part II. Of the three sub-headings, I have already covered “Jesus the Teacher”. In this post I will deal with (b) Jesus the Worker and (c) Jesus the Breaker
So, here we continue.
2. Jesus the Worker
One could use hundreds of titles and theological terminologies like Jesus the prophet, priest or king etc. But I purposely selected the simplest word in the vocabulary, the worker. This is important. Jesus was not not only a teacher, he always corroborated his teaching with works. The same verse in Matthew 13:54 continues: “they were not only astonished at his wisdom and teaching but also his mighty works”.
I might have mentioned this before in one of my posts. I live in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. The region is called York. The York Region Police has this motto on all their vehicles: “Deeds Speak.” (Way to go Newmarket!) Talk alone can be, using a western farmer’s expression, a “Hill of Beans”. But teaching plus works makes all the difference. It moves mountains; moves hearts!
Again using another popular expression “Jesus walked the talk”.
His work was so intense that on one occasion his family – mother Mary, his brothers and sister thought that he was “beside himself” and wanted to take him home! You may wish to refer to Jesus’ famous response. He asked “who is my mother and who are my brethren? He stretched his hand towards his disciples and said “behold my mother and my brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister (Matthew 12:46-50). Jesus defined a brand new type of relationship of real international brotherhood/sisterhood”. Had Christians, who claim to be the followers of Christ, taken this one liner to heart racism would not have started, never mind ceased! Reminds me of the old Sunday School Chorus: “Red and Yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight:!
3. Jesus the Breaker
Now to my third and final point. Jesus the glorious breaker of the law. I must make it clear that Jesus had great respect for Moses and the Law. He insisted at many of those healed to go immediately to show themselves to the priest and give the appropriate offering.
He also spelled it out in his Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 5: 17-18: “Do not think that I came to destroy the law of the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly I say to you till heaven and earth pass away not a title or a line will not fail”. At the same time he was also cognizant the old has to make way for the new, like his parable of the new wine in the old skin (Luke 5:36-38).
As to his “glorious breaking of the law”, (By the way, I borrowed this line from the late F.W.Farrar, Dean of Canterbury, 1831-1903) I have selected just two Scriptures:
(a) Mark 1:40-44
40 “And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, ‘If you will, you can make me clean.’
41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.”
42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.
43 And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once,
44 and said to him, ‘See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.’
The leper broke the Rabbinical Law for simply being there. Jesus on the other hand broke the “law” in touching him. Thank God He did. That was the glorious breaking of the the law that Jesus demonstrated to the world and thus fulfilled.
(b) Mark 5:25-34 – Woman with the issue of blood
“And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26.She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you”. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.'”
Oh, what respect he paid her! What comforting words!
Again this is the fulfillment of the law. This is what Jesus taught forcefully that the law was made for man and not man for the law. The woman with the issue of blood also broke the law. She was, in her condition, forbidden to leave and to wander outside her abode. Jesus gloriously broke the law.
This Teacher, Worker, and Breaker willingly precipitated and knowingly taught and worked bringing the Lamb closer to the cross! Jesus never changed his course and was right on time. “From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised”. (Matthew 16:21). May I close this post with one of my favourite hymns: She Only Touched the Hem of His Garment- George Frederick Root (1820-1895).
1. “She only touched the hem of his garment, As to his side she stole
Amid the crowd that gathered around him, And straightaway she was whole
O touch the hem of his garment, And thou too shalt be free
His saving power this very hour, Shall give new life to thee
2. So touch in faith and touch him in spirit, And he will make thee whole
And peace that passeth all understanding with joy will fill thy soul
O touch the hem of his garment, And thou too shalt be free
His saving power this very hour Shall give new life to thee.”
God bless, Danny Paul