Strength for the Week September 18-24th

Strength for the Week

I AM The Messiah

“The woman said, ‘I do know that the Messiah is coming. When he arrives, we’ll get the whole story.’

‘I am he,’ said Jesus. ‘You don’t have to wait any longer or look any further.’” – John 4:25-26

You have a story. Whatever it is, it is not the whole story. It is not a whole story. Not without Jesus.

PAIN: There has been pain in your story. Perhaps when you think of your story, pain is what mostly comes to mind. Pain comes in different forms to different people. What has been your pain? Perhaps it is the pain of loss, from losing something or someone you love very much, either through death, or divorce, or rejection, or distance, or conflict, or crime, or failure. Perhaps it is the pain of heartbreak, from being betrayed, or being falsely accused, or being abandoned by someone you assumed cared about you, or being lied to. Perhaps it is the pain of injustice, from being abused, or exploited, or assaulted, or framed, or segregated, or left out. The woman Jesus met at the well in the Samaritan village of Sychar had a lot of pain in her story. She had had and lost five husbands, either by death or divorce. Her pain was real, but even she knew that once the Messiah comes, she’d get the whole story, because pain is never the whole story.

FAILURE: There has been failure in your story. Perhaps when you think of your story, failure is what mostly comes to mind. What failures have you had? Perhaps it is a vocational failure, that your career has not turned out the way it initially promised, or it has been derailed by changes in your industry, or it has been slowed down by the economy, and now your failed or failing career is a cloud that dampens your days. Perhaps it is a relational failure, a failing friendship, or marriage, or business partnership, or conflict with a family member. Or perhaps, like the woman Jesus met at the well, who was living with a man she was not married to, yours is a moral failure, like a romance that is illicit, or a business deal that is corrupt, or a deceptive cover-up of wrongdoing, or an act of violence and harassment in the heat of anger. Failure is real, as is the guilt it inflicts, but you need to know as much as that woman knew, that the coming of the Messiah means you now get to experience the whole story that God means to write for you, because wherever Jesus is, failure doesn’t get to be the whole story.

IGNORANCE: There is so much you do not know about everything. Of all the things that could be known about yourself, or your family, or your future, or your country, or your friends, or your job, or your death, or your ancestors, or your descendants, how much do you actually know? If you know so little about the things that concern you, how much more ignorant are you about all the things that do not concern you? If you know so little about the things of this world, how much more ignorant are you about the things that are not of this world? How much more ignorant are you about angels, demons, the souls of the dead? How much more ignorant are you about God? It is impossible to have a FULL knowledge about anything or of anyone. All we can really hope for is to have a TRUE knowledge. It is possible to know someone truly, without knowing them fully. And when it comes to God, if Jesus the Messiah had never come, we would never know what it means to know God truly. We would continue either to worship things God created or we would worship God ignorantly. Either way, our worship would be false and would eternally define our story, as it threatened to do for the woman Jesus met at the well. She thought what defines worship is where it is done and the rituals by which it is done. When Messiah came, He told her that what defines true worship is whom we worship, why we worship, and the spirit in which we worship. The Messiah helps us know God truly so that our ignorance of God doesn’t get to be the whole story.

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