Metamorphosis

Jesus gave them this answer:  “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son does.”  John 5:19.

Jesus begins in verse 19 to speak to the arguments they present.  He makes Himself something of a bane in their nostrils by the end of the chapter so we will first take the overview then move on to the specific arguments presented.  From this point on to the end of the chapter they don’t get a word in edgewise.

His argument here seems to be off the subject for the Jews, I’m sure, because Jesus turns the discussion into a family pedigree issue.  It’s normal for a son to imitate a father, it’s as natural as breathing.  Jesus uses this POV to support not only His mission but His methods as well, and what that tells us about God is quite profound.  The Jews, of course, found His point offensive.  They liked their perception of God and resented Him bringing in a new better one.  Look, they might have even liked the God Jesus represented in the flesh, but they had spent so long building up their current doctrine on the Almighty that Jesus’ evidence to the contrary made all that hard work for nothing—simply because they had drawn the wrong conclusion.

His claim to be God’s Son went further than they expected as well because here He gets even more profoundly specific:  He claimed to be imitating His Father, God, which meant to them and to us anyone who wanted then or wants now to know God needs to look at Jesus.

John A made a statement which refuted the gnostics and Nicolatians alike: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

God became man. 

The man born blind had to operate from a completely new paradigm.  The old was gone the new came rushing in.  Every work God does means change–like sloughing off burnt skin makes way for the new skin underneath so we must make way for the healing power of God to change our outlook, performance and habits.  Definitely God meant what He said to Ezekial:  “I will give you a new heart; one made of flesh instead of stone.”  Alive instead of dead.

I’ve told this story before (From Voyage of the Dawntreador):

Eustace became a dragon out of his greed.  He went to sleep with two human sized bracelets on his arms and woke up with those same bracelets cutting into his dragon sized forelegs.

To get free Eustace had to allow Aslan to cut into him, splitting him from neck to groin in order to free him from the dragon skin encasing him.  The process was incredibly painful but in the end Eustace stood beside the lake an adolescent boy again, bloodied by his ordeal, shaking from cold and exposure of raw skin.  Aslan then baptized him in the lake by making him wash off what was left of the dragon’s blood.

Every time we come to a crossroads, God has something new to do in us.  I have come to crossroads myself and had the choice to become bitter, angry and vengeful or obedient to the Spirit of God or full of good fruit.  My head keeps sending me the wrongs done me (notice how many “I” statements are in that thought) and how I am getting a raw deal and deserve more; whereas God shows me how to live like Him and be peaceful and full of light.  Quite some time ago, I wrestled with my thoughts for nearly five hours trying to control them and keep them from the anger filling me up every time God drained it.  I would turn my heart towards Christ and my head would fill with light and breezy gentle love.  Then a flood of angry thoughts and self-defense mechanisms would sneak back in through the cracks until the scene was sullied by muddy reasoning and dark thunder clouds of resentment.

At the end I was compeletly exhausted but the peace, hardwon as it was, filled my soul and I slept full of love for those who accused me falsely and hurt me unnecessarily to my view.  I could pray for them and myself to be good to them, to love them, to show them kindness.

People who claim love to be weak don’t know love.  It is by far the most potent and powerful weapon known to man and the least likely to do hurt or violence to anyone.  It takes more strength I’ve discovered to love, show kindness and mercy, grace and gentleness, than to throw a fist or harsh words in someone’s face.  The amount of determination to bless those who curse us, pray for those who persecute us, do good to those who dispitefully use us, takes more courage, strength and decisive self-control than I have in my arsenal. 

Jesus came to give us a new heart and mind.  The old ways of thinking weren’t working nor could they save us or bring us peace.  Our strength comes from a different source and our lifestyle conforms to a different beat.  Our hearts go the way of peacemakers and those who have purposely broken themselves on the Rock Christ Jesus so that the might be made complete His way. 

Jesus came in the flesh and experienced the loneliness, the hunger for food, drink, companionship and a host of other things natural to man.  He needed to bath and use the toilet.  Jesus is God but He chose to become man in a time without the conveniences we have today, where disease played havoc over men and lifespans were long if they made it past 50.   His feet got dusty, He felt pain and ached when people rejected Him. His reaction in this passage of Scripture and what follows where He confronts the leaders of the Jews shows a man who hurt for their lack of belief and stubborn determination to kill Him and His message.

And all He ever did was good. 

I have never been completely good in my entire life.  I’m too much the self-preservationist for that; I say things to defend myself against false accusations where my Master would be silent.  I retort to snide remarks or comments in kind with sarcasm of my own.  Jesus wasn’t afraid to stand up for Himself or His message, as we shall see, but He did so in a godly way, a method we could take lessons from.  I want this kind of wisdom, this kind of response to those who misuse my love and kindness.  I don’t want to be like the old me anymore.  I want to be like Jesus.

Is that so much to ask?  Make me like you, Master.

And He sends me pain to show me a taste of the rejection He experiences everyday of the world’s history past, present and future.  He sends me trouble so that I will know what it feels like to have to make choices between one thing and another where the outcomes will hurt someone no matter which way I go.  He sends me grief so I will understand His heart for those who choose to lose Him–who hate and resent Him so much they would rather die than be with Him.  I don’t know the depths and height of the pain my Master went through or goes through, but I know what it feels like to be rejected, looked on with suspicion, ostracized and marginalized, then pushed out of my own home.

Yet Jesus experiences it times a billion or more.  Every person who rejects Him hurts His eternal soul and will be an ache we can never fathom.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him might have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”

He came to save the whole world but how many will choose to receive it or Him.  How many want Jesus as He is?

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One Response to “Metamorphosis”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    it’s so so true.

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