Recently I shared with some of our fellowships, including those in the jail, how Mary and others failed to recognize the risen Jesus.
Think about it. There He was, in the garden right in front of Mary, and she didn’t recognize Him. Likewise, He appeared over the next forty days – before His ascension – to others who knew Him before the cross, but after the cross they consistently failed to recognize Him.
His resurrection was so outside their reality and frame of reference that even when He was standing right in front of them, they only saw a stranger, and not Him.
They thought they knew Jesus, and to a limited extent they did. But only in terms of their own pre-resurrection reality.
Post-resurrection, they simply couldn’t get their minds around the bigger reality of who Jesus really was and what He really was about, because a resurrected Jesus did not conform to the Jesus they thought they knew, had lived with, saw crucified and helped bury.
Isn’t that true with us as well?
We tend to limit Jesus to our own reality, and even worse, try to foist that reality on others. We all do it. We routinely limit Jesus to own assumptions, expectations, experiences and biases.
Jesus often meets us in our own reality, just like He met Mary in the garden as she mourned His death. But to truly see Him in all His fulness, and not just on our own terms, we must understand that He continually breaks out of – and if needed even shatters – our reality.
My walk with the Lord has been a continual process of dying to my own agendas, my own expectations, my own self-imposed limitations – and letting Him conform me to His reality.
Jesus loves us enough to meet us where we are, but one way or another He will always break out of our own reality – and then bid us to come and follow Him.
May we see Jesus as He really exists, and as He reveals Himself to be, and not solely in the context of our own limited reality.
I have found the same to be true, over and over and over again! I’m glad I’m not the only one 🙂
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This is AWESOME, Jim…… and very true, thankyou. Perhaps its because if we’ve been taught the Bible since a child, our picture of Jesus can become confined to Biblical boundaries, (and we’re told not to trust anything extra-Biblical) When my reality got shattered, such as “God would never do anything like that, so…. where are you coming from?” reactions to things…etc. That was when reading something like this truth would have been so helpful 🙂
I think the only way to get to know Jesus better, on his terms, is to spend time with him. Best of all is to spend time listening to what he says – and then get on and begin doing it.
This seems to me the deepest lesson of new life in Christ. Listen and obey. He will very soon begin to reveal the unexpected. Like he did with Mary in the garden, and with the guys on the road to Emmaus, and with Saul on the road to Damascus, and with Peter in Joppa. It takes time, and focus, and patience, and obedience. But in the end we get to know him better than we thought we could, and there’s always more – an open road ahead to eternity.
Praise him! HalleluYah!
Here’s something I wrote about listening over a year ago. – http://jesus.scilla.org.uk/2011/07/response-are-you-listening.html