When Reality Tops Reason, which will you choose?
Devotional Thought for the Day:
48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; 50 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” 52 The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?” 53 Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. John 6:48-57 (NAB)
40 Faith, joy, optimism. But not the folly of closing your eyes to reality.
As people are listening to Jesus, there is something wrong.
They get so distracted by what they can’t quite understand, that they give up something glorious. They went to him, because He was the Messiah, they expected Him to save them, to teach them, to heal them of their brokenness.
I struggle with the fact that because they couldn’t understand the teaching, because they couldn’t connect the dots, they walked away.
Don’t get it; it’s hard, and so they walked away, and left life on the table.
We don’t do well with mystery; we don’t hear Jesus’ offer about eternal life – about real life, about the resurrection. Because we go back to trying to discern whether he’s rolling real presence, or transubstantiation, or consubstantiation, or some other option which would satisfy our mind, and we starve our heart.
Some want to require others to understand this at a level far beyond how scripture teaches, and they drive them away with the same frustration we are not willing to admit that we share. So they force them to close their eyes to the reality as well. Far too much evangelism and apologetic material are geared this way, attempting to force people to believe our reasonable explanations of mysteries, rather than simply letting them be in awe.
In both situations, our inability to come up with a reason explanation results in such dissatisfaction that we close our eyes, that we refuse to believe what we see, that we refuse to hear what we hear. And we ignore the reality that is our life in Christ.
Consider Peter’s words a moment later, when Jesus asks if he is going to leave as well. “Nope, you have the words of life!” For Peter, man’s reason couldn’t trump God’s reality They were used to not getting it right away, they were used to getting the parables explained, and trying to figure out how He could speak words, and calm storms. How He spoke words, and blind eyes could see, and with limbs could function. These apostles, these they didn’t leave, they heard words of life that caused the dead to rise.
They couldn’t explain it either! They struggled with what it all meant. Even as Jesus is about to ascend, the wounds still fresh in His hands, his ankles, his side, they doubt, scripture tells us. They couldn’t come up with reasonable explanations for what they saw, they didn’t understand everything He taught, even when they had it explained.
But they knew Jesus; they saw his handiwork, and they clung to the one who did things they couldn’t understand.
Because He was real. Because He was present, they saw His work; they heard His promises, and they depended on Him when they couldn’t understand.
Reality is beyond our ability to reason; the logic is beyond our ability to discern. THe apostles went with reality, their faith in the one they know.
Our reality, our life is in Jesus….even though we don’t understand it all. He is the one who died and rose, the one who spoke and created, the one who said, “eat my body and drink my blood – and live.
Live my friends, knowing the Lord is merciful. Even though that may not seem all that reasonable either.
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 251-252). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.