Luke 11:9-10 (NIV)
“9 ‘So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.’”Mark 7:17-23 (MSG)
“17 When he was back home after being with the crowd, his disciples said, ‘We don’t get it. Put it in plain language.’
“18-19 Jesus said, ‘Are you being willfully stupid? Don’t you see that what you swallow can’t contaminate you? It doesn’t enter your heart but your stomach, works its way through the intestines, and is finally flushed.’ (That took care of dietary quibbling; Jesus was saying that all foods are fit to eat.)
“20-23 He went on: ‘It’s what comes out of a person that pollutes: obscenities, lusts, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, depravity, deceptive dealings, carousing, mean looks, slander, arrogance, foolishness—all these are vomit from the heart. There is the source of your pollution.’”
This life is full of joy and pain – both exist in our lives, along with bunch of meh too. The next life is Either/Or with no meh. There’s no pain in heaven, no joy separated from Him.
I love this passage in Mark. Jesus showing his human side and asking this disciples if they are trying to be stupid. “Helllllooooo, don’t you get it? Argh, what’s wrong with you!” he’s asking. We’ve all been there, we’ve all had that emotion, we’ve all expressed/felt those feelings toward/from someone, sometime. Some more frequently than others (and you can point the arrow toward or away from yourself as you wish). Don’t miss that Christ is asking us – are you being stupid on purpose? That ain’t Ricky Bobby’s Baby Jesus, that’s a man who know’s what He’s about and knows the consequences of our decisions.
I don’t think the disciples were being stupid on purpose. I think it was so far out of their paradigm that they couldn’t get their head around it. They’d been tied to laws of culture for so long, that it was tough to break out of that skin.
Fast forward. I struggle to see how the world has a problem with Christ’s message. I can see why they will have problems with the people who deliver it, sure. Churches are filled with sinners even if those sinners act like their poop don’t stink. It does, we all do. Yet, Christ’s message is His message and we have to ask ourselves – are we being willfully stupid? Are we so bound by our culture and training that we can’t get our head pointed to see what the words mean?
I firmly believe that we’re more than a random collection of atoms. We have a soul, we have a heart. We need to look at ourselves critically – are we being willfully stupid?? – and examine our heart from God’s paradigm which doesn’t grade on a curve.
He died for our transgressions so that the one who seeks will find. Seek, question, hunt, demand answers, challenge, and do so with an open mind, not one that’s closed by what you know for “fact” with minimal study.
Study and answer the “Are you…” question. Our soul will know Either/Or for eternity.