It’s more important to know who God is over what he can do

Published 8:46 am Friday, February 1, 2019

If you have spent any time thinking about the mysteries of Christianity, you have probably asked this question: how can Jesus be both God and human? I am certainly not dedicating this column to answer this question, as if I could even come close. Yet, this is something that the Church has wrestled with for centuries, and it still finds its way in our conversations today. I bring up this theological question because I believe its implications have some real consequences for our lives as Christians. For I want us to see that God chose the humanity of Christ to reveal His divinity, but He also chose the divinity of Christ to reveal His humanity.
In John 2, we find that Jesus is at a wedding in Cana with His mother. You know the story. They run out of wine. Mary asks Jesus to help. Jesus tells her it isn’t His time yet. Mary tells the servants to listen to Jesus. In an unexpected turn of events, Jesus tells the servants to go get buckets of water and bring them back (I’ve never made wine, but I don’t think this is how you are supposed to do it). Long story short…the wedding master takes a drink of this “water” and gets upset that the best wine was not served first. This was the first sign that Jesus performed.
But what was the purpose of this sign? I want to suggest that Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, performed signs and wonders so that the people would believe that He truly was the Son of God. No one is just going to believe that some Nazarene’s claims of divinity are true. Hence, we find out in John 4 that even Jesus says that unless they see signs and wonders the people would not believe.
God performed signs so you would know that Jesus is truly God. Just as He did 2,000 years ago, God can still turn the ordinary water of your life into an unbelievable wine. God often takes our broken and fragmented lives and turns them into something beautiful. That is why Jesus turned water into wine. It is why He walked on water and healed the sick. Jesus gave us signs that we would believe He is truly God.
So if we know that God has manifested Himself in Jesus, perhaps the better question would be: what or who is God for and about? Ironically, Jesus transforms water again to prove that He is fully human, even with the power of Heaven at His fingertips.
John 13:4-17 reads, “He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”
This may seem like some story that doesn’t fit our lives or culture very well, but I guarantee if you were able to look into the basin of water after Jesus had washed the disciples feet, you would see something much sweeter than wine. The dirty, murky water that Jesus creates from clear, sanitized water is, in my opinion, one of His greatest signs. For in this moment, Jesus declares that God is here with us in the midst of our dirtiness. We may be too good to wash dirty and calloused feet ourselves, but I thank God that He was not too good to wash my own disgusting sin.
Here is the point: you may know WHAT God can do in your life (i.e. turn water to wine), but if you don’t know WHO God is for, then you have missed the Good News of Christ. Christ did indeed heal the sick, raise the dead, and do the supernatural, but I believe Christ came to Earth to wash our feet. The greatest miracle that you can perform in someone’s life may not be healing their cancer or resurrecting the dead. The greatest miracle you can perform is taking your willing hands and washing the bloodied, calloused, dirty feet of the broken until your clean basin of water becomes murky and full of love.
(The Solution Column is provided by Pastor Brandon Young of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton, and his associate, Hunter Greene.)

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