Category Archives: Monday Devotion

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When the last of the number is brought into the Kingdom, I imagine Abraham will gaze across the oceans of people in glory and marvel: just as God promised from his one son Isaac, their descendants outnumber the stars and sands.

By faith, Abraham believed God.

I want to have the faith that believes God will take the meager that I see with physical eyes and do the immeasurably more.  I want to have the spiritual eyes while on this earth to see the reality behind that kind of faith.

Jesus’ hometown people saw Him only as the carpenter son of Mary and Joseph.  Nicodemus saw only a young Rabbi who spoke of impossible things.  The woman at the well saw a Jewish prophet without a cup to draw water and drink.

We see only those things that our brains have past associations.  We live by sight.  That’s why we ask such silly questions and pray such weak prayers.

Nicodemus asked if a man could reenter his mother’s womb while the woman in John 4 asked how Jesus was going to draw living water when He didn’t even have a jug.  Later His disciples asked if someone else had brought him food cause He didn’t seem to need what they were offering.  All man has to offer in response to an encounter with God is ridiculous nonsense.

We live on planet earth and are satisfied with the atmosphere we see around us while we marvel at the sun, moon, and stars.  When we want an awe boost, we watch a documentary on the vastness of the universe or the intricacies of the human body.  We’re wowed by what we have already discovered.   Still that’s faith by sight.

There is so much more to behold.  Everything God gives is abundantly more than we could ever imagine.  That tells me that we have yet to see the smallest glimpse of the glory of His creation.  Our impressive discoveries of the universe are nothing compared to what is out there all around us in the spirit realm concealed because we refuse to live by spiritual faith.

We would worship in spirit if we ever saw the Truth.  We’re no better than the generation who saw the incarnate God walking among them and not recognize Him.

Their feeble minds couldn’t conceive of Yahweh humbly walking among them willing to die for their sins.  We now know that was reality.  Do you ever wonder what other realities should be evident to us today?  What would happen if we lived as spiritual beings instead of living immersed in the natural, consumed by the temporal, and diseased by the flesh?

I believe we’d never cease to worship.

We’d be daily astounded by wonder upon wonder.

We’d boldly go where no man has gone before.

We’d live like Jesus lived…just like He promised we could.

Here’s my plan.  It’s simple but with God all things are possible.

I plan to make a list of all I see around me in the natural life.  Next, I’ll ask God to give me faith to see with spiritual eyes.  Finally, I’ll pray to walk in this revealed reality.

Care to join me?  Maybe then we’ll be added to Hebrews 11 Hall of Faith.

By faith, Shelia believed God and jumped…

Shhhh, listen!

When is too much knowledge too much?

The Samaritans were limited in their understanding of the coming Messiah.  They read only the Torah consisting of the first five books of the Bible.  Genesis 3 announced that a coming victor would crush the head of the serpent that bruised His heel.  But other than that, most of the details of Messianic prophecies were contained in the books of the prophets, all unknown by the Samaritans.

Contrast their lack of knowledge with the Pharisees and Sadducees who knew the writings of their forefathers by memory.  They debated and analyzed scripture as a hobby.  Their existence was based on the strict following of the Law.  They searched the scriptures but missed their God.

Then you have the average layperson of Jesus’ time.  They were taught about the coming Messiah by their teachers yet they were still considered unschooled.  They had just enough knowledge to question the details of His birthplace and His mission.  The masses followed Jesus more for His miracles than for His truths.

Could it be the lack of preconceived ideals of the Messiah allowed the Samaritans to see Jesus as the Savior of the world, when His own people received Him not?  There are no recordings of Him performing authenticating miracles among them.  He simply told the woman at the well who He was, she told the townspeople, they spent a couple days with Jesus, and well, they all believed Him.

The simple things in life are often the most profound.  I wonder what would’ve happened if the Sanhedrin had simply spent a few days with Jesus and just listened to Him.  Isn’t that what God wants of us?  He did say, “This is my beloved Son, listen to Him.”

