10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. 1 Peter 1:10-12
Prior to the virgin birth of Jesus, most devout Jews looked for signs that the Messiah would be coming to them. They searched long and hard, but when He came, they didn’t recognize him. They were expecting something else entirely. A few people “got it” early on such as Simeon and Anna at the temple. Later, as Jesus began to reveal himself, the “Aha! moments” must have been happening faster and faster as people realized that the long-awaited Messiah was the man walking the roads and laughing alongside them. Can you imagine how intimidating that could have been for them? It probably took them a long time to accept it was happening in their midst.
I’ve met a few “famous” people in my time (and some who were infamous). It’s interesting because I can still remember the encounters I had with them: what was said, how I reacted, how long it lasted. Twenty years later the memories are still vivid.
Having a daily encounter with the actual Messiah must have been overwhelming for the average follower. Years later, as they were recalling their encounters in teachings, it would have been very easy to remember what was said and how it was said. They would have remembered nuances of Jesus that you and I would never be able to understand.
Our encounters with the Messiah should be no less memorable. While we do not have the physical man in our midst, He speaks through His Word, and the Holy Spirit illuminates it for us. We need not be intimidated because He is gentle. And as we read the Word of God, we’ll discover nuances that the early disciples didn’t even have, and nuances that others around us may not have.
I think it’s time we spend quality time with the Word of God who dwells among us.