"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" (John 8:58)

Behold The Man!

Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, "Behold the man"! (John 19:1-5 KJV)

Krystal Meyers - The Beauty of Grace

Our Eyes Fixed on Christ

“After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. "Get up," he said. "Don't be afraid." When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.” (Matthew 17:5-8 NIV)

Luke 9:33 adds this little tidbit about Peter’s suggestion to “tabernacle” on the mountain: “He did not know what he was saying.”

Yes, I’m still on the subject of touch. While preparing the previous lesson I ran across this passage and it just smacked me across the face!

My last entry spoke of touch removing all fear and here we see that Jesus’ touch did indeed relieve the disciples fear, but, what really hit me about this particular passage is that when they looked up they only saw Jesus! Now, I know that I’m stretching it a bit here, because Moses and Elijah were no longer with Jesus. But, if we allow ourselves to stop at this point we may uncover some rich treasure!

Up until this point, Jesus had been Peter, James and John’s Friend and Companion. In a limited and somewhat clouded way, they knew and believed Jesus to be the Son of God, but they really didn’t have a clue! Forgive me, could it be that maybe, just maybe their familiarity with Jesus had led them to think they were on any kind of equal footing with Him?

God the Father gives Peter, James and John an up close and very personal glimpse of Who Jesus is—God’s beloved Son—on equal footing with God alone! Suddenly, they can no longer bear to “hear” or to “see” and they fall down on the faces. Yes, in holy fear, but, oh, in worship and adoration, too!

In Revelation 1:9-19, John has yet another encounter with Jesus in all His splendor and glory! What is John’s response? What does our precious Lord do to remove John’s fear?

Beloved, do you fear? It doesn’t matter the why or the what. Allow Jesus to touch you—to lift up your head so that all you see is His beloved face! Peter did so for just a short period of time and he was able to walk on water! (Matthew 14:22-31) Imagine what God can do in and through us with our eyes fixed solely upon His Son!

Jesus Christ is not only our constant Friend and Companion. He is our God! Glory!

Queen Elizabeth's Visit to the White House

“Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.” (Matthew 20:34 NIV)

“…and all who touched him were healed.” (Matthew 14:36 (NIV))

Monday morning, I suppose like many of you, I watched Queen Elizabeth being welcomed to the White House. Actually, I had just turned on Fox News to catch up with the day’s happenings (while doing some touch up ironing) and there she was—really!

Everyone seemed awestruck over the queen and over the monarchy in general. Even the commentators (at least the ladies) were all “gawgaw” and asking each other all sorts of questions: Who was present at the White House welcoming? Who would be invited to the upcoming gala and dinner? What was the queen wearing? What would the First be wearing? Why on earth would Helen Mirren, the actress who won an Oscar for portraying the queen, dare turn down an invitation? Well, you get the idea.

A couple of interesting items came up during this broadcast. One was that one couldn’t request an invitation to any of the events. Only the queen could invite you. To ask for an invitation would be a definite faux pas! One commentator asked what would be the absolute worse thing that one could do in the queen’s presence. The response was, “…to touch her.” Apparently, the queen has a true aversion to being touched by anyone. One could not even extend their hand in welcome—until and unless the queen first extended hers. Even her husband, Prince Phillip, at least in public, had to walk a few steps behind her!

I watched all the “pomp and circumstance” surrounding this event and then, she, the queen, appeared. That prior comment about “touch” explained a lot about her appearance. Her demeanor and her dress seemed to scream, “Unapproachable”! “Don’t touch”! Oh, she was very “properly” attired—hat, gloves, shoes and, yes, even her purse (all matching perfectly). Still, she appeared so, well, cold! I’m not attempting to judge her—hope I haven’t given that impression, but people do send out vibes, and hers definitely was not at all welcoming.

Of course, I couldn’t help comparing her celebrity to that of our Lord’s, Jesus Christ. The King of kings (and queens) and Lord of lords!

The word “touch” or “touched” is used in the gospels 30+ times. Of these, the blessing of touch is initiated by Jesus Himself on at least 10 different occasions. Jesus knew the power and healing of touch. He knew when the woman with an issue of blood had touched the hem of His garment (Luke 8:42b-48) because the power of healing went out from Him.

This is not an exhaustive list, but we do need to know the effect Jesus’ touch can on our lives and, as Christ’s ambassadors on this earth, what affect our touch has upon others:

Jesus’ touch:
1) Cleanses (Matthew 8:3)
2) Restores to Service (Matthew 8:15)
3) Restores or Gives Sight (Matthew 9:29)
4) Removes all Fear! (Matthew 17:6-8)
5) Welcomes Us into His Family and Kingdom (Matthew 10:13)
6) Restores Life (Luke 7:14)
7) Offers Mercy (Luke 22:51)

In all of the gospels, the only negative mention of “touch” is from the Pharisees. (Luke 7:39) They were offended that Jesus touched a “sinner”. Oh, aren’t you glad He did and still does!

As for being invited to a grand and elegant event, Jesus Christ did more than extend His hand in greeting and fellowship—He outstretched His arms on the cross! Christ has made His appeal and His invitation is for everyone! “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13) “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

Oh, beloved, call out to Jesus, and for heaven’s sake—open the door! You have an audience with the King!