I was in the Army back in 1984. During a long lunch break one day in the office, I found a military phone book on one of the desks entitled “Urgent Numbers.” I flipped through it and found a list of Pentagon numbers—Generals, commanders, etc. Finally there was an extension that simply said, “White House.” I wondered what would happen if I dialed it.
So I did.
A lady simply answered, “White House.”
I hadn’t expected that to happen. Didn’t know what to say.
“May I speak to the President?”
“Are you calling from a military number?”
“Okay, I’ll connect you to the military attaché to the President.”
The extension rang. A man answered. Again I asked, “Can I speak to the President please?” He said, “Hold one moment.” Then he came back. “What is this regarding?”
I hadn’t thought about it.
“Um, spiritual matters.”
“And you are…?”
“Alright, Mr. Myer. Please hold.”
I started getting nervous. I hadn’t seriously thought I was going to talk to Ronald Reagan. Now I was wishing I had at least jotted some notes down on an index card. Leading a Bible study in my barracks was one thing. Conducting one with the leader of the free world was another.
I started thinking about hanging up. Then someone punched off the ‘hold’ button.
“Hello, Mr. Myer!”
It wasn’t Reagan.
“The President is very busy right now, could I take a message?”
I declined and hung up.
I didn’t expect to get through, anyway.
And a lot of people go through life never expecting to connect all the way to the top, either. Especially not to God. They don’t feel good enough or special enough.
But it can happen. It does happen.
Think of the day Peter made that connection. You couldn’t have found a lesser person than him—blue collar, and unknown. He was all set to disappear into history when he came across Jesus. Jesus asked him, “Who do you say that I am?” He replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
Pagan countries surrounded Israel, each with their own religions and gods. None of them were real. Living God, stands in contrast to all of them. He predates the human race; He’s not a created product of it. His vitality is such that all life—physical, psychological, or spiritual—flows out of Him.
And now Peter tells Jesus, “You are the Son of that God!”
It was an exciting moment. Peter connected.
The Son of God fixes a problem that vexes us all: “No one has seen God at any time” (John 1:18). That’s a serious disconnect. It’s hard to pray when you don’t know what you’re praying to, and when you can’t see it.
But the verse goes on to say, “The Son has declared Him.”
In words, deeds, and actions, Jesus made the ultimate holistic statement—He completely declared God. Nobody has an excuse anymore. We not only know who God is, but what He is.
Think about the goods being delivered here and you can see why lives change when people meet up with the Son of God. As the only begotten, the unique One in the whole universe, Jesus comes forth from the Father. When He comes to you or to me, or to anyone, He does it as the One who “is in the bosom of the Father.”
That essentially means He brings His own intimate love and fellowship with the Father straight to you. Without Him, the power and richness of that eternal love would have been hidden forever. God would be a wall full of Egyptian hieroglyphics, incomprehensible, frustrating.
Ironically enough, there was a time when even Egyptians were losing their ability to read and decipher hieroglyphics. By the 16th century, the language was a jumble of eyeball, snake, and fish symbols. But in 1799, a French soldier with the Napoleonic Egyptian Expedition found a chunk of stone out in the desert. It contained engravings in three different languages: Lower Greek, Demotic, and Egyptian Hieroglyphs.
Linguists soon discovered that the commonly spoken Greek written on the stone interpreted the older, less spoken Demotic and the Demotic in turn translated the ancient Hieroglyphs. A new understanding of Hieroglyphics was thus made possible. It saved parts of Egyptian history from vanishing forever. The stone (dubbed “The Rosetta Stone”) became a key to an unknown and forgotten realm.
Jesus is our Rosetta stone. During especially troubling times, you might wonder if God actually loves you, especially when there doesn’t seem to be any evidence on your personal horizon.
If there’s any confusion, open your Bible and you can see the Son of God translating the answer for you—He goes to the cross and dies for your sins. That’s what God feels about you. He would rather die than see you perish.
What life does God have for you? What’s it supposed to look like? Again, for answers, take a look at what he did. After being killed he came back with an “indestructible life” (Heb. 7:16)—the life offered to all who believe in Him (c.f. John 3:16).
Ah, connection day. Hieroglyphics are never so clear.
Photo Credit: Nate Swart