WHO DO YOU THINK GOD IS?

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WHO DO YOU THINK GOD IS?

Have you ever asked yourself that question? Literally, in the ‘who do you think you are’ tone. Because if you think about it, it is important, isn’t it? Who you think God is, affects how you approach Him, what you expect of Him and how much you trust Him and eventually, how much you therefore allow yourself to receive from Him. Let me give you an illustration.

Awhile back, I had two members of staff who had been passed over and neglected by our then boss for years. So when I came in to assume the number 2 position, they figured that I was going to be more of the same. Nonetheless, they still voiced their concerns and gave me their wish list, in the hope that I could do something for them, or so I thought. Now, when it came time to negotiate the following year’s division of duties, they went and bartered a deal with the higher ups without my knowledge. When I tabled my proposal for their duties during the management meeting, the higher ups asked why I even bothered, since they had already agreed to a worse deal. Management was perfectly agreeable to accede to my proposal for them, but because they had already gone ahead and shot their mouth off, we decided to let it pass. Now imagine what would have happened if they had trusted me a little bit more.

In Matthew 15 and 16, we get insight into a few groups of people and how they saw Jesus. First was the Pharisees.

“Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”” Matthew 15:1-2

In fact, these people showed up twice.

“Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven.” Matthew 16:1
Who do you think they thought Jesus was? Leader of a band of rowdy men? Magician? Together, they sound like middle management’s worse nightmare, don’t they? Who do you think you are? Get your staff to pull their act together. Who do you think you are? Show me that you can take care of my welfare before even dreaming that I’ll take orders from you. True?

Then there was this woman.

“Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”” Matthew 15:21-22

Sounds like a normal person asking for a miracle. Nothing special, until you consider her response to Jesus.

“But He answered her not a word.
And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”
But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”” Matthew 15:23-27

Despite Jesus seemingly ignoring her, despite Him telling her that because she was a Gentile, her time had not yet come to receive from Him, despite the disciples thinking that she was a nuisance, she persisted, and even reasoned with Jesus. Now who do you think she thought Jesus was?

Then there was this group.

“Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them. So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.” Matthew 15:30-31

Who do you think they thought Jesus was?

Beloved, it is very easy to pass off Jesus as a fairy tale, a myth conjured up by generations of opportunistic individuals and organizations who want to cash in on His brand name to turn a quick profit. But beloved, even if you take away all the mega churches, the TV evangelists, the faith crusaders; even if you take away the holidays and Christmas, Jesus will still be as real for you and to you as you want Him to be. If you don’t believe me, just try. Go a week without interacting with any of the ‘christiany’ things that turn you off; and spend a week with Him and your Bible. Then look around at what will change in you and your life. I assure you beloved, you will come to the conclusion that Jesus is real.

You see, to the lady who was persistent, even though Jesus had not yet died for our sins and broken down the middle wall of separation between us and God, even though there was still a difference between Jew and Gentile, Jesus still said this,

“Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.” Matthew 15:28

So what more that

“…now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:13

And because you have been drawn near, you are now part of this mystery, and

“The mystery is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of him all their lives (what I’ve been calling outsiders and insiders) stand on the same ground before God. They get the same offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus. The Message is accessible and welcoming to everyone, across the board.” Ephesians 3:6 [MSG]

If you come to Jesus today, right now, with any of your concerns, He is not going to tell you that it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs. In fact, He Himself said,

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

And He is your bread for,

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13

You who believe are no longer outsiders but children of God. And that is why He told Mary,

“Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” John 20:17

So all that our Father has is at your disposal, as John the Baptist revealed,

“The One that God sent speaks God’s words. And don’t think he rations out the Spirit in bits and pieces. The Father loves the Son extravagantly. He turned everything over to him so he could give it away—a lavish distribution of gifts. That is why whoever accepts and trusts the Son gets in on everything, life complete and forever!” John 3:34-35 [MSG]

And you don’t even have to clean up your act before you come to Jesus. He wants you to come to Him as you are, just as the multitude did; lame, blind, mute and maimed. Because when you do, not only will He heal you, He will feed you, just like He did that crowd, with so much that after

“…they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left.” Matthew 15:37

Beloved, Jesus wants you to know that to Him, you are loved,

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17

And right now, He is sitting quietly with you, whispering this question to you, just like He did Peter,

“…who do you say that I am?” Matthew 16:15

So how will you answer? Who do you think He is?

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