Short Meditations in John 2: 18. Post Understanding
Jn 2:22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
Quite often in the Christian life we are told things or things happen that don’t quite show the whole picture and we are left wondering. I’ve often wondered why that is? I’ve concluded that sometimes the Lord just wants us to trust Him. Faith is responding to what He says but trust is hanging in there when we are not quite sure what is going on.
Jesus has just come out with this amazing statement about rebuilding the temple in three days and all his listeners – including his disciples, I suspect – were confused. What does he mean? But he doesn’t spell it out and he doesn’t even do what he did sometimes with his disciples, and let them in on it when they are alone with him later. In fact there is no record of the subject coming up again. It is only, John tells us having pondered over it for years, after he has died and been raised from the dead that the disciples remember this event. Oh my goodness, that is what he was talking about when he said that thing about rebuilding the temple in three days!
But there is a significant principle behind all this. It is the one that Paul spelled out: “We live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor 5:7) Sometimes we wish we could understand everything in the Bible – right here and now! Sometimes we wish we could understand everything that is going on in our lives – right here and now! Sometimes we wish we could see the path ahead and know where it is taking is – right here and now! But the truth is that in all three instances we are not given those insights.
Quite often, I have found, I’ve come across a passage of scripture that seems strange and whose meaning eludes me. It is only later – sometimes a long time later – that the meaning shines through. There are times when I have wondered whatever is going on in my life or the life of others around me, and yet it all remains unclear. It is only later – sometimes a long time later – that understanding comes. In fact I have found that more often than not I understand what went on in retrospect. I had to wait years to be able to look back with understanding – just like the disciples here. And as for understanding the future? Someone recently said to me, “Who knows what will be happening in five years time.” It wasn’t a question but a statement of understanding. So often we can’t guess what the years ahead will bring, but we have the comfort that the Lord knows. Trust that.