While in God's Grip!
Even after Jesus had performed many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:
“Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:
"He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.”
Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him. Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. Yet they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue for they loved human praise more than praise from God.
~ John 12:37 - 42
Sometimes I wonder if Jesus ever gets a real break from things, but then I begin to realize that this is the existence that God encounters on any given moment.
While the disciples were walking and experiencing the life and miracles of Jesus each day, and people would talk about what Jesus was doing, they still were so caught up in what the world wanted from them that they simply would not proclaim what Jesus was doing for fear of being treated differently.
I remember how my doctor tried to explain an unexplainable result to treatment that I was receiving. She pulled out my chart and began to read, "Patient exhibits improvement, noting that anamoly of a cell has created the improved status."
After hearing these words, I looked at her and responded, "By any chance is anamoly spelled M I R A C L E?"
She looked at me and smiled, "Yes, something like that."
Our ability to proclaim the miracles that God continues to provide as human successes has left us leaving God in the shadows while others stand in the light.
John at one point shares, "Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light. When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them." `(John 12:36)
Jesus is tired. He keeps trying to get folks to recognize that what he is doing is the works of God through him, and people are simply not getting it. Well, at least they are not giving credit where credit is due.
Even today when honors are given, when glory is given to God for the talent, success, or the ability, it is rarely seen as anything other than a line of words.
By our own admission, we struggle to believe. Even for the disciples. Yet, while in our shadow, God is still God, and is waiting for us to welcome God into the light, often where we are the ones standing.
Proclaim the miracles! Proclaim what God is doing in your life! That is how the world knows not just the power of God, but that God exists!
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.