Today's passage: John 8:30-59
When I hear stories about children who were abducted at a young age, my heart melts for the family. To have someone who belongs to you taken from you, must be the hardest thing a parent would have to go through. In some cases, the children are found years later, safe and unharmed with another family. Sometimes it is a crazed woman racked with grief who is trying to replace her sorrow by stealing someone else's child. Sometimes it is a childless man who is trying to give his barren wife some measure of happiness by robbing another family of their joy. People in pain do irrational things. They take a child that does not belong to them and live on the lam to stay undiscovered. Can you imagine the confusion of the child when he is told that this is not his family? He had not been abused (I know that this is not always the case), he had not been mistreated. Can you sympathise with the identity crisis this child would face? The courts would order him back into the arms of his real parents but I don't think he would be ready for an embrace. He wouldn't know these people. Yes, they knew who he was, but he had spent his entire life with another family. It is not his fault he has no recollection of his real parents. He is not to blame for the foreign emotions he feels towards these people who are seemingly ripping him away from the family he has known all this time. With time, he will adjust, he will learn to like the things his family likes, he will learn to enjoy the food his family enjoys, he will start to act the way his family acts, but the transition will be rough.
How must God have felt, when in the Garden of Eden, Satan ripped us away from Him? We were a family. Everything was ideal. The garden was perfect and beautiful. Adam and Eve had no sin nature, they were growing to be just like their Father. Then Satan, with one self-gratifying act, lured us away from the Father who created us. Since then, Satan has been our father ever since. Is it no wonder that in this passage, the Jews are boggled by what Jesus tries to tell them? They don't recognize their true Father, because they are too blinded by the father they have been serving. They think God is their Father, but they have been deceived. They have been patterning their lives after someone they thought was their father, but then are thrown into an identity crisis. Jesus confronts them with the truth about their family, and understandably they do not take it too well. They accuse Jesus of being the fake, they are certain their family is secure. They can't see that the father they have been with, has been an impostor, and it is hard for them to see the truth. None of us would want to believe that we are not with our real family. A reunion with our real Father may not be all hugs and kisses. We would be learning to become a whole new person. We would have to adjust to the likes and tastes of our new Father. With time and with knowledge, this transition would become easier, and we would forget that we had not been His children all along.
A parent who loses a child will do everything to have that child returned to them. They will hire every investigator in the nation, they will hop planes to any country, they will drain their bank account, take out a second mortgage on their house, do anything in their physical power to get that child back. So did God. He let His Son pay the ultimate price to bring us back to Him. Jesus died on the cross, so we could be returned to our true Father. Sadly, not every abducted child is found. Not every stolen child is reunited with his family. Some never are discovered again. I'm so glad that did not have to be the case for me. I may not always be familiar with my Father's ways, but everyday I am learning a little more. I'm so glad He came looking for me, because I would have spent a lifetime serving a father who had no love for me. Thank you, Lord, for rescuing me. Thank you each day for teaching me Your ways so I can love what You love, and hate what You hate. When I grow up, I want to be just like You.