"Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, . . ." Acts 9:1
Stuck. We've all felt it. The inner deadness, this spiritual sleepwalking, a chronic stuckness. It happens all the time around us. We know it, feel it and, in desperate attempts to ward it off, we grope for the remedy of religious actions.
We go to church, we sing, we pray, we listen, we read, we break bread with other believers, we might even lead in some ministry of the church. But strolling to our car just 57 steps away, all the truth and conviction we felt just dissipates into thin air.
Some may wonder why it took Paul so long before he saw the light. Why he held out against Jesus so stubbornly. How could he have brought such violence and persecution on the church. How could he have been so religious, have such knowledge of the ancient text ,and remain blinded to the truth. Paul was stuck for the same two reasons we get stuck.
Paul was a Jew by birth, by training, and by habit. He had grown up in a religious environment. It's what he knew and believed. We do the same today. We instinctively trust the tangible. No wonder our eyes are closed to Jesus. His spirit is too subtle for our understanding. His sweet ways are lost because of the sluggishness of our spirit.
From Paul's legalistic point of view Jesus was a moral anarchist, and Paul's mind was made up from the beginning, that Jesus was the enemy of Judaism. How our preconceptions blind us to reality. Many never see Jesus because in their undigested theology, there’s an opaque screen between the mind and His ways. They have picked up every ill-considered idea, every stray comment and collected them all without discrimination.
No wonder when we come face to face with the living Christ, be it in the lives of His followers, His working in our circumstances, or through the ministry of His word, wherever Jesus genuinely shows up, we rarely recognize Him standing before us.
What predispositions and preconceptions are keeping you from seeing Jesus?