Listen to Him pray and marvel at His intimacy with the Father.

Listen to Him teach and tremble at His authority.

Listen to His compassion as He touches the lepers, hugs the children, and weeps with the brokenhearted.

Listen to His majesty as He commands the seas, raises the dead, and casts out demons.

Listen to His joy as He reveals His Father’s glory.

Listen to His suffering and know His amazing grace.

Take the time to just listen.  Be still and you will know that He is God.

We fail, but He gives anyway

Did Jesus ever get His drink of water?

In John 4, Jesus asked the Samarian woman for two things and as far as recorded scripture goes, He didn’t receive either.  He didn’t get a drink nor was He introduced to the current man in her life.

It intrigues me that neither denial hampered His work in her life.  Hmmm, why He asked in the first place?

Maybe to prove He is approachable and desires intimate conversation.  Asking for a drink would be a logical lead in since the midday heat would quickly parch a throat.

I don’t hear Him simply asking for a drink.  I see Him saying something like this,

“Shalom, I am not like all the Jewish men you know.  You can approach me without fear. Will you trust Me enough to give Me your firstfruit?”

Drawing water in the midday heat was hard work.  Her parched throat was ready for a cool relief.  Therefore, Jesus was asking her to meet His need before her own.

He asks us to do the same.  Everyday as we approach Him in prayer, He desires for us to give Him the first and the best of all we are and all we have.

“Will you give Me the first hour of your day?”

“Will you turn off the TV and focus only on me?”

“Will you love Me more than anything else?”

“Will you give Me everything you own?”

“Will you give Me …”

How does He most often start this conversation with you?  (I hope you’ll share your answers with me.)

Either this woman was incredibly bold or Jesus was entirely approachable.  She ignores His request and begins an argument.  I smile because I see myself in her.

Instead of giving up what she had, she demands more from Him.   Ouch, now that is the most common error we make in prayer.  Can’t we hear ourselves praying for living water or anything else He’ll give just to make our lives more comfortable?

We spend most of our side of the prayer conversation with the demands of our hearts until He interrupts us with something like this,

“Not only do I wish to know you but I want to give to you all I that I have.  I’ll take the water from your defiled cup then offer you living water that will cleanse your life.  All you have to do is bring that defiled life here to Me.”

The second request far exceeds the first.  Having our sinful ways brought into the light of day is painful.  Can’t you just see her head drop in shame as she cringes out her answer?

What is the one thing you never want anyone to ask you about? What is the one thing that would make you cringe?

Let’s you and I make a pact that the next time Jesus interrupts our day with a request, we’ll just do it.  We’ll walk down the steps into that well and give Him everything He asks of us.

And then while we’re enjoying His presence, when He brings up our sin, we’ll immediately repent in humble adoration of His grace.   For grace is what He offered this woman.

She refused Him what He asked yet He did not refuse to reveal Himself to her anyway.  I know He is good, all the time.  But I just once want to see His face when I respond to Him in obedience to everything He asks.

“Yes, Lord.  You are God, I am not.  That’s all I need to say.”

Live Abundantly

The desert is what happens when you remove water from a rainforest.  Without water, life dies.  The same is true of humans.

Our bodies are about 60 percent water.  Water regulates our body temperature, moves nutrients through our cells, keeps our mucous membranes moist and flushes waste from our bodies. Our lungs are 90 percent water, our brains are 70 percent water and our blood is more than 80 percent water. Simply put, we can’t function without it

Arizonans know the value of water. I greet my out-of-town guests with a bottle of water and tube of Chap Stick.  They laugh until they step out of the airport into 120-degree temperatures.

As precious as natural water is, it’s nothing compared to the living water offered by Jesus in John 4.

There are a few conclusions to be made from this conversation.

  1. We have to ask for the living water.
  2. Only God can give it.
  3. He will give it when asked.
  4. God gives in abundance.  His well of living water makes Niagara Falls look like a drippy faucet.

