Be Still Know
John 7:51 NLT
‘Is it legal to convict a man before he is given a hearing?’ he asked.
My early years in Christianity introduced me into a measure of legalism which through the carefree anarchistic days of my youth I had always resisted.
Sitting among the Sanhedrin, Nicodemus oversaw a plethora of laws offering sanctity within Judaism, yet laws that blindsided these leaders to the true identity of the Messiah. His colleagues, already showing signs of suspicion towards him, were shocked that the rabble-rouser Jesus hadn’t been arrested as they’d requested. Yet, Jesus from the start always holds the ability to split opinion.
I remember as a new disciple standing in a Christian bookshop carefully considering if the books I bought were ‘sound’, that is, would they reinforce what I had already been taught to believe? I’d become aware I walked a narrow line between salvation and perdition. As I considered this question, I said to myself, ‘What are you doing?’ I was an Oxford undergrad, entrusted by tutors to research essays from a wide variety of sources with every confidence shown towards me that I’d make a realistic stab at producing an acceptable piece of work. Yet, as a Christian I was fearful that my faith would be swept away through my inability to discern truth from lie. The world invested greater trust in me than the Church that was discipling me.
Like Nicodemus we have to leave the sanctuary of established practices in search of the saviour, listening closely to his words, and then living with the tension of expressing Christ in ways that communicate love and salvation into our contemporary world.
QUESTION: How prescriptive is your love for God?
PRAYER: Lord God, help your Church communicate boldly and faithfully the love of Christ.