About Jesus    Steve Sweetman

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The Forerunner To Jesusí Return

Luke 9 tells us the story of the Transfiguration (Jesus appears with Elijah and Moses in front of Peter, James and John). Most scholars tell us that this event roughly begins the third and last year of Jesusí earthly ministry. It is at this time that Jesus heads towards Jerusalem for climax of His ministry.

You might not have realized it, but up to this point in Jesusí ministry He had not been in Jerusalem. He only visited the towns in Galilee, north of Jerusalem.

Before Jesus heads south to Jerusalem He sends some messengers ahead of Him into Samaria where He will pass through. (Luke 9:51-56) Then after this He sends 72 others ahead of Him to all the towns on the way to Jerusalem. (Luke 10:1)

The point Iíd like to make here is that Jesus did not go to Jerusalem without sending messengers ahead of Him to prepare the way. At one point He even asked some to find a specific room where they could gather.

With this in mind, we remember that John the Baptist was also a messenger sent ahead of Jesusí earthly ministry. These are two great events; one, the beginning of Jesusí ministry, and two, the end of His ministry. Both events were preceded by messengers who prepared the way for Jesus.

You might suggest that the birth of Jesus as well was prepared ahead of time by the angels who visited Mary to announce the birth of Jesus.

There might be something here for us to learn? I will say ahead of time that what I am about to suggest, and I say "suggest", for it is somewhat a leap of Biblical interpretation. By this I mean, what I am about to suggest is not clearly stated in the New Testament, and I usually stay clear of this type of interpreting. But on the other hand, there may be truth to what I am about to say, and some of you will probably suggest other Scriptures that make this my point.

If the birth, the ministry, and the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus were all announced and prepared for by messengers, would you not think that His return will be announced and prepared for by messengers as well?

In the above three instances, the messengers were all hand picked by Jesus, or His Father as in the case of His birth. I suggest then that in the days prior to the return of Jesus, He will chose His messengers to go ahead and pave the way for His return. Who He chooses is His choice, but there is a big world out there, and a large Body that belongs to Him.

Of course the ones He chooses must be His true followers as He defines in the gospel writings. These are those who deny themselves daily and take up their crosses. These are those who lead with the heart of a servant and not the heavy hand of a dictator. These are those who have been given power and authority to prepare the way for Him.

I know this has been preached before, resulting in cultish, sectarian, and exclusive groups thinking they are Godís special people. I am not talking about such exclusivity. Yet there will come a separation of the wheat from the tares. The two may still grow together as Jesus says they will, but the two will be clearly distinguished from each other. The wheat will not act in arrogance, but in powerful humility, because arrogance has no place in Godís Kingdom, and especially in His messengers. If indeed there will be a body of forerunners before Jesus return, they will not claim any specialness. They will only live humble lives and do His will, without fear, except for the fear they have in God. They will stand in the face of great opposition as did the messengers in the Bible and proclaim the gospel of Jesus and His soon return.

Once again, consider what I say and the Lord give you the understanding in all things.


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