Professional Speaking :: Jesus The Magician


The first part of the lyrics of the song, “King Herod’s Song” in Andrew Llyod Webber’s rock opera classic, “Jesus Christ Superstar” goes as follows:
Jesus, I am overjoyed to meet you face to face. You’ve been getting quite a name all around the place.
Healing cripples, raising from the dead. And now I understand you’re God, At least, that’s what you’ve said.
So, you are the Christ, you’re the great Jesus Christ. Prove to me that you’re divine; change my water into wine.
That’s all you need do, then I’ll know it’s all true. Come on, King of the Jews.
Jesus, you just won’t believe the hit you’ve made around here. You are all we talk about, the wonder of the year.
Oh what a pity if it’s all a lie. Still, I’m sure that you can rock the cynics if you tried.
So, you are the Christ, you’re the great Jesus Christ. Prove to me that you’re no fool; walk across my swimming pool.
If you do that for me, then I’ll let you go free. Come on, King of the Jews.
I only ask what I’d ask any superstar.”

This is a musical rendition of the account mentioned in Luke 23:6-12. When Jesus was brought before Herod, Herod was exceedingly glad to finally meet him face to face, since Herod had heard a great deal of Jesus’ doings and expected some sort of miracle to be performed by Jesus for him. Herod sought more of a magic show than a true miracle that brought glory to God and Jesus remained silent before Herod. Herod then ridicules and mocks Jesus and sends him back to Pilate and on that very same day, Herod and Pilate became friends, for they were enemies before that. What Herod failed to recognize was that while Jesus did not perform a magical sign before Herod, when he was asked to, magic did happen that day – for enemies became friends.

Points to ponder:
Those who are in love with the world are enemies of God (James 4:4). Jesus, The Magician is the Only One who can make us friends with God (Romans 5:10-11). Are you a friend of God? If not, believe in Jesus, The Magician (Superstar), and become a friend of God.

Luke 23:8-12 (KJV)
8 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.
9 Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.
10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.
11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.
12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.

Romas 5:10-11 (KJV)
10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.
11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Hello Fear, And If Our God Is For Us …, Blessings


During the 54th Grammy Awards ceremony on February 12th, 2012, there were awards given to several outstanding songs and albums and their singers, but what I believe stood out in the awards were the songs and albums chosen in the Gospel and Contemporary Christian category.

The best Gospel song and Gospel album was won by “Hello Fear” by King Franklin.
The best contemporary Christian music album was won by “And If Our God Is For Us …” by Chris Tomlin.
The best contemporary Christian music song was won by “Blessings” by Laura Story.

The lyrics of Kirk Franklin’s “Hello Fear” song paints the story an individual who is severing his relationship with “fear” that had imprisoned him and stolen all hopes and dreams, as God’s healing of hurtful places and grace took its place.

Chris Tomlin in an interview said that he was constantly being bombarded with the thought of the greatest, strongest, most high, healing, awesome and powerful God, who was for us and so changed the originally intended title of the album from “Expectations” to “And If Our God Is For Us …”. He specifically calls to attention in this interview, the importance and significance of the last three dots (dot, dot, dot) at the the end of the album title, expressing that when Our God is For us, (you fill in the blanks), but there is nothing that can stop us, or stand against us. In other words, If Our God Is For Us, nothing is impossible and Scripture affirms that Our God Is For Us!

Finally, the song Blessings by Laura Story paint the imagery of the trials and tears of life to be blessings and mercies in disguise and with the singer, we can pray that we are given wisdom to discern and hear God’s voice, in the midst of the rain and storm; during the hardest and darkest hours of our life, for pain reminds us, that this is not our home – we are just passing through.

Points to ponder:
Putting the three Gospel and Christian winning titles together, we can see God’s message to each one of us, through these award winning titles and songs, that, since OUR GOD IS FOR US, there is NO reason to FEAR and we can call fear and say, “HELLO FEAR”, Grace has taken your place, so farewell, goodbye fear. It is now time for BLESSINGS  to flow in, even if it comes in the form of trials and tears. Our prayer Lord is that you give us wisdom to hear your voice and faith to believe!

