The Obscuring of Jesus
I think lately it has been more and more difficult for me to see Jesus. What I mean is that Jesus, his person and his work, has been lost from my eyes and my mind to arguing voices standing up for their convictions.
The voices are deafening. One says this. Another that. Everyone is speaking. No soul listens.
And if a soul should try to listen, she is marginalized as missing the meaning of demonstrations and accused of holding unconvinced convictions. The voices are deafening and I can barely make out Jesus in the noise.
Imperative vs. Implications
What are the imperatives of the Gospel? And what are only the implications of the Gospel?
The Difference between an implication and an imperative may be the cause of difference between Christians.
Or how about the difference between what we are commanded and how we are to carry out the command within our contexts? For each of the following topics ask: What does Scripture explicitly demand of believers and what have we concluded is the-right-thing-to-do apart from being explicitly commanded?
1) Our Earth. 2) Our Bodies. 3) Our Receptivity of Others. 4) Our Means of Evangelism. 5) Our Purpose on Earth. 6) Our Faith and Its Interaction with Our Politics/Country. 7) Our Neighbors.
Recently I read John 17 again. What is impressive is that Jesus paints a really horrible picture. Not only are we the potential prey of the evil one, but we are hated by the world.
In the midst of a forthcoming hostile situation Jesus prayed for our unity. And Jesus explains the purpose of the unity. Our unity was never to marshal the majority or marginalize the minority. Our unity was never intended to control the morality of a country or intimidate the immoral. Instead:
“My prayer is not for them [the first disciples] alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that [purpose of Christ praying for us] all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that [purpose of unity] the world may believe that you have sent me.”
“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that [the purpose of the glory given] they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that [the purpose of being like the Father and Christ in unity] they may be brought to complete unity. Then [as a consequence of becoming perfectly one like Trinity] the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
So may we all come to see Christ more clearly in these times. May we learn to know the difference between a command and how we are to obey it. And may our unity witness to Someone and something greater than political values.