Thought For The Week
WHAT IS HUMAN?
In previous meditations we looked at the fact that humans are deceived and confused. The key focus of this deception and confusion is our knowledge of God. So pervasive and deep is the deception and the confusion that the Bible’s verdict on our condition is that we are spiritually blind. Left to ourselves we do not and cannot know God. Left to ourselves we will never recognize or acknowledge the truth about God.
Here are a few expressions of this verdict:
‘They know nothing, they understand nothing;
their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see,
and their minds closed so they cannot understand’ [Isaiah 44:18].
‘The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God’ [2Corinthians 4:4].
We are under ‘the dominion of darkness’ [Colossians 1:13].
‘… there is no one who understands’ [Romans 3:11].
This is a blindness that affects even the religious:
‘… they are blind guides of the blind’ [Matthew 15:14].
Jesus said to the Pharisees ‘You do not know me or my Father …’ [John 8:19].
Into this context of human spiritual blindness and ignorance Jesus Christ comes and confronts us with the true God:
‘No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known’ [John 1:18].
‘When a man … looks at me, he looks at the one who sent me. I have come into the world as … light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness’ [John 12:45,46].
‘Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father’ [John 14:9].
Yet even here, confronted by God’s perfect, final and ultimate self-revelation in his incarnate Son, our blindness overwhelms us, and our rebellion against God dictates our response, and like Jesus’ contemporaries we deem that self-revelation a lie, like them we deem these claims of Jesus the baseless rantings of a deluded or blasphemous human.
Because of this universal spiritual blindness, coupled with our fundamental rejection of God, there is a critical necessity for deliberate divine redemptive intervention. Unless God himself rips away our blindness and creates in us a new heart and a new mind, we continue to live our whole lives trapped in deep ignorance of God, trapped in deep ignorance of the true truth about God:
Matthew 11:27: ‘No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’
John 3:3: ‘… no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’
Unless God intervenes with his sovereign regenerating power all of our human perceptions of God are nothing but inaccurate and corrupted residual memories of the true knowledge of God that we had in Genesis 1 and 2 and rejected in Genesis 3. Unless God intervenes, even his final self-revelation in Christ fails to penetrate our blindness.
‘No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him’ [John 6:44].
‘… no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him’ [John 6:65].
But praise be to God that in his sovereign grace he does intervene, he does draw us to his Son, he does enable us, he does open our eyes and make us see:
‘Blessed are you … for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven’ [Matthew 16:17].
‘For God who said “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ’ [2Corinthians 4:6].
© Rosemary Bardsley 2013, 2016