The consuming desire of the first century Church was the Man and the proclamation of that Man; not causes, strategies, moral standards, epochs, or destructive insights into the fallen world order. They understood that without the Man there was no reason, nor power, nor hope for the building of any other societal scaffolding.
John the Baptist came proclaiming a Man, the disciples followed a Man, the apostles proclaimed a Man, and the last book of the New Testament is entitled “The Revelation of that Man”.
Christ is the entirety of our message, our hope, our life, our vision, our strength, our consolation and our glory. To pursue theologies, politics, justice, and philosophies without centrally, incessantly, and vigorously pointing to the Man, Christ Jesus is to bear a husk of a message and miss the seed, the root and the fruit of the matter altogether.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God; and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:1-2)
“It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose… Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:27, 29)
“I determined to know nothing among you except for Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2)
“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever! Amen.” (Romans 11:36)
“For we did not follow cleverly concocted fables when we made known to you the power and return of our Lord Jesus Christ; no, we were eyewitnesses of His grandeur. For He received honor and glory from God the Father, when that voice was conveyed to Him by the Majestic Glory: ‘This is my dear Son, in Whom I am delighted.” When this voice was conveyed from heaven, we ourselves heard it, for we were with Him on the holy mountain.” (2 Peter 1:16-18)
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:1-3)
“From Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’ Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. (Revelation 1:5-8; 12-18)
“I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.” (Revelation 4:2)
“Even so, come Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)
JSB • December 8, 2022