I had some pastoral work to catch up on tonight, so Ben was gracious to guest post for me for the last session at Catalyst today:
Here is a guest post from Ben Reed:
Judah Smith, presented the closing session for Thursday night at Catalyst 2011.
Jesus is the Glory of God
If that statement is true, that Jesus is the glory of God, then you will leave with a surplus, an overwhelming feeling that you have everything you need for leading, living, pastoring, and loving people.
Thursday nights are date nights for Judah. But he wishes someone would’ve told him that women have rules. And that they don’t have to share their rules…men are just supposed to know them. If you really love women, you will know and abide by their rules. This is the love language of women. And women are under no obligation to let you know when they change the rules.
When Judah’s wife recently changed the rules and asked Judah some questions, what she was saying was, “I don’t just want to do stuff with you…I want to know you. I want to know your inner reality.” Marriage isn’t just about being in each other’s presence…it’s about really knowing one another.
And Moses is thinking along the same lines when he asks of God, in Exodus 33:12-23, “Show me your glory, Lord.”
Moses musters a little courage, and asks for something he’s never seen before. He asks for something more. “I don’t just want your presence or your power. I want your glory.”
This was a risky and dangerous request.
But God must have been pleased with his child, who was, in essence, asking to know God.
The Bible says that God is radiant in glory and beauty and righteousness, and all of that emanated from Him in that moment…so much so that Moses’ face glowed for days after he caught a glimpse of the back side of God.
The request from Moses, though, wasn’t fully answered by God. In fact, throughout the ages, Moses’ request stood unanswered. Because Moses only got a glimpse. And it was only in Jesus that God would fully answer that request of Moses.
We get to see something better than Moses was shown!
Hebrews 1:1-3 tells us, “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
Jesus is the greatest sermon ever preached.
Moses asks to see beyond the curtain, to see what it is that makes God God. When Jesus comes, we get to see who God really is.
We have everything that we’ll ever need in Jesus.
At the age of 30, Judah was asked to take over leadership of his church in Seattle (The City Church: http://www.thecity.org). And he was incredibly overwhelmed. He didn’t feel like he was ready for it. He began looking for the secret to dispensing great sermons.
And after searching but not finding that secret, he asked himself:
Do I realize what I have in Jesus?
In John 4:26, Jesus responds to the woman at the well with this, as she questions speaks about the coming Messiah: “I am he.” In other words, you don’t have to wait any longer or look any further. And this should be applied to every youth leader, every mom, dad, aunt and uncle, every business person and pastor. You don’t have to look any further. There is no secret potion. Jesus is the answer. He is your counselor, your pastor, your friend.
He is everything you ever need in this life! You’ve got Jesus!
Pastoring your church isn’t about you. In fact, God loves your city more than you do.
If you offer your life to Jesus, He’ll do something in you that you can’t even do in yourself.
Since when was Jesus not enough?
Since when do we have to supplement the Savior? When did we start to have to add to his divine sufficiency?
To pastors: you lack nothing. God has granted you all spiritual blessings in Jesus. Jesus says, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden. I will give you rest for your souls. My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:30
Do you need to ask for forgiveness for looking past Jesus?