…but they were all afraid of him… 29Apr2018

During the three to four years of Jesus’ missionary life, He performed many miracles. He multiplied loaves and fish, cured the sick, raised the dead, forgave sins, and expelled many demons. When the demons tried to proclaim that they knew He was the Son of God, Jesus would silence them. Why? Part of the reason is quite simple. We are known by our friends and the company we keep. Jesus is both God and man. He let His words and actions speak for themselves. He did not want His listeners to associate Him with the demons. To have them announce His identity to the people would be the equivalent of having a criminal provide the introduction for a famous guest speaker at a dinner honoring him. This does not compute. It is an oxymoron.

Paul has a similar problem when He travels to Jerusalem to meet his new compatriots. They were afraid. They knew of his reputation for persecuting Christians. They may have heard of his conversion but were still skeptical. They may have wondered if his conversion was merely a ruse in order to penetrate the inner community. He needed a connection. Enter Barnabas, friend of the disciples and friend of Paul.

It may be a trivial thought, but in a way we all need a connection with God, the Father. How do we approach our Creator without a connection? He who is beyond our sight, beyond our comprehension, beyond our understanding is the source and summit of our lives of Faith. He is the source because EVERYTHING that exists emanates from the loving wellspring of His creative genius. He is the summit because we are created to be with Him and our lives are directed to Him and His Kingdom, where He promises us eternal life.

The disparity of our existence—He in the timeless, eternal world and we in the corruptible, physical world—is a gap that cannot be bridged by any human genius or machination. That is why God took on our human form in the person of Jesus Christ. Without abandoning His timeless divine nature, He entered time and united it with the human nature that He created in His image and destined to be with Him eternally.

The vine and the branches is an apt image for this profound and sublime reality of Faith. It is by our connection to Him that we draw Life, not just physical but eternal as well. He is the source of our total existence. It is also by our connection to Him that we can spiritually join ourselves to the Father. Only through Christ do we bear fruit.

Deacon Richard


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