The Word for today:
The Bible, as has been noted in this space before, should be titled, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” because that is its sole purpose. That’s the quality of the book. But what about quantity? How much of Jesus Christ does it reveal?
The answer: Just enough, and no more.
For a book that purports to reveal, there sure is a lot we’re not shown. Consider this:
It is the glory of God to conceal things… (Proverbs 25:2a)
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)
God has shown us his hand, but he hasn’t shown us his cards. We know only enough about God to know that we aren’t even seated at the table unless we know his Son, Jesus Christ. We know only what he’s chosen to show. The reality of our situation is that we see him through a glass darkly, but.
The future is in the little word ‘but.’ Consider:
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
Now let’s complete the verse we started with:
It is the glory of God to conceal things…but the glory of kings is to search things out. (Proverbs 25:2)
Our mission is to seek him. And if we will, we will find him, as he promised:
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)
Today we search the scriptures, for they point the way to him through Jesus Christ:
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me. (John 5:39)
One day we will range throughout his cosmos, men and women after God’s own heart.
But if the Bible isn’t an adventure for you, or if you are a Christian who has lost the sense of discovery, of new vistas, then something is sadly amiss.
If you have the sense that you’ve pretty much got scripture and Jesus figured out, then I can barely begin to express how sorry your situation is. Saved as you may be, God’s managed to let you think that the tip you’re standing on is the whole iceberg.
Startling as it may seem, God veils himself to the self-satisfied heart. He said he would:
Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: ‘You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.'” (Matthew 13:10-15)
For most of the self-satisfied, he’s hiding in plain sight–right between the covers of the Bible they disdain to systematically search.
But the sorriest situation of all is when he hides right there in the pews of the typical church–whose pastors, elders, and teachers are themselves so ignorant of scripture that they can impart no sense of the limitless discoveries which still lie before us.
If those are the pews you’re sitting in; if your pastors and teachers have not the ability to impart a sense of adventure, exploration, discovery, and awe, then gather your little ones and run for your lives.
As you run, look for Him everywhere. Just don’t look back.