Friday, November 09, 2007

First and Last Red Letters

How can we share Jesus' a single-minded devotion to the purpose of God? Clearly, he is impressive in his focused obedience to God's plan for his life. Even if he was not the Son of God, one would have to admit that his life is exemplary for his clarity of focus. So what factor(s) contributed to Jesus' uncanny ability toward a single-minded goal? One could, of course, point to dozens of attributes of Jesus, particularly with an idealized portrait of omniscience, omnipotence, and a number of other Docetic attributes of a superhuman untouched be mortal limitations. However, Jesus lived with real pressures and temptations as part of his self-imposed limitations of incarnation. That being said, what can be said about his peculiarly focused life? For the time being, we can focus merely on two texts from one author. Luke provides us with the very first and the very last red letters of Jesus' earthly life. In Luke 2:49, the pubescent 'run-away' retorted to his mother's impassioned rebuke, "Why were you searching for me? Didn't you know I had to be about my Father's business?" [Some versions will translate: "In my Father's House."] Then Luke 23:46 offers the other book-end of Jesus-speak from the cross: "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." These two form a fascinating inclusio. Both offer two striking characteristics of Jesus that really speak to the question of his single-minded focus. First, both of them indicate Jesus' self-abnegation under the shadow of his absolute theism. He was so convinced that God would care for him that he willingly poured out his own life in self-less service to Yahweh. Second, as was his habit, he addressed Yahweh as "Father," fully persuaded that his great God would care tenderly and intimately for his needs. If we have those two tandem commitments—self-abnegation and the goodness of Father-God—then our lives will display incredible focus of purpose and energy.


Blogger Tim said...


November 28, 2007 at 11:42 AM  

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