Carried! His Mother had carried him nine months, and for the four decades since, he had been carried by most of his relatives at different times. He was gaunt, and lean, never having much interest in the festivities and meal times. He spent all day, every day, laying outside the temple, watching people. Food was the last thing on his mind when he got home. When the table was spread, even before his mother had the food finished, he talked, filling her ears with all the busy-ness of the city and the temple. Her eyes twinkled as she busied herself with the evening meal, listening to the animated voice of her firstborn, the family story teller. She loved him so, and would have carried him till the day he died if he needed her.
He enjoyed this attention, reveled in it. He loved to hear the sound of his voice, to see her eyes dart toward him intent on each word, to hear her catch her breath in surprise at some surprising bit of his stories. He always felt no one really listened to him at the temple gate. God-fearers! They seemed to be more afraid to meet the gaze of a scrawny crippled man, than of the God they professed to revere! No, they were careful to not look into his eyes and see his pain, for then they might have to hear his voice crying out for alms. They may even have to ante up on the challenge of their faith. That might be too much religion for them, he was sure.
Turning his head toward to gate, he noticed that a crowd was gathering, and the sun reminded him that it was almost the hour of prayer. Collecting his hat in his wispy, twisted fingers, he noted that he had been remiss in calling out for much of the past hour as he daydreamed. With an exasperated voice, he began a desperate call, intending to make up for lost time in the rush hour crowd. “Alms, alms! Help me please kind lady! Sir, throw a cent for a poor beggar like myself! Dear family, has God blessed you? Then share with the likes of me! Help me, please!” No one seemed to be paying him any attention at all, and they scurried past the faster. So, he called out even louder. “Alms, please, alms! Help me! I am but a poor beggar! Look at me… take pity! Lend me your hearts. Alms, please…please sir!”
With those last words, the beggar had felt the swish of a man’s cloak as he stopped in his tracks, and turned toward him. Finally! Someone was listening to him. Looking deep into the kind man’s eyes, the beggar smiled and held out his hat in his left hand, expecting to receive a gift. “Look at us! I have nothing made out of silver or gold, but I will give you what I have… in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk!”
Then the man did the strangest thing, right there in front of his friend and the others who had paused to see the exchange. He reached out his right hand to the crippled beggar. As their fingers touched, the crippled man felt a surge of power course straight through his body to the soles of his feet. His hat fell to the ground, coins rolling across the pavement and landing at the feet of people who were by this point standing stark still, motionless with their mouths open! Suddenly, his feet and ankles felt strong…stronger than they had ever felt in his life.
Leaping up, as if on the end of a taught strand of cord, he stood straight upright, walked three steps forward as the giver stepped back, and bending at the knees he leaped… sling-shotted into the air. Landing on one foot, he broke into a mad dash before the other ever hit the ground. Running from one side of the courtyard to the other, he slapped several folks on the back, threw his arms around the necks of others, and spun them around before dancing off across the courtyard again… around and around he ran in circles. The crowd that had gathered now was laughing, as his joy contagiously coursed through them. Had they not seen him day after day? Was this not the lame man who sat at the gates begging for his keep?
A surge of shock was rippling through the crowd, as the news spread to those who were already inside the temple. “It’s the lame man…you know… the beggar by the gate… he’s walking!” The words reverberated through the temple courtyard, and penetrated deep into the temple, where some who heard could not believe their ears. It was the religious teachers and leaders of the temple. They debated among themselves what was to be done about the fact that the miracles were not over with; had not died with the Healer.
Meanwhile, the beggar had wrapped his arms around the givers, for they were two of the disciples of Jesus, Peter and John themselves. As he hugged them, and cried for joy, they led him towards the temple, laughing for joy. By the time they got as far as Solomon’s Porch, a crowd was thronging them, with everyone aghast at the miracle they had just witnessed. It was too much to believe. They had known this man for more than forty years… they knew his family. He was crippled!
