04 August 2013

We Can't Constrain Him

Scripture: John 6:14-15, 35

When the people saw him  do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!”    When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself.

***

Jesus replied,  “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."

Observation:

Jesus disappeared when the people took it into their hearts to constrain Him.  Yet, He promises to provide for us . . . I believe He promised to provide both according to the spirit AND the flesh.

Application: 

I've been in a crash course titled "What Jesus does when you don't limit Him." ;o)  Just like the people He fed in the first part of John 6, I had long constrained Him by what I thought He could do in my life, by my concept of how deity and mortality "should" interact.

The word constrain fits perfectly here. It means not only to force, but to force by limiting the action or power of the object of your force.  Mathematically, it means to set boundaries on the possible outcomes of an equation.  Which is exactly what the people sought to do to Jesus.

The people were wanting to force Jesus to be their King--to stop Him from doing what He had been doing, and to insist His outcome fit into boundaries they set.  And He disappeared.  (Not the result I want in my life.  How about you?)  And yet, later He said that he would provide in boundless generosity to those who believe* in Him.  ". . . never be hungry . . . never be thirsty . . . ". Ummmm, yesplease!!! Jesus is a God of limitless possibilities, His nature infinite.  As soon as we try to bracket Him, He slips away . . . there's no longer room for Him.

*Luke 6:46-49

Prayer:

Jesus, show me when and where and how I, in my ignorant way, constrain You.  Shed your glorious light on my understanding, and show me how to live closer to You, please.  I want You to flow, unrestricted into and through and over and around my life. I never want You to slip away! Amen.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!