God is Love. Jesus is God. If Jesus ceased loving, He would cease being God. Listening to the faint heartbeat of the dying Rabbi is a powerful stimulus to the recovery of passion. It is a sound like no other. In the Rabbi’s embrace our evil impulses are converted and transformed into good. Just as the unbridled lust of the sinful woman in Luke’s gospel was transformed into a passion for intimacy with Jesus, so our possessiveness about money metastasizes into greed for the treasure in the field. Our inner murderer becomes capable of murdering homophobia, bigotry, and prejudice. Our vindictiveness and hatred are transformed into intolerance and rage at the caricatures of God as a petty accountant. Our chronic niceness is converted into heartfelt compassion for those who have lost their way. And the meaning of the Rabbi’s words, “Behold, I make ALL things new,” becomes luminously clear. Brennan Manning, Chapter Nine
“Behold, I make ALL things new.” Jesus of Nazareth. (Revelation 21: 5)
Here’s a question for you today. When was the last time God’s Word actually blew you off your chair?
Do you know what I mean?
Words so full of life and vibrancy that you just couldn’t sit there without a reaction?
Well, that’s how I felt this morning when I read Jesus’ one-liner. And then, after I picked myself up off the floor, my next thoughts were this…
Why have we Americanized Christians taken the deep mystery out of these words accredited to the resurrected Christ and recorded for us by John in his Book of Revelation?
Why has becoming ‘born again’ or being ‘made new by Christ’ become a one-and-done transaction, a rote prayer to be prayed at the steps of a church altar or a baptism certificate to be signed in front of friends and family?
Now please, don’t get me wrong.
I thank God for every person who comes to the altar or every sinner who decides that they need to enter into the waters of baptism. But folks, unless I’m greatly mistaken, I’m guessing the resurrected Jesus had a lot more in His mind when He commanded John, the revelator, to write down these words…“Behold, I’m making ALL things new!”
Think of it this way.
Here in America, when our old gas-guzzler goes over 100,000 miles, we definitely need a ‘new’ car. When our laptop begins to slow down and it takes 60 seconds or more to download our Facebook page, we need a ‘new’ computer. If a marriage isn’t doing all we need it to do in our lives, we begin to look for a ‘new’ option. You know the drill. This list of ‘new’ things we all need in our Americanized life is unlimited.
Yet, I wonder if Jesus rolls His eyes and shakes His head a bit when we Christians define our ‘new life’ in Christ the way we currently do?
As I see it, Jesus is not referring to a tummy tuck or a nose job when He states that He is making all things new. I’m guessing He’s talking totally transformed, radically regenerated. Re-built from the bottom up. Re-stored from the inside out.
A change so dramatically evident, that even the angels in heaven gasp a bit at the earthly makeover done in us for the sake of the Risen Christ.
Anybody ready for the real deal?
Anybody want to restore the mystery to being ‘born from above’?
Any takers out there who’d like to let Jesus show us what He truly means when He said He is making ALL things new?
My prayer: OK, Jesus. I’ll volunteer. I’ll be your guinea pig. Go for it, man. I’m ready for this ‘new’ You are talking about to John. Show me what ‘new’ is by Your definition. Take me there, Father. For Your Name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: What might it look like for Jesus to make me ‘new’? Have I settled for much less? Have I defined ‘new’ using lesser, earthly standards? If so, am I willing for Jesus to have at it when He calls for me to be made ‘new’ using His standards and His definitions?
So what is God speaking to you today as you live as Abba’s child in the midst of His Gospel of Grace?
Over an eleven-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at God’s Gospel of Grace; Exploring the Good News of God’s Unconditional Love & Acceptance. We are using Brennan Manning’s classic book, Abba’s Child – The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging as our guide. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Gospel of Grace home page for ease of use. ENJOY!
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