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Monday, 17 November 2014

The Indirect God

Today we were running through a Bible study at my Uni campus, looking at Matthew 11 and this intriguing concept struck me. For those unfamiliar with Matthew 11, we particularly looked at the section from when John the Baptist sends his disciples out to find Jesus and report back to John.

"2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’
4 Jesus replied, ‘Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.’"
Reading this particular passage here, we don't actually see Jesus directly answer that, yes, he actually is the Christ who has been called and asked for. Later on, Jesus speaks to the crowd and says:
"16 ‘To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the market-places and calling out to others:

17 ‘“We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not mourn.”
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon.”19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.’"
In fact this whole passage up till this point seems to be about Jesus teaching a point indirectly. And as a student teacher I love that Jesus is the perfect teacher and uses so many different methods of teaching and so on. But really this whole passage pointed out to me something that we also see later in Matthew 16:
"13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples,‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’
14 They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’
15 ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’
16 Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’"
And what was pointed out to me was the whole concept that Jesus himself is not directly telling his disciples (or John's disciples) who he is. Instead he's asking them to look at what he has done - the signs and miracles - and to not judge him based on their own expectations but to recognise that only the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, could have done such acts of power.

That is why I believe in Christ - in Christianity - with such conviction. Because I see the things that have happened in my life, I see the world, I see everything and I know that it can't just be a pure coincidence for me. Particularly when things I ask for in prayer are coming true - I just don't have that kind of magical word ability (even if my tongue is silver hahahaha).

So this is my point for today about 'The Indirect God'. If you ever find yourself thinking that things in life are happening in an odd way or that God is not making himself clear to you - ask yourself 'could these things that happen to me be nothing but chance?' I know that there have been things that happened for me in the past couple of days that were absolutely not by chance and could only have been God moving in his perfect timing. God wants us to come to know him not just because he tells us that he is God, but because we come to know for ourselves in truth that he IS regardless of anything else.