Sometimes, when I imagine myself living at the time of Jesus, I see myself as part of the masses for which Jesus had so much compassion. I see myself as among those thousands who were drawn to hear the miraculous words and to witness the transforming healings that this 'unschooled' man offered as proof of His claim of deity. When I picture this, it is because I am remembering how very lowly I am, how I am so very often incapable of doing the simplest acts of righteousness.
But other times, when I picture this God-man in pastoral Yisrael, I see His eyes as fiery, burning into me and my fellow Pharisees. I see the hypocrisy in my heart, and I know that He does too. I see His words piercing me, ferreting out the lies of my own righteousness that I have fed everyone, including myself. And I feel the pang of His rejection of this deceitful heart. And just when I can bear it no more, I remember...
That I am already His.
I am His own.
Bought by His blood.
Declared eternally righteous because of the gift He bestowed.
How can such righteousness reside in one so very, very sinful? How can such vast Perfection and Holiness show love...and kindness...and mercy...and grace to one such as me? Because THAT is who He IS. It is His very nature, these things so wholly His character that it simply--though intentionally--overflows onto us. It wasn't because of who I was or who I would become; it wasn't what I could or would do that drew Him to me. It was simply, abundantly, unfathomably His loving grace that called me, "MINE."
I cannot put my brain around it today. But, it seems that since it is true, I'll have all eternity to plumb the depths of this kindness and sing the praises that I find there.
Oh may this simple, Pharisaical woman be...
To the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. --Ephesians 1:3-8, NIV