November 6, 2015
You Need a Middleman
By Skip Heitzig
The book of Job is far more important than most people make it out to be. Even though some like to rank it with the classics—like Shakespeare, Homer, and Dante—it's even more important than any of those, because first, it is divinely inspired, and second, the deepest issues of life emerge in this book: we see humanity struggle with divinity. And this book, perhaps more than any other in the Old Testament, reveals our need for Jesus Christ.
In Job 9:32-35, Job cried out for a very particular kind of person, a certain kind of a helper. He said, "For [God] is not a man, as I am, that I may answer Him, and that we should go to court together. Nor is there any mediator between us, who may lay his hand on us both. Let Him take His rod away from me, and do not let dread of Him terrify me. Then I would speak and not fear Him, but it is not so with me."
I want to zero in on the word mediator, or middleman. Why would Job ask for a middleman? Well, he realized there was a great gulf between heaven and earth, between himself and God. At this point in his life, he had lost all of his wealth, prominence, and most of his family; he was brought low. He saw how great, transcendent, powerful, and huge God is and how puny, unimportant, and small he was (see Job 9:5-15). And because of that, he asked for somebody "who may lay his hand on us both" (v. 33). That's what a mediator does: stand between two estranged parties with one hand on each person to bring them together.
We have exactly the same need today. Any thinking person who looks at the universe we live in will come to the rational conclusion that there must be a God. But the next issue that arises is how can we as human beings connect with this transcendent, magnificent God? Do we just choose any religious path or spiritual journey? Who will take us to Him? That's what Job cried out for.
And Job knew there was no one to fix it: "Nor is there any mediator between us" (v. 33). Now, our world is full of would-be mediators. They offer advice, enlightenment, a horoscope reading, a palm reading, or say that they alone interpret the truth the right way, but all of them fall short. Even the priesthood in the Old Testament was flawed, because they were sinners like everybody else. Our sins have caused separation between ourselves and God, and we're all imperfect.
But in stepped Jesus. First Timothy 2:4-6 says that God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all." The cry was answered; the middleman stepped forward. Jesus Christ, the perfect Mediator, the go-between, laid His hand on God and on us and said, "I'm going to bring you two parties together." This means you don't have to go through angels, saints, or a preacher to get to God; you can go directly to Him through Jesus, who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). He died in your place and now lives to represent you before the Father.
I think the heart cry of every individual is "How can I connect with God?" God put a hole in the soul of everyone (see Ecclesiastes 3:11; Romans 8:20) so that we would cry out and say, "How can I ever contact God? I need a mediator." And that Mediator, that bridge, is Jesus Christ. You must come through the narrow gate of a relationship with the Savior who died for your sins and rose from the grave for your justification. It's the only way. And it's up to each of us to respond to that truth.
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