This quarter, we focus on Jesus as our Soon-Coming King in our weekly devotional series. This week’s devotional comes from John 8 – 12.
In our recent devotions, we have been meditating upon Jesus as “our Soon-Coming King,” a truth pregnant with promise intending to sustain present-moment strength, boldness and confidence.
Central to the five chapters in John that we will read this week is the way in which Jesus “shows up” in distinct times of need. He comes in ways that contrast His “arrival” with the persistently passionate pursuits and destructively death-dealing outcomes of the Pharisees’ self-righteous, mechanical systems of supposed spirituality.
The Picture of Our Questions
Most notable among the three primary episodes within these chapters are:
- Jesus intervening and leading the woman destined for death as an adulteress;
- Jesus encountering and healing the man born blind, then seeking him out to stabilize his understanding and faith to withstand questions or critics;
- Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead in the face of the apparently impossible and notwithstanding the bewilderment of those who wondered why He didn’t “show up” sooner.
Each of the principle accounts pose, then answer, that question in some way: Why doesn’t God act sooner than later?
In short, because Christ has conquered through the cross:
- Why does God tolerate death-dealing legalism, as with the Pharisees?
- Why do life-crippling situations invade lives and homes, as with the man born blind?
- Why does it seem the Lord is passive or distant at times when we face pain, problems or defeat, how Mary and Martha must have felt when their brother, Lazarus, died?
His Picture in His Answers
The outcome of each episode reveals Jesus as the Messiah—the Anointed One! He “shows up” (a) as The Anointed Prophet—reinforcing the Word of God’s timeless truth—revealing forgiveness beyond failure, sparing the life of the adulteress but also calling her to newness of life; (b) as The Anointed Priest—ministering with healing and health as was displayed even by the Aaronic priesthood under the Old Covenant, but exceeded in promise by the glory of the New (2 Cor. 3); and (c) as The Anointed King—who as “the once and future King” is present today to manifest His prevailing presence among us now.
Indeed, He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever!”
Our Pursuit of His Presence
The promise of Jesus’ return is a dual one: He who is “coming again in glory” is ready to visit you personally, today, or at church this Sunday. Though He will return as promised, He is still “the God who is about to arrive” (Rev. 1:8, The Message).
The Holy Spirit’s overflowing river of resurrection life and stabilizing power is given to us to actuate in us daily Jesus’ threefold anointing as Prophet, Priest and King.
Let us set ourselves to pursue His presence:
- As our Prophet, breaking the Bread of the Word to us as with the two He met on the Emmaus Road, turning their doubt and defeat into hearts newly ablaze with faith as He “opened the scriptures” to them (Luke 24:13-35).
- As our Priest, administering the power of His sacrificial life-blood, lifting us from relentless aspersions of doubt, by which condemnation dampens confidence, and refreshing us with fresh rivers of praise in the inner man! (Compare Rom. 7:24-8:4, 31-39.)
- As our King, inviting us to ride with Him in the battle chariot, advancing His victory globally. However slow it may seem presently on the battle front, He is going before us in our warfare (Acts 4:18-33) and dwelling among us as we worship (2 Chron. 20:1-24).
By: Jack Hayford, chancellor of The King’s University in Van Nuys, Calif., also served for 30 years as founding pastor of The Church On The Way (Van Nuys Foursquare Church) and as president of The Foursquare Church from 2004-2009.
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