Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Why Jesus Did Not Defend Himself
This morning, awoke with an understanding of why Jesus did not defend Himself.
Besides the theological answer that He was born to suffer and die for the salvation of mankind, there is this reality: He knew it was pointless to defend Himself. Jesus vaguely responded to questions of who He was: It is you who say that I am.
We read often enough in the Gospels that Jesus tried innumerable times to explain the spiritual life to not only the people round about Him, but also to His followers and disciples. They simply could not comprehend, in varying degrees of some understanding to none. Seems Jesus realized it was pointless to try to explain or make a defense when those who loved Him could not "get it".
What is the point of my coming to this understanding, of which I am not able to express all that well? It has to do with realizing that there is no point in trying to explain, repeatedly, or to justify, upon that which others have opined or made judgment. It becomes tedious to explain what some experience is like, over and over, or to then accept that it might be one thing, such as spiritual, only to have others decide it is not...when they are not in the experience.
However, the reaction, the response, needs to be a gentle laying down of my end of the rope. Perhaps even agree with the inquisitors and accusers, and then let them think and do as they will, for they are going to do that, anyway.
When some experience is beyond most persons' experiential reservoir, but these people have standards and tests by which they judge temporal experiences. They are incapable of accurately judging a non-temporal experience. So they resort to watching every little move or indicator of what they know in the known, and pit those against notions they have of the unknown, even though they have not experienced the unknown and rationalize paranormal experiences.
The result is that the person who experiences must consider Christ's position in a real and concrete sense, for His way of being and doing and speaking become all the more vital. Thus, to simply not try to explain any more, to be like the lamb led to the slaughter, or even to disappear from the scene (He walked through their midst...) become the necessarily learned reaction. It can be painful.
The pain is in the isolation and the acceptance that one is dehumanized, of sorts, and checks out of the game, so to speak, and simply allows those who seem caught up in forming opinions and making judgments, to form their opinions and make their judgments, even if incorrect. There comes that moment of reckoning: They are going to form the opinions and judgments regardless of what one says or does, unless the words or actions go against the opiners' and judges' mindsets, and then the opinions and judgments are even more negative.
Jesus walked through their midst time and again, until He finally was so out of their midst that He rose into the mists between earth and heaven, and allowed His humanity to be floated along like a balloon on a string, until they needled and pounced, so sure of the correctness of their opinions and judgments. Pilot did ask; but Jesus was already set in His mission and knew there was no sense in trying to defend Himself. He did repeat an explanation, but He knew the others were asking that which He had already explained. He spoke from the mists into their midst, but they were in the temporal midst so deeply that they could not see beyond themselves and their opinions and judgments.
This is the experience that may occur to those who remain in His love and are being conformed to Christ. What is surprising--even hard to take--is that the experiences of being conformed are so actual. They are meted out in current day and time and temporal means, and also knife into the body, mind, heart and soul. One is scourged, beaten, defamed, denounced, excluded, disallowed, and forgotten. In fact, they want the one who poses a conflict to their perceived temporal mindsets and norms, to voluntarily leave but cannot come right out and say so.
The one being dehumanized, who is being conformed to the image and likeness of Christ, must accept that he or she may not be handling it well at all. Did not Jesus agonize, as well? Yet it is best to comprehend that there is really no way out, no way back in, no turning around into welcomed acceptance. No, but there is a form of enlightenment and victory when one gently lays down the end of the rope, and says: It is as you say it is. It is you who say that I am....