THE UNKNOWN WRESTLER
"So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak" (Genesis 32:24, NIV).
Some of the most fascinating titles of Jesus occasionally appear in the most unexpected places. Today's portrait is a case in point. It surfaces from the intriguing story of Jacob en route to his homeland.
The story spotlights Jacob as materially prosperous but spiritually bankrupt. On his way home, he is haunted by the prospect of meeting his brother Esau whom he had wronged. He is overwhelmed by fear and deep uncertainty. Alone with God in the isolation and darkness of the brook Jabbok, Jacob is suddenly seized by an unidentified antagonist who engages him in a night-long struggle. Believing the assailant to be some mortal enemy, Jacob courageously fights for his life until daybreak. As dawn approaches, the unknown antagonist disables him by a touch on the socket of his hip.
The disabling touch convinces Jacob that his assailant is no mere human. The valiant struggle now becomes a spiritual encounter. "I will not let you go unless you bless me" (Genesis 32:26, NIV), Jacob insisted. For the first time Jacob realizes the inadequacy of his own wisdom and that pardon can be experienced only by surrender through faith.
The real hero of this narrative is not Jacob, but Christ Himself. He was the unknown wrestler, the only One through whom there is victory and freedom from self-enslavement. Out of this moving story has emerged another life-size portrait of Jesus, our wonderful Redeemer. Ellen White confirms that the celestial visitor who wrestled with Jacob was none other than Christ. She states, "It was Christ, 'the Angel of the covenant,' who had revealed Himself to Jacob."--Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 197.
My Prayer Today: Lord, like Jacob, I seek Your enabling power. Amen.