Devotion #3

Jesus Himself, And In Translation

The light shone in the darkness and some have caught it. There was a man sitting up during a power outage who could do nothing until the glorious slashing lightning lit up his room. So he began to draft a letter by its light, for by his own light he would be lost in a screen’s amusement, but by this true light exalted heaven became his candle.

The life of Jesus, His words and death, are such an exalted display, and yet are near to us like a candle. His parables do resolve problems yet they are capable of endless reinterpretation and examination. Our Master says be careful how you listen. (Luke 8:18) He is so high and we are so small. We must climb up, if we can, like Zacchaeus, to scan the way for Him. (Luke 19:4)

Jesus walked a very narrow way. How could He make His life public enough for us to follow so we could take hold – chase after? We can always return to Jesus’ words about feeding ravens and clothing lilies. We can always remember to ask, seek, and knock. But these instructions are always personal and by them we enter into relationship with Him.

Paul’s display – as a role model, in giving instruction to individuals, to churches, and in his theology, is a pursuit, a translation of the display of Christ. Christ was running far ahead.

“Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:1,2

Paul is like a man running after the frontrunner and giving us directions through his walkie-talkie. Unlike Christ he makes his notes as simple and straightforward as he can.

“rejoice always…
“pray continuously…
“be renewed in the spirit of your mind…
“Hold the pattern of sound words which thou hast heard from me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus…
“Faithful is the saying:
For if we died with him,
we shall also live with him:
if endure, we shall also reign with him:
if we shall deny him, he also will deny us:
if we are faithless, he abideth faithful;
for he cannot deny himself.”

Paul is running hard after the Son of God, his Master, I take it he relays to us:

if you run, run right on,
he passes through on the forest path,
he kneels at the creek to drink a moment,
smooth as the sun in his circuit
he cruises in the hills to the east,
he will swing the gates wide open,
if you do not run today you will not enter,
persevere to celebrate His Lordship with Him,
for He alone is victor. 

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