Night-Whisper | FOCUS
Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. NKJV
I remember that my wife and two children had finished off the little we had and now there was no food in the cupboard. The last jar of apple sauce was consumed the previous day and so I had returned to the after lunch ‘work detail’ hungry. Even today, in slow motion footage, I can picture one of my portly fellow Missionary training students titling back his big fat head, the afternoon sun, like a holy halo, highlighting his fat tubby cheeks hanging around his enormous bonce as he chomped into a chocolate bar after already filling his gigantic face in his apartment. “Even on the mission field,” said the foreign Missions instructor, “You will find first-world missionaries and third-world missionaries all working together, their support channels separate and consequently their standard of living together being of great disparity. Get used to it.” Was God trying to teach me a lesson here?
I later remember visiting a church in London which long time back had been the daughter church of a richer Evangelical Anglican church. It was built to ensure that the lower class Christians had somewhere they could go and be together rather than mix with the upper class intellectual elite of the same Parish. In parts of that same city today, poorer Christians get their lunch from food banks, whilst the richer London Christians holiday in Lanzarote. It would appear that the early church’s first attempt at a Biblical commonality of goods and family failed abysmally before the allure of mammon, prestige and family prosperity. Meanwhile, a Christian on the African continent has had his daughter stolen into sexual slavery by Muslim extremists, whilst at the same time a middle class Christian in ‘somewhere suburbia’ is selling his own daughter into the Private boarding school system to ensure she receives the best education, to get a great paying job, good position in society and a rich understanding significant other.
It is atheist activist Richard Cevantis Carrier, leading proponent of the present manifestation of ‘The Jesus myth theory’ (which is the proposition that Jesus of Nazareth never really existed, or if He did, He had virtually nothing to do with the founding of Christianity) that speaks about the fact Jesus never mentioned germs. No more than that, says Carrier, Jesus even allowed His disciples to eat without washing their hands! Where simple hygiene could have saved millions of lives, Carriers points out that, “if Jesus was a loving deity, then He would have attended to simple hygiene.”
Now it’s fair to say that Jesus never spoke about the sterilization of implements, or how to secure fresh water supplies. He never taught how to knit mosquitoes nets, produce anesthetics, nor gave lessons in flossing to maintain good dental hygiene. Jesus left no ingredient list for pain killers, nor gave advice on crop rotations. He set up no political party, never taught on the fairness of democracy, the extremities of selfish capitalism and the dangers of socialism gone wild. He gave no lessons on healthy eating, and frankly, had the worst and weirdest record on money management ever recorded and His pension planning was not only non-existent, but it was a crime. Quite frankly, Jesus left undone a hundred thousand others things besides, which, over the last two thousand years since Jesus walked the earth, man has discovered for himself and by his own perseverant grip has applied to humanities greater global good, and in the so doing has much decreased infant mortality rates whilst increasing cancer survival rates. (Though to be sure, man’s global mortality rate is still 100% and by the way, that terrible and obvious fact is still worthy of note. All men still die.)
Let’s face the fact that there us much of benefit to humanity which has yet to be discovered which God has never told us about, indeed, what we consider to be of enormous and obvious benefit to mankind, even in the simple alleviation of humanities suffering whilst on earth, Jesus never went near and God’s word, the Bible, is totally silent about.
In addition this this, it seems that God does not apply His ideas of social justice, that is for man to do, and in the meantime suffer at the lack of its right application. God it seems, can live with cancer, hunger, murder, rape, abuse, greed, disparity, deprivation, drug abuse, downed aircraft, burning boats, crumpled blood filled car wrecks, and observe ten thousand other evils besides all this, and still sit back beholding and doing nothing. Yes, it would appear that Almighty God cares little for this sad little planet and the transient passing of this world of warts. So then Carriers is correct in that Jesus never taught about simple hygiene, even though He knew germs existed.
Jesus is no myth. Germs exist and so does Jesus the Creator of all things, including what we call ‘germs.’ His main focus, both then and now’ was not to improve the health, bank accounts, social justice, or the political landscapes of the nations of the world, but rather it was to deal with the main cause of the whole calamitous infection of sin and its enormous eternal consequences.
Our total being, this body of ours, this planet, our political institutions, even the true church militant, is all corrupted by sin. It is in a state of death and eternal death at that. It is winding down. Indeed, may I remind you that the widow’s son in Nain, the Synagogue ruler’s little girl, and even His good friend Lazarus, who were all raised from the dead remember, still later died. Indeed, they had the privilege of dying twice, which, quite frankly, cannot have been that nice.
Our political situations cannot be made perfect, we need an Almighty and all good, ruling Sovereign King to come and rule us. This body cannot be fixed, we need a new one. This planet cannot be fixed, we need a new one. This universe cannot be mended, we need new one. Therefore the focus of Jesus was on the one main thing. The removal of sin and all its calamitous consequences! On Calvary’s cross, He died for our sins and dealt with the problem and consequences of sin once and for all. The process of that redemption, paid for and made on Calvary’s cross, is well under way, BUT IT IS NOT TO IMPROVE OUR LOT HERE ON EARTH! No, it is not to put a plaster on an open bleeding tumor, but rather, it is to redeem the whole damned lot! (And I use that word advisedly.)
The comfort of Christians is for them to look for a new heaven and a new earth. The command to Christians is to preach the Gospel which deals with the main thing, sin! All else, be it ever so laudable, is, in comparison, a side show, a simple washing of dirty and germ laden hands. Look friends, we live in a world of unfix-able despair and disparity, this is fact! For despite our thousands of years of self-improvement the mortality rate of mankind is still 100%. For as in Adam, all die.
In my opinion and observation, it is the church who has been most active in alleviating human suffering of every kind and I am not suggesting this should cease. However, I am suggesting that this too has been our downfall for we have moved our focus from the most important thing of all, which is the preaching of the everlasting Gospel to save people from the consequences, penalty, power and presence of sin. I wonder then, that if it comes to either focusing on germs or Jesus, that the church needs to get back to Jesus.
Listen: But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up — if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:13-22 NKJV)
Pray: Lord, help us Your church to get back to the one main and most important thing. Give us a glimpse of eternity Oh God, that we might be tilted back in this primary direction of preaching the Gospel. Amen, and let it be so.