Lent day 24: Who is Jacob?
Luke 3:34 “the son of Jacob”
He is the grandson of Abraham, son of Isaac and as a result known as one of these 3 patriarchs of the faith.
He was also known as Israel.
Many know his name as ‘supplanter’, ‘deceiver’ or ‘holder of the heel’ because he twice deprived his brother, Esau, out of his rights as the firstborn son, Genesis 25+27.
We all want to be somebody and do something but God really only uses ‘nothings’ to manifest His power and glory.
We do not enter into the powerful, glorious realm of God’s Presence because our presence tries to dominate. Our presence needs to be broken by His Presence.
Brokenness became a way of life for Jesus long before he saw the cross.
He was someone who became nothing.
Philippians 2: 5-11
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus, the man above all men, the Son of Man, being the power and glory of God, bringing life out of death, healing diseases, casting out demons, “For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.” John 3:34.
The Father is just as willing to give us His Spirit but we need to follow the way of Christ and become nothing. The gauge for whether we achieve that is “In your relationships with one another”.
Jacob’s story of deception isn’t a nice read. But his story of brokenness makes up for it!
Genesis 32: 22-32 “22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions.24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. 28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” 29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” 31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.”
The struggle for the Presence cost Jacob his name (he became Israel) and his power (he became lame).
To know that God has looked into our lives and in His love has spared us: this is true brokenness. There is nothing stronger than someone who has been made lame by God. There is nothing more powerful than a Church community who will never be the same again because of a message, a worship moment, a weeping, a salvation and a healing, a restoration and a healed relationship. They have seen and been and they can never return. They have nothing left to prove and nothing more to fear. The old fight has gone, the old fire has been put out and the old aggression has been laid to rest. Within there is an emptiness now that only God can fill. An emptiness reserved for His Presence.
Nowhere is this more seen than in our relationships. It is where our discipleship is tested.
We may start out as a deceiver holding onto the heel of a brother but it doesn’t have to end that way we can let go of deceptive ways and channel the same strength to hold on to God. He will touch us and He will break us and He will re-shape our lives. Broken for Jesus.