John 1:48-50 “Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.”
Israel was under extreme bondage. Not like it was in Egypt when God miraculously delivered them. This was oppression. They were a conquered people.
When John the Baptist came on the scene, he offered something they hadn’t had in a long time – hope.
The longer they were under Roman rule, the more the talk of the day became, “How will we escape this bondage; this oppression?” As with any such talk, the first solution offered is the fleshly one. Rise up and retake our freedom – by force.
The nation of Israel had long thrown off the yoke they were in with God. Now, or for at least a few hundred years, God had been silent. Prayers were offered. Sacrifices were given. Yet, the silence continued – until that day when John declared;
John 1:29 “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
Hope arose in the breast of those who anxiously awaited the Messiah. But what they had hoped for was release from Roman bondage. What they were looking for was a king who would rally the people, form a military that could deliver them from their present state.
Man, through the years, hasn’t changed much.
In our faith-based addictions program, RU Recovery, we see two types of people who come to our program. Those who are seeking help to rid their life of the consequences of their actions and those who are seeking true change.
Those whose circumstances and situation changed for the better once the punishment and penalty are lifted, they are nowhere to be found. Their heart’s desire was only to have the results of their wrong decision removed so they could go back to the way they were before… want to control their life and enjoy the pleasures without the consequences once again.
Then, there are those who have been on the merry-go-round of bad choices and find themselves in that familiar state of want. Desiring not to repeat the process, they finally succumb to seeking a life-altering change, a real paradigm shift to change the direction of their life for good.
Those following John that day, heard him declare that the One whom they had hoped for was nowhere. They came over to Jesus and asked to be with Him.
In the three and a half years that followed, Jesus tried to prepare these men to face one of the most extreme trials that were yet to come. It was not the ushering in of a new kingdom, but the sacrifice of the only begotten Son of God that they would witness.
Hope was seemingly ripped from their breast.
Dreams of their version of freedom faded from view there in the garden as the soldiers led Jesus away. This horrific nightmare was not over; it was only beginning.
This day; Monday, is touted as a dreaded day by some and a welcome beginning to a comfortable routine by others. The world dreads this day because it marks the end of the party; the end of the pleasure, relaxation, and wanton behavior.
But for us who are saved, it should be a new beginning to what may be a day of another divine appointment. A meeting with someone seeking real change in their life. Change that only God Himself can bring.
As you begin your day today, invite God to be the One to brighten where you are and to light up the path He has for you today. Following in the way God has for us can become an adventure for the sheer factor that is unknown to us, but known to Him.
I pray yesterday was a day that prepared you thoroughly for what you’ll face. Pray. Rely on God for the answers, the path, the power, the protection, and the presence needed to settle our hearts into what we might call “His will for today!”