We continue the Aslan Jesus series with a post from my friend KleinFrans [he’s not!]:
“But you shall meet me, dear one,” said Aslan.
“Are – are you there too, Sir?” said Edmund.
“I am,” said Aslan. “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
This weekend, my lovely wife Michelle and I enjoyed an amazing weekend out at the Knysna Oyster Festival on the east coast of South Africa. On Saturday morning we ran the half marathon along with 6000 other forest enthusiasts (the whole race is run through the Knysna forest).
What really struck me this time was how much the running clothes, gear, strapping and shoes have changed over the last 5 years or so. Not just the colours but the technology that goes into this gear; the shoes are lighter, made for more impact absorption but also more bounce (?!), more aerodynamic running shorts/pants/shirts, lightweight earphones to keep the loud breathing from reaching your ears and 16G of music to last you at least 5 times as long as the battery will last.
I am a back of the pack runner. I will never win a race and neither did 5999 other runners. In fact, only 4633 crossed the finish line while only approximately 1076 runners broke 120 minutes. Looking at these stats, evidence is starting to stack up against all this technology “helping people run faster.” The simple fact is we don’t. We run the same. Yet, we still look for obtaining the best shoes, lightest clothes and more streamline gizmos. Every day, we spend our time looking for a lot of unnecessary things that helps little (if at all) in streamlining your life apart from making you feel better about yourself.
I look at my everyday life and wonder at the end of the day, what did I spend my time on today? More importantly, what did I spend my time on today looking for and advancing the Kingdom of God (Matt 6:33). Did I actively spend my time today getting to know Jesus?
In the Sermon on the Mount, (Matt 5-7), Jesus is basically setting the standard for the divine kingdom of God and in Matt 7 he brings the sermon to a conclusion. But look here at Matt 7:21-23
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Note who the people are on whom the eternal door is closing (and there are “many”):
First of all, they say “Lord, Lord.” Kurios is the word translated in the Septuagint of the Old Testament for the name of Jehovah. These people are saying that they accept He is God and all that his deity involves. They say “Lord, lord” indicating their passion and commitment to Kurios.
Secondly they say three times, “in thy name, in thy name, in thy name.” We have been doing it for you Lord. It is respectful, it is zealous. They’re zealous in their public ministry of word and work. It sounds so good.
But the “safe Jesus” isn’t around when Jesus quotes from Psalm 6:8 and says in verse 23: ” And I will declare (confess, homologeo); I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness (iniquity).”
What a shock! Many did signs and wonders in Jesus’ name ! Depart from me !!!
But look closely at the word “knew” (or know). The word “know” is used in the Bible of an intimate relationship. And Jesus says, “I never had any intimate relationship with you. Yes, you were around and I saw you doing things and running around in the church/community but I never had that intimacy with you.”
“Depart from me!!” Instead of living by these righteous principles that Jesus preached at the Sermon on the Mount, you always continue to do lawlessness. And instead of doing God’s will, His righteous standard (Matt 5 to 7), you always work lawlessness. Look at the Pharisees and the scribes; they were the MOST religious and professors of religion of their day! They had “churchianity” down to a science.
James (1:22-25) basically spells out the formula: faith minus works equals zero. Professing Christ means absolutely nothing if your life does not back it up.
So what are you spending your time on? Running around doing things that matters little to the kingdom of God or are you “knowing” Christ actively?
“Depart from me” or “Enter into the joy of your master (Matt 25:21)”
“…that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader