Gouge Out Your Eyes!

Gouge out your eyes!

Does that bother you? Give a disturbing word picture? Imagine this scene:

“Gouge out your eyes. That’s what he said. Gouge out your eyes.” Reuben was still breathless from running.

His father shook his head. “Why would a Messiah say that? Are you sure you heard him right? Where’s your brother?”

John charged around the corner into the shop. “I think Simon is wrong about this guy! The stuff he’s saying is crazy.”

“Did he talk about the Romans?” The boys’ father set down his saw. “Did he mention freedom?”

“He said that the peacemakers are blessed and that our persecution is a blessing from God. We’ll be rewarded in heaven! That doesn’t sound like a man with ideas to get us out of this mess!” John’s face clouded with disappointment.

“Heaven?” His father was incredulous.

Reuben piped in. “If any of us gets to heaven. The way he made it sound, not even the Pharisees will be good enough to get in. Don’t get angry with your brother or look at a woman with lust? Who can be this righteous?”

“What about our hunger? Surely, if he is the Messiah, he will see our hunger.” The father suddenly felt very weary.

Both boys answered at once, “Don’t worry about what you will eat or drink! Don’t worry about it, he said.”

“Don’t worry about it?” The father paced around the woodshop in anger. “That means, he has no answers! I was so sure with what Simon said about the sick being healed.”

“Father, it’s as if he’s working for the Romans! One of his closest followers is the tax collector who forced you to pay triple taxes last year.” John’s face was red.

“Yes, and did you hear him say that if someone asks for you to walk one mile, walk with him two? He was talking about soldiers asking us to carry their gear. He’s telling us to carry it even further! It’s like he’s not even one of us.” Reuben stabbed an awl into a block of wood.

“The Pharisees hate him. If he were the Messiah, surely they would know better than Simon!” John again.

“You’re all wrong.” The men turned to see Simon standing calmly in the doorway. “How can you not see that He’s from God?”

The boys’ father walked toward his nephew, hoping that his sons were mistaken. “So, my foolish sons have not heard him properly, yes? You were nearer to Jesus. You heard him say different things.”

“No.” Simon answered. “They heard him properly. He said those things but many, many more and he has power! The blind are able to see. The lame walk. He speaks with authority like no one else. Can you two not hear him? He talks about a kingdom that is not of this world.”

Now the father was too tired for anger, too full of disappointment for anything but a great weariness. “What good is a kingdom that is not of this world? How will I feed my family on this invisible kingdom? How will this Jesus keep the Romans from stealing everything I work to earn, my lifeblood, my sons’ futures?”

Simon looked at his uncles and his cousin with great sadness. “You don’t see it either? You don’t see that He is the One for whom we’ve waited? This Jesus is the Messiah!”

The other men just looked at the floor until Reuben grabbed a hammer and returned to work. Next John and then the father turned back to the table they were building. Simon left his family in the shop and joined the others following this Jesus.”

Most of us have read Jesus’ words so often that we no longer hear the offense they were to the people of Israel. Having the advantage of living on this side of the cross, the scandal of His teaching is lost to us but, in reality, it’s quite miraculous that anyone followed Him.

Jesus wasn’t wooing people with words. He wasn’t campaigning for leader of the Jews. He was straightforward delivering the truth, speaking His Father’s words.

Too many of us walk out and greet the world of unbelievers with words alone but that’s a mistake.

Jesus’ words were backed by the power of an indestructible life. (Hebrews 7)

Jesus was connected to the power of His Father God. It is from this power source that Jesus’ words and miracles flowed. He didn’t win people over with eloquence or by saying what people wanted to hear. He spoke with power and authority.

Don’t make the mistake of going out into the world armed only with words or acts of service. Plug in. Get connected. Be with God first and let everything else you do flow from that.

Don’t just heed what Jesus’ said or what He did, pay attention to what He was – a Son in constant relationship with the Father.

Be that.

Be a child in constant relationship with Jesus and His Father, powered by the Holy Spirit

And then, just watch the Kingdom come.

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    The Conversation

  1. scw1217 says:

    Powerful thoughts!

  2. Love that ending. Be that. Thanks, Lori!