19 April 2013 by Stewart Chew –
DID YOU EVER SEE THE LORD
AS HE STOOD HIGH ON THE HILL
WONDERFULLESSONS OF LOVE HE GAVE
I WANT TO BE THERE. YES MY LORD
AROUND HIM STOOD HIS DISCIPLES
PETER AND JOHN AND MATTHEW TOO
LOOKING ON IN PERFECT JOY
I WANT TO BE THERE, YES MY LORD
JESUS CAUSED THE BLIND TO SEE
THE LAME TO WALK AND THE DUMB TALK
THE REJECTED AND THE LOVELESS HE LOVED
JESUS CAME TO SET THIS WHOLE WORLD FREE
THE SAME PEOPLE WHO CHEERED YOU
PLOTTED AND KILLED YOU
O LORD, HOW YOU MUST HAVE SUFFERED
UNIMAGINABLE AGONY, SWEET SWEET JESUS
I AM TOO ASHAMED TO BE THERE
Do you want to be in the Biblical times? Ever wondered what it is like to be a contemporary of Jesus, being attired in robes and sitting in the crowds amongst the disciples? Let our imagination wander – now, I can see Peter, Matthew and John – and there seated is Jesus’ mother Mary and Mary Magdalene beside her and I think I can also identify some of the other disciples as well …….
Wouldn't it be great to be able to mingle with the crowd to follow Jesus wherever He went and be right there with His followers to listen to Him when He preaches?The one scene that strikes me most among all the events must be the glorious time of the Jesus preaching on the Sermon of the Mount. Wouldn’t it just be fantastic to be there in the quietness of the crowd with the disciples being totally enwrapped in His sermon and absorbing every word that Jesusspoke!
It is my hearts desire to want-to-be-there in the presence of Jesus when He was preaching the gospel to the hungry crowds of people who had to be restrained by the disciples for coming too close to our Lord. It is the ultimate to be able to witness first hand the miracles of Jesus – to hear shouts and cries of joy, laughter and disbelief from those being healed and from their family members and friends! Crowd pandemonium! I’ll like to say “Hey – excuse me, let me in to talk to the blind man who can see now”!
What I have written in the song "I want to be there" was one way for me to express my heart’s desire. I truly felt that I really want to be there, close to Jesus and to listen to His voice. Then a strange thing happened to me! When I was nearing the end of the song I momentarily stopped. I remembered that I suddenly became quite emotional as I lowered my face and sobbed! Why? It was because I had this overbearing weight of shame that came upon me. When I recovered from crying, it was so strange that I have lost this lingering desire to want-to-be-there anymore! When I examined myself I realized that it was all my wrongs that did this, that took Jesus to the cross. Come to think of it, we are actually not so different from the same people who cheered Him and afterwards plotted and killed Him! Shamefully, I confessed, that like all the individual people of the Judean crowd put together, we are all the reason that our Blessed Lord had to do what He had to do for all of us, go through the torture, suffering and death on the cross in Calvary.
Note: Stewart Chew is a retired senior lecturer in School of Medical Sciences, Curtin University in Perth, Australia
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