Romans 8:15 (KJV)
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Romand 8:31  (KJV)
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 

Ephesians 1:3 (KJV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (KJV)
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

God of the mighty


While learning the song, Agnus Dei, instead of singing “for the Lord God Almighty reigns”, our beloved 5 year old son, Reuben, kept singing “for the God of the mighty reigns.” My loving wife, Sangeetha attempted to correct him, but while she was doing so, it dawned on me that my son, without realizing was proclaiming another truth from the Holy Bible. God, the Most High is not just the Lord God Almighty, but He is also the God of the mighty.

The Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines the word, “mighty” as someone who is possessing “power.” As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we are not just a peculiar people, but we are a powerful people, for God did not give unto us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Just as David, a shepherd boy towered over the mighty trained soldier Goliath, with God in us (not just on our side), we are stronger than the strongest and mightier than the mightiest that the world can raise. We are a mighty people and the Most High, who reigns, is our God. For indeed the Lord God Almighty reigns; For indeed the God of the mighty reigns.

1 John 4:4 (KJV)
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Beyond Belief comes Obedience


When growing up, I learnt the song, Trust and Obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to Trust and Obey. But it was not until recently that I learned from the Bible that Trust and Obedience are like two sides of the same coin. After one places their trust in Jesus, they must Obey Him.  This is the next step that one must take after they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ according to the Scripture to inherit eternal life (Hebrews 5:9). Not every one that saith unto Him, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth (obeys) the will of my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 7:21). Beyond belief comes obedience.

Points to ponder:
Have you/I believed in Jesus Christ? If you/I have, do you/I obey Him and do the will of God the Father? 

Hebrews 5:8-9 (KJV)
8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

The Representative and The Re-presenter


1 John 2:1-2 states “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Jesus Christ is our advocate, meaning He is our representative. A representative is one who represents, i.e., the one who stands in the place of another. Guilty, we stand before God the Judge, but when Jesus our representative, presents the case that our penalty has been paid by His death on the Cross for our sins, and when we walk in the newness of life, in the Spirit, there is nothing left to condemn us (Romans 8:1). Jesus represents us i.e., Jesus stands for us.

Jude 1:24 states that Jesus is “able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy“. This means that Jesus not only represents us but He is able to re-presents us, i.e., present us again. We are stained by sin and guilty of our selfish internal desires that rebel against a loving God, but He presents us not as we are, but re-presents (presents us again) as faultless, when we believe in Him. For everyone who is in Christ is a new Creation, the old has passed away, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).

The lyrics of the song, “Before the throne of God above” beautifully illustrates this fact.

Before the throne of God above, I have a strong and perfect plea,
A great High Priest whose name is Love, who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is written in his hands, my name is graven in his heart
And while I know in heaven He stands, no tongue can bid me thence depart.

When satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of my guilt within;
Upward I look to see Him there, who made an end to all my sin.
Because a sinless Savior died, my guilty soul is counted free,

For God the Just is satisfied, to look on Him and pardon me.

Jesus is not only our representative, but He is our re-presenter as well.

1 John 2:1-2 (KJV)
1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Jude 1:24 (KJV)
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright


TigerOne of the songs that we jam to, on Guitar Hero World Tour, is the ever famous “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor (1982), the same song that is the backdrop to Sylvester Stallone’s movie – Rocky. Listening to this song, got me thinking as to what was so special about the Eye of the Tiger. Undoubtedly, it is intimidating, captivating and hypnotic to say the least.

The more, I pondered, the more, I felt myself bewildered and my mind wandered. I started to reminisce about a poem, I learned when I was a little child; the poem “The Tiger” by William Blake.

Excerpts of the poem are given below –

Stanza 1
Tiger Tiger Burning Bright
In the forest of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Stanzas 2,3 (skipped)
Stanza 4
When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Stanza 5 (skipped)

Inquisitiveness to explore further, to glean the depth of the meaning, made me realize that while the poem may seem to be talking about one of God’s most beautiful and fearsome creation – The Tiger, it’s really about the creator God, the one who is immortal (whose immortal hand and eye it was), who fashioned and framed the Tiger (could frame thy fearful symmetry?). He is the same God who fashioned the Lion and the Lamb (Note the question posed by the poet – Did He who made the lamb make thee?).

Colossians 1:15-18 records the preeminence of Jesus Christ in all of Creation and verse 16 reads. For by him (Jesus Christ) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.

Everything (the Burning Bright Tiger, you, me …), absolutely everything, was created by God and for God. This is something that should never be forgotten. We are made in God’s image, For GOD. and when God sees us, can it be asked – Did He smile His work to see?

Image Credits – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ricdiggle/3115830416/