Comprehending Paper Cuts . . .

Pastor Jim Lee (SlimJim) commented on one of my posts about John 17 and it got me to thinking. I was diagnosed with cancer about 20 years ago. I was told I had about a 17% chance of being alive in five years because it was an aggressive cancer. Obviously I was among that 17% because I am still here and still cancer free. The cancer was removed and I did not even need to have radiation therapy because it had not spread. Tell me that God’s grace isn’t a wonderful thing!

But I do know first hand what a diagnosis like that does to one’s mind. I do know the thoughts that can come from within. One of the things that always impresses me about Jesus during His ministry was the manner in which He spoke of His “time”. Jesus was and is fully human and fully divine. He knew what was waiting for Him at the end of His ministry, right from the beginning of His ministry. He is the “good shepherd” who lays down His life for His sheep. Jesus frequently tells His disciples that His “time” is not yet, at the beginning and throughout the duration of His ministry, until that “time” approaches and finally is, where Jesus prays to His and our Father, as recorded in John 17.

Jesus knew the pain and suffering that was waiting for Him and because Jesus was fully human, but without sin, one can only imagine the thoughts that went through His mind. We are given a glimpse of that reality that Jesus knew He would face, when Jesus prayed to the Father, that if there was any other way, this cup could be taken from Him, but as Jesus concluded, “Not my will but Your will be done” (Luke 22:42). And then we have the prayer that Jesus prayed to His and our Father as John records it, in chapter 17. This is where both the human and divine aspect of Jesus is manifested because Jesus clearly articulated His presence with the Father before the world had even come into being (John 17:5). That’s just one of literally hundreds of statements that Jesus makes, as recorded in the four Gospels, that convinces me that Jesus is exactly who He said He was and is. J Warner Wallace calls it “death by a thousand paper cuts”

There are a lot of things that I do not know or fully comprehend, but knowing who Jesus is, is not one of them. There are just too many of those “paper cuts” that I cannot ignore and on top of that, I know what Jesus has done to my heart. I know first hand, of the grace that He has shown me, time and time again, even to this very day. Yes, I still have problems balancing it all, I still am so very far away from being Holy like God is Holy, but I have His word, that I am His and that because of God’s love, His righteousness is imputed to me, even now, while I linger in this flesh. And I am not alone because our precious Lord has many sheep.

And those “paper cuts” just keep popping up all over the place! I commented to SlimJim about John writing down that prayer that Jesus said to His and our Father, as recorded in John 17. “And then, the Apostle John got to write them down. Imagine hearing Jesus say that prayer and then years later, writing it down. That in itself is another miracle, but in accordance with how Jesus foretold that God’s Holy Spirit would bring to their remembrance all that Jesus had spoken.” That would be in John 14:26. How many times do we read words in the New Testament and go right over them without thinking about what has just been witnessed to us. Could you remember the words that Jesus spoke years later? I know I couldn’t, but there in John 17 we have the dialogue recorded. How did Jesus know that would happen, if He was not who He said He was? And how could John remember, if not reminded by God’s Holy Spirit?

And then of course, we have the actual words that Jesus uttered in John 17. I mentioned to SlimJim that I knew I could have spent months just going over those words. Either Jesus was exactly who He said He was or we are talking about someone who is truly delusional. But do delusional people heal people? Do delusional people calm storms at sea and walk on water? Do delusional people consistently utter objective truths pertaining to justice, mercy, forgiveness and righteous judgement? And, when is the last time that you remember a delusional person that rose from the dead after three days? And no, I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. “Death by a 1000 paper cuts” is not an understatement!

Read John 17 again, word for word, line by line, and begin, just begin to comprehend what paper cuts lay before you!

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

20 comments

  1. Amen! I too am far from being holy as God is. But each day God shows me His grace and faithfulness and I know whom I have believed; Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, our Lord and Savior. Blessed be His name from everlasting to everlasting. 🙌

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  2. It’s easy enough to ignore the gospel, especially so when one doesn’t want their evil deeds exposed. It’s much harder to tune out a personal testimony of a satisfied customer who has actually tried the product. For some reason your post made me think of Peter preaching to a crowd on the day of Pentecost. Here was this uneducated fisherman boldly preaching about the resurrection of Christ. And all these years later regular folks like us are doing the same. Blessings!

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      • My husband is doing good, overall. His 44 radiation treatments seem to have gotten rid of the cancer, and his heart issue appears to be minor, so his cardiac doctor has approved him for surgery on his spine to repair the damaged discs that are giving him so much pain and keeping him awake at night. Now we are waiting for the surgery to be scheduled… and I am trying not to worry about the surgery. I keep asking God to heal my husband without the surgical procedure, but so far that hasn’t happened.

        As the saying goes, getting older isn’t for sissies. Thank the Lord for His promise to see us through. The Lord is my Shepherd. Praise God!

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  3. Wow, Bruce! That diagnosis had to have thrown you for a mile-wide loop. Glad you’re still with us. Good post. Yes, Jesus is quite familiar with our sufferings.

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  4. Bruce you are an inspiration! I didn’t realise cancer has been part of your journey. Praise God for your healing! I love what you say “I know what Jesus has done to my heart” amen THAT is irrefutable. May He continue to use your writing mightily!

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    • Thanks Annie, me too. I’m not so sure about the “what God wants to say through me” aspect though, considering the sheer amount of grace He has given me over so many years, I’m thinking there is an element of my slow learner attributes that is a factor. 🙂 Blessings!

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