The Messenger & The Message

The film One Love is a biopic about Jamaican singer Bob Marley, and in one scene, when Bob is thinking about returning to Jamaica to play a concert to inspire peace in the country, Bob’s wife Rita tells him, ‘There are times when the messenger becomes the message.’ Bob’s very presence in the country is a sign of peace to the people, as well as the songs he is singing.
If ever there was an embodiment of this saying it is surely Jesus. He truly was the messenger who became his message.  In Matthew’s gospel in chapter 5, what we now call ‘The Beatitudes’, Jesus tells the people that God blesses those who know their need of him, those who mourn, those who are gentle and humble, those who long for justice, those who work for peace and mercy. Apparently the word here for ‘Blessed’ also means – ‘God is with’, and this is what Jesus will live out for the next three years, God has come to spend time with those who are poor in so many ways. He has come to spend time with those who are grieving and heartbroken, and those who long for the world to be put right. Jesus will spend his time with these folk, not just talking about God with them, but living that out. The messenger become the message. This was a surprise for them because many believed that if their lives had gone wrong, then in some way they must have upset God. Far from it, God really cared about them. So much so that he sent his dearly loved son Jesus. Who is with us today of course, right now. Ultimately the messenger would become the message when he hung on a cross for us, and when he walked out of a grave, resurrected and forever alive.  So many of us feel powerless in one way or another, Jesus has come to help us, to embody that indestructible message of eternal hope for each one of us as we trust in him.

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