Word from Scotland: Why does life have to be like this?
We have been reading in the Gospel of John of some the mighty and wonderful incidents in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ – some of them exciting as in the raising of Lazarus with its profound spiritual lessons from Jesus but also from his disciples, and then we go on to read of the sad and tragic consequences as division followed. Many believed, but some ran and told tales.
You would sometimes want to ask Almighty God, “Lord, why does it have to be like that? When You are so gracious and powerful and merciful and loving and able, why does there have to be so much wickedness and hatred and ill-feeling and evil around the ministry of Jesus Christ?”
These are almost legitimate questions, but in a sense, God gives no answer. “Lord, when the Word is preached – when Your Holy Word is proclaimed – when You are lifted up – when we give our testimony – why is there not a greater positive response?” But, the Lord God Almighty in His Wisdom, and sometimes silence, gives no clear direct answer. This is all part of the reality of the whole Gospel, and does it not help us become more able to confront reality as it really is.
We have to deal with life’s realities, from which we must never run. We face problems and what can be described as the ugly side of life, as we face up to what is real, and refusing to escape from the pain that reality can cause us – and we must never think that there is no pain in that burdensome side of our Christian lives.
There are times when Jesus comes to us and says – “I will work and move by my Holy Spirit, and I am answerable to no man.”
Our calling and response and privilege is to worship him and to praise him even when there are many things we just do not understand and never will.
We have been reading of that beautiful anointing, when Mary anointed Jesus with that perfume costing thousands of pounds, and yet the cruel callous critical wicked Judas had to make his negative and sarcastic comment. Did that not pierce Mary?
The Word is so realistic, for are not these the very situations we face daily as we serve and minister in the Love of Jesus?
You can be flowing in ministry, and in blessing, and suddenly opposition appears and you are suddenly attacked. A fierce critical piercing wounding word is thrown at you and it hurts.
This Book is realistic. Perhaps that is why so many people would like to explain it all away. It is too real for comfort. No, it is not too real for comfort. It is too real for complacency, but to those who are committed to Jesus Christ, it is a source of comfort because it depicts, reveals, and portrays life, as it really is.
Many of the people who were around Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover were looking for Jesus, and not only Jesus, but they heard that Lazarus had been raised from the dead, and they wanted to see him too.
As soon as the religious leaders were aware of this, and heard of this, they decided that Jesus Christ must be killed and Lazarus too.
John is writing all this and all this is going on in Jerusalem a week or so before Jesus was crucified.
To be ministered to by Jesus, can put your life in danger, and that is the experience of thousands today around the world. To be counted as among the friends of Jesus Christ can mean a threat upon your life.
Once somebody sets himself against Jesus, there is no limit as to how far an individual will go, and if you go against Jesus, you will probably find that you are against the friends and disciples of Jesus too.
We must never forget or ignore or overlook the fact that we are living in a fallen sinful world, and that there is an enemy who will do he can to upset and challenge and attack Christ and those who belong to Jesus Christ. To remember that can be most comforting and encouraging when we wonder why various things around us appear to arise and explode and hurt and wound.