Saturday, November 22, 2014

Jesus - The Symphony of Truth


Absolute truth can be dangerous when parts are culled out and presented in a vacuum. For instance if we were to present a few verses from Leviticus apart from the revelation of Jesus then we can provide a platform for hatred and violence. I do not pretend to understand some of the Old Testament revelations of God, however I do know that in these gospel days we are to view and understand all truth through the prism of Christ. And unless we present Jesus completely attached to all His teachings then we are prone to present an incomplete and even a misleading picture of the Redeemer. This phenomenon is prevalent within the western evangelical community.

When the revelation of truth revealed in Christ Jesus is either compartmentalized or has varying degrees of focus, then we are launching out with our own caricature. Jesus is truth. I am the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus not only speaks the truth. He is the truth. And that truth when presented in all its fullness presents an eternal symphony. But if we redact His teachings we redact His Person. And in so doing we many times make truth a self righteous weapon and not the light which illuminates the Son of God.

So many preachers are like one of the ten Chinese men who described the elephant according to the piece they held in their hand. Not only were they incomplete, but they were inaccurate. Like listening to a symphony where only the drums played or only one flute played. So are these pitiful caricatures of Jesus which not only fail to uncover the mystery of His eternal fullness, but they force feed Him into some cultural or relevant box which satisfies the pew dweller and keeps them from seeking the depth and mystery of His Person.

This kind of talk is viewed in today’s pragmatism as esoteric and ethereal and really not beneficial in this temporal world. And yet if we collect truth in our hearts and allow the Spirit to piece it together in a way that only He can, well then, we begin to see Jesus. The entire Bible can be summed up in one word – Jesus. It all fits together. And if we have ears to hear we can enjoy and embrace that symphony which draws us and changes us.

Carefully we search out every note and every chord and every harmony and every key change, and then as the sheet music begins to take shape it jumps off the page and invades our hearts. Is it not a miracle? Jesus is revealed within our hearts and we not only fall in love with what we see and hear, but we long to be like Him. To be like Jesus is not like desiring to be like some mentor or earthly family member. This goes way beyond just imitation. This is the mystery of sanctification which allows the Spirit to literally change us into His image.

But that image cannot be one of our making or even some culling out of a few attributes which in reality require nothing more than some doctrinal genuflects. If we truly desire to allow the Spirit to conform us to His image it must be the entire and clear image. And if that image is truly Jesus then the conforming process will be slow and painful and will require a sacrificial allegiance to His Word as well as a denying of self. Those words are so easy to say and yet they present a monumental challenge in which the journey will provide ample opportunities to embrace a compromised contentment because we seem to have achieved a blending in with our respected peers. And our flesh will convince us that it should not really be this hard and that God understands our weaknesses and He knows our hearts.

But that would be an unfinished symphony, and if that is what you desire you can have it without much effort at all. I mean after all heaven awaits you one day so why all the labor now? Oh yes, my flesh speaks the same language as does yours. But is that what our Savior deserves? Is that what He desires? And if there is an intimate place where His revelation can enter our hearts are we to ignore it while we listen and enjoy the discords of this world? Do we really want to know Jesus? So often we understand truth as a set of absolutes and written doctrines and we fail to understand or perceive that all truth finds its source and its destination in Christ Jesus. “Learn of Me” exhorts our Master. Can that be an audited class which is offered in one semester and can be learned in our spare time?

But quiet time alone in deep prayer is a lost discipline. We must be entertained both in and out of church. Prayer, if any, has spiraled down to a “bless Aunt Minnie” type which cannot compete in length to the average television show. The early church for the most part was illiterate. They did not even have a Bible or spiritual books, and while the gatherings had times of teaching and corporate worship it was dedicated to much time in prayer.  And it was this life of prayer which so dramatically changed their lives that they were persecuted for His sake. And it wasn’t because of some moral stand or some offensive literature or some political organization. They were persecuted because they humbly but unambiguously followed Jesus and allowed their lives to demonstrate Him.

This was the symphony of truth known as Jesus.
Where is that symphony today?

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