Let’s combine verses 10 and 26 of John 4 with John 3:16 and read it like this:

If you knew the gift of God

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son

and who it is that asks you for a drink;

I who speak to you am He,

you would have asked him

whoever believes in him

and he would have given you living water.

shall not perish but have eternal life.

Jesus spoke the same truth to this Samaritan woman that He spoke to Nicodemus.  His message is always the same.  Life comes only through Jesus.

The pious law-keeper was told he had to be born again.  His sin was pride and unbelief in the LawGiver.   The immoral Samaritan woman was told to call her husband and come back here.  Both learned that His gift comes with holiness.

They had to give up their old lives and believe in the LifeGiver.

It’s an offer that can’t be refused when staring in the face of the Son of God.  Once you see Jesus, you will savor Him.

His presence causes an unquenchable thirst in our bodies.  Then He does the impossible.   He crushes every pretense, prejudice, lie, and deceit.  He quenches our dry and parched souls with a flood of His grace.

He washes us clean as snow.

I love to visit Niagara Falls and ride the Maid of Mist.  The immense power of tons of water plummeting over that cliff is overwhelming and terrifying.  Very few things compare to this force of nature.

I often feel like I deserve to be one of those rocks at the base of the falls.  Only that enormous crushing force could flush away the filth of my life.  But that’s not God’s way.

His way is for sinners to stand at the foot of His cross and look up.  One drop of blood from His brow is all it takes.  Our sins are washed away.

Amazing isn’t it?  A drop of His blood is more powerful than all the waterfalls on this globe.  Yet, He offers something far more astounding.

The power of that drop of blood can multiply until it becomes the force of mighty rushing water flowing out of a believer.  A drop of grace from God grows into Niagara Falls grace to others.

Now that’s what I call living water.

Resolutions? Me?? No way!

I start out each new year upside down.  I fret about the resolutions I should make and then I rebuke myself for breaking them by the end of January.

This year’s list goes something like this:

  • Start the year with a Daniel’s fast for 40 days to refocus on the Lord
  • Live on a limited fast all year.  No sweets, dairy, or white flour.
  • Drink cherry juice and take my supplements.
  • Exercise daily, especially my stretches.
  • Write at least 5,000 words per week.
  • Pray daily for open eyes for His Harvest.
  • And of course, pray, worship, and study His Word more hours each day.

I praise God for His faithfulness to turn me right side up.  As I was preparing this list, He reminded me to pray for my 2012 verse.  Since 1995, I have asked the Spirit to guide me to a verse that will be the foundational word for my upcoming year.  Each year He reveals a special verse and astounds me at how He orchestrates the whole year around that truth.

I have had eighteen years of seeing His Word come alive in my life.  In 1995, I learned three components to living in His will.  1996, He taught me about faith being expressed in love.  I learned to tremble at His Word in 1997 while in 1998 I discovered how to be a woman of truth.

In 1999 as I lead a huge statewide ministry He continuously proved His immeasurably more and in 2000 as that evangelistic ministry expanded, He was my good Shepherd guiding each step.

In the early 2000’s I learned the wisdom of being a peacemaker, how to walk in fear with an undivided heart, knowing Him through His sufferings and resurrection, and walking with Him in awe of His plan.  2005 and 2006 were all about worship while 2007 and 2008 were spent in His Last Discourse.

2009 was a year to see His glory and so it was with both our kids getting married.  2010 I was given His words to share with others and then last year I accepted His call to love in increasing measure.

Each year a new verse given for a new journey.

Every year I experienced victory upon victory as He fulfilled the promise of His Word.  If I ever doubted what was happening around me, I only needed to be reminded of that special verse.

That’s when it hit me.  Man-made resolutions are upside down thinking.  We can’t make the guidelines for the year and expect God to adjust the universe to fit our plans.  He’s God, we’re not.

