By Pastor Brian Kelly
They picked up stones again…To Stone Him.
Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works…”
The blind see, the deaf hear, the lame leap, and the mute sing for joy, yes. And in all that He said and did, in all that He taught and lived, in all that He gave, gave of Himself, fully and beautifully, they had been shown Many Good works.
“For which of them are you going to stone Me?”
When God looked at His Creation, He saw that the work of His hands was good—tov, the Hebrew word simply means functional. Like with, say, a watch—if its gears are fitted one to another, and its wheels all turning together properly, then the watch is good—tov, functional. If, however, any of the wheels are off-center, its gears not fitted right, then the watch is ra—translated as “bad” or “evil”, meaning Not functional, incapable of doing what it was intended for. And, therefore, useless.
God saw not only that His work was good, He saw that it was very good. That is, His work had gone beyond the functional.
Take, for example, the tree: it provides oxygen, fruit, fuel, lumber, shade, etc. This is its practical function.
Then consider the beauty of, say, the olive—that wonderful gnarl and twist of broad trunk and limb. Or, the full pink and white blossoms of the almond that precede its fruit.
This is the work of our God. The work of a Loving heart. That gives of itself fully. That gives of itself beautifully.
And it is not just the tree, or the hill and field, or the moon that are His works, no. All of which we like to think of as our own, of our own doing—all of the arts, come from Him. Pottery and vine dressing…dance and music….
Love and, like love, joy, cannot be contained, but must express themselves. And the soul—for us, the union of clay and breath—Must Have that means. And it does. Many and varied.
Song is one. And comes from God. Not from outside Himself, but from within. For song First is His. One of His Soul’s means of expression. (And thereby one of His Soul’s delights.) And given to us. Shared with us. For Our soul’s good. .
We are Not His children in name only. No. We are Made His children. Made His own. In His Likeness. To whom He can give Himself. And share Himself. All of What He is. And all of what He delights in doing. That another might enjoy what He Himself enjoys, so we are Made.
Now all that God gives—the fruits of the land and all its good things—is first practical. Most practical. And then, God does so with a most open hand. Fully and beautifully He does so.
And it is in this Fullness beyond the Practical that we have not only the beauty of God’s character, but also the very delights of our soul.
And yet man can take what is given for the good—the wholeness of his soul, and twist and pervert it to his harm. And ruin.
He will not hear, He will not be told, different. He will bend over to take up a stone, one that fits his palm right—and toss it up light and easy, to get a feel for its heft, before throwing…
“I know better What I Need. And What For Me works…It is by My sweat and My blood Alone that I have What I Have. And can do What I Can Do…And what is Mine, and My Life, I’ll do with As I See Fit—”
…to Stone Him. To Silence Him. To Shut Him Up for good.
The standard to which man is made is not one outside of God, but God Himself, the Highest Good. All that God is Is the standard. And the center on which all things turn.
One thing God is not is Selfish. For Love gives of itself, fully and beautifully.
And nothing is so worthless, and So Emptying as that which is done, that which is taken, that which is used, with Self at its center.
When Self is the center, man does not function properly.
And yet man will fight tooth and claw to turn Off-center. For he Will Not Lose himself.
But it is Not about Losing the Individual you; it is About Realizing it—the essential, core, Singular you. The what-You-have-it-in-you-to-be, the fully beautiful you.
It was Cain’s Own twistedness his eyes had been opened to see, and Not his banishment, that was More than he could bear.
And not until we see our own twistedness, and it becomes more than we can bear, more than we can stomach, will we ever, can we ever, let that stone…in our hand…drop.