Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 25, 2019
Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” John 1:50-51 (NRSV)
I recently watched a video on cryonics, the belief that a person’s body can be frozen at the time of death and brought back to life at a later date. While the scientific debate was itself fascinating, what drew me in were the interviews with the people prior to their death, listening as they shared their hopes and dreams for their future life. To a person, this decision was rooted in a deep and unshakable desire to cling to life as they knew it, believing that this life was the best they could ever hope for or imagine.
With this practice, Christianity shares a deep belief in life after death. Yet where it departs is the Christian belief that there is infinitely more going on in the world than meets the eye. While we have been conditioned for centuries to believe that “reality” consists only in what can been seen, observed, and measured, and is therefore the fullest extent of our hopes and dreams, Jesus again and again invites us into a vision of reality that is richer, deeper, and fuller than we can possibly know or begin to imagine.
It is so easy to believe our world is nothing more than what we see right in front of us. We are conditioned to believe that the spiritual world is “out there” in distant and inaccessible ways, and the “real world” is down here in the stuff of reality. To follow Jesus is to believe there is so much more going on than meets the eye. It is the belief that heaven and earth belong together, and not just that they belong together, but they are joined together in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus promises his disciples an ever-increasing ability to see the world with spiritual eyes. What began in John 1 with Nathanael’s amazement at Jesus seeing him under a fig tree led to the promise from Jesus that he would see nothing less than a vision of heaven, a vision of reality as it is truly meant to be seen. And what is the promise and vision? That even the angels of heaven find their mission and purpose by pointing others to Jesus. It is upon him that they “ascend and descend”.
All of life, seen and unseen, finds its hope and fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ. When confused by countless promises of hope and a future, we must again and again return to Jesus and in so doing discover life in all of its depth and beauty. As we do, we will see the “greater things” of his Kingdom that he promises to those who love him and follow him where he leads.
Lord Jesus, teach us what it means to be your faithful disciples, believing you will give us a vision of abundant life and clarity to see what is truly good and beautiful. Amen.
Where have the empty promises of this world left you blind to the spiritual reality of life with Jesus?
All of life, seen and unseen, finds its hope and fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ. #greaterthings #WisdomHunters
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