The First Beginning Word on the Week 8th January 2022.
For most of us it is the beginning at school that imprinted itself on our minds. That unforgettable first day! For others it may be the first day at work with the trauma of a new beginning that became the time we cannot forget.
By comparison in the Biblical account of the beginning of planet earth everything seems to have been structured and orderly from the first day (Genesis Chapter 1 verses 1 to 5).
For instance, Genesis Chapter 1 verse 1 reads “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This breath-taking statement was given to Moses. Everything was organised. There was no hint of trauma until Chapter 3 when humankind’s rebellion ruptured relationships. The result is being played out in the world to this day.
The next new beginning we are to consider is that of one of the leading scholars of his time. He was searching for deeper meaning in life and was attracted to the teachings of a new Rabbi. In fact, he thought the Rabbi may have been sent by God. The remedy on offer was not some new resolution but nothing short of a new start to his life. This would take place if he looked in faith to the Rabbi who is Jesus.
The illustration Jesus used would have been well known to the man as it referred to an incident in Israel’s history (Numbers 21 verses 8 and 9). Just as the people had looked in faith to the snake in the desert and were cured of the plague they were now to redirect their gaze to Jesus who would become their Saviour (John Chapter 3 verses 1 to 16).
There is also a last ‘new beginning’! People were complaining that it was a long time coming. Jesus had told his disciples that ‘He would come again’ (John Chapter 14 verse 3). They wanted to see the promise fulfilled! It was left to Peter to explain that 1,000 years are like a day in the Lord’s reckoning. And he added the reason for the delay. It was the Lord’s patience. He was ‘not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance’ (2 Peter Chapter 3 verses 3 to 9).
We are at the beginning of a New Year. Will we try the Lord’s patience by ignoring Him or will we be like the scholar – Nicodemus who enquired further. His quest was rewarded and with the gift of faith. He went on to serve Jesus amongst the most difficult of people, the Pharisees, and assisted at the Lord’s burial (John Chapters 7 verse 50 and 19 verse 39).
It required courage to follow Jesus then and it requires courage now to follow Jesus in the counter Christian culture of today. This He will give to those who ask him. Let’s make it our resolution so to live for Him in 2022 and forever.