Short Meditations in John 4: 30. Caring for Jesus?
Jn 4:31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
There is a funny picture conveyed in this simple and short verse but I believe when we come to think about it, it will also challenge how we think about Jesus.
It looks most simple: the disciples return from buying food and assuming Jesus will now be hungry they encourage him to eat. I do like it when we tell God what He needs! This is the Son of God who turns water into wine, who takes a few loaves and fishes and feeds thousands, who sleeps peacefully in the back of a boat in a storm and then stills it. This Son of God is in control of his world. Clearly as a human being he got tired and hungry (see Mt 4:2) and so naturally the disciples would make caring noises about him but who is the shepherd and who are the sheep?
Put in a wider context this attitude of ‘caring for God’ comes out more when we feel He needs defending against the voices of atheism. Now indeed I write a lot of apologetic material but I hope it is to help stumbling people overcome their doubts, and I hope it does not come out of any feeling that God needs defending, because He doesn’t! Whenever we find ourselves in one of these situations where foolish people say foolish things about God, let’s make sure we maintain a proper perspective – the is the Almighty Creator of all things we are talking about, the One who is all powerful, all-knowing and all-wise and He is going to be around aeons after we have ceased to be.
If we don’t hold on to that perspective we get defensive and our words become sell-energised and often tainted with negative elements. When we so hold on to that perspective we can come cool, calm and collected and hold to a healthier concern for those foolish people, with a compassionate desire for them to come to see the truth and know Him.
In what ever way we might show this ‘caring attitude’ towards God we make Him less than He is. He will not get less because people say nasty things about Him. He will not become less holy because a silly atheist thinks up as many nasty words as he can think out of his ignorance and confused thinking about God. He will not become less powerful because people say He has not power because He allows evil to exist. He will not become less Lord of lords and King of kings because He allows bad people to exist and continue doing wrong things this side of death.
Isaiah had the right idea: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary.” (Isa 40:28) OK, disciples, nice idea but you don’t need to ‘look after’ the Lord of lords.