Read John 12:44-50.
Jesus The Radio Telescope
A few weeks ago I wrote about the unseen world Jesus spoke of in John 12:31. (See previous post) In that post I also wrote about Louis Pasteur and how for the thousands of years before he proved germ theory, and before the invention of the microscope, scientists and the world at large didn’t believe in the world of microbiology.
There are other invisible worlds that impact the world we can see, and hear, and feel. There’s the invisible world of radio waves. It’s a world that affects us profoundly. If you’re reading this blog post on your phone, tablet, or computer, you’re probably using radio waves to do so, because that’s how cell towers and wireless routers work. But before Heinrich Hertz proved its existence, no one believed in the invisible world of radio waves.
There’s also the world of radioactive elements. Invisible ionizing particles are emitted from these elements. The invisible radioactive world is what causes cancer in people who work in uranium mines. This invisible world is also what makes x-ray machines and nuclear reactors possible. But before Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen proved their existence, no one believed in the invisible world of radiating ionizing particles.
Jesus often spoke of an invisible world that included the invisible God. “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth,” he said.
In our text Jesus cries out,
“Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”
In the post about the unseen worlds from a few weeks ago, I wrote that maybe someday there will be a way for all of us to see the unseen world Jesus talked about. But today as I considered Jesus’ words from our text, it occurred to me that this has already happened. Jesus is the instrument that allows us to see the Invisible God. “Whoever sees me sees him who sent me,” Jesus said. The gospels are documentation of Jesus the spiritual microscope or Jesus the spiritual Geiger counter. Or Jesus the radio telescope, the kind scientists use to “see” radio waves from outer space, radio waves that might reveal the existence of intelligent life in the heavens. Jesus sheds light so we don’t have to remain in darkness concerning God. Jesus’ life as recorded in the gospels is documentation of the Invisible God as seen through the instrument of Jesus the Christ.
What You Can’t See Can Kill You
In our text Jesus goes on to say,
“If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.”
When I was a firefighter we trained on confined space rescue. And we learned that the number one killer of confined space rescuers is invisible. If you were to see an unconscious victim lying in a hole, or empty industrial tank, or some other confined space, your instinct would compel you to react quickly. Seeing no visible hazard you might experience an urge to enter the confined space with the intention of removing the victim just as soon as possible. But for a variety of reasons confined spaces sometimes have reduced levels of oxygen. So if you were to enter in, you would join the original victim when you asphyxiated. That’s why rescuers are trained to prepare by donning breathing apparatus before making entry.
Today we have writings warning us of oxygen deficiency in confined spaces, and the infectious potential of germs, and the danger of radiation. But if we ignore these writings, as some do, then an unbelief in the invisible but potentially nonviable atmosphere inside a confined space can result in death. And an unbelief in the invisible world of germs can kill you too. And so can an unbelief in the invisible world of radioactivity.
And so can an unbelief in the invisible world spoken of by Jesus.
In our text, we find written words of warning from Jesus. But he begins by sharing his intention. He begins by sharing the reason he came to us. “I did not come to judge the world but to save the world,” Jesus said. His intention is to save you. The reason he came is to rescue you from the invisible forces of sin and evil, and to take you to the invisible safety of God and heaven. He put himself in harms way for you. He allowed men to blindfold him and beat him and spit on him and mock him. He subjected himself to the whip for you.
He permitted himself to be rejected for you.
After healing their diseases and sharing with them his grace and his truth they all said, “Let him be crucified!”
“Why? What evil has he done?” Pilate asked.
But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”
He was nailed to the cross for you.
He died for you.
His intention was to save you.
He went to these great lengths to save you.
But he won’t force you to accept what he did for you.
The choice is yours.
“The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment — what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”
If you have questions, comments, or if you want to give yourself to Jesus, I’d love to hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parkes Observatory Radio Telescope image by CSIRO — Creative Commons