This morning I’m in a Japanese restaurant overlooking the city of Ome (O-may), sipping grapefruit juice and roasted tea. My daughter-in-law and a woman from her Bible study are in the onsen (hot springs bath). I’m waiting here to join them for lunch. Waiting is a form of luxury for me IF I have my Bible and computer at hand. I am reading in Luke. What I read this morning slowed me way down. Jesus is speaking to His disciples:
“‘Let these words sink into your ears; The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.’ But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And the were afraid to ask Him about this saying” (Mark 9:44,45).
I prayed, Lord, may Your words sink into my ears. And into my mind, into my heart, into my will.
The words He wanted to sink deep into their ears were hard words to receive. Confusing words. Unthinkable words. What could He mean? “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.” These words do not fit their current and growing understanding of who Jesus is and what He is about. Jesus asks them to take in these words, to set them in their ears, even though they are kept from understanding them. He wants them to hold this saying in their minds for another time, a time when He will open their minds to understand.
I tuck verses away, too. Verses I that can’t get my mind around. I set them in my ear acknowledging that I’m still wandering on the edges of the riches embedded there. The words live as embryos, developing out of sight, waiting on revelation to come to birth. I need this reminder: I must wait on revelation. I can pray and study, but understanding comes from God in His timing. The Holy Spirit is our Instructor Who unfolds truth to us over time. Layer upon layer. There is always more. God breathes His eternal, holy, infinite Word into our ear (a glory beyond the human mind) and, then reveals long hidden truths to us (a grace unimaginable).
What’s in your ear? Live the mystery.