One of my absolute favorite verses in the Bible is John 1:14, and of all the translations and paraphrases that I have read I think Eugene Peterson did the best job. In his work, The Message, Pastor Peterson paraphrases this passage by saying,
“The Word became flesh and moved into the neighborhood.”
When I first read this it helped me understand Jesus’ ministry all the more.
Don’t get it wrong. I knew Jesus had come to this world to provide us with salvation, forgiveness and grace, but this verse tells me that Jesus did more than just those amazing things for us. When Jesus moved into the neighborhood, He was telling us that we mattered so much He wanted to live where we were. Jesus didn’t think to make us reach a certain unattainable and higher standard, but rather Jesus came to us.
At the heart of His ministry is a “Why” statement with you at the center. Look at what Kyle Idleman shares in a devotional I read recently:
“When Jesus invites you to follow Him, He wants you to start right now from your current location. You don’t have to go back to where you started. You don’t need to get a little closer on your own. He reaches out to you with grace and love, and invites you to follow Him. Feeling weak? Depend on His strength. Trapped in sin? Find freedom in His endless mercy. Been down this road before? Know that He is still patiently waiting for you to come home. Lost? Trust His directions. Jesus wants you to start following Him from right where you are—and He wants you to start right now. It promises to be an incredible journey.” (Kyle Idleman, Not A Fan Devotional)
As we “Start With Why”, please know that you are the reason why Jesus came and died. This week we will begin our new sermon series, and at the heart of this series we are intended to react to Jesus’ ministry in such a way that we are transformed. Then we will develop our own “Why” statements so that others can understand why we follow Jesus.
Let’s Start With Why.