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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mundane no more

23Jesus said, "You're tied down to the mundane; I'm in touch with what is beyond your horizons. You live in terms of what you see and touch. I'm living on other terms.
(John 8:23)

Jesus is answering the accusations of the religious leaders - they are all hung up in the fact that he was from Galilee and that he could not possibly be of the line of David, so he could not be the Messiah.  They could not see the evidence of his divinity because they were so focused on the details of his lineage.  It is kind of like not seeing the trees for the forest.  To their accusations that he could neither be prophet or Messiah, he rebukes them with these words.  

He reveals much in his answer to their arguments:
  • You are bound by the mundane - tied down by it.  It was like an anchor around their foot, holding them to one thing and not allowing them to see the bigger picture.  
  • You are living in terms of those things that you can see or touch - the natural.  In that very fact, they were placing themselves in a mindset to totally miss the supernatural in all Jesus said and did.
He reminds them  that his focus is not the here and now.  He has a bigger purpose in being on earth - it was the purpose of redemption.  What was beyond their horizons?  In this case, he refers to his Father in heaven.  He is reminding them that he does nothing that his father does not first direct him to do.  He is all about fulfilling the wishes of his father - accomplishing the work of salvation so that we can move from the mundane and the natural.

The goal of Jesus was to point us toward the connection with his father that he enjoys.  His hopes were that in making that connection, we'd move beyond the mundane in our lives.  In simple terms, the mundane is that which is of this earth.  When he challenges us to look beyond the mundane, he is challenging us to look toward the heavenly, the spiritual.  The mundane is both common and ordinary.  The simple change in focus from what can be seen and touched brings us to a place of experiencing the uncommon and the extraordinary.

We choose the "terms" by which we live.  We either remain earth-bound in our focus, or heaven-bound in our living.  The choice to not trust in what is natural - easy to interpret and experience through the senses - is what affords a shift from the mundane to the extraordinary.  Jesus was in connection with the one who chooses to operate in the realm of extraordinary - in the realm of possibility.

Sometimes, I make choices to settle for the mundane - in those choices, I often find myself thoroughly disappointed by what the natural and the ordinary have to offer.  The mundane may be the easiest - the quickest and the most readily available - but it is seldom the most rewarding.  We need to see the importance of the choices we make.  The truth is that we determine the outcome of the choices in the very moment we make the choice!