Tuesday, July 20, 2010

confusion to the cross

matthew 16:1-
the pharisees and sadducees came up, and testing jesus, they asked him to show them a sign from heaven

...jesus is that sign (hebrews 1:1-3). he is the man in which they seem confused. my thought is that god is not the author of confusion but rather uses it for his glory. god creates, sin distorts/perverts/confuses, and god then begins his perfection process of what has been altered. the mind is attacked as our adversary continues to go around and seek one whom he may devour (1 peter 5:8). once the mind has been infiltrated, which is the case for all of us, access to the heart is easily attainable. what brought this about was the fracture that the universe suffered as a result of the fall...meaning my sin, and yours. this made and continues to make confusion possible. even the the thinking of godly things has the possibility to be corrupt due to the nature of who we are (romans 1). this, in part, explains the confusion of the pharisees to be not led by god to see his part in perfecting what had been damaged but instead maintaining and promoting confusion by asking jesus to show a sign. in other words "work your magic to prove yourself true," asking jesus to do something outside the character, and more importantly the will, of god to prove he is from god and valid. this proves to be an irrational request for god. it's like asking, "can god create a rock so big he cannot lift it?" on the one hand if he can create a rock so big he can't lift it he is not all-powerful; if he cannot create a rock so big he cannot lift it he is not all-powerful. my response is...dumb. a dumb question. so how does god answer a dumb question? i thought about what must have been going through jesus' head as he heard this request. c.s. lewis has this to say about such a scenario, "can a mortal ask questions which god finds unanswerable? quite easily, I should think. all nonsense questions are unanswerable." how is the clay to ask the potter why did you make me as this (isaiah 45:9)? so what brings about such a question? surely a sign from god does nothing but confuse further an individual who has no basis or intent of wanting to be set free from any confusion to begin with. take notice of our empathetic and compassionate high priest, who must endure at some point in his life a fraction of confusion in order to answer the way he did in verses 2-4. the pharisees are worshippers of themselves to the extreme measure. take notice of the individuals, namely jesus' disciples, who are in no other position as the pharisees as we find them also to be confused. jesus calls out their confusion as he reminds them of the miraculous works that have already been seen. the disciples are reminded and yet do not seem to fall away into a further confused state, as the pharisees, but are drawn closer to jesus even by their confusion as to who christ might really be. he reminds them that it is the aim of those who are worshippers of themselves (pharisees) to sustain corruption by questioning those who draw close to god in order to find out what he (god) says about their (disciples) confusion.

2 cor. 5:17
if anyone is in christ, he (that one in christ) is a new creature

matthew 16:24
to be in christ is first and foremost, denying yourself. taking your cross, and carrying it, which in itself, at times, seems to be confusing, no? and follow him (jesus). jesus' death doesn't remove the confusion of following him, on the contrary it enhances the value of following him.

so i say be glad you have confusion at times. this confusion is your cross which motivates you to put to death all that leads you away from christ. follow him, confusion births questions and the hope is that we would bring those to him and let him reveal himself in his due time to answer those questions. he will at times remind you of his work which he has done, and at other times he will orchestrate new wonders right before your eyes. sometimes these will reveal inside you even more questions, this is good as you continue to look to god for answers.

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