At Face Value
Then He also said to the multitudes, “Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time? Luke 12:54-56 (NKJV)
As in many occasions when speaking to the religious leaders of his day, Jesus described them as hypocrites. In this passage, the word for hypocrite actually means “accepter of faces.” He was pointing out that they looked at the face of things, but did not go beyond that. In essence, He was saying they were shallow and undiscerning. They could look at the clouds and logically conclude that it was going to rain, but they could not identify the Creator of the Universe when He was standing right in front of them. And the reason was that they did not go beyond the face, or surface, of the scriptures which clearly described Him. They took the law only at face value and saw it as a list of rules to keep, rather than a message from the God who longed to dwell with them. Their religious tradition was lifeless because they had no spiritual depth, and they missed the point entirely.
I wonder how much we do the same thing. Do we take things only at face value, or do we search out the deeper meaning of His Word? Do we look for the hidden treasures in the scriptures that He has placed there as precious gifts for us to find, or do we content ourselves with skimming the surface? Do we see the confirmations of His love that He has liberally poured out in our lives, or do we look at those daily supernatural events as coincidence? Are we really living the Christian life, or are we just going through the motions? Are we simply accepters of faces?
There will be some who might read this and think that the way of living that I am promoting is fanatical and overboard. Some would say that God should have a place in our lives, but there should be a limit as to how far we take this salvation thing. Others would say that we should leave the deep theological studies to Bible scholars. That, my friend, is not what Jesus died for. It is God’s desire that we dive into the deepest depths of His Word, because it is there that we find Him. When we immerse ourselves in the scriptures, we immerse ourselves in Him. And that is when revelation, wisdom, and ability are deposited in us, empowering us to overcome.
I challenge you to reflect on the depth of your walk with God. Could your relationship with Him and His Word be deeper? Could your love for Him become more genuine? If so, do something about it- not for His sake, but for yours.