The young preacher Peter realized that people were shocked at the sight of a man healed with such miraculous explosive power, and began to explain how he had not been the one at all to heal him…Jesus had healed the man. Jesus was no longer dead. He had arisen, and his power had been given to his followers to heal the sick. As he preached, to the crowds, several ladies were beginning to come back out of the court of the women to see what was happening. Among them were the four daughters of Phillip, and the ladies from “the Way.” Hours passed as the men preached, and many were converted to the faith. Then the religious teachers and leaders of the temple came out, and insisted that the crowd be broken up. Hearing with their own ears the name of Jesus, that terrorist rebel they themselves had crucified just weeks before, they seized the young preachers and hauled them off to spend the night in jail. But, the men of the young movement gathered together another 5,000 believers from the crowds that day.
One of those was the beggar, a changed man! He ran all the way home to tell his family the good news. And, who knows what great work he did for the kingdom of God, after experiencing the dynamite power of Jesus Christ in his hand, and feet, and heart, and health?! ******************* Related Scriptures used to build the telling. Joel 2:23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he has given you the former rain faithfully, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. (NKJV) Acts 3:25 You are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. (NKJV) Acts 21:8-9 The next day we went on to Caesarea and stayed at the home of Philip the Evangelist, one of the seven men who had been chosen to distribute food. He had four unmarried daughters who had the gift of prophecy. (NLT) Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (NKJV)
****This is the final in a series of ten on "Blogging by Faith." It is also the culmination of the last series on the Power of Pentecost. For the complete story, check out the Spiritual Fiction tab here on my website at “Healed and Whole.” Remember that nothing lasts forever. I do not know how or when God will heal me. But, I know I am healed by His Word. I will be healed for whatever purposes God has for my life. Time is irrelevant. Believe with me!
Heads bent together, the four slender girls stumbled along the road, so lost in a discussion that they really were not watching where they were going. They were sisters, and the children of a prophet. Their father, Philip was chosen as a Deacon by the early church in Jerusalem, one of the seven deacons. There had been death threats. It was no surprise that they were concerned about the safety of their father. But, their father was not the subject of conversation on this trip to the temple. As they approached the Golden Gate, the beauty went unnoticed, as well as the lovely sunrise peeking over the horizon, which gave it that golden glow.
"A sad state of affairs it is for our people when the men folk are all in hiding!" the youngest of these young ladies exclaimed.
"I don't think you fully understand the nature of a death threat, Sister." Her eldest sister chided her calmly. "Besides, God has a plan, and I know he is thinking about His people. He promised in the prophecies of Joel that He would send a 'former and a latter rain' to bless us with His bounty."
"Yes, piped up the nearest the youngest in years." All we have to do is plant the seed, and God will send the Autumn rains first to make it sprout, and then in the Spring, the Spring rains He send make the harvest a bounty of providence."
The remaining sister listened quietly, seeming to ponder these words. She didn't know how to ask the question that was sitting so heavily on her heart. She was puzzled over the fact that the Messiah had been crucified, and resurrected, and then had ascended back into the clouds, just like that. So she just listened, as they were jostled in the crowds coming and going.
"But, God promised He would 'drive away the Northern armies.' Why do these Romans continue to plague us?! Oh, how could God be so late in sending us the hope we've waited for? Why did Jesus leave again, if He was resurrected from the grave? When will we ever see the throne of David raised again in the Temple! Why must it take so long?!" protested the youngest child again.
These four young girls had a reputation for being prophetesses, yet something missed their vision even more than the Scripture they were mulling over at the moment. Suddenly, the silent one found herself flung out on the pavement there at the gate. Dazed, and not yet aware of what had happened, she tried to focus her eyes on the scene around her again, when she realized it was just the crippled beggar who lay at the gate. She had fallen over his feet and knocked over his hat full of coins in her carelessness.
Scurrying onto her knees, with her robes wrapped tightly around her, she began to clasp after the coins as they rolled across the pavement, muttering repeated apologies. Her sisters around her pulled her to her feet without saying a word, for now they had been shocked into silence. There sat the poor beggar just as calmly as if nothing had happened. He had not felt a thing anyways, seeing that his legs were paralyzed. But, he had been just as taken by surprise by them as they had by him. He had heard their approach, but was so engrossed in their argument that he sat there aghast at the things they were saying. Such innocent looking young Jewish girls arguing about the prophecies of the scrolls. And, they were talking about Jesus, the Healer. What did they know about Jesus or a Messiah? They were not even allowed into the inner sanctuary, but were kept behind the wall of partition for the women. How could they speak such things so boldly? Didn't they know the Romans had crucified this Jesus, and that they had the power to dispel these 'stories' of His resurrection?
