capacity | John 8.19-20
19 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come. John 8.19-20 | ESV
Leaning in, the experts goaded him, “Where is this ‘Abba’ of yours?” Jesus leaned in as well, “You have no clue who I am, and so it’s no wonder you’re in the dark about my Abba. If you had the capacity to really get me, you’d wouldn’t be lost as to who my Abba is – you’d see him in my face.” And he said this right there, on their turf, in the courtyard by the treasury of all places! making himself right at home teaching in the temple. And not one of them laid a finger on him – because that would be worked out on his own timetable. MAV (Mike’s Amplified Version)
“The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness.”
So says the preacher (Ecclesiastes 2:14).
Jesus’ statement, “I am the light of the world” may await full expression in the chapter 9 healing of the man born blind, but this week’s text is all about light and darkness, about spiritual perception and really “seeing.”
“The wise person has his eyes in his head.” True wisdom is true seeing. It is grasping the wide-angle view, the big picture, and then having a clue as to how he relates to that big picture in this moment.
“The fool walks in darkness” thinking he knows all but seeing nothing.
“Where is this Abba of yours?” the experts demand, ignoring Abba’s glory gleaming on the face right before them.
This exchange anticipates Philip’s question in the days ahead, “Show us the Father, and that will be enough for us!” prompting Jesus’ rebuke, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still haven’t seen me? If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.”
And it leans back into John’s beginning pronouncement that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Moses’ face was beaming with light when came down from the Mount after speaking with God face to face. It freaked out everyone. In an effort to calm everyone down – and no doubt to make it possible to go home and grab some dinner, he covered his beaming face.
Only the blind could have missed it.
And we do.
Earth is crammed with heaven and every bush aflame with God. But we continue to miss it for the most part. Walking past faces, or worse, spitting in them, verbally or actually.
Faces aflame with the Divine.
Faces showing Abba’s touch and presence that should make us pause, wonder, and pray…
…as we walk on by.
What would you say is the key to slowing down and seeing the Divine in the most ordinary of places and faces? When has this happened to you most recently? What did you see?
Light of the world, re-envision the eyes in this head that I may see the Glory in unexpected places and faces. Let me live this day in open-eyed wonder. Through Jesus.