Saturday, June 04, 2005

At Arm's Length Not Encouraged

Maggi Dawn posts today about a story from Simon Goldhill's recent book, and it concerns the hard saying of Jesus from Mark 4:11-12. I think that Jesus' comment about "those on the outside" refers to the ones who "have no need of a physician," the very people who are too cool to want to be healed, or too proud to admit their need for it. But the insiders get things explained to them, apparently because they choose to be insiders, because they are pursuing their relationship with Jesus, and not simply looking for "n Practices of Highly Successful People."

It's the old "seeking His hand, but not His face" thing. I guess a lot of the people listening to Jesus were doing just that -- looking to pick up some pointers so they could go back to their own life perhaps a little better equipped for whatever they might be facing. Definitely not like Peter, who said, "Where else can we go?"

Jesus is quoting from Isaiah 6:9-10. God knows with whom He's dealing. These, for the most part, are the very people who want to keep God at arm's length, people who want His principles but not His presence. I mostly think, "ouch," because how many times does that describe me?

It's grace to be curious about God. It's grace to know you're inadequate. It's grace to care enough to want something better.

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