Throw away your list of resolutions.  Get on your knees before God and with the Word opened before you, ask Him to reveal a verse that shows His plan for your year.  Keep asking and listening until He speaks.  I can’t imagine a better way to start the year than with God speaking a truth that will be your banner as you march into the new year.

This year, my verse is John 4:34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”

 

Food is defined as any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth.  Food is what keeps me alive.  Jesus said what sustained His life was finishing the work of God.  He never went hungry.

I will never go hungry, whether in meager or much, as long as I rely on the fulfillment of His work to sustain me.  He put it in simple terms for me:  obedience is spiritual food.  Obedience maintains my life.

This year has loads of promises and questions:

  • Probably going to have some frequent fasting times.
  • I’m going to see a harvest!
  • Wonder where I’m being sent to do His will?
  • Finish, hmm wonder what work is going to be finished?  I hope it’s the four books I have started.

I can’t help but wonder about how this verse is so closely related to my life verse.   1 Corinthians 9:27:  No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

We receive the prize at the finish line of every race.

In 2012, I intend to beat my body into obedience for I really want the prize when He finishes His work in me.

Prejudice is a Cancer

Prejudice is a cancer.

I have first hand accounts with both.  Like cancer, prejudice begins with a small defected entity but quickly grows until it kills every healthy living cell in its path.  Cancer kills the very life Jesus gives.  Prejudice kills all the goodness of life.

The story of the Woman at the Well in John 4 is a story about prejudice.  We have two main characters.  One is without sin.  Therefore the prejudice is found only in the woman.

The woman (I want to give her a name but the only name I feel appropriate is my own and that’s too painful) is a victim of prejudice.  Most scholars place the time of this story to be noon, the sixth hour of Hebrew time.  If this were true, then she would be considered an outcast among women by not being allowed or feeling comfortable to draw water at the normal early morning time.  Instead she was forced to venture out in the heat of the day.

Women of ill repute are often scorned.   The underlying force is the same within all prejudices.  Fear.  Fear that we will become like them.  If we hate them enough, our hatred will provide a dividing wall between them and us.  Prejudice provides that sense of false safety.

I was raised immersed in a culture of prejudice.  I prided myself on not being like those prejudice people who hate others for the color of their skin, social status, or religion.  But like cancer, prejudice creeps in where we least expect.  I had become prejudice against the prejudiced.   So had this woman.

She instantly noticed Jesus was Jewish.  She addressed Him with ‘you Jews’ and ‘our prophets’.  Sinless Jesus was breaking down barriers but she wasn’t making it easy.  Her comfort zone was on her side of the wall.  How can you even think to ask me for a drink?  You stay on your side and I’ll stay on mine.

Prejudice people are often highly defensive and steeped in their religious traditions.

Her argument could sound like this today, “You think you’re more Jewish than me, well look, we own Jacob’s well.  You can’t get more Jewish than having the life-giving water for the 12 tribes of Israel.  And by the way, you’re not any more religious than me just because you have a temple in Jerusalem.  We worship just fine on our mountain.”

This sounds very similar to the arguments of today: hymns vs. choruses, cathedrals vs. shopping malls, KJV vs. NIV.  When we’re pushed, we come out fighting about anything and everything.

But you have to admire her boldness.  She didn’t hesitate to talk to a stranger.  If you compare, she’s nearly equal to Jesus in word count.  Is that because she’s a woman?   Maybe it has something to do with it.  But I think it’s more because she’s a fighter.  Prejudice breeds angry warriors.

So here we have a bold, prejudice, defensive, woman warrior who doesn’t quite know how to handle Jesus or His words.

  • How are you going to give me this living water if you don’t even have a jar?
  • If this water will keep me from having to come here again, then I’ll take it.  If not, then what’s the use?
  • You’re confusing me, I know one thing for sure, someday a Messiah will come and when He does He will explain everything.
  • He must be a prophet since He knew my secrets, but could this man really be the Messiah?

The woman saw Jesus as a Jewish prophet without a cup to drink from.

Could there be deep-seated prejudice in your own heart keeping you from seeing the fullness of Jesus?

