Series: Reproducing the Christ; Changing Seasons
Num. 21:6-9; 2 Kings 18:1-4; John 12:20-24-Message Bible; 1 Cor. 12:12; Gen. 1:27; Matt. 1:17; Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:12-13; John 2:1-11; (Mark 16:17-18); 2 Cor. 4:7; (Col. 1:28); (John 6:28-29); Isa. 65:8; (Eph. 4:8-12)
“And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived”(Num. 21:9). Much later this became a religious tradition without healing power it had when God instructed Moses to do it. Hezekiah came and “broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the sons of Israel burned incense to it” (2 Kings 18:4). It is the easiest thing for a religious spirit to take that which had been instituted by God, and turn it into a lifeless religious habit. Patterns – even in our worship – without the presence of God, must be dismissed.
The need in the world (even if it is not always a conscious need) is: “SIR,WE WANT TO SEE JESUS”. God has put eternity in the heart of every human being. There cannot be fulfilment without that inner man connecting with the life that is in Christ. When the disciples told Jesus that the Greeks wanted to see Him, He answered, “Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over” (John 12:24.Msg). How did the reproduction process start? Jesus died. If He had not died, He would have remained the single “grain”, the Man. But when Jesus died He provisionally reproduced Himself many times over in what is now called the Christ in the earth, the many-membered body of Christ. “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ “(1 Cor. 12:12). Is there deterioration in quality? No! It will reproduce itself many times. This also refers to the “42nd generation”. The forty-first generation was Jesus, and the forty-second generation was Christ, or the Christ generation.(Matt 1:17). Another picture of this truth is found in Revelation 1:12-13: “…and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man…” Even in the Old Testament we find a similar picture. Israel had forty-two encampments in their journey from Egypt to the land of Promise; forty-one before the Jordan and the forty-second inside the land of Promise.
The world wants to see Jesus seven days a week. What religion has done, was to resurrect the “bronze serpent”. It is not enough to preach the historical Jesus. Paul said that even though we knew Him after the flesh, we know him so no longer. He is now the Head of this many-membered body.
Every miracle that Jesus did was to be a sign that is now being apostolically re-interpreted as something that has to do with the Church. “Now there weresix(6=number of man) stone waterpots” (John 2:6). Paul reminds us that “… we have this treasure in earthen vessels” (2 Cor 4:7). Water is always a type of the Word. It seems to take time for the Word to mature in a young believer; we must become the Word and the messenger must become the message. How long does it take for new wine to mature? Years! But here the wine matured immediately. Time collapsed.
We are told, “… the new wine is found in the cluster (Isa 65:8). God is busy with a new wineskin and He is not going to put the new wine of the Kingdom in an old wineskin. The backbone of this new wineskin is in this relational structure, the father-son relationship. “This is the beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him (John 2:11). He could not move forward without His disciples believing in him. How shall we do the works of God? Believe in Him who is sent (John 6:28-29).
Let there be a commitment to be part of the cluster, to be part of the corporate expression. Teach us Lord what it means to die to self and to tap into Your great plan to touch a world in need.