|Walking with Jesus|
|Written by arkwriter|
|Wednesday, 12 August 2009 15:58|
Walking with Jesus
“His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day's journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him.” (Lk. 2:41-45)
The New Testament gives an account of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ concerning His birth, His ministry at the age of thirty, His death, resurrection and ascension into heaven. Matthew, Mark and John are silent about most of the life of Jesus Christ and the gospel of Luke is the only one that describes this event of Jesus at the age of twelve. According to Jewish tradition a male person celebrates his Bar Mitzvah at the age of thirteen, that is, when he officially becomes a man in the sight of the community. Luke wrote “the Boy Jesus” so He was still subject to His parents’ discipline. (Lk. 2:51) Although Jesus was still a boy yet He understood His mission from God even at that young age. Here is what He said to His parents, “Why is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Lk. 2:49)
Let me address our teenagers in the church. By Jewish standards you are already a man and are fully responsible and accountable for your moral thoughts, actions and behavior. If you are walking with Jesus you should be fully aware of your Christian upbringing and responsibilities. Are you spending your time and energy in prayer, reading the Bible and witnessing for the Lord Jesus Christ or are you hanging out with friends playing video games, listening to pop music, swapping CDs? Walk with Jesus and not with the world.
Let us now consider the parents of Jesus who had walked with Him all the way from Galilee to Jerusalem. That is more than 70 miles on a mountainous road. I once traveled by automobile on that windy road. It took more than three hours. If you walk it will take a good three days. Joseph and Mary walked with Jesus to Jerusalem and after the Feast of the Passover they returned to Galilee. “And Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day's journey,” (Lk. 2:43-44) After walking one day they discovered Jesus was not with them.
Many brothers and sisters have been walking with the Lord Jesus Christ in the early part of their Christian life just like Joseph and Mary. After a peak spiritual experience they returned to their old life with the false presumption that Jesus is still walking with them. As they continue on with their life they are not aware that Jesus is no longer with them. How does one know whether or not Jesus is still with him or her? Here is a way to check. You have a problem in your life which may be physical, spiritual or mental. Your health, family, job or finances may be in trouble. You start praying a lot and still there is no answer. You start looking for answers amongst relatives and acquaintances. You cannot find Jesus by inquiring from other people.
Having the presence of Jesus in your life is something you cannot be presumptuous. It has to be a real personal experience. If you do not have Him, that is, when you really miss Him in your life, you should start looking for Him, now. “So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him.” (Lk. 2:45)
Jerusalem is called the “City of God” (Psm. 46:4), the “Holy City” (Mt. 4:5), the “Faithful City” (Isa. 1:21, 26), the “City of Righteousness” (Isa. 1:26), the “City of Truth” (Zec. 8:3), and “City of the Great King.” (Psm. 48:2) By returning to Jerusalem it means that you have to be closer to God, become holy in your thoughts, speech and actions. Faithfulness to God means your allegiance is to Him alone. God wants you to be righteous, that is to be fair and just to your fellow human beings. Truth can only be found in Jesus who is “the Way, the Truth and the Life.” (Jn. 14:6) Jerusalem is called “the City of the Great King”. The Lord Jesus Christ is “the King of kings and Lord of lords”. (Rev. 19:16) You have to make the Lord Jesus Christ the only King and only Lord of your life. Returning to Jerusalem also means that if you have stopped attending church services you should start coming back to church again. You will then surely walk with Jesus again.
Walking with Jesus during our Vacation in China
Before we went to China for our vacation I told my family that we must remember to keep the Sabbath holy no matter where we are. The Lord Jesus Christ has given us a universal way of having church anywhere and anytime. This is what He has promised: “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Mt. 18:20) Praise and thank God we managed to do that very well. On the Friday evening of December 27, 2002 Pastor Shih (Sister Evelina’s uncle) took us to the Church in Kowloon. I was invited to preach.
After the service we had a supper fellowship. The ministers and church members were very loving, kind, friendly and hospitable to us. The following day Pastor Shih brought us to the Church in Northpoint. I met some old friends and new ones too. There we met Brother Patrick’s mother who was very happy to see us. The Lord Jesus Christ had been with us all the way.
On the sixth day of our China Travel package we were in Nanjing. It was late Friday afternoon when we arrived at the Sun Yat-Sen mausoleum. This is the second most popular tourist site in China. The Great Wall is the first. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen is to China what George Washington is to America. He is recognized as the Father of the Chinese republic by both governments on the mainland and Taiwan. He attended a Christian Missionary School in Hawaii and won a prize in English. He was baptized as a Christian before graduating in medicine at the Hong Kong University. He held his Christian faith steadfastly until his death in 1925.
