Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Too Close For Comfort

Think back to being a child for a moment and remember watching fantasy movies and somewhere a child opens up a magic book and rays of light seem to burst out of it.  It's as if the whole person and room is enveloped in this magical light.  I woke up this morning imagining it would (or should) be that way when I opened up the Most Important of Books.  I like to think truth literally jumps out at me when I open the Word.  Well, streams of light did not necessarily burst out upon me, but a measure of understanding did.

I am reading in Matthew 5 which is where, of course, the Sermon on the Mount is recorded.  I didn't get past verse 12.  Especially verses 11 & 12.  I looked at several translations and the first 10 verses Jesus is telling the disciples about certain character qualities that if people possess them, they will have godly results and blessings.  He seems to be directing his comments yes, to His disciples, but He does say, "Blessed are those...or Blessed are they who".  A translation or two I found did say, "Blessed are you".  But most used the third person.  Now when He gets to verses 11 & 12, He seems to be more directly addressing His comments to the disciples themselves.  He says, "Blessed are YOU..."  The Message translation puts it this way:

"Not only that - count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me.  What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable.  You can be glad when that happens - give a cheer, even!  -  for though they don't like it, I do!  And all heaven applauds!  And know that you are in good company.  My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble."

Another version said "How blessed you are when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of vicious lies about you because you follow me!"

I can imagine the minds of the disciples spinning thinking, "Whoa, wait a minute...I like the first words of blessing you gave us.  They sounded a little bit nicer and easier on us."  Verses 11 & 12 seem to point directly to these disciples and the uncomfortable life they are about to enter as they follow Him and obey His Word.  The thought struck me of the blessings of godly character I want in my life but as a disciple intentionally serving Him, those last two verses apply to me as well.  Jesus told the disciples go to and make "disciples"....of which I am a result of their obedience.

I love the thought of truth being lived out in my life because when it is....that truth will be too close for comfort for the world in which I live and imagine...heaven is applauding!

Hmm...this Book did bring rays of light out around me as I opened it and pondered what it said.  And yes, today I want the applause of heaven ringing in my ears as I live out truth that could be just a bit "too close for comfort". And I am in good company...a good kind of "trouble" to get into :)


Post a Comment