Much of our life involves learning to see – by which I mean learning to see properly. Some grow in this ability while others shrink and pass to their graves unaware that they have lived from a delusion that has distorted their view of truth, their vision of God, their lives and the lives of others.
John was reported as one who ‘made straight’ crooked versions of truth and wonky versions of God. ‘As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: "A voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him’ Luke 3.4 NIV.
There are good souls – people of noble spirit who do their best to make adjustments to what is essentially a ‘crooked gospel.’ They spend their lives standing for bits of truth without coming to terms with the reality that the gospel they are representing is not the gospel of Jesus and the apostles but ‘another gospel’ of the kind that Paul warned, attracts a curse.
Truth-tellers are apostolic people who live as genuine sons in the Fatherhood of God. Because they have insisted that Christ is their life and resisted substitutes and the fake messiahs of religion they have learned to ‘see’. They have been taught to see under the tutelage of Jesus, who shares with them His exclusive knowledge of Himself and His Father.
Key to knowing God, knowing truth and knowing the way of life, is an undiluted commitment to know truth, life and God – which is to know and follow Jesus Christ. Thus the pure in heart see God and the divided of heart see what they want to see.
If our identity and status in a Christian community is more important to us than following Jesus wherever He should lead, without reservation we will not be people of spiritual discernment. We will convince ourselves that we have an undivided commitment to Jesus when we do not because we have two masters: Our long held beliefs and Jesus. In this illusion we will not know that we do not see the light or walk in it.
Jesus said, ‘All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him’ Matt 11.27 NIV.
When Christ is our life this exclusive, accurate undiluted knowledge of Father and son becomes our knowledge because of our shared life with Jesus and our Father and because they tutor us in the knowledge of God. To whom does Jesus reveal this knowledge? He reveals it to those who do not cling to their own way of seeing and are humble and teachable enough to desire an identity with Him rather than identity with their long-held beliefs. Baxter Kruger writes,
“Implicit in the truth [of belonging], its command to faith, and its summons to freedom is a serious warning. For at every point we are free to deny the truth and cling to our own way of seeing. We are free to live in our own worlds and to impose our illusions upon others–or try. Such a non-relational world is utterly foreign to who we are, but we can live in this world, dooming ourselves to suffer the consequences of hanging onto our projecting fear and the god of our imaginations. But why? Why choose such a broken existence? Why choose the tragic and miserable hell of belonging to the trinitarian world and yet insisting on living in our own? Why oppose such a Father? Why resist Jesus? The great irony is that it is Jesus Christ alone who enters into our dark worlds and walks with us in them. No other person truly can or will. He meets us in our fallen minds.” (1)
(1) Kruger, C. Baxter. Across All Worlds: Jesus Inside Our Darkness . Perichoresis, Inc. Kindle Edition.