How Jesus Happened on the Golf Course . . .

5

Hebrews 1:1–3 (NIV)

In the past God spoke to our ancestors 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 also 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.

CONSIDER THIS

I was playing golf the other day with my pastor and another of our good friends. It (the golf) wasn’t going so well for either of us. We were both kind of counting down the holes until we were done. We decided at the turn to change the subject from golf to Jesus. We began to speak this word aloud from Hebrews 1 back and forth until we could declare it. And as we shifted from reciting it to declaring it something happened. No, our game didn’t improve, but these words began to explode with joy. In the past . . . in these last days . . . through whom also . . . and all the words in between. And then this word broke open like that jar of costly perfume: The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being . . . and the fragrance seemed to fill up the whole golf course!1

For many years in my life and faith I had Jesus and the Bible in two related but different kinds of categories. I understood Jesus as my Savior, who had died on the cross for my sins so I could go to heaven when I died. I understood the Bible as a book I was supposed to read as much as possible in order to try and get something out of it that was relevant to my every day life. In some way, I thought, reading the Bible would help me follow Jesus. Reading the Bible became a kind of duty or discipline at which I sometimes succeeded and other times failed—kind of like eating healthy. I knew Jesus was with me and was somehow helping me to do my best on my good days and forgiving my failures the rest of the time.

It has only been in the past twenty years or so that I discovered the opposite to be true. Reading the Bible and following Jesus aren’t in different categories. They are intimately, intricately, and seamlessly bound together. I don’t read the Bible as a helpful way to follow Jesus. I follow Jesus as THE WAY to read the Bible.2

It’s what I love so much about today’s text and why I want you to love it too. Behold how so much comes together in the person of Jesus—our ancestors and the prophets, history and the future, the creation of the universe and the lordship of all things, the voice of God, the image of God, the glory of God, the icon or exact representation of God, his death for sins, his resurrection, ascension, and reign. It all—literally everything—comes together in Jesus.3

In the past God spoke to our ancestors 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 also 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.

And what is he doing right now at the right hand of God? He is sustaining all things by his powerful word

Wake up, sleeper! Jesus is sustaining all things by his powerful word. This includes you. Aren’t you ready to participate in this reality in a much deeper way? He is ready. 

THE PRAYER

Farmer Father God, thank you for Jesus, the radiance of your glory and the exact representation of your being. We just want to sit and ponder this for awhile. We want to find the posture of Mary of Bethany, who first sat at your feet listening. Later she came to anoint your feet with the most valuable perfume she could find. I want this vision for my life in whatever extravagant and practical way you want to unfold it. Let such a story one day be told to my children’s children’s children of my life. Praying in Jesus’s name, amen. 

THE QUESTION

Are you seeing how we can read the Bible and miss Jesus and yet how when we truly get Jesus we can’t miss the Bible? Are these realities coming together more clearly in your understanding and faith? 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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NOTES FOR FURTHER REFLECTION

1. If you’ve got a minute, take a look at John 12:1–3 where we get an utterly brilliant picture of what it looks like when Jesus captures the full attention and devotion of a human being. We don’t have the same embodied opportunity with Jesus as Mary of Bethany did, but the Word of God and the Spirit of God will work through the Scriptures to bring us into the same kind of experience of Jesus. 

2. To be clear, we don’t for the most part have any clue who Jesus even is without the Bible, but I think you see my point. A person can come into a saving knowledge of Jesus apart from personal engagement with the Bible; however a person cannot in any significant way follow Jesus apart from an ever deepening understanding of the Bible. Apart from Scripture, it is deceptively easy to make Jesus whatever and whoever we want or need him to be. Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, interprets the Scriptures to us in a way not only illuminating our lives but making us luminous for the sake of others. 

3. Literally—I’m not a fan of the most overused term of our time these days, which is “literally.” Notice how much you hear it and perhaps even say it. In this case it is warranted. We must get our attention on Jesus. Yes, the Trinity, but we don’t have the first clue about the Trinity apart from Jesus. He is the one who introduces us to the Father and sends the Spirit. I want to commend to you Colossians 1:15–20, Philippians 2:5–11, and yes, Hebrews 1:1–3 and after that John 15:1–17. These are massive revelatory texts which will anchor us deeply into the Son of God who will reveal himself to us through the Word by the Spirit. 

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I can see that how you approach the Bible can definitely influence your relationship with Jesus. I believe that approaching the Bible as an ancient text and examining it as one would research any other ancient text to determine it’s actual source can lead to the loss of its authority. This is so common in many churches today. Once the Bible is deconstructed in such a way, it’s only matter of time before it’s being “God Breathed “ is called to question. Therefore, “the three bucket” approach. A non-authoritative Bible leads to a non-authoritative Jesus.

  2. Let Jesus
    Always
    Amaze Us
    Like Emmaus!

    Let’s read the Bible
    To let the living Jesus
    Continually amaze us.
    The Emmaus walkers
    With their knowledge
    Were blind to the amazing presence
    Of the living, resurrected Jesus.
    The Emmaus Road is everywhere,
    But Christians are too often unaware
    That the risen Jesus
    Is communicating with us.
    His presence is so close
    That He speaks within us.
    We know about His Cross
    And empty tomb
    But they’re just stories
    That we’ve heard
    And read about in the Word.
    Until we recognize
    The risen Jesus
    Along “Roman Road”
    And in the rest of the Bible,
    As did the walkers
    On the Emmaus Road,
    In the broken bread
    Of the heartaches of life,
    Our faith though knowledgeable
    Will be dead.

  3. I have never been one to ruminate over one scripture, so when I saw this text again for at least the 3rd time, I rolled my eyes in my heart. Barry and I are doing this together- and it was my turn to read. WITHOUT READING THE POST, my heart leapt when I read the phrase about the radiance and exact representation- and then I read the post- the oil of joy that you felt transferred to this tiny travel trailer. I SEE the value of repeating and ruminating- keep it up!!! 😀

  4. Addendum to my first post- we are also doing the metrical Psalter. Today was Psalm 45. Timothy Tennent quotes Hebrews 1:8-9 as quoting Psalm 45:6-7! The commentary ties the Wake Up Call in a way that only God can do!

  5. The Bible is the Word of God, and the Word is life. And the Word of life was the light for all men, and the Word is the light in the darkness that no darkness can overcome. The Bible was written from God’s breath of life to mankind, as it was for Adam at the beginning. The Bible is life’s blueprint of the character of Christ. One we should emulate, not by works, but by faith. Reverent faith leads us to the Source of the Breathe of Life, Jesus. When I read the Bible, I know it is Jesus speaking to me personally. God wrote it specifically for me, meaning He wrote it specifically for everyone. The Bible is about Jesus and life’s history and future. Everything was created through and for Him. The Bible was created for and by Jesus.
    Jesus is the Bible.
    As I mature in Christ, I hear Him whisper my name as I read His Word.
    Learning to become like the One

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