The eldest girl reached into the folds of her robes withdrew the few coins she had and tossed them into the man's hat. Then with a humble bow, and diverting her stare, she gathered her sisters through the gate. But, glancing back over her shoulder, she noticed he still sat there as if nothing had even happened. Turning again to her sisters, she reminded them of the hour. "It's the hour of prayer, come on now, hurry! All of these questions will just have to wait!"
***Author's notes: You may have noticed that this story is part of a series I am writing for the Day of Pentecost, which is this Sunday.
The first three in the set were: Power Play... A Waiting Game The Powerless Can Only Wait What Do You Do When You Wait?
Come back tomorrow night for my special culmination of the series on the Power of Pentecost.
Related Scriptures used to build the telling.
Joel 2:23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he has given you the former rain faithfully, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. (NKJV)
Acts 3:25 You are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. (NKJV)
Acts 21:8-9 The next day we went on to Caesarea and stayed at the home of Philip the Evangelist, one of the seven men who had been chosen to distribute food. He had four unmarried daughters who had the gift of prophecy. (NLT)
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (NKJV)
Waiting around is never very interesting. Jesus had told the disciples to wait. He specifically told them to wait for the power that had been promised. There were about 120 of them waiting there upstairs. That means not only the 11 chosen apostles, and the larger group of 70 disciples that Jesus had sent out on the missionary journeys to prepare the way before him, but about 39 more followers, and members of his earthly family, such as James his brother who had not followed Jesus in His lifetime. Then, of course there were the women, because this census never counted the women.
What do you do while you wait? They must have been studying Scriptures, looking through the prophecies, looking for answers, because God knows they had questions! Suddenly, Peter realized what they must do. The prophecies in Psalms had said that someone else should take the betrayer's place. So, they needed to fill up this empty spot.
Acts 1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his office let another take. Psalm 109:8 Let his days be few; and let another take his office.
How did they fill the empty seat, the empty office, the empty spot in their midst? They spoke, they chose two, and they put them before the Lord, and they prayed. Then they drew lots, like casting dice and drawing for the short straw. They trusted that God would let the correct outcome take place in the random act. Matthias was chosen. Now they were ready. And, so they waited. Look around you. What's missing? Who is missing?
He was a hunter, a bow hunter (like my uncle Ed and his three boys.) He was raised with five older brothers, and as far as anyone could remember, what with the poorly kept small town public records of his day, it was thought that he was younger than his two nephews. The lot of them were considered riff-raff by their little community, and troublemakers, and had been scorned since as far back as when his great-grandparents came over on the ark. He was the grandson of Caanan AKA Ham, Noah's son... the one who hammed it up one time too many, laughing disrespectfully about his father's drinking problem. Granddad probably shouldn't have been so hard on the old man, after all, after such a catastrophic event like a worldwide flood, and finding all the dead bodies washed up when he disembarked, it stands to reason he would lean to a few stiff drinks from his vineyard after his feet landed on solid ground again. But, not this young man...Nimrod. He had plans. He wasn't going to be anybody's servant, no matter what the rest of his family did, or how they continued to accept the "generational curse" laid on them by great granddad in a fit of rage. Nimrod grew up to be not only a mighty hunter...before the Lord no less... but he built four cities while he was still a young man. And, that was just the beginning of his kingdom.
Genesis 10:8-9 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.
One of the cities Nimrod founded was Babel, still known today for the industriousness of the people, their memory of God's power, and their determination to wrest such power from God's hands by reaching to heaven... a place high enough to escape a flood if God didn't keep His word. This last was a mistake and was enough to not only separate them from God, but resulted in a separation of the earth's peoples, by language barriers. The babble of languages that first occured there sent tribes scurrying to divide up the earth, so this chapter in Genesis, chapter 10, is known as the Table of Nations, where it is said "the Earth was divided."
