Jesus brings forth a new message
The Bible contains many messages from Jesus that are conveyed through His spoken words, and much of our time is dedicated to discerning these words for the purpose of increasing our faith. And as we know, Jesus’ words in the Bible are filled with wisdom. So let us be thankful to God for His words! But know this, there is more good news! Jesus uses another subtle form of communication beyond just His spoken words, and we typically overlook it. This additional form of communication can be found in the seemingly insignificant acts of Jesus (e.g. standing, sitting, stooping, or walking). Through Jesus subtle actions, He reveals another type of message to us. And as we will see, if we combine these subtle actions with His spoken words, we will experience joy as we discover a deeper meaning to what Jesus is conveying to us.
Before we delve into the actions of Jesus (the main point of this article), let’s take a step back and look at the Bible from a higher perspective. Most of us think of the Bible as a book comprised of different sections written by different authors, with the sections joined together by a binder to create a book called, “The Bible.” And although in a sense this is true, we should instead see the stories contained in the Bible as being bound together, not by a binder, but instead by Christ.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
The Word Becomes Flesh
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
As in John 1:1,14 mentions, the Word of God is Jesus who personifies the Bible. As a single thread makes up a knitted sock, Christ is the single thread which binds the stories of the Bible together to create the “Word.” Once we see Christ as the single thread, then we can truly begin to see an additional perspective into the messages from Jesus. So how does Jesus bind the words together? Through both His spoken words and His actions.
Further, we accept and know God is not random; everything God sets in motion has great purpose. Let’s consider the seemingly insignificant act of Jesus walking from one place to another. Why would Jesus spend His time walking, when He could have simply transported Himself? Was the fact that Jesus walked from one place to the next a large waste of Jesus’ time? Of course not, just the opposite. When Jesus walked, it had great purpose; every step He took, every movement of His hands, every bend of His knees, every word He spoke, every rock He stepped over, every person He conversed with, everything Jesus did had purpose. Jesus came to us as both a man and God, but unlike you and me, the most mundane things in Jesus’ life has great purpose. And because of this, when the Bible speaks about Jesus’ actions, we need to devote time to discover the meaning behind those actions. Simply stated, we humans communicate through spoken words, but we also utilize our facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice to provide greater insight into the depth of our spoken words. And although the Bible never speaks about Jesus facial expressions, tone of voice, or body language, the Bible does give us insight into another form of communication that Jesus used beyond His spoken words, specifically His actions. So we must learn to open our mind to dig really deep into studying Jesus’ actions so that we come to understand more fully the entirety of His messages.
We tend to think of passages in the Bible that mention the actions of Jesus as, well, just a random slice of information. Consider several stories in the Bible (healing the blind man or when Jesus fell carrying the cross) where it mentions the simple action of Jesus standing up. As we will see later, these actions aren’t just a “slice” of information; they are not mundane facts. These seemingly random pieces of information are pieces of a hidden story that Jesus is communicating to us that we tend to miss. One of the most interesting points that seem to be common among Jesus’ actions is they are stories in themselves. These stories are intertwined with other stories in both the Old Testament and New Testament. Not only do they make up stories, but Jesus’ actions give further meaning behind His spoken words and interaction with mankind. By taking a closer look at verses in the Bible where it refers to Jesus’ actions, and then referring to other stories in the Bible to overlay on top of the verse, it can help us to find further meaning behind what Jesus is teaching beyond His words. As we begin to fully grasp this concept, we will begin to see that the Bible is truly multidimensional. The words of the Bible will begin to be lifted from the pages to reveal that the Bible is truly the living Word of God.
Let’s take a look at the follow verse as an example:
When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.
The above verse is a very simple verse, but if we take a look at the actions of Jesus, we are tempted to ask the following questions: Why did Jesus spit? Why did He make mud? Why did He rub the mud on the man’s eyes? Why didn’t Jesus just snap His fingers and cure the man of his blindness? These questions appear to be immature questions, but when we accept that Jesus’ actions have great purpose, these questions become very thoughtful questions.
