Sunday, January 28, 2018

What Would God Like to Talk About?

My wife and I have a regular route we walk in the evenings through our 
neighborhood. We often use the time to debrief about our day. She’ll say, what do you want to talk about? So I’ll tell her  about my day, a book I’m reading, questions I’m mulling over, or whatever. Then it will be her turn: now what would you like to talk about? And she’ll use the return trip to tell me about her day, a visit we’re planning to see grandkids, her upcoming Bible study, or whatever.

Imagine if you could take a walk with God, and He said, what would you like to talk about? You might bring up personal issues, questions you’ve always wanted to ask Him, and requests for His help. Then it would be His turn. You would say, Lord, what would You like to talk about? I wonder what He would say.

Actually I’m pretty sure I know. He would say, I’d like to talk about My Son.

Our church has embarked upon a Sunday morning series on the book of Hebrews, and so for nearly a year I’ve been privileged to invest a good part of my time studying this great book. It you ever want to ask God the question, what do You want to talk about?, you’ll find His answer in Hebrews. He wants to talk about Jesus.

Some books are written with a long introduction, to try to capture your attention with a comfortable image or a cute story. (Some preachers attempt the same ploy – to sneak up on their listeners with a joke or a poem or a personal anecdote.)

Not so the Book of Hebrews. This book is about the Supremacy of Jesus. From the first sentence the author proclaims the greatness of Jesus, and he continues to do so for the next 303 verses.

He says it again and again: Jesus is greater than the prophets, He’s greater than the angels, greater than Moses, greater than any high priest or any religion that has ever been.

The book’s opening phrases look out over all the ages, and proclaim that they all culminate with Christ. Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets… From the dawn of time, God has revealed the truth about Himself, about creation and the human family.     

He spoke to Moses in a burning bush and gave him tablets on the mountain. Elijah heard His still small voice after the wind and the earthquake and the fire. Isaiah saw a great, life-changing vision of His holiness in the Temple. The Lord spoke to Hosea through his own marriage and family, and to Amos in a basket of summer fruit.

But all these ways over all these times, though true and right, all of this was only the warm-up for God’s final word. Verse 2 says, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son. And it’s not just what He says by His Son. It’s 13 chapters about His Son. “I want to talk about Jesus.”

Hebrews’ original audience were people tempted not only to complacency, but also to retreat – to go back to their old way of life. Maybe life would be better – at least easier – back in Judaism. To which the Lord says, if you can so casually consider walking away from My Son, you never knew Him in the first place. Because Jesus is the Greatest, the Highest, the Most Worthy, the Alpha and Omega, the culmination of history, the only Way, Truth, and Life. To walk away from Him would be both crazy and contemptible. He demands and deserves first place in your life.

For next time: Seven Incredible Descriptions of Jesus Christ