open your eyes wide in wonder & belief | John 8.13-18
13 So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” John 8.13-18 | ESV
The Pharisees were quick with their comeback: “A lot of loud talk from your own big mouth proves nothing! Your self-testimonial is all hot air and no substance!” Jesus was ready with his own comeback: “Even if it is just my big mouth giving my own testimonial, it’s still bona-fide, solid truth – because I know full well where I’ve come from and I know exactly where I’m going. But you, you don’t have a clue about either. You are constantly trafficking in superficial judgments on everyone and everything; and I’m happy to leave it to you – I’m staying out of the judging business altogether. But, you know, if I do pass judgment on anything, it’s right on the mark because it’s not just me lowering the gavel – the gavel is in my Abba’s hand, and he’s the one who sent me here in the first place. And doesn’t it say somewhere in that law of yours, you experts, that when it’s two people standing up to testify, now you have a solid, credible case? Well let’s count. I’m saying what’s what about myself, and my Abba who sent me adds his voice to mine. Sounds like two witnesses to me!” MAV (Mike’s Amplified Version)
God turns on the light, and we kill it.
This is so what we do!
All the time.
Light dawns, but all we can do is muddle in the darkness of our own argumentative objections to it.
Jesus has a word for this condition:
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6.22-23)
I think the Message does it one better:
“Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!”
Living “squinty-eyed in greed and distrust,” a dark “dank cellar life” in which we “pull the blinds on our windows” – this describes too many of us too well.
It led clueless experts to haggle over the credentials of the Light beaming in their faces.
It leads us into the brackish waters of national cynicism that pokes fun at everything and everyone, that trusts no one, that delights in scandalous exposés, that fuels snarky talk radio pundits, and cultural and religious commentary from watchdogs that are all bark and bite and who see little to wag about anywhere in anyone.
It is in children that we most see the unaffected, unpostured “eyes opened wide in wonder and belief.”
Which is no doubt why Jesus challenges us to be like them.
Where in your life do you detect squinty-eyed vision of greed and distrust? Where do you see that more childlike vision with “eyes opened wide in wonder and belief”? How can we have more of the latter, less of the former?
Light of the world, correct my squinty-eyed vision, heal the roots of greed and pain that feed my own cynicism and distrust. Open my eyes wide to see wonder and belief where others would only pass by seeing nothing. Through Christ.