Bible Study: Re.3:20-21
Head vs. Heart
Jesus of Nazareth is the Word made flesh. He was God from the beginning but he came to the world on a clear mandate. Though the Son he preferred to call himself as the Son of Man. We have a beautiful image of his role as the Good Shepherd. It was universal in scope as the verse in the Gospel of John specifies, ‘whosover believes in him (Jn.3:16).’ As the Shepherd he would rather give his life than lose any one left by his Father for safekeeping.”Of this we have a first hand report from none other than his Apostle, “For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls(1 Pe.2:25). He is the shepherd of souls, meaning He is our Redeemer Lord while in body as well as in eternity.”My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:(Jn.10:27)”
We shall consider him as the Shepherd in the classic sense of Psalm.23. The verse for example ‘He leadeth me beside the still waters’ refers to our visible world. As well as the Shepherd of our soul we are confronted with him. Are we familiar with him in our inner most selves? In the chapter where we have the picture of him as the Good Shepherd, in verse three he predicts his death and leading the flock after he has passed the gate, It reads,”he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice(Jn.10:4,3-NIV).So one sure proof of being his own is this: how good are we at voice recognition? It is what we read in the next verse. “And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers(v.5)”.
In my days of running a practice I had a circle of friends many of which I kept at a distance but a few whose friendship I could count from my youth knew me as I really was. From the key verse we are shown Christ standing outside the door. “Behold I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear voice and open…”(v.2o)
So we are here confronted with two worlds One is built up about our self, ego and the other about our inner man. In simple terms we may distinguish between the two as the head and heart. Thus with our head we reason and a Christian shall say God is love. But with the heart he is required to examine carefully and establish what that love means to him really. From whence comes the distinction of ethnic minorities and white evangelicalism? If a Christian has decided that he is a new creation would he stand in judgment of brethren whose lifestyles are different? Thus we see Christian life merely skimming the superficial aspect of appearances for which the Pharisees and the scribes were good at.
These are one-dimensional Christians. It is to them the risen Christ in glory addresses.
One dimensional Christians are like buildings whose windows are dressed cheerily while inside drafty and cold. . When Jesus says He is at the door the knock is urging Christians to put some fire to their hearth. They give tithes but not their hearts fully. They have a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.
An overcomer is one who has defied the lure of the material world and builds his inner man. He allows the risen Christ into his soul and it can be considered as having received hidden manna Re.2:17. It is an intimate coziness with our Savior that Paul could bear despite the beatings shipwrecks and being thrown in gaol. The world may consign man without much support from others to eke out his life from the offal like Lazarus in the Parable. He may be condemned and put away in prison after denying him chances to grow into a normal childhood in the first place. Such one dimensional Christians who despise the poor may say to Christ on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name etc.,?'(Matt.7:22) They who did not do the will shall be lumped together with the unsaved as workers of iniquity.
Warnings of Jesus were to the Christians who heard the call but left from doing the complete will of the Father. They are like the one who hid the talent in the ground.
One who abides in Christ and who produces spiritual fruits gathers with Christ; One dimensional Christians scatter instead. Hidden manna and the name on the white stone suggests Christ sitting to sup with the overcomers. The name is like a place-card at banquets.
(To be continued)