A Prayer of Jesus I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.
By Edgar Jones
How is it that Jesus, so foreign to the church, has nevertheless found perpetuation in the Holy Scriptures, which only the church has shown much interest in passing on from one generation to the next?
I have called him a hitch-hiker, traveling through the centuries by hitching a ride in the gospels, which the church has copied, printed, preached, praised, yet not believed. But now, I think the hobo is a better metaphor. We associate hobos with trains, and I ventured to experience hoboism once in my youth. I found that it did not appeal to me and was quite happy to leave it with the hobos. Still, as I think of it now, what a perfect picture of the relationship of Jesus with the church through the ages!
It is the First Century when he grabs the boxcar handrails and hoists himself up as the train begins to move, only to find that the door is jammed. He cannot possibly enter, so he struggles to the top and hangs on while considering if there is a way to join those who are inside. Prolonged shouting and banging on the roof are of no avail, and there is no way that door will budge.
Soon the train is doing ninety miles an hour (I know, there were no trains in the first century – humor me, please) so he decides to try another car, the one immediately behind, which happens to be that of another denomination. Here the results are the same, and so, as the rails (read, centuries) clip by, he is found to be moving over the cars from one end of the train to the other, often finding that a new car has somehow been added, but always with the same result: those inside ride merrily along completely oblivious to his existence on the roofs and in the firm belief that they are securely ensconced on the Glory Train. They cannot hear his shouts and banging, not because of the train noises, but because of their own shouting and praising God, preaching and proclamation, praying and singing from one end of the train to the other. Even less are they able to see him, because they are not even looking for him, in the belief that they have found him already.
In this situation, only a person who is not in the train, someone outside on the right of way, waiting for the train to pass the crossing, or someone driving along the highway that parallels the tracks, or some farmer's son working in the adjoining fields – only such a person can see him, only such a person can hear him, and only such a person can believe in him. O, there is one other person who can see him – that person who, as I once was, is also clinging to the train, unable to get in and terrified of falling off.Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he 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 evildoers.' (Matthew 7:21-23)
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