Sunday, March 11, 2012

The case for realism about people

"With Passover Approaching, Jesus Goes up to Jerusalem" by James Tissot, 1836-1902

TODAY'S SPECIAL: John 2:13-25

TO CHEW ON: "But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man." John 2:24-25.

I am presently watching the U.S. contest for the leadership of the Republican Party from across the border but with interest nonetheless. Much sifting of the past performance of each candidate is involved. How have they voted? How have they conducted their business? How have they conducted their personal affairs? There's also lots of speculation about how they would handle the future. What would each do in the realm of health insurance? Creating jobs? Interacting with America's enemies?

No matter who gets chosen, he will surprise and disappoint some. For we do not have the insight Jesus had, of whom it was said, "He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man for He knew what was in man."

Though no other human will ever have His insight, I believe we should be more like Him in our realism toward our fellowmen, especially our faith leaders. When we idolize them—expecting them to be practically perfect—we set ourselves up to be disappointed and disillusioned. Some even abandon faith altogether when human leaders fail.

Jesus is the only human leader who will never let us down. Let's keep our eyes on Him (Hebrews 12:1-2).

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for the way You held back Your endorsement of people. Help me to be as realistic. I look to You as the only human hero worthy of complete trust and worship. Amen.

MORE: Jesus—a man forever

I did not slip the phrase "human hero" into my prayer, above, without some thought. Because we need to keep in mind that Jesus was and is truly human and as such is one with whom we can identify and who can identify with us. He can truly be our human example and hero. As Wayne Grudem elaborates in his Systematic Theology:

"Jesus did not give up his human nature after his death and resurrection, for he appeared to his disciples as a man after the resurrection, even with the scars of the nail prints in his hands (John 20:24-27) ....

All of these texts (Luke 24:39; Luke 24:41-42; Acts 1:11; Acts 7:56; Acts 9:5; 1 Corinthians 9:1; 15:8; Revelation 1:13-17 cited within the ellipses) indicate that Jesus did not temporarily become man but that his divine nature was permanently united to his human nature, and he lives forever not just as the eternal Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, but also as Jesus, the man who was born of Mary and as Christ Messiah and Savior of his people. Jesus will remain fully God and fully man" - Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, pp. 542, 543.

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