Unfolding Mysteries

...and some unfolding knowledge

Mysteries require focus

Jesus told us that one of the most important responsibilities of the Holy Spirit, is to take the words that Jesus spoke and make them relevant to us. He would reveal the spiritual lessons through relationship and experience.

The Apostle Paul said, ”In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus Himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give, than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35)

You might ask, “…when did Jesus say that?”

Many sayings were part of what theologians call the oral tradition of Jesus’  teaching ministry. Paul alludes to this by saying “remembering the words the Lord Jesus, Himself said”. I believe there were many words spoken by Jesus that were not written down in the Gospels. The Holy Spirit can draw from these words and teach us things that expand our understanding of spiritual truth. The above passage is a great example of this principle, yet we would never want to miss Paul’s thoughts on the issue… its an unfolding mystery.

Allow the mysteries of the Kingdom to unfold in your heart.

Words that sit in the Spiritual realm are life imparting and do not have to be recorded in the Bible to be true. Even John admits that not everything Jesus did was written down. We must remain cautious of what we hear; but the mysteries of the Kingdom are unfolding even in our day, by way of the Spirit of wisdom and revelation.

“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (Jn 20:30-31 NIV)

The testing ground for this kind of revelation is important, because John said test every spirit (1 Jn 4:1) and Paul said test everything (1 Thes 5:21), because we want to hold to the truth. If it passes the test and is of God, then we would not want to miss the lesson, right? Here are the 2 criteria I use for judging oral tradition:

  1. Do the words confirm Truth consistant with the teaching ministry of Jesus?
  2. Do the words minister spiritual life to the hearer?

The Bible records that Paul knew Peter, and James personally (Acts 21:18 ), Paul stayed with Peter for fifteen days (Gal 1:18-19)(Gal 2:9). Paul also lived at a time when there were 500 eyewitnesses to the resurrection, most of whom were still living (1 Cor 15:5). He also spent time with Mark and Luke who wrote two of the Gospels (Acts 12:25) (2 Tim 4:11). So it is well within the thought patterns of most people to speak words about one another and third party individuals, like Jesus.

Amazingly we get to hear one of these comments from the pen of Luke as it was spoken by the Apostle Paul. The words most likely relate to Jesus’ teaching about how a generous person opens the door to increased blessing. Can you hear the heart of Jesus in the above teaching of Paul as we can hear it in the two passages in Luke’s Gospel?

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Lk 6:38)

“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.” (Lk 12:33)

No question Jesus would say to us, “Its better to give, than to receive.” What we must learn to wait upon, is the unfolding of the mystery. The Holy Spirit will release revelation and resources to be generous even in the midst of need. There is more than enough, if we will patiently rest in His promises.

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