Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Confusion and Clarity

Sometimes confusion is reality colliding with our convictions 

“Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.” (Luke 24:12) 

Peter could be wrong but he was rarely confused. However, when he looked into an empty tomb where only the burial clothes remained, he reached a pinnacle of confusion. 

I think it began in Gethsemane when the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, and Peter was ready for the revolution to begin. He was sure this would be the climactic moment when the glory of Jesus would shine, the corrupt religious hierarchy would be abolished and Roman oppression would be overthrown.  This was the moment where he had no hesitation in taking up his sword to lash into the crowd. 

But Jesus stopped him and healed the one man Peter managed to wound, then went willingly to his persecutors. The confusion continued as he followed Jesus and the soldiers to the temple. When he warmed himself at the fire in the temple courtyard and someone asked if he followed Jesus, he said truthfully, forcefully, with an oath, that he did not know the man. 

He was right. He didn’t know the scope and majesty of Jesus’ Lordship.  He could only imagine Jesus being king over a small patch of the world, when Jesus was destined for the Kingdom of heaven. 

If Peter were to ever clearly understand Jesus, he had to be jarred from his earlier assumptions. To let go of our convictions in order to perceive greater truth is always disorienting.  Of course he was confused.  He had to reach this moment in order to gain further enlightenment. 

Which leads me to an interesting Easter message. Perhaps things are very confusing for you right now. Sometimes we reach a point where we just don’t know what to believe anymore. 

This is good news. It means you are on your way to greater understanding.

For Peter, the confusion meant he was about to see Jesus more clearly. 

1 comment:

  1. Pastor,
    It often seems that as I read the Gospels (it doesn't happen nearly so often with the old testament) I am aware that there are "layers" of understanding.
    This is an interesting way to look at Peter's actions, he was broken down by disappointment so bitter that he claimed not to know Jesus, only to have his understanding blossom into enlightenment after the crucifixion. How comforting it would be to think that all our angst, disappointment and many confusions would lead us toward a better understanding of God and our connection to his love.
    Thank you for this food for thought.