Devotional Thought for the Day
And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers[c] are outside, seeking you.” 33 And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.
If I came to you and claimed I can throw a baseball over 150 mph, you might say, “Nice try, but that’s not funny.” If I can back to you the next day and made the same claim, you might think, there is something seriously wrong with me. If I followed up next day with the same statement without a hint of humor, you will have to conclude I am flat out lying, or there is something mentally wrong with me, or quite unlikely, I might be the god of baseball.
This is right where the Jesus’ family is finding themselves. They hear the way he teaches, and they are beyond disbelief. Why does Jesus constantly make such outrageous claims, like, “I’ve always existed, I created the world. I’m the ultimate reality. I’ll return at the end of time and your eternal destiny will depend on your relationship to me.” You have to assume he was lying or he is insane or maybe telling the truth.
This was CS Lewis’ famous “trilemma” argument. Lewis says, “the one thing you can’t say about Jesus was that he was a good man, a moral man or a trustworthy leader, because as soon as he claimed to be God, He eliminated Himself from that category, because good people, wise, sensible people don’t go around saying, they are God.” He’s right. Jesus is either God to be worshipped or he’s a mad man, or a con man. We can’t reduce him to a harmless teacher who goes around saying nice things about loving and forgiving each other. Jesus didn’t give us that option.
Let us remember that Jesus isn’t from India, with over two million gods; he’s among Jews, who are fiercely monotheistic, who believed in a God who is infinitely exalted, holy and perfect; so transcendent, they dare not speak and write his name. To believe Jesus is God, this was against every fiber of their being. What was about Jesus that they were convinced? Why wasn’t he reduced to one of the hundreds of lunatics who have come and gone claiming messiahship. What makes him different from someone like Charles Manson, who is clearly proven to be a complete lunatic?
The New Testament is written clearly to make it obvious to any reader that Jesus is not a lunatic or a liar. The mind of Jesus is most pure, perfect, with His articulations the most profound. No one ever spoke like He spoke; so pure and sublime. Nor was Jesus a liar. If he was, he would be the greatest liar of all time. I mean how did he do it? Sure, there have been other religious figures who claim to be divine or to be the Messiah, but none of them ever got a religious movement off the ground, let alone sustain it for 2,000 years, without the use of a sword or threat of death.
Lunatics don’t heal sick ppl, raise dead ppl and drive out demons. Liars don’t speak the way Jesus spoke, with such wisdom for life. Lunatics don’t attract women and children, nor are liars marked by kindness, mercy and compassion the way Jesus was. You’re left with one option. He is who He claimed to be, that He is God. The evidence is in, virgin born, sinless life, power over the physical world, power over the spiritual world, power over creation, power over life and death. Clearly Jesus is Lord. His family, who knew him best, would ultimately see this truth. Mary remained faithful to the end and tradition tells us James was martyred for his faith in half-brother Jesus.
CS Lewis, in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, writes about how Mr. Beaver tells Susan that Aslan (the ruler of Narnia) is a great lion. Susan is surprised, since she assumed Aslan was a man. She then tells Mr. Beaver, “I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.” She asks Mr. Beaver if Aslan is safe, to which Mr. Beaver replies, “Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King.” If you’ve really met the King, he will ruin you, He will ruin your agenda, but it will be so glorious. He will ruin your career trajectory, your idea of success, your retirement plans, your careful, safe, comfortable life, he’ll ruin it all. But oh how glorious it is!
Prayer: God, teach me to see the mind of Christ. Help me pursue Your knowledge and grow in confidence in the Bible today. Your claims are the most beautiful statements ever to be uttered on this planet. Help me to savor them and grow in them . . . In Jesus’ name, amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Judges 15
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 Corinthians 2:14-16: “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”
Questions to Consider
- How does the “natural” person understand the things of the Spirit of God?
- How do we understand the mind of the Lord?
- How can you grow today in having the mind of Christ?
- The natural man cannot understand because they are not able to discern spiritually.
- We do it by having the mind of Christ.
- Personal response
Which will you heed?
“The mind that is alive chooses the spiritual rather than the fleshly. For example, take our thought life. The world sends a constant barrage of messages to us—politics, world, business, sex, sports, products, and others. God also is sending us messages, messages about His expressed will in the Bible for us, promptings about words to say or not to say, anger to control, or patience to extend.” – TW Hunt
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (Jn. 10:27).
Heed the voice of the Lord.