the plan | John 11.51-53
He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they made plans to put him to death. John 11:51-53 | ESV
He said more than he knew. A dark oracle through high priestly lips that would come true in ways he couldn’t begin to imagine: that Jesus would die for the people – and yet not for that people only, but all the children of God scattered everywhere would thus be gathered into one body, one people, one world. And so from that day, that moment, the die was cast: they would plot the death of Jesus. MAV (Mike’s Amplified Version)
“How can you watch a film made by that atheist??” I was asked.
Answer: God is everywhere and can – and does – speak through anyone and anything. Even through an atheist’s movie.
He speaks through pagan poets in ancient Athens – “for in him we live and move and have our very being.”
Mad, demonic, power- hungry kings fall “slain in the Spirit,” prophesying.
And a pagan soothsayer, summoned by a pagan king to curse the people of God prophesies blessing over them instead of curses, no matter how many different angles he tried. And on his way to that prophetic session, just to make a point, God speaks through his donkey.
So does it surprise us that the God who speaks through a donkey to a pagan soothsayer who then in turn blesses the people of God, would announce the whole purpose and plan of the ministry of Jesus through “hollow beauty” – a corrupt high priest who as far as he was concerned was only plotting a politically expedient murder?
He said so much more than he knew.
It pays to listen with a wider bandwidth rather than restricting it to one more narrow and discriminating.
We would miss so much of him, as the poet has said:
Christ plays in ten thousand places,
lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.
Not ten, not twenty, not even 101.
Through the features of men’s faces.
Even through hollow beauty.
Under what guise, through what unsuspecting voice, in what unexpected face and place might we see and hear our Christ next?
What has been the most unlikely source of divine revelation in your experience? What happened?
Abba, deliver me from shallow judgments that eliminate so many of the ways you want to interact with me. Give me a renewed appreciation for the varied voices through which you would speak, the faces through which you would shine. Let me see and hear, and run to you. Through Christ.