He is in the “hood”!

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 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.
John 1:39

Have you ever wondered how it felt like to be Jesus’ friend? I have heard messages that depicted Jesus as demanding, strict, angry and serious. I always wondered if I was one of his disciples, would I actually like him. Face it; we have our fair share of disappointing leaders, most of which are just difficult to relate to.  I was raised in a conservative and had always had a healthy respect for my church elders. So I always wondered how it is to “hang out” with Jesus.

John tells of his first meeting with Jesus and what a meeting it was! Jesus invited him to his house. He actually owned a home! People who teach Jesus had no home because he had no place to rest his head, well you are wrong. He had a house and he loved visitors. Check this out: they hung out until 4pm!

Alright you are going to say this, what’s the big deal, it’s not like they “Lepak” (Malaysian for hanging out) until the middle of the night. John and Andrew were Jews and their day starts at 5 in the afternoon. Remember God created the 1st day and it was evening and then morning. So the day stared at 5 in the afternoon. Literally they did hang out until the middle of their night in Jesus’ house.

I guess you JUST don’t hang out with a person (on your first meeting) until the middle of the night. Four in the afternoon is like our 11pm in the night. I guess Jesus must have been a pretty cool guy to “lepak” with. He must have been charismatic, charming and a real people person.

I mean kids loved him. People who have parties loved to have him. When parents ask him to bless the children he would embrace him. Prostitutes and tax collectors love him. I mean he really know how to have fun.

Yet, he was called the man of sorrows.

Have you ever wondered why?

Jesus in his death gave everything that was his to us. The night before he died, he said this “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” He forfeited his joy for you and me. The word “leave” here is the word “bequeath” as in leaving things behind by the power of a will. It means also a transfer of ownership. He gave his peace to us so that we may have his …. Yes… Joy.

Dear friend, if you are in a state where you feel you are alone and condemned, or discouraged because of how some have treated you, do not be discouraged. Some may have portrayed God as mean and fault finding. No dear friend God is not fault finding, he is friend finding.

Just check this out. This is how Eugene Peterson translates John 1:14 in the Message.

The Word became flesh and blood,  and moved into the neighborhood.”

He did! The only difference, Jesus has found a new home.

John records for us in his gospel in John 14:23 “If anyone loves me, he will carefully keep my word and my Father will love him—we’ll move right into the neighborhood!”

That new home is you. Jesus has moved in. This time is 24/7 not 4 in the afternoon but all the time.

Thought of the day.

I will be with you, always-Jesus. God is not fault finding, he is friend finding.

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