“Jesus longs to set his eternal flame ablaze within our hearts and lives.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 1, 2023
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word… He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.” John 8:42-43, 47, NKJV
Plotinus, the 3rd-century Hellenistic philosopher, once said, “The eye that is not made solar cannot see the sun.” Though lacking the illumination that leads to Christ, I do think Plotinus was pointing here to a great truth, and in many ways, is a helpful lens through which we can approach our Lord’s words here in John 8. Until we are transformed by the light and life of God, we will never be able to understand his words or walk in his ways.
Jesus taught in straightforward and direct ways. His illustrations were tied to the everyday “stuff” of life, and people quickly connected with him and his ministry. And yet, it is one thing to hear, and another thing altogether to understand. Though Jesus spoke in plain terms, his invitation was not simplistic or surface-level. If we think that Jesus is simply here to affirm us in our various self-made “truths,” or to offer nothing more than a bit of wholesome guidance or moral advice, we have heard but not understood.
Our Lord Jesus came to make dead people alive. You and I are fashioned in the image of the eternal God, and it is this eternal flame that he longs to set ablaze within our hearts and lives. Anything less than this is an inability to understand the Father’s love and the reason Christ proceeds from him. In Christ’s own words, the ultimate failure of John 8 is not a lack of knowledge, study, or experience, but that “you are not of God” (John 8:47).
Before we rush into a life of service or devotion to God, let us first seek with all that we have to encounter the living fire of God that sets hearts aflame and makes them able to participate in the perfect love of the Trinity. This, and nothing less, is the purpose for which you were made, and the life that Christ longs to give to you this very day. Let us long for nothing more than to be “of God,” and for that abiding life to then lead us into the life of discipleship to which Christ calls each of us.
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NKJV).
Father, illumine us with your love that we may not only hear your words, but understand and be transformed by them, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
In what ways does your life need to be “made solar” so you can see the perfect light and love of God?
Jesus Culture: Set a Fire
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