lost in translation | John 10.19-21
There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” John 10.19-21 | ESV
End of word picture.
And instead of rave reviews and thunderous ovation, there was once again a significant split in the religious comment thread following this public post. Many were snarky. “He’s demon possessed!” “He’s nuts!” and “Why does anyone give this loser the time of day?” Others were more positive: “You’re nuts if you think he’s demon-possessed because demons don’t talk like this!” and “Demons are now in the ‘restoring-sight-to-the-blind’ business, are they? Right!” MAV (Mike’s Amplified Version)
Often, after viewing an inspiring video on YouTube, out of curiosity I’ll scroll down and view the comment thread. It’s amazing how many see beauty and wonder while so many at the same time see only things to pick at or ridicule.
This comment thread was no different.
Some saw profound beauty and truth – even if they couldn’t connect all the dots (but since when is that what it’s about anyway).
Others only heard noise roughly the equivalent of fingers on a chalkboard.
God may not change, but neither do people in all of our glorious peopleness.
So much can get lost in translation from God’s heart to ours. But there be rich green pastures here, and he would have us lie here a spell, and breathe deeply, in one such as this (the crescendo we know as Romans 8:31-39):
So, what do you think?
With God on our side like this, how can we lose?
If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us,
embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son,
is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?
And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen?
Who would dare even to point a finger?
The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us.
Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way!
not hard times,
not bullying threats,
not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us.
I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—
living or dead,
angelic or demonic,
today or tomorrow,
high or low,
thinkable or unthinkable—
absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love
because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
Talk about a cup brimming over…
So what would your contribution be to the comment thread on Jesus’ “Good Shepherd” word picture?
Good Shepherd, let nothing today be lost in translation from your heart to mine. As your beauty and goodness pursue me this day, let me be found by them unfazed by whatever calamities might surround me at the moment. Let me rest in your embrace that will not let me go and from which none can snatch me. Through Christ.