Incidentally, there is a medically documented condition known as "Foreign Accent Syndrome" in which individuals have suddenly begun to speak with an accent that is foreign to them, not the language, just the accent. It is rare and usually results from things like severe migraines, dental surgery, and stroke. It is not understood and leaves a lot of questions about how we understand accents are formed in a group of people.
But, God's plan was not to leave us destroyed, nor to leave us separated. God had a plan not only for restoration, but for spreading His kingdom around the world. Pentecost was antithetical (or contrasted) to Babel. The barriers that divide people and nations were removed, as a result of seeking God's will, as opposed to seeking fulfillment of human will. In the same way, the incarnation was antithetical to the Fall. The barriers that divide man from God were removed, as a result of God coming to man to die in Adam's place.
The Bible writers never comment on the curses Hebrew parents sometimes pronounced on the heads of their children. Parenting has never been an easy job, and I haven't really read anywhere that the children actually did "rise up and call (either parent) blessed," as spoken of the Proverbs 31 woman. But, still today I hear people speaking of generational curses. Fortunately, all we have to do is look back at the lives of the children who were "cursed." It reveals that the words had power over the lives of the children only in so much as the children took them to heart. A conscience is a powerful thing. But, the power of generational curses does not appear to be in the words themselves, and certainly were not inspired by God; only a parent's strong emotions. Their power lies in a child's own guilt for their own behavior to the parent, or perhaps their feelings of being resigned to a fate. No, Nimrod was not controlled by Noah's fit of rage. And no, he was certainly not the servant of servants mentioned in Noah's generational curse.Visual Bible (Gustave Doré - KJV)
with many Bible scenes beautifully and graphically illustrated
Available for free download from Christian Freeware's Website: http://www.zeitun-eg.org/freewidx.htm
A child extends his arms with his hands turned back to back, intertwines his fingers, folds all his fingers down at the knuckles, and begins to recite, "Here's the church..." He raises his two pinkies into an apex and continues, "Here's the steeple." He opens his thumbs, folds his fingers outward and invites, "Open the door and see all the people." But, where is God? I often wondered as a child where God was in the equation. Is that all there is to church...so many people? And, why are they there then? It seemed easy to spot the Pastor...the Sunday School teachers...but, how to find Jesus...? And, how do I meet this man who loved me so much? He sounds wonderful! He must be looking for me too.
I did find Him, in a life changing explosion of peace when I was 14. Wrapping my heart around his Word, I began to notice that I could take Him with me everywhere, not just in church. He belonged to me, and I belonged to Him. When you are following Jesus, you walk in step with leaders who help guide your steps. But, if they lose their way, you've got to look around them to your destination. Sometimes people in church let go of God...and not always just temporarily. I firmly held onto the fact in my heart that it didn't matter what anybody else did, my deal was with God. Afterall, if you are following a person, and he falls, you have to keep walking, with or without him. You can't give up just because someone else tosses in the towel. I tried hard to hold onto Jesus, and keep my eyes on Him. Even when I strayed, His love would draw me back.
Though my early years had been in a couple of different denominations, since the age of 14 I had been in one single organization. But, I knew that a denomination won't assure your track to heaven, since the true church is the larger body of Christ, and not an earthly body. I began to hear teachings that weren't Biblical in the last few years. One such teaching was that you could have no anointing from God seperate from what came from your pastor. The illustration that was used to teach this was the fact that when Aaron was anointed with oil, the oil flowed from Aaron's beard downward. So, it was supposed that this meant that anointing flows downward in a chain from God, to the pastor, then to the Christians in the church. I never believed this, since I knew from personal experience that God spoke to me, often, and in many cases without telling my pastor, like when I felt a desire in my heart to go to nursing homes and read the Bible for elderly residents with failing eyesight. That never came through my pastor, or any other person. Like it or not, every individual has direct access to God, and this is the whole reason for Jesus' death on the cross, so that we could boldly come to the throne and ask God, and hear from God. Jesus is our High priest. Otherwise, we might as well break up the altars in a church. Why even pray to God. Pray to a man I suppose instead.