He Had to do it

The one and only time I heard Billy Graham in person was June 4, 1993 in Pittsburgh, PA.  I remember the sweet spirit surrounding that stadium.  I remember the scores of people making their way to the altar.  I remember only one thing about the message.

His message was based on one obscure verse, John 4:4.  Dr. Graham read these words, “Now he had to go through Samaria.”  From there, he built his message.

Jesus had to be at that well, at that time, for that woman.

That’s all I remember.

It was enough to impact the rest of my life.  Jesus knew where He had to be and He was there.  I want to live like that.  I want to know where God wants me to be and I want to be there.  That’s where wow things happen.

But in order to be obedient, Jesus had to do a few other things:

  • Had to go through a town that no one else wanted to visit.  Jews would walk miles out of their way to avoid the ‘half-breed’ Samaritans.  Jesus knew walking this route would add more ammunition to His enemies.  He went anyway.
  • Had to get tired.  Think about it.  God wanted Him to be so tired that He would require rest.  Not only that, He had to be obedient to the spiritual call while physically drained.  That’s not what I would call an ideal ministry scenario.
  • Had to sit and wait.  Scripture doesn’t tell us how long He waited but we can suppose it was at the hottest time of the day.  There He sat, risking heatstroke, until His divine appointment arrived.
  • Had to get rid of his friends and do this alone.  I’ve often wondered why Jesus sent His disciples away.  Food is John’s reasoning.  I’m guessing it might have something to do with them scaring away the desired encounter.  Think about it.  These Jewish men despised Samaritans.  They also were never allowed to speak to a woman in public.  Jesus’ mission was to break all their sacred traditions.  I can only assume their rejections would have created a wall of resistance to the Spirit’s work.
  • Had to have a conversation with a defiled woman and defile Himself even more by drinking from her water jar.
  • Had to say some tough things to her face.  He had to risk alienating the very one He was sent to give witness.
  • Had to reveal himself as the Messiah.  His first revelation with His hometown friends resulted in them trying to kill him.  He didn’t let a possible second rejection stop Him.

It’s easy to say, “I want to be where God wants me, doing what God wants of me.”  It’s harder to live in that reality.  Why? Because God will always ask us to leave our comfort zone, exhaust our own strength, wait patiently on Him alone, and then boldly tell a ‘hard-to-love’ person about the Lord who changed our lives.

Given any one of these obstacles and most believers quit.  I’m tired of being a quitter.

The secret to living like Jesus is in that one little word ‘had’.  Had is past tense of have and the synonyms include:  must, need, obligate, require.   Try saying it this way:

I must know where God wants me to be.

I need to be doing what God wants me to do.

I’m obligated to my Master and Lord.

I’m required to live out His life in me.

Somehow when put that way, I find it easier to endure the hardships

Face-to-Face

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they have to face a superior.  Most people study and strive to never reach this place.  It’s humbling and vulnerable and we will avoid it at all cost.  So we educate and promote ourselves to higher degrees of efficiency until we are assured that in our sphere of influence we are the most influential.

“In my world, I am in control.  I reign supreme.”

This of course is the mindset of every lost person from the publically esteemed to the scum of society.  They have one thing in common; they bend their knee to no one.

Nicodemus was a highly educated aristocrat of his society.  He comes to Jesus with one purpose.  He seeks to gain the knowledge necessary in order to quench the nagging uncertainties threatening his superior status.  The kingdom he had built wass in jeopardy if Jesus is who He claims to be.

Nicodemus moves first, “I will call you Rabbi even though you are young and uneducated.  I will credit your miracles to God for my studies assure me that only God can do what has been credited to you.  Now, I need you to give me a reasonable explanation for why I am doing this.”

 

Jesus counters with, “Your mouth spouts flattery and your mind seeks answers but your soul is lost.  I will address the soul for that is why I am here.”

