Have you ever been so locked into a line of thinking that you couldn’t see the evidence pointing to something different? We all have. Even Jesus’ disciples as they walked with Him, even as they heard His words and teachings, did. If they, who were in the physical presence of Jesus, could get locked into the wrong ideas, the wrong lines of thinking, we had better be prepared to see when we do the same. Let’s look at Jesus’ interaction with Nicodemus a bit more to see how the disciples missed everything.
Jesus knew how He would pay the price for sin. He laid out the plan at the very beginning of His ministry during His conversation with Nicodemus. And in that same conversation He made a claim of being God and of being able to deliver on the promise of eternal life. Yet Jesus disciples missed all of these things.
No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. – John 3:13-15, ESV
Jesus made it clear He came from heaven. He explained that He would be hung up, a metaphor for the Cross. The serpent was a good reference because when God’s people had sinned and He allowed snakes to come in their midst, the people were saved by Moses lifting up a snake for the people to look up and see. Those who did look up lived. Also, Jesus stated that those who believed in Him would have eternal life. There is no mistaking these words – in hindsight.
The disciples were locked into what they expected of Messiah: the conquering military leader who would be David all over again. They were looking for the re-establishment of the old kingdom. As a result, they couldn’t see the new Kingdom of God, which was at hand. Put yourself in their places. You’ve been taught since you were a child that Messiah is coming. And when He comes, He will overthrow the shackles of the Romans and re-establish the glory of Israel. Now this guy who can do miracles has come. If anyone can beat the mightiest army that the Western and Near Eastern world had seen, it would be this guy. What would you expect? I know I would have thought just like the disciples.
However, we don’t have to be like this in our daily lives. Jesus is the truth. If we pursue after Jesus, we will pursue after truth. If we are attentive to the Holy Spirit, He will reveal the truth. Left to our own devices we will get locked in on wrong things. Leaning on God we will see how things really are.
What in your life are you not opening to the counsel of the Almighty? What do you think you have figured out on your own? Where could you be locked in wrongly? Yesterday we talked about going back and starting again. With God’s help we can find the flaws in our thinking. If need be, He can help us start again. Let us pursue truth. Let us see the world as it is. Let us understand God as He has revealed Himself. And let us be on guard for wrongful thinking. We can and will all succumb. But the better on guard we are, the more likely we will catch ourselves due to the guiding hand of God Himself.