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Jesus the Messiah
- Jacob Ninan
When the Jews were looking for the Messiah, they expected Him to deliver them from the Roman rule and restore their national independence and comfort. Even though there were prophetic scriptures linking the Messiah to suffering for their sins (Is.53), they failed to see those aspects because they were only thinking of what they wanted from the Messiah. When Jesus came and started showing signs of His supernatural powers to heal and to provide for them, they began to wonder if He could be the Messiah. But when He started talking of His real mission to save them from their sins, they were offended with Him and even turned against Him. Isn't this what is happening even now when many Christians look at Jesus?
Many are flocking to Jesus, just as in the days of His earthly life, for getting healing, blessing, solving earthly problems, etc. Many are willing to make pilgrimages, pledges, offer 'seed' money, etc., if only they can get Jesus to do for them what they want. But among all these people, how few are actually seeking Him in order to have a Saviour who will set them free from their sins! But that was His main task on earth (Mt.1:21).
Jesus was not impressed with the number of people following Him around. He was very clear that they only wanted some earthly blessings from Him (Jn.6:26). He told them to seek instead things that were of eternal value (v.27). In His Sermon on the Mount Jesus emphasised seeking after God's kingdom and His righteousness first instead of earthly blessings like unbelievers (Mt.6:31-33). Paul also reminds Christians to set our attention on things above and not on the things on the earth (Co.3:1,2).
Jesus is not impressed even now with the number of people who are flocking around Him. There are many people who have come to Christ seeking for healing, etc., and who imagine they have now become 'believers' in Jesus headed for heaven, even though they have not truly recognised and acknowledged Him as Saviour and Lord. Even though 'Saviour' and 'Lord' are used freely by people, Jesus becomes that only to people who acknowledge their sins and seek Jesus for deliverance from its penalty and power. There are many people in churches who are not bothered seriously about the sin factor and nobody wants to 'judge' anyone. The sad thing that even among preachers and leaders, the emphasis is still on earthly blessings. They know that it is what can attract and hold people's attention, and so they give out such promises in and out of context. They are allowing large numbers to head on the broad way that leads to destruction, deceiving themselves thinking that they are children of God headed towards heaven.
Many people simply follow their leaders because they are not able to think for themselves and understand what the Bible actually says. So the responsibility of protecting the sheep from error and feeding them with healthy food rests heavily on the shepherds. But many shepherds are only feeding themselves.