Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Some things are not meant to be known

43-46Jesus said, "Don't bicker among yourselves over me. You're not in charge here. The Father who sent me is in charge. He draws people to me—that's the only way you'll ever come. Only then do I do my work, putting people together, setting them on their feet, ready for the End. This is what the prophets meant when they wrote, 'And then they will all be personally taught by God.' Anyone who has spent any time at all listening to the Father, really listening and therefore learning, comes to me to be taught personally—to see it with his own eyes, hear it with his own ears, from me, since I have it firsthand from the Father. No one has seen the Father except the One who has his Being alongside the Father—and you can see me."
(John 6:43-46)

Jesus has just spent time teaching those who were following him about the importance of not wasting their time striving for things that were perishable - instead, he encourages them to put their trust in him.  Why?  He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.  I can imagine that stirred up a little "talk" amongst the religious scholars and leaders of the day!  As a matter of fact, those words would be equated to words of blasphemy and Jesus could have been marched out of town ahead of a stoning brigade!

Instead of stoning him right then and there, they ask a searching question about how they "throw their lot in with God and get in on his works".  Pardon me, but I don't really know that they were asking this question with any sincerity to follow Jesus as the one true son of God.  I think they might have seen a "good thing" in what Jesus was doing, recognizing that he crowds were following him, and they wanted in on the action!  Why do I think that?  Simply because of what they said next:  "Why don't you give us a clue about who you are, just a hint of what's going on? When we see what's up, we'll commit ourselves. Show us what you can do."

It becomes pretty obvious that these were men with mixed motives - they wanted to have more proof about who Jesus was.  Now, mind you, they had seen water turned into wine, five thousand fed from a couple of fish and a few loafs of bread, lame leap up walking, and a plethora of other miracles by this time....but they wanted to see more before they'd decide if they'd commit themselves!  Uh....can you imagine asking God to do even more to prove himself?  I'm thinking they've got enough evidence before them to have a pretty good "hint" that Jesus is no ordinary man!

They cannot connect with what Jesus is doing amongst them because they are trying to see it through the natural eye of their own understanding.  The things of God are seldom fully understood through our natural reasoning or intellect.  These only help us to interpret what we see, hear, and sense.  They are not the ONLY tools available to us when interpreting spiritual truth.  Too many times, we find ourselves complaining about not "getting" what is said or done because all we are focusing on is the message or the deed.  We don't see the "heart" behind it!

Jesus was clear - everyone who hears and learns what comes from the Father comes through him.  It is through the touch of Jesus in our lives that we can interpret the "heart" of the matter.  We will do well to connect-the-dots by drawing closer to Jesus, not trying to rationalize or process something through our own understanding.  It is in having our ears and hearts open to spiritual truth that we really hear what is being taught.  

There are thousands of disappointed and disillusioned followers of the Harold Camping prediction of the world's end on May 21.  They stand both ashamed and dismayed in the "failure" of his predictions.  Here's the truth we need to see - he had no ability or power to make those predictions in the first place!  If the son of God doesn't even know the hour, how can a retired engineer turned preacher?  The truth is that human effort accomplishes nothing with respect to eternal ends.  We must never put faith in human effort or understanding when it comes to eternal conclusions.

So, although this was his second "failed prediction" about the end of times, he will go on predicting that his dates were "a little off" and that the end will surely come (just 5 months from now).  Some will still follow his predictions.  They will because they don't recognize that spiritual truths are not understood through human efforts.  The struggle with spiritual truth is not new - the Pharisees just couldn't "get it" either!  

Here's what we need to see:  Draw near to Jesus.  Learn of him.  Run all spiritual truth through him.  What he reveals, he will confirm.  If it remains hidden from us...there is a reason!  Love him, seek him, and all will be well!