Transformed into His Likeness
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV).
Jesus loved to reach the untouchable. He transformed people, both physically and spiritually. He sought out the beggar, the leper, the adulterer, and the thief. No one was too low or too high in his eyes. The centurion’s servant was worthy of healing. The demon-possessed was released from his bondage. The thief on the cross entered paradise upon his death with Christ’s words of forgiveness. Jesus even honored the love and faith revealed by individuals who lowered their friend through a roof, only to discover this friend gained both physical and spiritual healing.
One truly beautiful example of Christ’s love was revealed in His reaction to the woman with prolonged menstrual bleeding whom He freed from her stigma of shame by a single touch of faith. Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me” (Luke 8:46). The woman standing near Him tried to hide but could not. Trembling, she fell down before Jesus and declared before everyone that she had done the unthinkable. Because of her long-term discharge of blood, she was considered unclean. Risking that any man, let alone a rabbi, be touched by her impurity was risky. The Levitical law laid out strict guidelines for this woman’s condition (Leviticus 15:25-27). Yet that touch, that awesome touch on His garment transformed her from a stricken outcast to one who experienced immediate healing. Rather than scold her, Jesus honored her by saying, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace” (Luke 8:47-48). This woman’s transformation moved her from shame to ecstasy, from outcast to one of the redeemed.
At some point in our lives, we may have been faced with the feeling of being an outcast. We may not be a beggar, a leper, or a prostitute, but we may have faced the embarrassment of bullying, of shattered dreams from a broken marriage, or the unwholesome touch of a sexual offender. All are devastating. All are worthy of the transformation and healing from Christ who granted us His fullness. In the life of a believer, Jesus uses the tragedies in life, no matter how huge or cruel, to draw us to Him and His grace and then says, “How are you going to help others who are going through similar circumstances?” He uses those events to transform us into His likeness and to grant us His freedom – a freedom from our past and into His future, filled with peace and grace.
We are not here by mistake for he [God] made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us (Acts 17:26-27).
We are not here simply for ourselves, no matter where our pasts and our current tasks may lead us. We are here for the Risen Christ, who takes the twists and turns of the world and molds them into a beautiful sculpture for Him in the heavens.
Prayer: Jesus, use my broken, transformed heart to bring others to You, even if it means I have to lower them through a roof to do so. In Your name I pray. Amen.