Jesus Where You Live
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It had been one of the architectural glories of a historic city in England; a majestic cathedral, now deeply scarred by the relentless German bombings of World War II. Slowly but surely, it was being restored, except for the statue that had welcomed people to the cathedral for so many years. It was actually a statue of Jesus with outstretched hands. The inscription on its base was a compelling invitation, "Come unto Me." Sadly, the statue had been destroyed by the bombing. A group of German medical students decided that they would make it their mission to rebuild that statue. Piece by piece, it began to come together. But restoring the hands? Well, that one was was hopeless. They'd been smashed to powder. What were the rebuilders to do? They ended up having a great idea. The statue of Jesus now stands without hands and an inscription that simply says, "Christ has no hands but ours."
It's an amazing perspective to have on what we do every day, "I am the hands of Jesus in this place, doing what He would do." At work - the hands of Jesus. At home, I'm the hands of Jesus. In your neighborhood, your class, your organization - the hands of Jesus. Now that is a purpose-driven life!
In our word for today from the Word of God, there's a wonderful picture of our part in the work that Jesus wants to do in people's lives. It's in Mark 6, beginning with verse 37; the story of the feeding of the five thousand. That's obviously something only Jesus could have done with five loaves of bread and two fish. But it's amazing how much He uses the hands of His disciples to deliver what He's making. When the disciples suggested that Jesus send the multitudes away because they had no way to feed them, Jesus shocked them by saying, "You give them something to eat." As a result, they found the boy with the loaves and fish.
The Bible goes on to say, "Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups." Then, after Jesus gave thanks for the loaves and fish, "He gave them to His disciples to set before the people." It looked like the miracle was coming from the disciples! Finally, "the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish." Now, what we see in this miracle is the modus operandi of Jesus. He does things only He can do for people, but He delivers them through His disciples. Today, that's you and me. And the people you see each day often need something from Jesus, whether they realize it or not. They need to feel His love, so Jesus prompts you to show them His love in some act of kindness, or caring, or rescue. He sends His encouragement through you to discouraged people. He may send His financial provision through what He's given you to give, some gift that will show how much He cares. Every day, He wants you to leave with your "needometer" on and finely tuned - going through your day, not just to survive or to get your "to do" list done, but to look for needs and to deliver gifts from Him. That's part of the daily adventure life can be when you belong to Christ and when you set out to represent Him each new day.
Ultimately, you are the hands of Jesus to deliver His greatest gift of all - the Good News of the rescue He made possible through His cross. When Paul reveals that we are "Christ's ambassadors" in our personal world, he said it was "as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you, on Christ's behalf: 'Be reconciled to God'" (2 Corinthians 5:20). It's almost as if we approach each life-situation with this mindset: "Jesus couldn't be here today, so He's sent me to say what He would say and do what He would do."
When you're all wrapped up in yourself and your needs, your hands will always be full of your stuff. But when you step up to serve Jesus each day, to continue His work in your world, then your hands will be giving away what He has to give because what He started, He's left with us to carry on. In so many lives you know, Christ has no hands but your hands.