Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jesus Knows What We're Like

Thanks for your prayers. It was a pressurised five days from Thursday to Monday but through it all with the love of Jesus and a good supportive family around me as well as a gracious church leader I managed to pull through. One of the writing assignments is scheduled to be published later today and I hope to be able to give the link. Another one is due to be published on Monday and there maybe a link to that as well. The third one may never see the light of day, but that’s all good as it fitted the purpose for which it was set out.

Now onto today’s blog. I have wanted to blog for two days at least, but felt time invested in the family would be better especially in the light of the sacrifices they’ve made for me. Here I am though and unusually I’m blogging in the morning, although what follows after this paragraph with an edit here and there was written last night. I just wanted to share what was on my heart on this particular issue. I think I’m of the mind that the fasting series will continue as of next month and use the remaining days of this month to just release some loose thoughts.

Here’s something you don’t read that often on this blog – a quote from scripture, KJV style!

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. – (John 2:23-25 KJV)

This came from a conversation I had with Authrine on Tuesday morning where I crossed on the nature of man being to not necessarily do as well for the common good as he should. So for example, I am convinced that there are people who know enough about technology to be able to have better energy efficient resources utilising natural resources like wind, sun, water, etc. That they do not invest in this is because of how it would upset the capitalist and fundamentally humanist (in the selfish sense) status quo.

The same thing is applicable with the reason for wars, maintenance of heavily flawed systems of government and finances and other related issues. The remedy isn’t far from reach but the effect to how things run would be too scary. As well as that although we like a quick solution and the signs and wonders, when the tide turns we’re quick to blame that which was meant to be our saviour into that which makes us a sucker. At heart despite our desperate desire to love and be loved there is something fundamentally self-serving about our natures that actually negatively impacts our other relationships.

This human nature issue led me to recall this very brief episode in the Bible and so I thought it was worth exploring it further. It’s quite an incredible statement to make in a world where people are so wanting to have their faith reciprocated by others to hear Jesus the one who apparently loves all actually not trusting Himself to people. Not committing Himself. Not getting caught up in the acclaim. Not loving the attention and setting up the Jesus of Nazareth fanpage on Facebook.

Not being specious or facetious but I don’t reckon Jesus would have a Facebook profile if He were around today. I don’t think He’d necessarily have a Twitter account either. I can barely see Him with an email account let alone blogging.

Don’t get me wrong, I reckon Paul would have had a laptop and a regular podcast on iTunes and Luke would have had a blog, Twitter account and a Facebook account. I dare say Timothy would even venture to have a MySpace and Bebo account. I just don’t think Jesus would have the time for these means of distant communication.

I think His energy would have been focussed on personal work in the flesh and time away to consult with His Father as to the way to go. In line with the scripture He would actually commit His life to those who were assigned to Him as His responsibility, i.e. His disciples. Even here as we’ve noted in scripture, this is only to a few, not to many. It’s one thing to serve others, but committing your life to others is something that you only do when specifically led by God.

As for a reality TV show, you can bet your bottom dollar He wouldn’t be seen anywhere near those things, let alone having a documentary team following Him as He walked the streets. He may not have allowed one to follow Him, but one would definitely follow just to get footage of the signs and wonders. I imagine Channel 4 doing one of their usual stitch up jobs in imperiously declaring this travelling talker as a charlatan and a harmless freak at best.

I only say that in considering what things are important to life today. Nothing wrong with social networking applications anymore than there’s something wrong with the TV, radio, mobile phone, regular telephone, computer, pen, paper, tablets of stone, smoke signals and the like. Just to say that when it comes down to it in as advantageous access to thousands of others around the world appears, there is nothing that beats one to one contact with no frills and spills. That way we can get to know people and hopefully know to whom we are to commit ourselves as. We can also be the beacon of compassion to see broken people made whole, bound people released, imprisoned and addicted people set free and those who are poor embrace the good news of God’s imminent Kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

This is not a critique of social networking developments or of modern communications. It is just to say that for all my love of writing and making the most of the modern technology to explore it more, I desire everyday to have those encounters with people. I desire everyday to have those holy moments that bring people closer to recognising God for who He is by His grace and mercy. Those sacred times of the realisation not only that there’s more to life than this, but that this something more is all there is to life and is worth so much that life should be forsaken in exchange for this life. Those reverential experiences when the mundane, trivial and mediocre fade into nothingness in the light of the love, holiness, wisdom and majesty of the Creator of the universe made flesh.

In the meantime I reflect further on a man who knew what was in the heart of man – knows what we’re like and still calls us unto Himself.

For His Name's Sake



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