If you are not a follower of Yeshua, in a way I hope you read this and in a way I hope you don’t. I hope you read it because — against all hope — I hope to communicate something to you of our hope. I hope you don’t read it because I fear the point cannot be communicated across the lines of experience.
If you are a follower of Yeshua, I definitely hope you read this. I want to imagine I see your smile of affirmation across the fiber optic cables that separate us in space.
Anyway, the whole thought started with a great quote by N.T. Wright, a New Testament scholar of unusual depth (yes, I know he believes in supersessionism, but he is so insightful, I learn from him anyway):
It is natural to say “I believe it is raining” when indoors with the curtains shut, but it would be odd to say it, except in orony, standing on a hillside in a downpour. For many Christians, much of the time, knowing Jesus is more like the latter: being drenched in his love and the challenge of his call, not merely imagining we hear him like raindrops on a distant windowpane. (The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions, p.25).
In other words, we often wonder why the whole Yeshua-faith thing is difficult to communicate. Those being communicated to often do not see it. Those doing the communicating often wonder why they cannot see it.
It is like explaining true and lasting love to someone who isn’t in love at the moment and cannot relate.
When we say we believe in Yeshua, we do not mean it is a theory, like forecasting rain through closed window blinds. We mean we sometimes stand in the pouring rain and we know the rain continues. We have felt it and tasted it on our parched tongues.
Yeshua is more than a theological theory for us. He is an experiential reality.
Wright describes it as being “aware of Jesus’ presence, his love, his guidance, his consolation, his rebuke, and even perhaps his laughter.”
Paul has the same idea when he says: But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. (1 Corinthians 2:14).
So are we making excuses? Are we saying that you cannot grasp Yeshua unless you believe in him? Not exactly. We are saying that if you will open your mind, if you will suspend disbelief long enough to think about it, you may hear his call. Until you have loved Yeshua, please don’t judge those of us who do as silly. We are not intoxicated with Marxian opiate. We just may be experiencing a connection across the boundary from the spatiotemporal world into a nonspatiotemporal world into which we have access and across which Yeshua is present with us.