Checkmate.  The teacher becomes the student under the Master Teacher.  It doesn’t matter what Nicodemus and his friends know (verse 2) Jesus is about to tell them the Truth.  (verses 3,5)

Set back and listen Nic, cause from this point on you will only be able to utter, “How can this be?”

Only God can cause a person to make the journey from darkness to seek the truth in the Light.   Therefore Jesus doesn’t bend His knee to the agenda of Nicodemus, He obeys what He sees His Father is doing.  The kingdom of God is at hand.

To be able to see the Kingdom, you must be born from above.  In order to enter the Kingdom, you must be born of water and the Spirit. 

The world is forever indebted to Nicodemus for asking, “How?”

1.  Jesus makes certain His true identity is understood.

You call Me a Rabbi, your equal.  I tell you I am the One-of-a-kind Son sent from Yahweh to be lifted up as the salvation for the world.   You know the Son of Man Daniel saw?  I AM.  You know Moses’ snake of salvation in the desert?  I AM

2. Jesus clarifies that the Spirit does the work of salvation.

The power to be reborn comes from God alone.  You have as little control over His work as you could control the wind that blows. 

 

3. You must believe Me.

Just as the snake venom poisoned the Israelites, sin has poisoned and condemned you to death.  The simple act of lifting their eyes to gaze upon the snake proved their faith in the One who heals.  Your believing in Me proves your faith in the One who Redeems.

 

Lift up your eyes and look into the face of your Savior.

Did one of the wisest of the wise men of his time become a believer?  He was drawn out of the darkness by the wind of the Spirit, he had a face-to-face encounter with the Savior, he had only to believe in the death, burial and resurrection he soon witnessed.  I hope his bold and tender act of preparing Jesus’ body for burial showed his heart had indeed been torn from top to bottom.

The actual words ‘born again’ describe a garment torn from top to bottom.  I have no doubt that when the Nicodemus saw the curtain to the Holy of Holies ripped from top to bottom, that he remembered His conversation on that dark night.  A vivid memory relived before his stunned eyes.  But was his heart torn?

Has your heart been torn from above and made new?

Nic at Nite

Two men, an esteemed religious elderly statesman and a young carpenter turned preacher miracle worker meet in the cover of darkness.

That’s as likely as the Pope meeting with my pastor husband.  The first century paparazzi would have swarmed that meeting.

One was Nicodemus; a member of the elite Jewish order of the Sanhedrin and the other wasn’t just any young upstart preacher; it was Jesus, the Son of Man.

There are no coincidences in the Bible, the meeting had to be at night.  The Almighty Father orchestrated every word and divine appointment in Jesus’ life. Was it to avoid a media storm?  But whose reputation was being protected?

Before we examine the characters, let’s focus on why the meeting had to be at night.  As the two sat face-to-face in the lamp light, Jesus gets to the heart of the matter with this verdict.

 

 Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

Jesus has a way of cutting through the pretense and nailing the truth to your heart.  It’s painful but effective.   Allow me to paraphrase how He has made this personal to me.

Jesus said, “I AM the laser beam sent for heaven to cut through the façade of your life.  You hide in the muck and mire of this world because you are afraid to let me burn away your sin and lies.  But if you will stop hiding in the darkness and stand boldly in my Light, I will burn away the filth and make you new.”

 

The Sovereign God of the universe caused Nicodemus to walk the night streets, to feel the fear of the darkness, to sit opposite the blinding Light from Heaven.  He knows we need to face the truth of ourselves before we will allow Him to perform the necessary surgery.

But be assured of this, whatever God brings to the Light, He is ready to Lasik.

What you are hiding in the dark?

Who are you afraid will see the real you?

If you believe, why are you ashamed to come into the Light?

Does God have you in a situation where your emotions are frayed and your nerves are frazzled?

Run into the Light.  It is best for your soul to sit under the interrogating Light of His Truth.  Nicodemus learned this and it changed his heart.

