You will search for me but not find me. And you won’t be able to come where I am.
As human beings our natural tendency is to put God in a neat and tidy package. Oh sure, we will concede that He is omnipotent and the Creator, so there is an element of being powerful and all that goes along with that. But do we really give Him the space to move in unexpected ways? Or do we rely on preconceived notions based on the traditions of men?
It seems that many people in Jesus’ day felt that way. Some of the authorities could not understand how He could teach without formal rabbinic training (Jn. 7:15). Others interpreted His spiritual insights as having been demonically inspired (v.20). And some disputed His credentials based on ungrounded religious traditions (v. 27). Their expectations of the Messiah truly did not match the One standing before them.
Yet had they set aside their restrictive perspectives and sought to understand Him genuinely, it is likely they would have concluded otherwise. They would have witnessed firsthand the intimate relationship between the Son and the Father (v. 16). They would have acknowledged the good and miraculous works He did within the community (v. 21) and recognized His calling to bless the world (vv. 33-35). To those who rejected these things Jesus had a somber warning: “you will search for me but not find me.”
Such is the tragedy of searching for God in ways that are restricted to the traditions of men that are susceptible to distortion. To find Him, we must allow Him the freedom to be Lord over all things, while remaining consistent with the principles He has established in Scripture. For it is in this way that we declare our submission to His sovereignty over us.
Lord, teach me how set aside my limitations and to know you for whom you truly are.
Dialog discuss: Understand where I been, but respect were I am going. All food stamps ever did was make me hungry for change. Britney Wilson Urban Word Teen Poetry Slam Finals 2008.