The Chair and the Desk, 11/12/15

From the chair:

35 As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

40 And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” 42 And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

-Luke 18:35-43

In one of my favorite poems, Tennyson suggests that our lives look like royal Odysseus on the high seas. Ever the romantic, he envisions us as intrepid individuals, who “follow knowledge like a sinking star // beyond the utmost bound of human thought.” Each of us probably have dreams of a whole crew of sailors following us, with “heroic hearts // made weak by time in fate, but strong in will // to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” I like the poem because it taps into something deep in me, the dream that I can muster up greatness and go find fame.

However, in this passage, Luke suggests that our lives look more like this blind man begging by the road. This is a true story, yet it still serves as a fit analogy of what it is like to follow Jesus. The blind man could muster up sight within himself. Instead, he cried out for mercy. He needed others to lead him through the darkness to Jesus. Jesus opened his eyes, and the new man follows Jesus, glorifying God.

Today, I do not follow a sinking star. Rather, I follow Jesus Christ, who has opened my eyes. He has already drawn me beyond the utmost bound of human thought, and wherever he’s taking us, I’m a rejoicing tagalong.

From the desk:

“What time is it? It is the time after the apocalypse of the faith of Christ, the time, therefore, of God’s making things right by Christ’s faith, the time of the presence of the Spirit of Christ, and thus the time in which the invading Spirit has decisively commenced the war of liberation from the powers of the present evil age.” 

-J. Louis Martyn,”The Apocalyptic Gospel in Galatians,” Interpretation (July 2000), p.258

I think there are opinions–even opinions in this article–that I disagree with Martyn on, but I agree with this declaration, and this great truth is central to why I too follow Jesus Christ, glorifying God.

“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.

Leave a Reply