The Word for today: Luke 9:18-36
(If you are looking for an article on the Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36), then look right here. )
When Jesus fed 20,000* with just a few loaves and fish, there were 12 baskets of leftovers! Today we conclude a 2-part series which takes a closer look at God’s super-abundant provision.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. (Psalms 23:5)
Our blessings–cups that have been filled and will be re-filled–leave measurement, and even the powers of imagination, behind:
God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to his power that is at work within us. (Ephesians 3:20/NKJV)
We receive according to his power and riches:
God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might. (Colossians 1:11)
Scripture here does not say “equal to,” or “up to and including.” It must resort to the phrase “according to”–meaning that our blessings cannot be quantified, but are in accordance with infinity!
This Kingdom Beyond the Reaches of Relativism can be dizzying and disorienting. It will require new habits of speech. So let’s practice a new habit:
Wrong: “Jesus is bigger than…”
We are in the habit of throwing a ‘than’ into the equation. But we can’t, for there is no basis of comparison:
To whom will you liken me that we may be compared? (Isaiah 46:5)
Right: “Jesus is bigger.” (Period!)
Jesus escapes comparison; he cannot be contained by relative terms. He escapes relativity!
Thus, whatever we think of Christ shrinks him. So think again and think bigger. Now think bigger yet again. Your thought will not outrun him. Your imagination will never capture him.
We know Jesus. We even know him well. Yet there remains as much to know as when we knew nothing of Him. Consider a lyric from “Amazing Grace”–
When we’ve been there ten thousand days
bright shining as the sun,
there’s no less days to sing God’s praise
than when we first begun.
Just so, when we have learned, and glorified God for, his 35-God-zillionth attribute, we have not shortened the list of attributes which we have yet to discover.
The Kingdom’s disregard of /disdain for/disavowal of limitations is seen in the story of the prophet Elisha, a widow, and the jar of oil that never runs out no matter how much is poured (2 Kings 4). This prefigures Jesus Christ–Christ means “Anointed”–who had the Spirit without measure (John 3:34). This also prefigures the feeding of the five thousand, when there were more leftovers than than the loaves and fish they emanated from, which (in principal) allows us to change the lyric to–
When we’ve been there ten thousand days…
there are far more days to sing God’s praise
than when we first begun.
In the infinite realm, quantity doesn’t exist (or–this is nuts, I know) quantity is reversed: pick one grape and two remain; five loaves and two fish don’t de-materialize but redundantly re-materialize; Job is not just restored but over-restored, 2-for-1.**
When you can turn arithmetic upside down, then you can turn relativity inside out, and overturn gravity as well. At that point you walk on water like a sidewalk. Time accelerates so that what happened tomorrow seems like yesterday. Prophecy is certain and miracles aren’t strange. What will seem strange is that anyone called them miracles in the first place.
*counting men, women, and children
**compare Job 1 and Job 42