Was Jesus just a good moral teacher, or is he really the Son of God? Over 2000 years after his death, there is still debate about the true identity of Jesus.
Even in his own time, there was little consensus.
Surely, his own family recognized his true divinity, right?
Not exactly. Jesus’ family even questioned his sanity.
When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” – Mark 3: 21
But surely, the religious leaders recognized his spiritual authority, right?
Hardly. Rather than concluding he was crazy, they declared he was downright evil.
And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” – Mark 3:22
No, it wasn’t the religious elite that recognized Jesus as the Son of God. Instead, it was the unexpected – the uneducated, the fisherman, and even the prostitutes. An unlikely group of followers.
I like to think of myself as educated. Even enlightened! Yet I wonder if I would have recognized Jesus 2000 years ago. If Jesus had asked me– as he asked Peter – who do you say that I am? What would I say?
Many days, Jesus is right in my midst, but I still don’t recognize him. There are too many distractions blinding me. Work. Home. Errands. Relationships. Duties. In the midst of it all, I even worry that I’ve lost my spiritual sight.
But today, on Maundy Thursday, I’m going to try hard to see him. I’m going to look. I’m going to listen. I’m going to think about the bread and the wine and ask God to open my eyes.
I want my heart to burn.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us….?” Luke 24: 30-32