Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Correctly Diagnosed ................. Parables 165

Beset with a mild infection earlier this week, it wasn’t easy to motivate myself out to the grocery store. If the cupboards at home had been well stocked, I would have fared better curled up on the couch with a hot chocolate and a good book. However, I curled my hair instead, daubed some blusher on otherwise pale cheeks, and grabbed the shopping list.

Once out, I felt much better. Soon the groceries were out of the cart and onto the check-stand. As I waited for the shopper ahead of me, the man behind me started a polite conversation. After a couple of sentences, he stopped, looked at me, and said, “You don’t feel very well today, do you?”

Maybe he was a doctor. (He looked like a farmer or a laborer, but what do clothes really tell?) Whatever his occupation, it was unnerving to have my medical condition at least partly diagnosed by a total stranger. Most people are not that observant and even if they do notice such things, seldom is anything said. Besides, for all he knew, I might always look sick. I felt a little comforted by it though. Someone cared.

On the way home, I began to wonder if what I experienced was similar to the experiences of some people in first century Israel. Did they feel unnerved when a stranger called Jesus knew their physical and spiritual condition, even their very thoughts? Were they comforted by the fact someone cared?

“And Jesus knew their thoughts and said...” “But Jesus perceived their wickedness and said...” “But He knew their thoughts...” “And immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, He said unto them, ‘Why reason these things in your hearts?’“

The Samaritan woman at the well said of Him, “Come see a man that told me all things that I ever did: is not this the Christ?” Jesus surely shook this woman...and then changed her life.

The Psalmist said of God, “O LORD, thou has searched me, and know me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.” (Psalm 139) Jesus demonstrated this ability. It is called omniscience.

I had a member of a radical cult read my thoughts one time. I didn’t waste any time getting out of her company. I’m sure her power was not of God. She didn’t have the life credentials to go with it. As for the grocery store seer, there were no nail prints in his hands, even though he seemed to care. Jesus is another matter. Every attribute of God was displayed in His life. He had power over weather, diseases and the elements. He went about doing good, demonstrating kindness and compassion on the helpless and yet wrath and righteous indignation on the hypocrites. The Bible says that He is “the brightness of (God’s) glory and the exact representation of His person...”

Here is a man that can know the unknowable about us, things that we can’t even see for ourselves. He can tell if we are grouchy on the inside, no matter the smiles and facade on the exterior. He can see the tiniest speck of bitterness; can detect the minutest beginnings of faith. And He cares enough about us that He will let us know what He has discovered. If something must be removed, He will remove it. If added, His warehouse is limitless; if soothed, He is balm to our hearts; if challenged, His Word is sharper that a two-edged sword.

Unnerving? Yes, but if anyone gets into my head and analyzes my thoughts, if anyone can take one look at my heart and diagnose my case, I want Jesus Christ to be the One.

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