The offense of Jesus and of the entire New Testament record consists of one thing—immediacy. The words and deeds of Christ and the holy Apostles are too immediate, too direct, too alarming, too disarming, for the natural man, the man that wants to bury himself in the finery of illusion.
We spend our lives laying on more and more layers of finery to hide ourselves from the One who created us Naked so that in time He could cover us with His very own self, and beyond time that we might appear before Him as His very own sons.
In which direction do we find ourselves moving? Whether we call ourselves Christians or not, are we burying ourselves, like those who cry out to the stones at the Lord’s coming, ‘Bury us! Hide us!’ Are we wrapping ourselves in the winding bands of our shrouds?
Or have we found out the truth, that we need to make peace with our Opponent on the way to the court, so that there need be no trial? That to divest ourselves of our finery, divulge voluntarily the secrets we have collected, is the only safe work we can undertake?
Expose yourself to the Word of God. Enter the world of the Kingdom immediately. Let the words He has spoken convict all that is false in you, that you may approach Him in spirit and truth. Turn around and hear the Voice, as did John the Revelator, loud as trumpet blasts.
The offense of Jesus and of the entire New Testament record consists of one thing—immediacy. Modern man (and woman) wants to be free, but on their own terms, wants no one to tell them what to do, how to do it, or especially when. They don’t like to be rushed.
But Jesus has a way of just showing up, saying the most unlikely things. Unlikely because we don’t want to hear them, because we know as soon as we hear them, that His words are true. Truth, if we must hear it at all, we want to hear as spectators, not as doers.
That’s why so many of us don’t mind ‘going to church’, because there we may be a captive audience, but more importantly, He’s a captive Lord, and whether our ears are itching for the latest news or gossip, we might hear the good news, only to let it ‘in one ear and…’
It seems to me that once all the labor-saving devices and self-improvement programs had done their work, freeing us from wasting our precious few years ‘sweating to make a living’, we might have remembered why we invented these things in the first place.
We were created to be gods, but sin has slain us root and branch and thrown us on the fire and, had it not been for the Firebrand snatched from the flames by the Only Spirit, who now burns in the shrub of humanity without consuming it, we could never have done a thing.
Closer than our jugular vein, more immediate and necessary than our next breath, more faithful than our beating hearts to keep life pumping in us, the words of Life lodged in our ears, meshed into our minds, yet we deny them and Him who speaks, whose immediacy offends us.
Tear us away from our deaf deadness, O Lord. Liberate us like newly molted serpents from our tight, scaly skins. Unstop our ears that we may hear Thy unsettling sayings and receive Thee, the living flame of Love, transforming our cold blood to internal, eternal Fire.
‘I am the Resurrection and the Life. Do you believe this?’ What more can be said than that which forever is spoken on every page of holy and divine scripture in innumerable ways? ‘Blessed is He who is not offended by Me.’ Let that person be the one reading this.