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Devotional - week of February 6, 2005


LIKE A SHARP SWORD

He has made My mouth like a sharp sword … Isaiah 49:2

Isaiah 49:1 presents Jesus calling attention to people afar off for them to understand the Father’s plans for Him. He then gives expression to those plans in verse two.

In Isaiah 49:2 Jesus says that the Father has made His mouth like a sharp sword—indicating the penetrating power of His words.

Other than His sacrificial death at Calvary, the ministry of Jesus was almost exclusively one of words. Whether speaking to Sadducees, Pharisees, the sick, demons, Pilate, His disciples, or anyone else there was penetrating power in His words.

Jesus still speaks with penetrating words today. Consider the following statement by Paul:

…if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus … Ephesians 4:21

Since Jesus had never been to Ephesus, we must have some interpretative statement to explain the meaning of Paul’s statement to the Ephesian believers.

The explanation must be that the words that Paul had spoken to the believers of Ephesus were the words of Jesus. They were words given to him through intimate communion with Jesus. In that sense the penetrating voice of Jesus was active in Paul’s day. That penetrating voice is still active today through believers.

Paul’s statement in Galatians 2:20 revealed how Jesus was speaking to the Ephesians through Paul. He said:

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me …

Christ spoke through Paul because Paul had been crucified with Him and Paul was no longer living. He can do the same today when we experience our crucifixion with Christ and live out our lives in close communion with Him.

Our service for Jesus to others will also be mostly one of words.