A troubled man fell asleep with his head on a rock one night. He had family problems. His brother hated him with good reason; they had competed for everything. While sleeping, this man Jacob dreamed a ladder reached from him to heaven, and angels of God were ascending and descending. I love that scene because of the picture of access it paints to God. We cannot be restrained from the doors of heaven. In the business world, we hear people complain of glass ceilings, where they can see the "top" but can't seem to climb the ladder. It shouldn't be like that in church. An old testament prophet saw messengers from God coming from between mountains of brass.
Zechariah 6:1 And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. These mountains were not only barriers... they were brass. But, God can bend brass...Isaiah 45:2-5 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel...I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
It really never mattered in the scheme of things, which way the oil flows, since I usually follow, and the oil was flowing on me, too. I only cut my own trail when the path is blocked. I found myself at a cut off point though, over a year ago when I began to visit the church that my husband and I attend now, with him. We were attending both churches for a total of 3 services on Sunday while we dated. We believed that God would lead us to a decision together if and when we should commit to choosing one. But, Aaron's beard got in the way...or rather out of the way. I was advised in counseling that if I went to a church that taught different doctrines than those my church taught I would be commiting the "sin against the Holy Ghost." This errant teaching, along with other factors only made the choice of churches easier. You have a choice...do you attend the church with the brass ceiling, where only certain people can reach the oil of the spirit, or do you attend the church where the oil flows freely on all?
And, therein lies the problem...the problem of brass ceilings. Do you really believe that God is limited by a denomination, or a doctrine or creed? Do you think that access is restricted, and that we need to get our hands stamped at the door when moving from one "organization" to another, in case we need reentry at a later time. Do you believe in God now...or do you believe in Aaron's beard? The answer is always Jesus. I refuse to allow people to tell me I can't have God without membership in a particular orgainization...which is what you have done if you have sinned against the Holy Ghost, (you've been denied belonging to God any longer.) The door didn't hit me on my way out, which has to be the attitude of a Christian. You can't run fast enough from false teaching.
Where am I today, for those who wonder? I've broken through the brass ceiling. I am standing under the free-flowing oil of the Spirit of Pentecost!
He was older than Methuselah...Methuselah's Dad was, literally, no joke. And, he was a prophet. He prophesied about the Second Coming of Christ, followed by 10,000's of saints (Jude 14.) The name he gave his firstborn meant "after this judgment" or "the man of the dart" meaning God would soon send judgment after Junior died. But, God is merciful, and though He intended to keep his word, He seemed to linger, allowing Junior to live 969 years before taking him and bringing the great flood on Earth the same year Methuselah/"Junior" died. So Methuselah was the oldest man to ever die. But, who was Methuselah's Dad? The friend of God...Enoch. Enoch walked with God, and God took him. Enoch did not die, but much like Elijah, he was taken up to heaven without seeing the grave. I can picture Enoch and God walking and talking in the cool evenings, much like Adam had walked with God in the Garden before the fall. Such friendship! Such communion!
Mary loved having Jesus over to their house for dinner! But, even more than that, she loved to sit in the floor and hear Him teach after dinner. Her sister Martha was a worker though and didn't understand her devotion. Some people are devoted without service, while some serve without devotion. God needs devoted servants. But, what did Jesus answer when Martha asked Him to tell Mary to come help her with the dishes? He told her Mary had chosen the best part... communion with Him.
Twelve of Jesus' disciples were allowed to follow Him closely throughout His earthly ministry. They ate where he ate, and walked where He walked. They "did lunch" together on a daily basis. Shuffling through the crowded streets by His side, hiking through the desert at His heels, or sitting around camfires, watching the sparks fly upwards in front of His face, they seemed to hang on His every Word. They loved to hear Him speak, and often questioned him on His words, seeming to enjoy the privileged communication they were granted with the Master. But, one very special dinner was their last time to communicate with this Friend...their last communion before His crucifixion. Jesus, with heavy heart, told them the wine was symbolic for the blood He was about to pour out willingly for them. Then He broke the bread, pronouncing that His body would likewise be broken for them. They shuddered and dared not question these acryptic words, afraid for what He could be thinking. (They had so much invested in His ministry...had given up everything to follow Him...it would be a horrible loss without a resurrection.)