The next two times Nicodemus is mentioned in scripture, he is no longer hiding in the darkness.  You find him defending Jesus to his peers (John 7:50-52) then unashamedly defiling himself as he prepares the body of his Lord for burial (John 19: 31, 38-42).  Please don’t miss the amount of myrrh and aloes given to the Lord by Nicodemus.  It was fit for royalty.  I propose Nicodemus no longer saw Jesus as just a Rabbi.

No more hiding in darkness once you’ve been exposed to the True Light of the World.  You want to be born from above then you need to stop slipping around in the dark and take a stand in Light.

The Son of Man Reigns

So what would you think the importance level of something that Jesus repeated over 80 times?  I would say that is huge and we need to devour it.

Jesus declared Himself the ‘Son of Man’ over and over and over again.  I have no problems understanding the title Son God which others gave Him.  But no one else called Him the Son of Man in the Gospels.  He alone gave that title to Himself.  Why?

To find the answer, we have to go outside the Gospels.  It won’t take us long to read these references, there are only a few. I promise they are worth the read.

Daniel 7:9-14 is the key passage.  It is safe to say that the people of Jesus’ time would have been more familiar with this book of prophecy than any other.  This small book was written during the exile just a few generations before.

Daniel’s visions of the empires had been fulfilled with the greatest of accuracy in rapid succession of time.  The Babylonian empire fell to the Medes and Persians.  The Greek empire shattered them just as Daniel had said.  Now in Jesus’ time, the Romans were ruling and everyone knew that all four empires, which had blended into each other, would be shattered quickly and completely by the great Rock.  (Daniel 2:45)  These events would be considered recent history to this first century people.  So no doubt, the masses knew the book of Daniel and were awaiting the end to the empires of men.

Daniel 7 show a glimpse into heaven as the ‘beasts with horns’ rulers were destroyed.  In this vision the Ancient of Days on the throne of fire representing judgment.  Here we also see the coronation of Jesus.  He is the one like a ‘son of man’ coming with the clouds, meaning He is deity.  Here you have God but His form is like a man.

Jesus is the part of the Triune God who took human form.  He is given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worship Him.  (Only God is to be worshiped.)  His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.  Daniel saw the Rock, which will crush the kingdoms of the earth and rule forever and ever.  He saw Jesus, the Son of man, God in human form.

Now fast forward a few hundred years and hear Jesus say over and over,  “I am the Son of man.”  He was saying to the people, “I AM God in human form.  I have been given all authority and my kingdom will never end.”  Oh, this truly is huge.  No wonder the Pharisees and Sadducees screamed blasphemy.

Interesting note here, when Ezekiel saw this One, ‘a figure like that of a man’, he fell facedown and had to be picked up by the Spirit.  (Ezekiel 1:25-2:2)  John in Revelation 1:12-17 saw this same One ‘like a son of man’ and he too fell at His feet as though dead.

Here is the difference of those who see with spiritual eyes into the Kingdom of God and those with hardened hearts who only see the flesh.  Lord, give me eyes to see as You see.

 

Most of the time Jesus used this name, He was referring to Himself as the Exalted One that will come in the clouds with great power and victory.  He was telling the people that He was indeed the One Daniel had seen and the prophecy would be fulfilled.

Next He used this term to say that the Son of man was also the Suffering One who had come to be crucified and rise again.  He was teaching them that this same One in Daniel 7 was the One who had to fulfill Isaiah 53 prophecy.

But finally He used the term to describe Himself as the Lowly One.  He tied the first two together to say that He had left all the splendor of Glory to live among lowly men to fulfill His Father’s plan.  As Augustine said it, “The Son of God became the Son of man that you who were sons of men might be made sons of God.”

 

Only Jesus is the Son of man and Son of God united in one person.  He is the One seated on the cloud with a crown of gold on His head and sharp sickle in His hand.  (Revelation 14:14)  He will judge the earth and is to be feared.  But never forget, He is also the One who will stand and welcome us home as He did Stephen.  (Acts 7:54-56)

But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

Now that is a vision I want to see.