TMOC: Why Did He Do That?
We absorb God’s truth via His Spirit’s Presence in our souls. As one might expect, you learn the answers to your own soul’s questions. When it comes time to teach and share that truth, you need to know what questions you can answer for other souls. Our greatest hope in sharing God’s truth is hearing good questions, and I got some great queries by email.
Jesus the man was a unique individual, if for no other reason He grew up not needing that spiritual breakthrough plaguing the rest of humanity. He was fully spiritually alive from birth, and was fully integrated very early in His life. A primary manifestation of such would be a powerful maturity. Not our Western sense of what is mature, but in His own Hebrew sense He would have been way ahead of other men. He didn’t suffer less than others, in the sense He passed through the common lot of humanity. However, He didn’t need three decades of internal maturation to know what He should expect from this fallen world. He suffered none of our delusions about the nature of things, and He was particularly sensitive to the moral fabric of Creation. All His suffering was legitimate, and He used what His Father provided to face it.
His expectations matched reality. That reality is revealed to varying degrees, in varying ways, by previous revelation. You can’t get that understanding any other way, and Jesus studied the Scriptures of His people without the blinders. It’s one thing to absorb the symbols of human communication; it’s quite another to seize their higher meaning.
A recurring theme in God’s revelation is restoring justice. When we use terms such as “God’s Laws” we tend to think in terms of legislation, whereas in the Hebrew mind it would be justice in the courtroom. The better term is “God’s Justice.” So long as we have this delusion people can discern and establish the meaning of justice from the basis of their human talents and logic, we will never understand God’s Justice. Defining justice in that sense is a matter of God’s character; the process was complete before Creation began. What constitutes Justice is a question settled outside our realm of existence, but applies here. God’s actions in this world can be said to confine themselves to setting things right, to restoring His Justice.
Those actions include miracles often enough, but the single greatest miracle is the spiritual awakening. Having that door in the soul opened into Heaven changes everything. It’s not as if scholars can’t come to a working knowledge of God’s Justice without that spiritual awareness; they can, but it will always be limited to the context, at best. The Covenant of Moses was a specific context, and Jesus Himself pointed out some of its limitations. He pointed out what the Spirit would say when free inside your soul within the context, and offering a visible path of greater justice. Restoring justice in your soul is the first priority. Restoring justice in the living implications of our lives takes the rest of our existence on this earth. Sometimes that restoration calls for a miracle, where God does a sort of divine reset, putting things back where they should be, and would be, had justice reigned in the first place.
The healing miracles of Jesus fall under that sort of restoration. A critical element in that restoration is also demonstrating — revealing afresh — something of the nature of His Justice. These were not called “signs and wonders” for nothing. They were signs pointing to something better. In human terms, they were proof of the legal argument in God’s Court. You can’t do miracles, you can’t even pray them down, if you aren’t standing under His Justice. Nor can you separate out, except perhaps in our modern Western logic, the harsh penalties against sin. Justice applied is justice both ways at the same time. Sin is punished, corrected and restoration comes as a result. The only real difference between wrath and blessing is where your heart is. To the degree you cling to sin, wrath will rip you to shreds. To the degree you cling to justice, wrath sets you free.
Why God chooses folks like the Gadarene Demoniac, and the widow in Zarapheth, instead of similar characters running around Judea, is something we aren’t allowed to see clearly. It’s among those things God reserves for His own counsel, and we are seldom offered much insight. Grasping that as part of His Justice, the appearance of randomness from our perspective, is part of His Justice working in our souls. There are some things we’ll never get with our human understanding, and our spirits should be at peace with that. However, in the narratives we do get some clues to partially answer the question. The man from Gadara took the message of Christ off on a tangent we aren’t allowed to follow, but it’s a tangent we see leading off into the future from that point. Part of it was restoring the revelation to an area no longer Hebrew in character, but on lands God gave to Israel. Near as we can tell, they had been Israeli in previous generations, but departed at some point. Israel should not have lost those lands, but she was unjust, so God was restoring a measure of justice. The widow in Zarapheth was clinging to the truth, recognizing Jesus as the Messiah from her limited grasp of revelation. She was as good as any formal convert, and far closer to God’s truth than most Jews.
Did you know among the Twelve were five cousins of Jesus? We look askance at nepotism, but it’s a virtue under God’s Justice. Not in its worst manifestations, but the inclusion of close kin is the starting place for Justice. It’s the hardest mystery for Westerners to absorb, but the very fundamental call in the Genesis account of Noah’s Covenant was for families to assert God’s Justice over themselves. Justice begins at home, and human government should rest on extended household, tribal-style government. Competent kin are your first choice in any enterprise, because human bonds cannot be any stronger than kinship ties. There were other reasons, of course, for His choice of disciples, but this figures larger than we are prepared to understand in our Western culture. Each man in his own way was restored to something lost when the leadership of their nation went astray. Each carried that restoration forward in his own ministry after the Ascension.
By the way, you can read about Peter in The Rehabilitation of Peter. His prior character was a big wad of human weakness characteristic of a much more noble man denied his divine heritage. The flavors and types of human weakness tell us much about what God could do with someone when given the chance. The Lord saw through the various failings of these twelve men, because He understood Justice.
For those interested in participating, how should we weave this into our book?
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
I moderate comments. Take a moment to scan the "Readers Note" tab on the menu bar at the top of the page.
As a minister of God, I do accept donations. Please click the "Donate" tab above.