Death, crying, burial, fear, sadness...all followed this meal with their beloved friend. How they must have missed Him in the following days as they huddled around the table over a meal, looking silently at an extra empty chair someone forgot they no longer needed. And, when the bread was broken between them, how they must have quaked. How the wine must have tasted on their lips! Until...until Pentecost and beyond...until they were filled with power, revelation, and mission and took up the act of communion as a memorial of that bittersweet evening with Christ.
Today, at church, we took communion. We ate dinner with Jesus. We drank from His cup. We acknowledged His broken body. And, when the bread is broken... do you feel inside your heart what it must have felt like to be sitting next to Him at the table? Can you close your eyes and imagine having dinner with Jesus, hearing His quiet steady breath as he talks to you. Can you see His face as He passes you the bread, saying "Take, eat...this is for you," meeting your gaze with that look that demands to know if you love Him? Communing with Jesus, imagine that!
The disciples who drank from Jesus' cup all shared literally in His suffering here on Earth. Each, with the exception of John, died a torturous death. John survived boiling in oil somehow, and lived out many of his last days imprisoned on the Isle of Patmos, where He was given visions now recorded in Revelation. Then he was released when he was so old he had to be literally carried to church. Those moments at the table with Jesus were life changing. The broken bread of Jesus' body was multiplied, much like the loaves and fishes from His miracles. And, today I was fed from His bread of life, the Word of God. It is such a blessing to "do lunch" with the Savior...to commune with Him at communion here on Earth.
A woman and her husband, a beautiful home, and immaculately kept lawn and gardens. On nature walks through the woods nearby they saw wild creatures tame enough to hand feed. The night sky filled with stars was not marred by pollution, air traffic, or space debris. And the perfect neighbor, God, took evening strolls with Adam and Eve each evening at dusk.
Sounds Idyllic, I know. Paradise has been conceived of by every culture, and never seems to vary from the same basic ingredients. We really don't require much as human beings do we? All that was missing was a grill...and a few zebra steaks, or maybe catfish. :)
Jesus hung out with fishermen. And, he was handy with a grill. I don't know that He ever ate zebra, but remember the silent feast of fishes by the seashore that early morning beyond Calvary in John 21? Peter's Fishing Expedition had caught nothing all night. But, Jesus had called out from the shore with an inside tip, producing a miraculous draught of fish. Then Peter dove rashly into the water and swam to Jesus. Jesus instructed them to bring Him some of the catch to add to the grill. They ate the fish apparantly in silence. Jesus looked at Peter sitting there with the water dripping off his coat, droplets sizzling in the heat of the campfire. It was then that Jesus opened the subject the others must have been dreading. "Do you love me?" I'm sure the others all breathed a sigh of relief that Jesus singled out Peter, instead of them to drill about the issue. I am amazed at Jesus asking only about Peter's love, and not his faith. We get it all backwards. We think God cares so much about what we believe or know, while He is wondering how much we love Him. It's all about relationship.
If you look back to the last meal Jesus spent alone with the disciples, the Last Supper, you will find Peter protesting to Jesus that he will never be offended over Jesus. Matthew 26 Then he denied Jesus three times, just as Jesus said he would. I'm sure this meeting with Jesus had to be an uncomfortable reminder of their failures. I'm sure their denial and abandonment was on Jesus' mind. But, He forgave them.
Of course, Adam and Eve had failed in Paradise as well... the best of situations. But, God had a solution to the failure problem. Incarnation and Pentecost: twin historical events where God came down to man, to redeem and restore His fallen creation to Himself. Sadly, neither event would solve the love problem. It would take Jesus' crucifixion to teach us how to love Him.
1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
We didn't even recognize love until he died for us. Strange isn't it? If love is blind...why do we see so clearly when we fall in love with Jesus?