Wade E. Taylor
We are to be identified with our Lord, both in vision and
experience. We are to share in “His mind,” or
life experience. Phil. 2:5. Unless we enter in some measure
into “the fellowship of His sufferings,” we cannot
be identified with Him in the Glory to come.
“He was despised and rejected of men; He was a man
of sorrows and acquainted with grief. We esteemed Him not.”
“He came to His own and they received Him not.”
The lack of spiritual understanding and perception in mankind
was heartbreaking to Jesus.
He allowed a reproach to be on Him that only those who had
a “spiritual eye” could understand. Jesus of Bethlehem
became Jesus of Nazareth. Note John 1:46 along with John 7:41,
52. To the natural eye, it could not be. Understanding came
by revelation. –Think a moment—If you were there
at that time, would you have accepted what the multitudes
and the church leaders of that day said, or would you have
seen the Son of God thru the garb of Jesus of Nazareth?
It was only after two years of ministry that Jesus dared
to ask a most crucial question to his disciples: “Who
am I?” If the Sunday School and Christian book store
pictures we have were accurate, they should have said, “It
is quite obvious.” Such was not the situation. His identity
could not be known by outward observation. The sorrow, grief
and rejection of Isaiah 53 was intensely felt by Jesus at
this moment as He waited the answer. When Peter answered,
“Thou art the Christ, the son of the Living God,”
Jesus was overjoyed: “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah,
for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my
Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 16:13-17).
They had come to the place of spiritual perception. They
could see beyond the surface manifestation. “Upon this
rock I will build my church.” All the future hung on
their giving the right answer. Matthew 16:21 begins, “From
that time forth began Jesus to show.” They had to come
into the realm of revelation before He could lead them on.
They had to see beyond “Jesus of Nazareth.”
In the early days of Pentecost, “tongues” was
a reproach. To be full-gospel meant to be a “holy roller.”
Today the reproach is gone. It is popular to be a “charismatic.”
There is yet a reproach. Those who have a hunger for God
and a discerning eye are moving on; the reproach follows.
God always wraps His best in a package for which few are willing
to pay the price. “Jesus of Nazareth” has no apparent
value. “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?”
The same question is yet being asked by those who are not
going on in God. “I see no value or purpose in all this;
let’s stay with the past, it is safe and secure—and
Hebrews tells us we are to “go forth” from the
camp bearing His reproach” (Hebrews 13:12-13). Today
many are pressing onward seeking all He has for them and willing
to pay the price of identity with Jesus of Nazareth.
Pinecrest has carried a reproach. Many have said, “Can
any good thing come from Pinecrest?” We would say with
Philip, “Come and see.”