Thursday, June 19, 2014

TURNING POINT

You know you have reached a Turning Point when what you have done and said as your life's work forces your travel and living quarters into hiding. Jesus came to such a Turning Point. John 11:54 records - "Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the Jews. Instead he withdrew to a region near the desert, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples."

What was the event that precipitated the "Therefore" for Jesus?  The raising of Lazarus.  This miracle seems to be a major Turning Point for other individuals as well like the High Priest, Pharisees, teachers of The Law, anybody associated with Jesus, and Lazarus.

The Jewish Concern
Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. "What are we accomplishing?" they asked. "Here is this man performing many miraculous signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation." (Jn. 11:45-48)

The Jewish Answer
Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year,spoke up, "You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish." He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. (Jn. 11:49-52)

The Jewish Plan
So from that day on they plotted to take his life. (Jn. 11:53)

Before this, "plotted", Turning Point Jesus escaped their angry grasps by slipping in to the crowds or trusting in divine timing. Observe the many attempts on Christ's life before the "plotted" stage is reached.
  • At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come. (Jn. 7:30) 
  • Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him. (Jn. 7:44)
  • He spoke these words while teaching in the temple area near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his time had not yet come. (Jn. 8:20)
  • At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. (Jn. 8:59)
  • Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, (Jn. 10:31)
  • Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp. (Jn. 10:39)
It was not good for any Jew to be associated with Jesus either.
  • His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue. Jn. 9:22)
And Lazarus - he had to be raised to die again. I don't know how Lazarus died later on, but after he was raised from the dead by Jesus, his danger of dying seemed to increase.
  • So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, (Jn. 12:10)
Are you at a Turning Point in your life? Maybe, like Jesus, you have been experiencing aggravations that you have been able to slip away from, rebuke, or it was not time to go through that yet. Maybe, like Jesus, you have just had a wonderful breakthrough (i.e. the display of His resurrection power) and now others are jealous of your blessing or gift. I don't think people will be out to kill you, but the enemy of your soul will. The fight is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities,against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12). Yes, sometimes it is us that gets in the way of us being productive for His Kingdom, however know we have an accuser that does not sleep and it is good to know his tactics.

After the raising of Lazarus, Jesus' "Wanted Level" skyrocketed. The new level was "plotted". Jesus knew this and still went through with His mission and still was successful though there was a cross to carry. Jesus adapted and went forward. He "no longer moved publicly among the Jews". If you are at a Turning Point, it could be that your "Wanted Level" has increased in the enemy's camp and you must adapt and move forward also. The Lord is there with you. Trust in His comfort and counseling - He has been through it - He has been through a Turning Point.