July 21, Thursday

Editor’s Note:  The AMI QT Devotionals from July 18-24 are provided by Pastor Joshua Kim of Church of Southland.  Joshua, a graduate of Emory University and Columbia Theological Seminary (M.Div.), serves as the pastor of Access group (singles).  He was recently married to Christina.

Devotional Thought for Today

John 1:45-46

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael said to him, Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, Come and see.”

21In a recent episode of the podcast Invisibilia, a woman recollects on her life where she struggled in relating with others. Although she was a highly successful physician, she had issues when it came to reading people’s emotions, body language, or other social cues. It wasn’t until at the age of 54 that she realized she had been living with Asperger’s Syndrome, a disorder that prevents someone from recognizing emotions or cues within a social context. She recounts how she underwent an experimental treatment that temporarily stimulates a part of her brain, allowing her to pick up on these senses that she had been missing. “This is so much more alive, so much more real… so much deeper, more meaningful. It’s like black-and-white to color,” were her words describing the experience.

I wonder if Nathanael’s encounter with Jesus was like that of this woman. He had lived his whole life with a particular way of understanding the world, a frame of reference if you will. And then all of a sudden, this frame is shattered in an encounter with Christ. You see his reference point: “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” reflecting a commonly held tribalism and prejudice of the Galileans. Philip simply answers, “Come and see.” And when you continue on in the passage, you see how Jesus breaks through Nathanael’s sense of norm on multiple levels, ultimately inviting him to experience even more.

The words of Philip are the words that Jesus speaks to us today. In your life that is very much full of mundanity, in a world so divided by hatred and violence that has come to be so “normal” to us, Jesus invites you and me to experience a life that is so abundant, so otherworldly, and so meaningful that you will never wish to come back from it. But this can’t be explained to you. It requires you to “come and see.” How will God show you the greater reality of things today? May God open your eyes to the incredible reality of His Kingdom here on earth.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You that You have come to give us life and life abundant. Thank You that You have come to bring light into a dark world and hope into a hopeless world. Open my eyes this day to see You at work all around me. May I accept Your invitation today to “come and see.” Thank You for inviting me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 116

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Lunch Break Study

Read Matthew 11:1-6:  When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities. 2 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Questions to Consider

  1. What is odd about Jesus’ response to John’s disciples?
  2. Based on Jesus’ response, what insight can you draw concerning the time when the Expected One comes?
  3. How does this challenge your sense of what is the norm, knowing that Christ has completed the work on the cross?

Notes

  1. What’s odd is that Jesus never really answers their question directly—is He the Expected One? Rather, He gives what seems to be a tangential report of what’s happening around Him.
  2. We can learn that the evidence of the Christ can be found in the reversal of what people have come to accept as the norm—miraculous healing and renewal. This is the evidence of the Christ. These diseases and circumstances that seemed impossible to change, Jesus changed them.
  3. Personal response.

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Evening Reflection  

In what ways has the Holy Spirit challenged your sense of what is the norm? How have you come to expect more from life as God invited you to come and see? If there are things that you did see, jot them down in a journal as reminders of how God is at work around you.

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