Posts Tagged ‘knowing truth’

Opening Eyes

August 13, 2009

After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say,  “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”  Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make Him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by Himself.  John 6:14, 15.

Our view of God changes as we grow in the knowledge of who He is from His own perspective.  Our perspective or grasp of who God adjusts as we get to know His Word through Jesus.  I believe this is one of the reasons why many people can’t accept Jesus as the Anointed One or Savior because their ideas of who He is or can be are so fixed they refuse to adjust or change them to the reality He presents.

As in the days of Samuel and all those following until after the exile to Babylon, the Jews wanted a king to be like other nations.  It comes down to the same thing for almost everyone I know or have ever read about, we want to be original in some things but where power, prestige and honor come into the picture we will conform without ever batting an eyelash.  These people only understood a few things, but one that they really grasped was the significance of Jesus’ ability to feed them.  They saw opportunity flashing its undies at them and they decided to take hold with all their might.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t in the plan set out by God or His Son.  They wanted a king because that symbolized to them normalcy, whereas God made it pretty clear in the Law He had no desire for them have any other king but Him.  Remember Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well?  God desires worshipers who will do so in spirit and truth, which subtracts the physical ties we have to earthly priorities.

The people decided to take Him by force, which suggests to me Jesus wasn’t all that enthused or encouraging about the idea.  I wouldn’t doubt the disciples were ring leaders in the efforts as well, for they didn’t grasp the Savior’s mission any better than the multitude.  They still had their hopes set on an earth-based glory, where the Jews ruled the world and they doled out favors as they wished.

I’ve heard so many sermons chastising the disciples for their blindness and single-minded hope for the messiah.  Yet I don’t really think we today are all that different.  I don’t mean to harp on this point but our perceptions or preconceptions of Scripture are pretty staid, set and intractible.  No matter what Scripture says, we find a way to believe or get it to say what we want it to say.  Of course, we have to ignore other passages to do so, but what is such a little sacrifice for the greater good of our pet theories?

Jesus avoided their intentions by simply leaving the situation and going up into the mountain to pray.  I don’t know if He hid Himself or what to get away, but in another gospel it says He dismissed the people and ordered the disciples to cross the lake ahead of Him.  For some reason they all obeyed Him.

The lesson here again for me is several fold, of course, but one which stands out as important:  We must conform to Scripture to form our ideas of God.  Subtract our preconceptions from the mix wherever the truth shows them to be false understandings and finally give ourselves over wholly to the message of the cross.

Only in this way can we say we really know God or His Son.

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“This is the Way…”

August 29, 2008

O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more.  How gracious He will be when you cry for help!  As soon as He hears, He will answer you.  Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more;  with your own eyes you will see them.  Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,  “This is the way; walk in it.”  Isaiah 3: 19-21.

Everybody is looking for a direction in life.  God promises that we will have this if we are listening to His teachers.  But how will we know those teachers?  Isaiah 8: 20 gives us a clue,  To the law and to the testimony!  If they don’t speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.

Jesus said something quite profound that fulfills the prophecy of the passage above:  “When He (the Holy Spirit) comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment…”  The Holy Spirit’s other job is to guide us into all truth (see John 16: 13).  Through His ministry, we find the way in which to walk.

So now we know that anyone who has spiritual wisdom for us must conform to the teaching of the law and testimony of Jesus or they speak darkness.  This is not about specifics but ethics.  Our God isn’t about choosing our clothes for us as far style, color or cloth, what He seems to care about is our ethics in doing so.  The law and testimony are guidelines for life in general not directed at individual tastes unless they cross the ethical boundaries.  When we need to know if we should get involved with another person romantically, we can look at their ethics to see if they match what we know of God’s.  Jesus taught us it was by their fruit we would know them.

A person’s fruit is their actions, decisions and general expressions about life.  So the decisions

 for business, friendship, romance and family should be guided by this ethic.

The Way is simple, the Truth is living for it is a risen Savior, and the Life is Jesus’ sacrificial attitude for the world around us.