called, death, discernment, disciples, follow Him, hatred, persecution, Trinity

The World x Three, #58

I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”

John 17:15-16, (context, vv. 13-19)

What strikes me is the use “of the world” three times in this passage. Jesus seems to make a point to describe the system we’re all enmeshed in. It’s very clear to Him that we do belong somehow; the first phrase makes it awfully clear that we are part of this structure, and we must accept this.

Like father, like son–but in this case it’s “like savior, like disciple.” The religious apparatus couldn’t humble themselves to accept Jesus as the Messiah. Their dislike becomes hatred, which ended up in murder. And now they fix their dark gaze on us. We’re guilty by association, to a certain degree.

This is a prayer. And “the second person of the Trinity” happens to be interceding for us (Hebrews 7:25.) I don’t know, but there is some very heavy voltage packed into this prayer. Far more than I can even imagine. But He has covered you, don’t doubt it for a single second.

We belong–but yet we really don’t.

Our commitment to Him has completely blown away our chances to be friends with this world’s system. They see us as enemies (or at least, minor irritants) to their dark way of living. At best we’re tolerated, and at least they murder us; all they’ve done to Jesus is now suddenly turned on us.


“I tell you, my friends, don’t be terrified by those who can kill the body but after that can do nothing more.

Luke 12:4

Standard
Bible promises, broken people, demons, disciples, evangelism, faith, healing, Jesus Christ, missions

Negotiating with Jesus, #45

“Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” 

And her daughter was healed instantly.”

Matthew 15:28, (context, vv. 21-28)

Negotiating with God is not for the timid. It takes spiritual guts, and very few do it right. This chapter begins with a strong teaching on Jewish tradition and moral purity. The scribes and the Pharisee’s have cornered the market on social and religious correctness, and they have a solid grip on the Jewish faith. You must do what they say.

Suddenly there’s a noisy commotion, up jumps a Gentile woman who is terribly loud and terribly desperate, she’s caught somewhere between rudeness and hysteria. She has a disturbing need for her daughter to be released from a demon’s control–there’s a satanic oppression that wants to destroy her. Only Jesus can stop it.

The Judaism of Jesus’ day was not doing its job. Israel was meant to be a “light to the Gentiles,” and a source of healing and truth to the nations of the earth. Clearly it had become confused–its traditions and ceremonies that had nothing to do with the salvation of the world.

Perhaps the failure of the Jewish people to reach the world parallels the failure of the Church to carry out Jesus’ Great Commission? Religion has always stood in the way of God’s heart and His plan to bring salvation to everyone. I think this is the main reason Jesus hated it so.

This woman has a need that only Jesus could meet. She embarrasses herself insisting that Jesus take action. She seems almost rude to the point of being obnoxious. She is repeatedly told to be quiet, that her daughter’s deliverance was not in the plan of God. But that’s an answer she will not accept.

How honest are my conversations with God? Do I say what I really think? Do I intercede for others?

This is one of more unsettling verses in the New Testament–at least for me anyway. Everyone in this passage seems somewhat rude, even a bit boorish to me–even Jesus seems off, which really does unsettle me. There’s a stilted awkwardness in this passage that makes me want to apologize about Jesus’ attitude to all my unbelieving friends. I just don’t get all the national, racial, and social issues that are involved here.

An addendum though: Not every scripture is ever grasped once, and for all time understood. I’ve learned there are verses that reveal their layers years later. Onion-like. I think that this is probably true–for me anyway. The same verse will speak to me over and over again.

Standard