SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2014.
JESUS WILL COME IF INVITED
‘Jesus also was invited to the wedding with His disciples,’ Jn. 2v2.
WEDDING at all times is a joyous occasion, attracting friends and well-wishers from all walks of life. In the Jewish context, the celebrant of the marriage festival is both the head server and master of ceremonies. If he does well in taking care of guests at the ceremony; a wreath may be given to him for such a feat. Therefore, mistakes, carelessness should be avoided in order not to disappoint those who have come to share in his joy.
One striking feature of this wedding that was held in Cana in Galilee is that the celebrant after sharing his cards was able to remember that Jesus needed to be there too. It is possible that he may have known the implications of Psalms 127v1: ‘except the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain that build it: Except the Lord watches over the city, the watchman watches in vain.’ He gave Jesus a personal invitation, ‘please come and be with me, it is my day.’
It is to be noted that the celebrant had the liberty to invite or not to invite Jesus. It is also to be noted that Jesus will not attend except by strict invitation. He is neither a busybody or rabble-rouser seeking to satisfy Himself. The Holy writ presented the picture of Jesus as one meek and gentle, who does not gatecrash to people’s lives or events. One thing is sure; Jesus honours invitations if He is invited.
How often do we invite Him before we engage in our private undertakings like business, marriage, education, leadership responsibilities? Certainly, the presence of Jesus gives peace, direction and removes every form of shame. The story of Peter and his fishing partners in Luke 5v1-11 is highly instructive here. Peter had complained: ‘we toiled all night and caught nothing, but at your word, I will lay down my net for a catch.’ What subsequently followed was a testimony that Jesus’ presence turns things around for good. Peter could not help with his brother, but to beckon on their fishing partners to come and help them pull ashore for the net was tearing because of the large presence of fish in the net.
In John 15v5, Jesus maintained: ‘…apart from me, you can do nothing.’ Human knowledge, logic, philosophy will crumble, but those who depend on Jesus; would remain strong.
It is very unfortunate to read from the Bible that a whole nation at a time came to Jesus and besought Him to leave their neighbourhood, Mark 5v17. They did not know that asking Jesus out is tantamount to asking Him to depart with His goodies: healing, deliverance, breakthrough, empowerment and removal of shame. I know when a man’s life is in contra-distinction with the dictates of the gospel, he is bound to shut Jesus out. But this should not be so, for Jesus came to seek and save the lost, Lk 19v10.
Therefore, today the word of God beckons on believers to invite Jesus into their lives as delay would be dangerous. We are encouraged by Jesus for He says: ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me,’ Rev. 3v20. Would you let Him in? The choice is yours!Ven. Ernest Onuoha Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.