In the middle of Luke 20, where Jesus’ authority has been questioned by the chief priests and teachers of the law, the Sadducees come to Jesus with their question: “Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since all seven brothers were married to her?”
This issue is important to them. It is at the heart of their belief system, which declares that there is no resurrection. They too, are seeking to trap Jesus, or at the very least, to validate their beliefs so that they can feel “righteous”, “superior”. The Living God is before them, but they are so blinded by their desire to be right, that they miss it; they miss HIM. They miss that they are standing in the presence of God himself and plow ahead with their narrow agenda.
How often do we do this? How often do we get stuck on the merry-go-round of tradition or the band wagon of “this is how we’ve always done it”, clinging to our safe, neat, “correct” beliefs, unwilling to see beyond our comfortable little boxes? How often do we miss God’s fresh, “for today”, life-giving, personal word, because we are focused on doing what we have always done and thinking what we have always thought? How often do we ignore Jesus’ touch, his voice, his fingerprints, the miracle of the moment in our efforts to control our lives and the people around us?
What if God is standing in front of us with arms wide open, calling us to think in a new way, to see our small part of the world with a kind of open-eyed wonder rather than assuming we’ve got it all figured out? What if God is inviting us to step out of the confines of our limited perspective, releasing our preconceived ideas and restrictive expectations and step into the wide open spaces of His Kingdom, embracing love, humility, mercy, kindness, compassion, openness, and honesty?
Jesus compassionately answers the Sadducees question, but he also re-directed them to what is most important. He is the God of the living, not the dead; He has come to welcome us into the abundant life, the fully alive, open-eyed, wide awake life with Him. He invites us to see Him in all things, all situations, all people…walking in awareness, listening for his voice, extending grace and freedom to those we encounter, and practicing his presence in the middle of the busy, the crazy, the messy, broken places of our life. I want to live like that! I want to see Jesus more clearly, to be attuned to His voice, to extend grace and kindness and forgiveness in the middle of my brokenness! I want to increasingly live the wide awake, fully alive, “with Jesus” life every day.
Impossible without surrender! Inconceivable apart from God’s grace and empowering!!
“Oh God, in your goodness, draw us to yourself.”
Lenten Reader 2018
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