Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Romans 9:30 - 10:13

"Mereka tidak mengetahui cara Allah memperdamaikan manusia dengan dirinya. Mereka cuba mengadakan jalan perdamaiannya sendiri; sebab itu mereka tidak berserah kepada jalan itu yang Allah telah mengadakan supaya memperdamaikan manusia dengan dirinya."
Rum 10:3 (Alkitab)

“They didn’t know God’s way of making peace with humankind. They tried to make their own way of peace; because of that they did not surrender to the way that God made to make peace between humankind and Himself.”
Romans 10:3 (translation of Alkitab)

The translation of the Alkitab highlights the fact that God’s great plan of redemption involves a path that we must travel. In Brian McLaren’s book “A New Kind of Christian”, one of the characters, Neo, makes a comment that when most Christians talk about Jesus being the way, it seems more like Jesus is in the way.

After some reflection, I would agree with that statement. I don’t know about you, but when I say that Jesus is the way, one of the pictures that come to mind is that of Jesus standing in the middle of a narrow road, allowing only those who have joined “the club” to go past him and enter the pearly gates of heaven.

This is a tremendously mistaken view of salvation and living out the Kingdom of God. The moment we think of Jesus as some sort of celestial bouncer, love ceases and fear sets in. The Message paraphrase by Eugene Peterson renders the last bit of verse 33 of Chapter 9 as, “If you’re looking for me, you’ll find me on the way, not in the way.”

“You’ll find me on the way.” Indeed our Walk with God is a lengthy Sojourn, a great Journey. We encounter God when we confess, “Jesus is Lord”, but that’s not the end of it. It’s not even the beginning of the end, but perhaps it is, the end of the beginning. Our years of confuzzled searching and striving are behind us, and the future beckons us to follow In His Steps.

Paul mentions a trap that many Jews fell into: legalism. However, just a cursory glance around the church is enough for us to realise that a lot of people are still running about, trying to gain spiritual points for heaven. Why do they do so? Many are afraid that at the end Jesus will stand in their way, blocking their path and refusing them entry to “come and share in [their] Master’s happiness” (Matt 25:21).

Such doubts and fears are understandable. In the performance-based society that we live in today, it seems totally illogical that God would give us the opportunity to share in his glorious work when we have not done anything to warrant such a gracious gift.

We must, however, always remember this truth: He is the Way, not in the way.

Think about your journey thus far with Jesus. There would definitely have been times when you have found yourself woefully inadequate to receive God’s grace. Thank Him for his gift of becoming the Way for us, and ask Him to help you learn to rest in Him, ceasing from the labour and the toil. Jot down your thoughts (which form essentially a prayer) somewhere.

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