Right Here, Right Now

If your hair has gone gray you’re probably old enough to remember Country-Western composer Carson Robison’s song, Life Gets Teejus, Don’t It?

Sun comes up and the sun goes down.
The hands on the clock keep goin’ around.
I just get up an’ it’s time to lay down.
Life gets teejus, don’t it?

We’re on the hunt for something that will eliminate the “teejus.” Maybe we’ll find it in those tapes hyped on late-night TV by the guru in Atlanta. Or in the Health-and-Wealth seminar in Phoenix. Maybe in a shopping spree. A cruise. A new relationship.

Many thought it would be found in the coming of Messiah.

When Jesus came to the region of Ceasarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets” (Matthew 16:13-14).

Popular thought was that a martyr or an ancient prophet would return to life to announce the coming of Messiah. Was Jesus that forerunner? Some thought so.

In their view, the good life didn’t begin with once upon a time, but with there will come a time.

To a blind beggar, holding up an empty cup, they would say, “I’m sorry, friend, I have no money, but when Messiah comes …” To a cripple, unable to stand on cadaverous legs, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do, but when Messiah comes …” To an abandoned wife, working three jobs to feed her children, “I’m sorry dear lady, but when Messiah comes …”

There will come a time is a song of hope that makes the present bearable by glamorizing the future. When we feel the sting of injustice or misery we maintain, “When Messiah comes this will change. Then we’ll have the parade. Flags flying. Floats floating. Bands playing. Seventy-six trombones leading the big parade.”

You see, it’s easier to believe that Messiah will come than to believe that Messiah has come. Suffering makes the belief that Messiah will come believable. The same suffering makes the belief that Messiah has come unbelievable.

The common view of Messiah was that he would come and remove the Roman boot from the neck of the oppressed; that he would lead a revolution that would bury Rome and resurrect Israel.

Jesus didn’t fit that view. Even his disciples were disappointed with his tempo. He wasted too much time helping cripples and healing lepers. Unless he picked up the pace the parade would never start, the army would never march.

When mothers brought their children to him the disciples said, “Get these kids out of here; we’re trying to get a kingdom started.” Jesus said, “Put a sock in it, guys. Let the children come to me. Don’t try to stop them.”

When a blind beggar shouted, “Jesus, have mercy on me,” the disciples said, “Get outa here; we’re busy building a kingdom.” Jesus said, “Bring him here to me.”

He turned perception upside down: not where Messiah is there will be no suffering, but where suffering is there will be Messiah.

“So they say I am the forerunner of Messiah, do they? Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are Messiah.”

That weary Samaritan said to Jesus, “I know that Messiah is coming. When he comes …”

“I who speak to you am he.”

He is here. Right here. Right now.

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