Writing over at The Glorious Table today with a mashup of Jesus and Sherlock Holmes. Start with a preview here or click this link for the full post. Enjoy!
I’m a big fan of Sherlock Holmes. I first fell in love with the series in an unconventional place, when Data from Star Trek solved mysteries on the holodeck of the Starship Enterprise (catching my geeky vibes yet?). I was then later enthralled, shocked, and thoroughly amused by the more modern version starring the ever-quirky and entertaining Robert Downey, Jr.
Given the long-standing popularity of the series (it first started in 1887!), it seems mysteries are beloved by many. I find that interesting since most of us are really not a fan of suspense in our own lives. I guess it feels okay to sit in the unknown when you are watching it play out for someone else—and when it wraps up by the end of a feature-length movie.
In all the time I’ve spent watching Sherlock Holmes, very rarely can I figure out the answers ahead of time (the goal of a mystery). Usually, it develops over the course of the story, with bits and pieces of evidence coming together as we go along. Of course, I love it at the end when all comes clear and I can finally say, “Of course! I can see it all now!” That space is so much more comfortable than the suspense of the unknown.
The suspense of the unknown. Anybody recognize their walk with Jesus in that phrase? I imagine so. We sure do prefer when we can see what he’s up to rather than living in uncertainty.
In our own stories, occasionally God is super clear. Other times, we only get bits and pieces of information until he reveals the ending. I have no idea why he chooses one way over another, but I think it’s fun to look at the different options. Below are just two examples of his strategies from the very end of his time here on earth.
When Jesus Was Crystal Clear
Now Thomas (also known as Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:25-29 NIV)
Just as he was with Thomas, sometimes Jesus is super clear with us. These are rare, merciful times when he lets us see and feel exactly what he is up to. At these times, we exclaim like Thomas that he is so clearly our Lord and our God. These times when he is so viscerally real to us are precious.
When Jesus Let the Story Develop
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