Okay, now that we have some questions in our mind, let’s try to answer the questions. Why did Jesus spit? Yes, spit at the time Jesus was on earth was known to have healing qualities (but something tells me saliva won’t cure blindness). The act of Jesus spitting, and then making mud is interesting, since Jesus could have asked for some water instead of using His spit. The reason Jesus spit is because water from Christ represents life and life is poured out from Heaven to mankind. In Genesis, water represents life, we are baptized by water, and even today we know that water is critical to life, all of which comes from God. Why did Jesus spit on the ground? Jesus spat on the ground because water represents life from the heavens to earth; again water poured out from heavens to create life. Moving onto the next question, why did Jesus make mud with His spit when He could have simply placed His hands on the man’s eyes? Man was formed by water and dirt in Genesis and our eyes were opened, or in more modern terms, we were created and made aware of our existence and surroundings through water and earth. We were formed and we were given knowledge, or symbolically, our eyes were opened to God. Now compare the actions of Jesus in John 9:6, with these verses in Genesis: but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. –Genesis 2:6-7
Jesus told part of the story of Genesis through His actions while healing the man of blindness! The man was healed of his blindness and can now see who God is! What a wonderful story!
Here is another example:
Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.
Why did blood and water pour out from Jesus? We can readily accept blood because that is normal, but why water? Mankind began with water coming down from God, and mankind ends with blood representing the forgiveness of sin. If you consider the story of mankind, it could be summed up using these words: water & blood. We began with water from God and our new beginning is through the blood of Jesus Christ being poured out for us.
The following is another more complex example. You may not agree with the following conclusions, and that is okay, but we can all agree that when we take a more thorough look at Jesus’ actions it begins to reveal another layer to the story. We can start to answer some difficult questions.
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
Why did the crowd bring just the woman for judgement, and not the man as well? To answer this question, let’s consider some background information. Jesus was being tested to see how He would react to a sinful person. We know the master of sin is Satan and only Satan is qualified to test Jesus’ authority over sin, not mankind. Therefore, even though the crowd brought the lady for judgement, the crowd was under the authority of Satan. So it was Satan that sent the crowd to test Jesus on his response to human sinfulness. This passage is clearly reflecting the battle between Satan and Jesus. The man, or in this case Satan, who represents sin, is not present with the lady because Satan, and all sin, will be will be wiped clean by God during the final judgment. In other words, it is not yet time for the man (evil) in this story to be dealt with as this will occur later during Revelation. Another common question people have asked regarding this verse is, “What did Jesus write in the sand?” Jesus does not withhold anything from us [Matthew 13:11], for if He did write something, He would have revealed His writing to us. When Jesus moved His fingers through the sand, He was not writing words, but instead, He was imitating the path of a serpent through the sand to signify to us to whom He was dealing with [“…upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.”, Genesis 3:14]. Why did Jesus pause? Jesus’ pause in words as He drew in the sand was to gather our attention and for us to ponder our choice regarding whom we serve as master [Satan the serpent or God the Father]. The pause by Jesus represents the time we have on Earth to make our decision. It is also interesting to note that Jesus was standing, stooped down, drew in the sand, stood, and then He stooped down again to draw in the sand. Why did Jesus feel the need to stoop down twice? To me, these actions represent that fact that Jesus came down from Heaven to earth to deal with sin, rose again after His crucifixion, and He will “stoop down” to earth again to wipe away sin just as He wiped the sand clean of the sign of Satan. Moving on with the next question: Why did Jesus tell the crowd to leave? We know the crowd departed because we are all sinners and none of us is rightfully able to judge another because of our own guilt, however, Jesus rebuked the crowd in order of age. Why did Jesus rebuke the crowd in the order of age? Age represents wisdom, and because Satan masquerades himself in many ways, including a sweet apple [Genesis], even the wisest among the crowd were not qualified to recognize their own sinfulness. The adulterous woman did not deny the charges because she knew who Jesus was and her sin could not be hidden from Him [we are to acknowledge our sinful behavior before we can be saved]. She did not hold onto her sin by denying it, but instead, she offered herself up to Jesus who accepted her and cleansed her [this interaction between the woman and Jesus is the expression of perfect Love that goes in both directions] which is required for salvation from sin. As we can see, Jesus pulled in different parts of the words of the Bible as it related to sin, and bound them together through His actions.
By spending our time delving deeper into Christ’s actions, and linking His actions to another part of the Bible, we will begin to notice Jesus providing additional insight. Jesus begins to reveal to us that He is binding the stories of the Bible, from the book of Genesis through the book of John, and beyond to the book of Revelations through both His spoken words, and also through His actions. The exercise of analyzing Jesus’ actions, and how these actions speak to us as individuals, enables us to answer difficult questions. By linking these actions to other parts of the Bible, we will begin to discover another dimension to the messages of Christ.
In service to God, I submit these words to you for discernment.