J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

The TMZ of Jesus’ Day

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This article originally appeared at the Raleigh Examiner.

While reading through the book of Matthew, I find it interesting to track the responses to Jesus’ healings and other miracles.  Just in the two chapters following the Sermon on the Mount we find these examples.

  • Following His calming of the storm we have Matthew 8:27:And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
  • After the exorcism of the two demon possessed men and the whole pigs on the cliff incident we have Matthew 8:34:  “And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.”
  • Following the healing of the paralytic we have Matthew 9:8:  “When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.”
  • Jesus heals a woman and raises and raises a young girl from the dead in Matthew 9:26:  “And the report of this went through all that district.”
  • Jesus heals two blind men in Matthew 9:31:  “But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.”
  • When Jesus restores speech to a mute man who was demon-possessed, the Pharisees respond in Matthew 9:34:  “But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.”

Jesus’ ministry is barely out the gate, and we see all manner of responses.  The disciples cannot believe that Jesus has such authority that even the winds obey Him.  The pig farmers are upset that their livelihood is threatened, so they tell Jesus to get out of town.  In the healing of the paralytic and the woman, as well as the raising of the young girl from the dead, people are “TMZ’ing” about Jesus.  The Pharisees are the worst though as they cannot fathom the Godly power of Jesus, so they just slander Him as demonic.

These responses are still the typical ones we see today.  There are a few people who truly marvel at Jesus’ authority.  Some people cannot imagine how their lives would be turned upside down by Jesus, and they respond in hostility.  There are folks who just get caught up in the sensational nature of Jesus yet miss His personhood completely.  And of course, there are folks who just seek to defame and defraud Him.

In each of these responses, we should wait to ask, “Which one am I?”  That is the right question to ask but not the first one.  In each incident, the story is really about Jesus much more so than about the responses to Him.  Jesus proves Himself the authority over all creation, over spiritual forces, over sickness, over the power of death, and on and on.  We may find ourselves somewhere among the crowd, but the most helpful study is that of the person of Jesus first and our selves second.

Ask who Jesus is and then ask who you are in that light.

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October 29, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,

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