The manifestation of the Master

Published 2:31 pm Thursday, November 18, 2021

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Last week as I drove to work, I was burdened by many things. I had prayed before I left home, but the weight of the world still sat on my shoulders. I did not feel joy or peace. I was troubled by many things. After about three miles of driving in silence, I felt a warmth that radiated all around me. The weight I was carrying lifted, and tears of joy filled my eyes. I felt the strong presence of Jesus Christ. He sat in the passenger’s seat of my SUV. Although I could not see him with my eyes, I knew he was there. I heard his sweet voice whisper, “I am with you! You will never be alone.” With those words, I felt like I could face whatever the world would throw at me. I began to sing the old hymn Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine! I tasted the glory of the Lord and it was good.
The word manifestation means able to be seen; clearly shown or visible; easy to understand or recognize. We do not think of God as meeting this criteria. God often seems mysterious and invisible to us, but according to scripture, he wants to be seen. Jesus likes to reveal himself to us, but why do we not see him daily? Jesus stated in John 14:21-23, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” These words of Jesus were spoken just hours before he was crucified on the cross. The greatest display of love was about to be revealed to a world full of sinners.
In this passage, Jesus makes it clear that he will reveal himself to those who love Him and keep His commandments and he will take up residency in that person’s heart. When we do not see Jesus, are we loving him and obeying him as we should? We have so many things demanding our attention throughout the day. We have convinced ourselves that Jesus would prefer to stand in the shadows of our lives, and that he prefers to stay hidden. That is far from the truth. Jesus wants us to see and hear him every day, but his appearance is conditional, based upon our obedience unto him and our love for him. If we continue to do what we desire and forsake his commandments, we will not see the Lord. We will feel all alone; however, if we choose to draw nigh to God, he will draw nigh to us. We must make the first move.
(Brandon Young is pastor at Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton)

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