Monday, March 12, 2007

When He reveals, I must respond!

The first day here in the hotel restaurant, I noticed two women at another table praying before their meal. It turned out that one of them was my “table partner” for the first two days of workshop sessions. I mentioned to her that I’d noticed her praying, so we shared that we are both followers of Christ.

Obviously, not everyone in the room had the same view. They didn’t have to say so, but it showed in language and attitude. One used extremely foul words, even though she seemed like a nice person. Others were pleasant to talk to in many ways, but their opinion of Christ showed in the way they used His name.

Even though the blasphemy must sting, Jesus is not surprised that people are ignorant of His identity. When He was here, He asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

“So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

Jesus knew not everyone would get it. The disciples were clueless for quite some time. However, at the end of this conversation Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Peter wasn’t brilliant or more godly than anyone else. He was not pious, or insightful, or in any way special. Jesus told him, and the rest of us, the reason why he knew the true identity of the Son of Man: “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.”

Peter was a recipient of divine revelation. Some might ask, If this is true, and because it has such enormous eternal implications, why doesn’t God reveal this incredible truth to everyone? Why are some left out?

I could say that God gave His people the responsibility to tell others, yet we know that telling them does not automatically mean that they know. That telling must also be accompanied by the voice of the Holy Spirit who somehow opens a person’s mind and says, “This is the truth; listen to it. You must know this.

Instead, the only answer I have to why doesn’t God reveal truth to everyone is the same answer I have to a similar question, Why doesn’t God save everyone? Knowing what I know about my own sinful nature and my own resistance to the God of the universe, my answer to the question of why does God reveal Himself to everyone is this: Why does He save anyone? None of us deserve even the least of His mercies. It is a marvel that He considers us, cares for us, sends the rain on the just and the unjust, and sent His Son to die for us. We resist Him so much, why does He bother with any of us?

I also know that the Holy Spirit does speak to everyone. It is not a shout, but a whisper, a nudge, a sense of “listen up” but unfortunately, some of us are not very good at paying attention.

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