A couple thousand years ago, on a dry dusty hillside, hundreds of people sat listening to a man talking about things they had never heard before. The way in which he spoke was so unique, and just like the things he spoke of, had a way of drawing people in and at the same time creating a spark of something unsure within them. And, like the writings of a king who was peculiarly familiar to him, even coming from the same humble town, although many years prior, his words had a way of connecting with people's hearts. He spoke of morals, of love, of humility, and of his Father. He spoke of hypocrites, of the proud, and of the Devil. He spoke truth, and when some heard him, they felt strangely alive and free, as if a heavy burden had just fallen off. Others, upon hearing him, began to feel uneasy, and tried to block out what the man was saying.
Some of the people on the hillside that day were businessmen, they were educated, hardworking, pillars of their communities. Others were servants, they were also hard working, doing much of the labor. There were people there from many walks of life, a diverse crowd. There were store owners, shop keepers, fishermen, accountants, soldiers, teachers, politicians, lawyers, carpenters, even prostitutes, and scam artists. There were elderly people who came to hear the man talk, along with adults, young people, and children. There were outsiders present in the crowd, coming from families and places far away from the small town they found themselves in. But on that day, they found that they all had something in common. As they listened to the man speak, one by one they realized that they had not lived up to the standards he was giving. Each reacted to his words in their own way. Some wrote them off, claiming the man was a fraud, but for other more observant listeners, this wasn't that easy. The more they watched and listened to this man, the more they began to notice that everything he said he lived, that when he spoke of morals, of love, and of humility, it was as if he were speaking of himself!
Today, long after this man was brutally beaten before giving up his life on another dusty hillside, his words are still unique. They continue to bring overwhelming joy, peace, and freedom to some, just as they continue to bring uneasiness to others. There are some who have blocked them out, some who have diluted them, some who have twisted them, but for the one who will seek to understand and to heed them, they are alive, pointing to the man who spoke them, the man so unique from other men, the man whom death could not hold, God with us.
"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled" -Matthew 5:6 (KJV)
"Thy words were found and I did eat them, and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart." - Jeremiah 15:16 (KJV)
"My heart has heard you say, "Come and talk with me." And my heart responds, "Lord, I am coming." -Psalm 27:8 (NLT)