Our verse for today comes from John 8:49, ” Jesus answered, ‘I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me.’ “
When you, or perhaps I should just merely say I, look at a painting, there’s only going to be so much that I will see within it. Gazing at a work by Monet, or van Gogh, or Renoir, my capacity to absorb and appreciate all that is being expressed on that canvas is limited, to put it nicely. But my experience with the classics of 19th century Impressionism is light years beyond what I go through when staring at a piece of modern art. And you probably know the types that I’m talking about. Often the images include multiple faces, or portions of multiple faces, juxtaposed with disproportionate bodies, or placed alongside incongruous objects, full of an array of colors and unnatural expressions and poses. Or it could be those that simply look like a bunch of random shapes layered on top of each other, or dozens of various colors splattered all about. To the unappreciative eye of this beholder, there is no beauty there to be had. But it must be in there, somewhere, or else vast portions of humanity are collectively in on fooling themselves and us by producing and praising what they are claiming is lovely, all the while not believing what they’re saying. I guess it’s art, and there’s some beauty in there somewhere, but it looks like something completely different to me.
When Jesus debated the skeptics, He had to explain that what looked like demon possession to them was actually Jesus honoring God. Where they thought He was in service to Satan, Christ explained that He was doing the very work and will of God Almighty. Now, I don’t know if such a fine line truly exists, where the most pure and right thing to do could actually look like the works of the demonic. I would guess that’s entirely possible. But what I do know is that thinking that we are a God-fearing, Jesus-believing Christian does not guarantee that our actions honor Him. Every act of our will needs to be redeemed by Christ, and while there is full forgiveness, there is no blanket exoneration of our daily gripes because we are usually the person we need to be. It all needs to be surrendered to Him, and if that doesn’t look and feel familiar, then it’s still on your to-do list.
As we seek Him today, concentrate on concentrating on Jesus and His glory and honor. Let that help you manage your day.