Monday, January 24, 2011
Going through a long line of prophets, God has been addressing our ancestors in different ways for centuries. Recently he spoke to us directly through his Son.
By his Son, God created the world in the beginning, and it will all belong to the Son at the end. This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God's nature.
He holds everything together by what he says-Powerful Words! Peterson/The Message
The importance of the gospel records concerning the words and other methods Jesus used to communicate must never be diminished, nor discounted. The incarnation of Christ, the Word from God, born from the virgin, gives all of us the exact mind of God. Everything mankind needs to understand about God, know his will and come into a loving relationship with him, is found in the words of Christ.
The first words recorded that are ascribed to Jesus take place when he is just a young man. He stayed behind discussing the Torah with the elders and his parents lost track of him. When confronted by his parents he simply told them that he had to be about his father's business. Meaning, at such a young age he understood what God the Father intended for him. Communication and understanding have taken place.
When Jesus calls the disciples the words are simple and easy to understand. When he tells the first disciples to, "Follow me" they understand and respond right away. Their obedience to the voice of Jesus is immediate. The communication to the other disciples is direct and responded to the same way. It is very clear that the voice and words of Jesus were easy to understand and the disciples responded without hesitation.
The recorded messages that we have in the gospels, including events of healing, feeding, touching, rebuking, and instruction all seem to be very clear and concise. The communication is given and it is understood. It is not always acted upon, the rich young ruler as an example, but obedience is not required, only understanding is.
Before going further, if we are serious about understanding the will, desire, intended purpose of God for our lives the searching out and pondering the truth of the gospel must be a priority. We will never have the legitimate right to proclaim, "God told me", if what we were told is contrary to the words of Christ. I know of no exceptions. So, the prayerful reading and understanding of the words of Jesus must have their place.
The last example that I choose to examine can be problematic. It is the time Jesus spent in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is here we find Jesus having a real crisis in his heart and thus obedience. He knows full well what road he is going to have to walk down. He knew full well, even before the created universe existed, what the plan of redemption was. None-the-less, Jesus struggles with the will of his father, to the point of agony and despair. At the end of the struggle Jesus moves to Golgotha.
Questioning and struggling with our understanding of God's intended purpose for us is natural and probably good for us.