What we all need is a “Holy Shift”, and that can only come by way of the narrow gate, the narrow road, the carrying of our cross daily.
The word of God is truly profound. Each time I read it, seldom does it fail to intrigue me as I move from line to line. Quite often, a certain passage feels like it jumps off of the page, does a triple summersault, and plunges deep into me. Sinking down into the core of my being.
Although, I am somewhat aware of how Jesus dealt with the Pharisees, Sadducee’s, "Couldntsees and Wouldntbees", the dialogue in John chapter 8 blew me away! It begins with Jesus speaking to "those Jews that had believed him".
Jesus stands in front of the chalkboard and speaks to them about the word and how "continuing", in it, will eventually qualify them to be His disciples. The truth would be known, and as a result, they would be free.
To whatever the degree of new found “belief” they have in Jesus is, Its' not long before the lines are radically blurred.
These Jews mistakenly thought that they would engage in a quid pro quo, with this man they thought they knew? They had no clue of the power, wisdom and discernment that was housed under His outer garments.
Jesus is the master, the epitome of accurately predicting the heart and motives of man. There exists no hood that could wink Him. And although He, being God was not subject to the same physical laws as the rest of us, He willingly humbled himself and adhered to them, to lead the way for us. He did not abuse His power or deity. He relied on the wisdom and power of the Father, and this was only procured by the time He spent with Him.
Jesus continues to entertain their queries observing the lasso in their left hands, waiting for the precise moment, as the tension mounts that is evident in their dialogue.
I’m just gonna put this out there, but I think the term “here’s where the rubber meets the road”, was actually coined right there. In this next exchange of words.
They callously tell Jesus that they were not born of fornication, that they have one Father, God.
I probably should have had my seatbelt tightly wrapped around my waist before I read Jesus’s response to them. I’ll give you a moment to adjust yours. Ok, you ready? Here is His “word of encouragement”:
“Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. “You are of your father the devil”. John 8:43,44
I wish I knew how to spell all the sounds that came out of my mouth after I read Jesus’s response. You know, the ones you see in the bubbles in early “Batman”, comic books?
It's right there that I imagine Jesus rolling up His sleeves, not putting on the Ritz, but leaning back and giving them the head leaned, squinting, Clint Eastwood stare. And the disciples that were with him finding a comfortable seat , inviting others present to do the same. Saying, "hold my camel and watch this". And then, sending the young lad with the “fish and chips” for drinks and popcorn!
These buffoons, bless their little ignorant hearts, without batting an eye initially accuse the King of Kings and Lord of Lords of being a Samaritan and having a demon. Not once, but “twiced”, as my father in law would say! The second time they just flat out tell him, “now we know that you have a demon”.
As witnessed in His life, it appears to me that Jesus had many similar, “road to Emmaus” experiences. We too, were once fools. Stay with me now. Yet somehow, I am not even sure how it happened? Except of course, by faith. But why is it that some of us were able to fall through the cracks? I mean, we began to believe in Him just like these Jews, and I have to infer that the same truth that is offered to them is the same [Truth] presented to us, yesterday, today and forever, right?
I’ll save some “Q and A”, on the aforementioned for a later time. I'm busy dodging rabbit holes left and right and its quite easy for me to lose my footing and fall right in, as a result of the subject matter being quite fascinating!
For now, I will instruct the crew to “prepare for landing”. At the tail end of this chapter in my vivid imagination what I see is a bloodied motley crew. A group of folks that started out “somewhat”, in the spirit but clearly ended in the flesh.
Let’s face it. Jesus, as John Eldridge beautifully describes Him, is truly an “Outlaw”. There was nothing in Him looking to win popularity contests or to be Mr. Congeniality and have his "picture", posted on "Scribebook". Jesus didn’t go around placating to demons or having His ears tickled by the latest and greatest pulpiteers, sages, the prophetic word or song of the week. He overturned tables, stood where the bullets were flying, intentionally and valiantly confronted all those that chose to challenge Him. Jesus, incarnate truth.
But, even Jesus knew when to tap out or step out of the ring. In some instances, even run! As He peered over His shoulder watching “them”, when they’ve had enough. Faces bulging with anger. When the truth had violated them and pierced them completely to the core and was so abrasive that all they could do was reach for stones to hurl at the chief cornerstone.
What truth are you finding difficult to embrace today? What has Jesus said to you that may have offended you and has you considering some quid quo pro? Let me remind you that Jesus is not into "something for something" unless it is Him in exchange for your heart. I believe it wise to clearly grasp the scenes already painted for us in these passages. When we choose His GPS (God Positioning System) the outcome for our lives will be good.
The opposite is quite true as well. If instead we allow arrogance, pride and rebellion to chain and bind us, hold us hostage until like the prodigal son, we “come to our senses.” Things will not go so well.
Truth is, that in most cases we eventually do wake up. But, for the life of me I cannot wrap my head around why I chose over and over more times than I can count, to look around and pick up more stones instead of allowing the truth to set me free?
What we all need is a “Holy Shift”, and that can only come by way of the narrow gate, the narrow road, the carrying of our cross daily. The relinquishing of our will so that we decrease and the very life of Jesus can than increase in our mortal bodies and that [Truth] will set us free.
© 2019 Robert Coello