recognizing Jesus

We step right out with recognition of God in some things, then self-consideration enters our lives and down we go. If you are truly recognizing your Lord, you have no business being concerned about how and where He engineers your circumstances. The things surrounding you are real, but when you look at them you are immediately overwhelmed, and even unable to recognize Jesus . . . Be reckless immediately–totally unrestrained and willing to risk everything–by casting your all upon Him. – Oswald Chambers

Explore the word recognize with me. When generally use the term upon seeing someone from afar. “Hey. I recognize that person. She works in my office.” This use of the word has a very casual and seemingly distant characteristic. It doesn’t allow for great familiarity because if you were familiar with the individual, you would have responded differently. “Hey. There’s Kathy. Hi Kathy!”

The word recognize is not a casual word at all. Webster defines the verb recognize as:  to acknowledge formally as to admit as being lord or sovereign, to admit as being of particular status, to admit as being one entitled to be heard.

When Oswald speaks of recognizing Jesus, he is not referring to a casual glance from afar. He is talking about a deep intimate connection that exalts Jesus as Lord and then responds immediately to His beckon because of who He is.

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus spends the first portion of the book ministering publicly to the multitudes in Galilee. Then we see the disciples come onto the picture – Jesus calls them and sends them out. A great portion of the last half of Mark is Jesus teaching privately to the disciples, who will preach the Gospel throughout the world.

The disciples have it made. They get to sit at the feet of Jesus while he teaches crowds of people and then have the parables explained to them in private. They have seen first-hand the teachings, miracles, and person of Christ. Yet, how dumb were they?! Over and over in Scripture, they fail to recognize who Jesus really is. (There is hope for us yet!)

The demons recognized Jesus more quickly than the Twelve! In Mark 1:24 the evil spirit recognizes Jesus, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? . . . I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” Again in Mark 5:7, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” In Mark 9:20 when the demon possessed boy came into the presence of Jesus “it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion.” The enemies of Jesus are quicker to recognize Him then those who claim to be His followers.

Why is that?

Maybe it’s because we are horribly selfish, and we know that once we recognize Jesus we have only one option–reckless abandon to ourselves and reckless pursuit of Him.


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