Preconceptions; April 9, 2023

Luke 24:11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.

As I tell people frequently, one thing I like about the Bible is that it doesn’t dress people up, but rather presents them honestly. These were the Apostles of Jesus Christ, but they couldn’t bring themselves to understand and believe it when the women were telling them the best news since Creation! Part of that was the general societal attitude that women were far inferior to men, essentially incapable of rational thought. Jesus’ attitude toward women, allowing them to sit and listen to His teaching, was downright revolutionary for the time. One of the revolutionary things about the early Church was the way they treated women as “heirs with you of the gracious gift of life,” (1 Peter 3:7) but the message doesn’t seem to have penetrated sufficiently at this point. The other factor in their lack of understanding was that the news didn’t fit their preconceptions, regardless of the messenger. This is an issue for us all the time. We set up scenarios in our mind, and when events don’t match them, we tend to cling to the scenarios rather than the facts. We claim to believe in a supernatural God, but at the same time we forget what the definition of “supernatural” actually is! We fall for scams and other deceptions and fail to believe and trust the almighty Creator of the universe! Easter is the best news that could ever be, because Jesus’ resurrection proves that those who are in Him by faith have overcome sin, death, and hell. We need to let the Holy Spirit break the boxes we tend to put Him into, opening our minds and hearts to the magnificence of God’s plan of salvation, for us and for all mankind.

I will confess to being dulled myself to the glory of Easter. Not as severely as Christmas, but still it has tended to feel like not entirely welcome busyness. What a sad loss! Thankfully, God in His mercy has brought me out of that this year, at least to some extent. I’m the speaker at the Sunrise Service, and of course we have our regular Sunday service. At both, my title is Joy, though the messages are far from identical. I think the message has started to penetrate my own heart, and I expect it to do so even more as I deliver it. I want others to receive the Gospel in faith and joy, so my own response needs to be the same! Around 30 years ago the Lord spoke through me, in a little 2-person prayer meeting, “Don’t be amazed at what amazes others, but expect great things of Me.” I need to remember that! I have long felt that James 1:22 was written expressly for me, but it gets even more pointed when I myself am the messenger! Today on Easter morning, but not just today, I need to keep my heart open for everything my Lord wants to say to me, however and through whomever He wants to say it, and apply myself to follow through in faith and joy.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for all You are doing in and around me, and even in spite of me. Help me not be in the way, but rather flow with Your Spirit according to Your will for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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