Mere Immortals

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal…But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.” – C.S. Lewis

7 billion immortals worldwide. 579 million immortals in North America. 319 million immortals in the United States. 10 million immortals in Georgia. 170,000 immortals in a five mile radius around Mountain Park Church. 11 immortals directly adjacent to me. 4 immortals under my roof.

Jesus and his disciples are making for Galilee from Judea. It is not an easy walk – Jesus is hot, tired, hungry, and thirsty. He sends his disciples into a nearby town for food. He stays by a historic well and waits. Most of us know the events that follow – an outcast comes to the well, and in one of the most surprising of twists, the Creator and Sustainer of the Cosmos addresses her first. Why? Jesus, the God-Man, addresses this woman to whom any self-respecting Jew would have shunned and condemned. While the world saw a five-time wife, Jesus saw an immortal who unknowingly yearned for the living water only he could give.

While the world saw a five-time wife, Jesus saw an immortal who unknowingly yearned for the living water only he could give.

Jesus is teaching and the house is about to bust. Folks have come from miles to bring him their sick. The religious leaders have come to hear what blasphemies they could catch him in. Some have come to see this new sensation that has struck the countryside. Four men have come to bring their crippled friend. The doors are sealed shut with bodies, the windows offer no hope of entry. The men, creating a hole in the roof, lower their friend down in hopes of physical healing. Jesus’ response?  “Son, your sins are forgiven.” While the world saw a man needing legs, Jesus saw an immortal needing forgiveness.

While the world saw a man needing legs, Jesus saw an immortal needing forgiveness.

Peter and John, with the Holy Spirit now indwelling them after Pentecost, are going into the temple. An incapacitated man, as he does to everyone entering the temple, cries out to them from the doorway for charity. This had been his daily routine in order to sustain himself and expected to receive a small coin or so from them. Peter, turning towards the man with the utmost focus, says “I have no silver or gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” The man leapt up and danced into the temple. Peter and John then proceed to declare the gospel to the onlookers. While the people saw a handicapped man who wanted money, Peter and John saw an immortal who needed Jesus.

While the world saw a handicapped man who wanted money, Peter and John saw an immortal who needed Jesus.

Those around us are headed for eternity. There is no one in our path that does not have an assigned date before the judgment seat of God and there are only two outcomes at that point. They will either be found in Christ or in Adam. “In Adam all die…in Christ all will be made alive.” There is no other option. Apart from them hearing the gospel and the Spirit opening their eyes to desire Jesus above all else, they will perish and spend eternity in physical torment.

I take this much too lightly.

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