In Christ’s gospel of the Kingdom we know where we are going because the light is in us and the light is us. We have the benefit of wisdom and revelation. Seek out the Christ of God and the apostle’s doctrine and you will live with discernment and the ability to discriminate between mere religion and the Kingdom of God.
‘Then Jesus told them, "You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going’ JOHN 12.35 NIV.
It’s possible to begin with the light and end in the darkness. The subtle rejection of truth and the continual rationalisation of false ideas in which we find comfort will result in the darkness overtaking us.
These days we hear of ‘fake news’ and ‘false facts,’ mainly because what is being insisted on is a lie. Being life itself and the Son of God, Jesus was so alive that He was an offence to established religion. He was executed because He said He was the Son of God. But that’s who He was. In the knowledge of good and evil truth can be construed as a lie while cunning fables are clung to as truth. This is why Jesus said, “You have to die in order to live!’
APOSTLES OF THE NEW
We might assert that it was a ‘big ask’ to be received as the Messiah when everyone knew you were the son of Joseph and Mary. Nevertheless there were those who believed Him. They were taught by Him, absorbed into His life and became apostles of the new and living way - The Way that is Jesus from first to last and the Way that is the expanding Kingdom.
Just as one can approximate a degree of normalcy with a disability so one can portray an air of humility as an advocate of orthodoxy and tradition. Things can be reverenced because they are old, never mind that they stifle life and close the door to possibility. Then there’s the smugness of a familiar normality, that sometimes merges into a passive-aggressive denial of the truth and the rejection of those who carry it. In dysfunctional families the normal and enlightened member can be portrayed as the problem child while the conflicted and confused are defined as normal. What separates the two? Humility and honesty.
HUMILITY AND HONESTY
Jesus’ sermon is instructive here. Here the poor in spirit get to own the Kingdom of Heaven. The humble inherit the earth. Those who hunger for righteousness and truth become filled with the presence of God (rather than themselves) and the pure in heart see God (rather than their the precious notions that have become their god).
In the Kingdom of God we are allowed one master. In the fellowship of Jesus we have one husband. In the Body of Christ we have One Spirit, and to define the Kingdom we have the teaching of Jesus and the doctrine of the apostles.
THE PURE SEE GOD
Amongst Believers there are people who grow and people who don’t. Like bonsai’s they are constrained in pots of their own ideas. Other’s become trees of life because their roots are in God and nothing else. Their roots are in infinity and they have life without limit.The pure in heart see God because they are humble and honest. Honest enough to abhor humbug and pure in heart because they are loyal to one master. Their heart is not divided between an identity in Christ and an identity derived from particular beliefs and a community from whom they hope to draw status. If necessary they will leave all familiarities to follow Jesus. They have one husband who is Christ. In this mindset of honesty and humility they grow continually into the fullness of Christ. It’s significant that the One who was humble enough to lose Himself became the One who is the life of all. Richard Rohr highlights this purity of heart.
GROWING IN TRUTH
“The only people who grow in truth are those who are humble and honest. This is traditional Christian doctrine and is the maxim of Alcoholics Anonymous. Without those two qualities, we don't grow. If we try to use religion to aggrandize the self, we're on the wrong path. Humility and honesty are really the same thing. A humble person is simply a person who is brutally honest about the whole truth. You and I came along a few years ago; we're going to be gone in a few years. The only honest response to life is a humble one.”
We can walk in circles in a half-life, hugging our perspectives to ourselves while grasping at keys and hoped for anointings, attempting to resurrect what Jesus took to grave. Then again we can take ourselves and our ideas to the cross because we have one master, one Lord and one baptism and begin to live life to the full as a life-giving spirit.