On the 35th day of Christmas my true love gave to me a prophet sent to guide me (Deuteronomy 18:15).
“If it was a snake it would have bitten you,” the saying goes for people who overlook something that is right in their midst. I’m sure most of us who have children have said this or something like it when a child can’t find his shoes in the middle of a clean room or homework left on the table without any other papers. This is the great refrain of my Joshua’s life. After I find the elusive item I say, with my fingers spread on outstretched arms shaking in syllabic rhythm, “It’s right here!” These phrases aren’t just child refrains but a part of the adult song of life that could be titled “Seeking But You Already Have.”
The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him (Deuteronomy 18:15).
This is what Moses told the children of Israel regarding their coming Messiah. And God the Father did just that. He sent Jesus, who, like Moses, was 1) in peril as a baby; 2) whose life was preserved among Egyptians; 3) was an Israelite (Jew); 4) a leader of his people; and 5) a prophet among other similarities, but these are the ones that the Israelites in Jesus’ day witnessed. Also, like Moses, his own people rejected him.
We know that God spake unto Moses: [as for] this [fellow], we know not from whence he is.—John 9:29
At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”—John 6:41-42
The Jews saw Jesus speak like no other prophet and they witnessed him healing, but when he told them that he was the one Moses spoke of, that he was that bread of life that would give them eternal life if they believed in him, they didn’t believe. We, Christians, do believe that God the Father sent Jesus as the bread of life, but when we don’t believe that our leader, our lord, is right in our midst, when we overlook him surrounding us, we are like disbelieving Jews. We are told that greater is God in us than the devil in the world, but we (strong black women) try to use our own strength. We are told that Jesus will never leave us or forget about us, but we leave and forget about him and seek to do things our own way. Like the Jews looked to Moses, we look to old methods that once helped and overlook our present help, our Jesus.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want God shouting “I’m right here!” when he sees me looking for a self-conceived fail-proof way. I’m aiming to quickly remember my leader, my lord, in my midst and follow him. Won’t you join me? And send me a comment about how if Jesus was a snake, he would have bitten you.
Copyright 2010 by Rhonda J. Smith