Monday, March 28, 2011

This is my Beloved Son, Hear Him Mat. 17:5

In the movie, “A Few Good Men, Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee, a navy lawyer played by Tom Cruise, is defending two marines who were accused of assaulting Private William Santiago. The assault leads to Santiago’s death.

The defense believes that Lance Corporal Harold Dawson and Private Louden Downey, the two accused of the assault, took part in self policing within the ranks; self policing that is referred to as “code red.” They believe the “code red” was ordered by Colonel Nathan Jessup, played by Jack Nicholson.

Lieutenant Kaffee has Colonel Jessup on the witness stand and in an attempt to obtain the facts, screams at Jessup, “I want the truth!” Jessup yells back, “You can’t handle the truth!” Kaffee traps Jessup when he catches him in a lie. Jessup had stated that his orders were always followed and that he gave the command that Santiago was to be protected. But he also stated that Santiago was in grave danger and needed to be transferred off the base. Jessup cornered with no way out, finally admits that he ordered the “code red.”

For many the gospel of Jesus Christ has been reduced to nothing more than a religious form of the marine’s “code red.”  With the popular teachings of, “Get right or get left,’ and “Turn or burn.”

Jesus took Peter, James and John up a mountain with him. While Jesus was praying, they saw a vision of Moses, Elijah and Jesus glorified and talking about Jesus coming death on the cross. Suddenly a loud voice spoke out of a cloud saying, “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, Hear Him” (Mat. 17:5). The disciples fell on their faces in fear. But Jesus came over to them and said, “Do not be afraid.” The message from the Father is that the gospel is all about Jesus Christ, the Rock under our feet (Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:6; Isa. 28:16), not the rock on top of our heads-a religious form of “code red” that would have you believe the rock is on top of us crushing us. No the Rock Jesus is our foundation in whom we live. The gospel is not about what we need to do for Jesus, but about what Jesus came to do for us.

Two people in the New Testament heard Jesus voice and understood the gospel perhaps better than any of their contemporaries; Mary and her brother Lazarus. Mary was commended by Jesus for choosing the “one thing” that would not be taken away from her (Luke 10:38-42). What was the one thing that Mary did? She sat at Jesus feet and heard his word. This is much more significant than you might think. Sitting at Jesus feet has to do with recognizing Jesus as her Kinsman Redeemer. Boaz (See Ruth 1-4) was only a type of the True Kinsman Redeemer. Boaz was able to provide all of Ruth’s provision for life. But Jesus is far greater than Boaz, in that Jesus is God in the flesh and He is the True Kinsman Redeemer not just for Mary, but for all of humanity. He is our provision for salvation-all that we need.

Jesus allowed Lazarus to die of illness so that he could show his power over death. Jesus reins over death-it’s under his feet. When Jesus called Lazarus out of the tomb (John 11), Lazarus had already been dead four days. He confirmed what he told Martha (John 11:25-26) that he was the Resurrection and the Life. Lazarus heard Jesus voice even though he was dead. Jesus voice is powerful enough to wake up the dead. Lazarus has not been recorded as saying one word in the scriptures, but the message that his life speaks is perhaps more powerful than any other (except for the life of Jesus) that we read about.

Mary and Lazarus show us why the Father said, “This is my Beloved Son, Hear Him.”

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