The tour guide gave us less than an hour to visit the Sun Yat-Sen mausoleum. It was very cold and we had to walk up 392 stone steps to the mausoleum. Just to give you an idea how high that is. Imagine a 21 story building with the height of 10 feet floor to floor. When we reached the first pavilion Ken-Shin dropped his new digital camera right on the stone step. It could not function and we were really sad about it. Sister Joan and I looked up at the mausoleum we said to ourselves: “No way am I going to climb up there.” Can you blame us for not wanting to climb a 21 story building without an elevator? You know what! Just when we said we were not going to climb up there Joshua said to Sister Joan, “Mama, I want to go up there. My friend is already up there.” Our four and half year old grandson held Joan’s hand and mine and we started climbing one step at a time. Sometimes he even walked ahead of us and came down the steps to encourage us. Together, our whole family reached the top by helping one another. The strength of a family is oneness and togetherness. Reaching the top is an accomplishment. The air up there was thin but very fresh. We were tired but as we looked around the panoramic view it was fabulously beautiful. It was a hard climb but it was worth every step that we took. Our God is so good!
Here is something we can learn from this visit. The Christian’s walk with the Lord Jesus Christ is not an easy walk. Walking with Jesus up Mount Calvary is an upward climb all the way. “Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mt. 16:24-26) When you reach the top of Calvary you will hear Him say, “It is finished.” (Jn. 19:30) It means the work of salvation for mankind was accomplished by His death on the cross. When we walk side by side with the Lord Jesus Christ all the way to the top of the Holy Hill “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Mt. 25:34)
From the Sun Yat-Sen mausoleum we rushed to a jade factory. It was sunset when we left the show room and while walking towards the tour bus we were told it could not start because of the problem with the ignition system. It was very cold that evening – minus four degrees Celcius (24.8 degrees Fahrenheit). The problem was aggravated by the fact that it was pitch dark and there was no light. No one had a battery-powered flashlight so the driver and tour leader used a cigarette lighter to light up the area. Soon the cigarette lighter would run out of fuel, then what? That night we could have been frost bitten while sleeping in the cold, unheated bus till morning.
Our family’s seats were at the rear end of the bus. We were the only Christians in our group of fifteen tourists. I reminded our family that the Sabbath had begun and we should start worshiping the One True God. We joined hands and started praying to our Almighty God in one accord and praised His Holy Name - HalleluYah. We had complete faith that our Lord Jesus Christ can solve all kinds of problems and difficulties. We prayed fervently and called upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to help the bus driver repair the ignition system. No sooner had we finished our prayer than the tour leader came on the bus and told us the ignition system had been repaired. Our family praised and thank our Lord Jesus Christ aloud – HalleluYah!
The following day January 4, 2003 was the seventh and last day of the China Tour. We were supposed to tour the city of Nanjing and crossed the famous bridge over the Yangtse River. The tour guide said that road is usually very crowded on Saturday morning because in China people work six days a week and Saturday is a working day. He said that if we got stuck in a traffic jam on that road (which is normal in Nanjing) we might not be able to get to the airport in time for our flight to Hong Kong. He explained that he had changed the schedule of itinerary. We did the city tour and bridge crossing on the bus that Friday night instead of the following Saturday morning. That would give us free time on the Sabbath morning to worship the One True God. Praise the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Lord of the Sabbath. (Mk. 2:27-28) He is the One who had helped the bus driver repair the ignition system on Friday evening while we remembered the Sabbath day, kept it holy and worshiped Him. He is also the One who had changed the tour itinerary on Saturday morning so that we could hold a morning Sabbath service in our hotel room.
On Saturday morning, January 4, 2003 the first thing Ken-Shin said to me was “Praise and thank God.” The digital camera that fell on the stone floor at the Sun Yat Sen Mausoleum the previous day was able to function again. God is really good! Ken-Shin, Brenda and Joshua came to our hotel room and together with Cecilia Joan and I, we held a brief Sabbath Service and worshiped the One True God. After the Sabbath Service in our hotel room we boarded the tour bus and went to the Nanjing International airport for our flight back to Hong Kong.
I am very glad that Sister Joan and I had the opportunity to witness our Lord Jesus Christ to her relatives in Hong Kong and Macau. We have planted the seeds of faith and only God can make them sprout and grow. There is at least one relative who have shown interest and joined the ARK Forum in which I can continue to share the gospel and truth with him. Praise and thank our Lord Jesus Christ for walking with us throughout our vacation. It has been a blessing.
May God bless you
A sermon based on this article was preached by Paul Wong
to a Congregation in Houston, Texas on January 18, 2003
This article was published on this Website on August 12, 2009
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 August 2009 20:16|