emilynisch

The inside is bigger than the outside

In Christianity on April 17, 2009 at 11:20 am

Today I was reading in Matthew 9. One after another Jesus heals people. I knew Jesus healed a lot of people while he was on earth, but today when I read it seemed to me like he was just doing so much. Two things came out of this realization.

1. Jesus asks each of a question: “Do you believe I am able to do this?” He asks this question of two blind men. (Mat 9:28) There are many communal things in this life, where we work together with other people, and we feel like our lives are tied in with theirs. But this question is something we each have to answer alone. We have to do so honestly, and no one else can answer for us. What struck me today was that this question also is the one that decides who we become and what our lives look like. Which leads into number two.

2. As I continue to grow older I’m surprised and pleased to find that I become more like myself and less like other people. This means I may seem strange sometime – but everyone should seem strange sometimes. It shows that we’re each ourselves, different from everyone else. As this strageness is exposed we learn from eachother and become more aware that God designed us as his body, to work together and be (for ourselves and for each other) what no one else can be. In Matthew 9:18-26 we hear a story of a daughter who has just died and her father (a ruler) who comes to Jesus saying, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” (9:18) Jesus goes with him and finds a noisy mourning crowd gathered at his home. Jesus tells them, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” (9:24) Then it says, ” But they laughed at him.” (9:24)

I’m not sure what Jesus meant when he said the girl was asleep, not dead. He was entering a situation that seemed final. Everything looked a certain way. The people believed the girl was dead, they believed in the processes of the world, and had no room for believe in something else – unlike the girl’s father. What struck me was that they laughed at him. That line might have been less impactful to me if it said “But they disagreed”, or something along those lines. Laughing in this situation show more disdain and even shows the people might think Jesus is a little crazy.

But Jesus believes. He has faith in God’s ability to work. I think there’s a line in The Sound of Music that goes something like, “You have to find your life.” Maria tells Captain Von Trapp that it’s what the Reverand Mother told her when she was afraid to face her love for him, and everything that would mean. Something similar to that line comes to mind here. “You have to say ‘yes’ to your life.”

Which means that you will look very unique. Which is precisely what I’m loving and thanking God for. He’s taking me through a process of finding out who I am – as I’m sure he wants to do for each one of us! I’m thanking him that he’s been taking me through confusion and difficulties so that I can stumble around in order to find the true path.

When Jesus asks the blind men if they believe he’s able to do this, their response of ‘yes’ is asking for something huge. Can you imagine what it would be like to be suddenly cured of blindness? They’re asking for something that is crazy to hope for. But it all depends on your perspective.

Jesus gives them back who they are. Who they were created to be, and who they would have been in a world where sin doesn’t mess things up. It’s of primary importance that Jesus asks whether they have faith in him. This is what he came for. He came so that people would believe in him and find life. So what’s the next step? It’s finding out what that life is.

That’s why it’s crazy and not crazy at the same time. It’s the life you are supposed to have; it’s what’s true, and good; it’s what’s of God – the very being we long for and that feels like home. But it’s also so different from anything else we have here. That’s why the crowd laughes at Jesus. He’s busy doing God’s work – very busy! Healing all sorts of people from all sorts of things, including death! And that’s his focus. Not the crowds around him. He focuses on each person and asks them if they believe – to be healed, but also ultimately to experience the life he has for them. (I bet those people remembered his real love and power when they hear about his being crucified and then coming back to life).

In the same way that Jesus focuses and pursues the life God the Father has called him to, and asks us if we too believe and want to share in that. Each of us has to say ‘yes’ and step onto that strange and unknown (but good and right feeling) path of the possible impossible, or say ‘no’ and be among those who just don’t see and laugh at Jesus, right before he’s able to do what they say he can’t.

If we say ‘yes’ to belief and therefore to God’s plan of realigning us with who we really are, I think we’ll find that we look more and more like ourselves, and less and less like anything else around us. That will mean that we’ll be in Jesus’ shoes sometimes and be the one that everyone’s laughing at – because they can’t see the normal and true reality of something unseen to purely human eyes and minds.

As I do get to know the normal reality of myself, I experience myself as more and more supernatural. It’s because I’m more than I would have hoped for – because God is more than I’ve hope for or imagined. He keeps showing himself bigger and better. It really is like there are universes opening before me that I’ve never seen. Maybe that’s what Psalm 138 means when it says: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (139:14) I am a work of God’s and as I see how wonderfully I’m made I begin to see more and more how wonderful and vast everything he made is. I being to suspect that each thing is deeper than I’ve yet seen, because I’ve experienced my own depth and know, as I’ve already found, that there’s much more there still to explore, and more than I yet imagine.

Or as one of the Faun’s puts it in The Last Battle (by C.S. Lewis), “The further up and the futher in you go, the bigger everything gets. 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  1. This was extraordinary and insightful. I loved the rich sharing of your own heart on these matters.

  2. My favorite promontories of the piece:

    1. “I become more like myself and less like other people. This means I may seem strange sometimes – but everyone should seem strange sometimes.”

    Excellent.

    2. The psalm 139 quote, in light of the enriching context just prior

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