Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

Don’t Underestimate Jesus

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

It’s so easy to underestimate Jesus isn’t it? Take, for example, the Transfiguration recorded for us in Matthew chapter 17. Jesus takes the inner circle of his twelve disciples — Peter, James, and John — to a high mountain, and with just the four of them there Jesus,

‘…was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light’. (Matthew 17:2)

These three disciples were privileged to see the glory of Jesus and became,

‘…eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honour and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain’. (2 Peter 2:16-18)

They had a foretaste of the exalted Son who is described in Revelation 1:13-16 as being,

‘...dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance’.

Now as if that wasn’t strange enough, something else happened on the mountain:

‘Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus’. (Matthew 17:3)

What did this signify? Well Peter misunderstands. He rightly recognizes that it is an enormous privilege to be present on this occasion for he says,

‘…Lord, it is good for us to be here…’ (v.4)

But then he gets it terribly wrong,

‘…If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah’. (v.4)

He entirely misunderstands the significance of the presence of Moses and Elijah. He thinks that Jesus is being elevated to their great stature, the stature of the mediator of the Sinai covenant and of the first of the great biblical prophets.

He couldn’t be more wrong. Their presence signified that the law and the prophets bore witness to him. As Jesus said to the disciples in Luke 24,

‘…How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself’...This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms’. (Luke 24:25-27, 44)

Well God himself sets the record straight.

‘While he [Peter] was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" (Matthew 17:5)

The disciples fall to the ground terrified, and by the time they got up it is all over:

‘When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus’. (v.8)

What a poignant conclusion to the account - Jesus brooks no rivals.

There have been, and there are, many religious leaders. In our post-modern age with a deep commitment to philosophical pluralism, it is desperately easy to relegate Jesus to the status of just another religious leader.

But there is only one Person of whom it can be said that:

  • He made us, and then became one of us;
  • He is the Lord of glory, and a human being;
  • He died in ignominy and shame on a cruel cross;
  • Yet is now seated on the right hand of the Majesty on high, having returned to the glory he shared with the Father before the world began.

Let’s never be guilty of underestimating Him.

Have a good week recognising Jesus’ true worth.

Pastor Barry

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