Images of Divinity While Enduring Flesh and Blood or,
The Puzzling Puzzle of Discipleship
Scripture Resource Passage: Revelation 22
What could be more desirable? What greater eternal outcome could a disciple receive than the blessing? If you are bold, consider seeking God’s blessing; but be aware your journey may cross flood-stage rivers pounding you among the boulders. Are you certain you want to seek the blessing?
God Who makes rain fall on the just and the unjust, blesses disciples who keep the words written in Revelation’s scroll (Revelation 22:7). This is the promise. However, the promise of Christ’s blessing does not mean disciples will cross life’s streams on stepping stones.
Personally, Jesus lived amid society’s raucous roaring waters. He was homeless with, “no place to lay his head” (Luke 9:58). If there was not a house or permanent campfire, what did He do for meals (John 4:34)? This is ruining a typical definition for being blessed; and, 401k programs had yet to be invented. “Jesus was the blessed One,” did you say?
Jesus rode rough waters and did not tame tumultuous countries or nations that were running riot with political turmoil, government sanctioned slavery and the subjugation of women and girls. Society was a disaster. Sound familiar? Not sounding exceptionally blessed at this point.
Henri Nouwen once wrote: Jesus is the Blessed One…Most clearly we hear God’s blessing after Jesus has been immersed in the waters…when “suddenly there was a voice from heaven, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; my favor rests on him’” (Matthew 3:16-17).
Across the bridges of time many of God’s people cross deadly rapids. The water foams white with spray. Hidden boulders and cauldrons of danger are too numerous to count. Hebrews 11 provides accounts of faith’s wild blessings. Through eras of turmoil, the blessed ones barely survive their river passages—actually some perished—not much in the way of day-to-day comfort for those folks.
Throughout portions or the larger Body of Christ, and the “beloved community,” conditions are in some ways worse—the waters even more treacherous. Revelation 2 and 3 report that Christian communities appear to score less than zero on a scale of what we suppose was a congregationally blessed life. Some of the groups are capsized in the white water, or over the waterfall’s edge—truth be told.
Discipleship Life Observations: Blessings are gifts—sovereign acts of God. Blessings are covenant promises emphasizing sovereignty not comfort. Blessings are not fully revealed to us—they are directed by God, reaching culmination in ways beyond our control. The phrase, “Have a blessed day,” could be challenging!
- Matthew 5:1-12
- Seeing the Lamb, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah Who is the root of David in triumph over evil (Revelation 5 and other passages), Christ brings Revelation’s message to a climax encouraging faithfulness. Jesus says, “Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll”(Revelation 22:7).