Set Apart

“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,

nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” Isaiah 53:2

There is an old TV commercial about an investment firm that was so successful, when one of their representatives spoke in the midst of a noisy party, everyone immediately stopped talking and listened. Their catchphrase was, “When E.F. Hutton speaks, everyone listens.” We can’t help but think that is the way it must have been when Jesus spoke, but many people, including members of His own family, did not believe He was who He claimed to be until they saw Him and touched Him following His death and resurrection. So how did He become the One person who literally changed the course of history with only a three-year ministry and a handful of devoted disciples?

What set apart Jesus, the man, from the rest of the prophets, great Masters or other “ascended beings” who are so revered in the world’s religions like Buddha, Mohammed and the rest? Was it His ability to heal the sick, do miracles, disappear through the midst of a crowd, or walk on water? Others did miracles, too: Moses split the Red Sea and brought water from a rock in the middle of the desert. Elijah raised the Shunammite’s son from the dead, and Elisha could see horses and chariots of fire that his servant couldn’t see until he asked God to open his eyes. Each of them certainly had devoted followers, and John the Baptist’s followers were so devoted to him that he had to tell them Jesus was the Messiah and they should follow Him, not John. But we know that wherever Jesus went, crowds of people followed Him. However, when He told them He was God, many persecuted Him and called Him crazy. We also know He was perceived to be such a threat to the religious establishment of His day that the Jewish religious leaders crucified Him, even though He was an innocent man.

On the road to Emmaus, the travelers who walked with Him failed to recognize Him, but when they realized it was Jesus, they said, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” (John 24:32). I believe they, like so many others, were drawn to Jesus because His presence resonated within that God-shaped hole that is in the soul of every human being. That void in our souls is what compels us to seek God, and if we are misdirected, we are compelled to fill it with all kinds of poor substitutes: money, power, love, sex, fame, drugs, etc. But He, and He alone, is the only One who truly satisfies that longing within our soul.

Our soul is what makes each of us who we are. It is the essence of our being that makes up our personality and individuality. The difference between Jesus and every other human who has ever walked this earth is that, while our souls are human, His soul was – and is – God. Our souls were created in Heaven before the earth was made, but His Spirit is the one who made us. Jesus was omniscient and omnipotent when He walked this earth because He was God, but He could not be omnipresent because God’s soul was encompassed within His human body. It is hard for us, in our 3-dimensional world, to comprehend that God exists in Heaven, but could also simultaneously live within the body of Jesus Christ. However, now we have the evidence that it is possible because after Jesus ascended, He sent the Holy Spirit to everyone who would believe and accept Him. And if you have accepted Him, His Holy Spirit lives within you, whether you can feel Him there or not. Ask Him, and He will reveal Himself to you in a personal way. He’s the greatest BFF you could ever ask for and He loves you beyond anything you can imagine!

Prayer: Oh, Jesus, how can we ever adequately thank You for Your unimaginable sacrifice of coming to live among us, even though You knew You would be rejected, tortured and would have to experience the ultimate agony on the cross of being separated from God - Your Father, Your very soul – as the sins of the whole world were cast upon you so we could know Your infinite love. Help us to receive Your love and to acknowledge Your Truth. Forgive us when we fail You and draw us ever closer to You for Your pleasure, honor, glory and service. We love You, praise You, worship and adore You! It is in Your precious and matchless name we pray, asking for more of You in our lives, amen.

Additional Scriptures:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” John 1:1-4 (Emphasis added.)

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29

“‘How do you know me?’ Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, ‘I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.’” John 1:48 (NIV)

They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’” He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3: 27-28, 30

"The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah! John 4:25-26

“When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord. Then he got on the bed and lay on the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy’s body grew warm. Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.” 2 Kings 4:32-35

"Elisha prayed, 'Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.' Then the Lord opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha." 2 Kings 6:17

’Truly I tell you,’ he continued, ‘no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.’ All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.” Luke 4:24-30 (Emphasis added.)

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