I’ve been thinking lately about how often Jesus expects us to do what is “*not* humanly possible.” For instance, look at Mary and Joseph–two pretty good Jewish kids with “happily ever after” plans, who were drafted by God into a massive “not humanly possible” adventure, just to get the whole salvation ball rolling.
Do you ever wonder what makes a young girl say “yes” to a visitor’s suggestion that she get pregnant out of wedlock, independent of her fiance? What about then having to go tell her family that the whole thing was God’s idea? I mean really . . . The angel didn’t even help her out with any advice for breaking the news to her family, rabbi, or community either. (Well, except for that merciful suggestion to go hide out with her cousin Elizabeth for awhile.) He just gave her mind-shattering news and split. Nice going, Gabriel.
So, maybe the second thing she did, after “pondering,” was to run to her mother, who ran to her father, who ran to the Rabbi, who came to visit with all the elders of the synagogue to consider the situation, right under the gossip-hungry eyes of the entire village. How would *you* bring up the subject with your family? It could not have been pretty…
I’ve been rereading all the places in the New Testament where God the Father, Jesus, or The Holy Spirit asks someone to do what is not humanly possible. I’m not getting much sleep. But I’m pushing through, because I think there’s a lesson there I need to learn. Maybe we all need to learn it.
If, routinely in His Word, God calls us to live in “not humanly possible” ways, why have we insisted on building a Church of “Only What’s Humanly Possible”? Why do whole segments of folks who call themselves “believers” insist that the age of “not humanly possible” has ended? Which of our early Fathers decided that we could pick and choose which of Jesus’ commands we should obey, and which ones we could ignore, or water down? And worse for us, why have we continued following shepherds who can’t get their assignment straight? If Jesus points to one road, and someone else heads off in another direction, who will you follow? Even Peter got that one right!
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:68-69)
Jesus, in all His written instructions, repeatedly challenged folks, who were comfortable living by their own interpretations of the Mosaic Law, to grow into new ways of understanding, loving, healing, relating, and advancing the Kingdom. In fact, in His very last set of instructions to us, He said we (all of us!) were to take the good news of redemption to everyone else in the world, and that the world will know that we were telling the truth by the miracles that accompanied us–like healing the sick, casting out demons, speaking in strange tongues, and a few other “not humanly possible” feats.
So what are we all doing, growing roots in the swamps of our own understanding for centuries, when He’s put up signs all over the place saying ->> “This way to the Kingdom of the God of Impossibilities”?