not an afterthought

In reading John this morning, I began to wonder what it must have been like for Jesus to have operated within the confines of time. Imagine how he must have felt speaking to the disciples and releasing the very oracles of God that had been true since far beyond the spectrum of human existance in both directions. What he said, he prophesied into the future...at the same time laying the truth on what we would call the past. He who always was, saying things that always were, to people who think that reality exists only in the now.

For instance, in John 10, He tells the parable of the sheep fold - with Himself playing a myriad of characters ("I am the shepherd. I am the gate.") I always imagine Peter and James talking later - "I can't remember now, is He the shepherd or the gate? And who's the hinge?. In that setting, describing His love for the human race, He speaks what was always true yet at this point incomprehensible to his followers:

John 10:16
"I have other sheep , which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

"Other sheep?" John no doubt wondered. Judas rolled his eyes. He was already getting fed up. Luke rubbed his goatee and nodded, pretending to understand. In their hearts, they had no clue what he was talking about. Other sheep not of this fold? Aliens? What?

He was speaking of you and I - Gentiles who, even then - long before Peter's vision - were close to the heart of God and a part of His grand plan for the world. Even then...He had other sheep on His mind and heart. How strange it must have been for Him to speak what had always been true and have it received as if He just thought of it that moment.

We are guilty of the sin of superimposing the grid of time upon the grand story of Jesus. In making it about the now and then, we lose the mystery of it being about now and forever. For forever He has loved us. Forever He has known us. Even if we're just meeting Him now.

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