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home : religion : inspirational reflections August 18, 2017

4/16/2017 12:01:00 AM
Who Is This?
Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.'
Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is 
10% what happens to you and 
90% how you react to it.'

Rev. Susan Smith Walker
Emanuel Reformed Church


Matthew 21:1-11
21 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”(G)
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c](H)
“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”(I)
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet(J) from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Have you ever seen the movie “The Never Ending Story”? In it, a little boy is fascinated by a story book and magically dives into it, coming up in the story and becoming part of it. This is how I like to read the Bible – I dive into the story so I can put myself there with the characters. I like to walk around in the scripture, getting to know the people and seeing how it was back then.      

I especially like to do this when Jesus is in the story. What was it really like to be with him and the people who followed him? The only way to know is to jump down into the story and put myself there. In this passage Jesus is entering Jerusalem as his ministry on earth is coming to an end. I see the people cheering him, waving palm branches and putting their cloaks on the road before him. Many people celebrating his triumphant entry knew who Jesus was because he had touched them in some way while others said “Who is this?” 



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Zacchaeus the tax collector was there heard someone ask that question. “Who is this? You don’t know? This is the man who told me all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. He didn’t judge me. He came to my house and ate with me. He forgave me and changed my heart. Those things I used to do I don’t do any more. I don’t want to cheat people any more. I’m a changed man!”

The Samaritan woman at the well was there, and she said “Who is this? Are you serious? This is the man who looked past my faults and saw my needs. He accepted me just as I am. Even though I am a woman he talked to me directly and showed me that I was worthy of God’s love. I’m a new woman! I don’t have to look for love in all the wrong places now that I know the one who is Love.”

The man who had been laying on his mat for 32 years at the pool at Bethesda was there. “Who is this? You haven’t heard? This Jesus is the one who gave me tough love and took away all my excuses. When he looked in my eyes, a power I can’t describe jumped from him to me. I had been stuck in a rut of self-pity for so long. He did for me what I could not do for myself. He told me to get up, pick up my mat and walk and I did! Look at me now!”

The woman caught in adultery was there. “Who is this? I’ll tell you who he is. Jesus is the one who stood up for me when I was about to be stoned to death. He saved my life. Jesus challenged my accusers and said that anyone who had never sinned could cast the first stone at me, but one by one they all walked away.  He forgave me and gave me another chance to live right. He changed my life that day and it will never be the same.”   

The man named Legion was there. “Who is this? You haven’t heard about him? I was hopeless and everyone had given up on me. I was out of my mind running around naked and cutting myself. I wanted to stop but I couldn’t stop. Everyone was afraid of me. I was afraid of myself. Jesus filled me with a new spirit and healed my mind. Now I know who I am and who I belong to. I’m reunited with my family and friends because of what he did for me.” 

The centurion whose servant was healed was there. “Who is this? I thought everyone knew already! I’m not even Jewish but Jesus heard my cry and healed my servant just by his word. He reached out to me and showed me that God’s love and God’s power are available to all people everywhere.”   

A woman who had heard him teaching the Sermon on the Mount was there. Who is this? This is Jesus – the prophet who teaches with an authority that comes from God, not from man. When he reads the scriptures, the words come alive in my spirit. His teaching has power like I have never experienced before. When I hear him teach, it changes me from the inside out. I want to practice what he preaches. That is who he is!”    

So what if we were there that day? What if you were in the crowd?  Would you be cheering, waving a palm branch or would you be saying “Who is this?  Would you say “He healed me – he changed me!” or “Who is this?”

Would you say “He transformed my son, he saved my husband”, or “Who is this?”

Would you say “I am one of his sheep and the voice of another I cannot follow when I hear his teaching. When I hear his words, I want to follow him” or “Who is this?”

I’m sure many of the people back then who said “Who is this” also said “I don’t know him but I would like to.” If that is you, today is a good day to find out who he is for yourself. He is knocking at the door of your heart, and the door opens from the inside. If you open the door, your life will never be the same.

Who is this? Who is Jesus to you? 

If you are looking for a place where you can find out who Jesus is, come see us at Emanuel Reformed Church, the beautiful house of worship across the street from the post office in downtown Lincolnton. Our Sunday service starts at 10:30am, and we would love to see you. www.emanuelreforedmchurch.com



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