Why do some people make things harder than they have to be? I guess I'm just too simple in my lines of thought. I've been called a "big picture" kind of guy. And there is some truth to this allegation. Quite frankly, I don't feel the need to know what makes my heart beat in order to be passionate about the need of it continuing to do so. If this is big picture, then so be it!
I spoke with a young lady last night about her desire to be baptized. She and a couple of friends had come to me saying she wanted to talk about it and asked if I would take a moment for them. For those of you who know me, the world could have been burning down and I would have given her whatever time she needed. Big decision...big commitment...all fueled by simple faith.
All of my life, I've heard discussion concerning what a person needs to "know" in order to begin their walk with the Lord. In all honesty, I've heard some pretty absurd stuff. However, scripture describes this process as a rebirth. (John 3) This implies that a new disciple is much like a newborn baby.
To quote Forrest Gump, "I don't remember much about being born..." When we are born, all we know is what warm is, what dark is, and what full is. That's pretty much it. Try describing a sunset over an oak tree, or the beauty of the Pacific Ocean to the unborn. You will be wasting your time. So why do we attempt to discuss deep Christology, Theology, and Eschatology to the un-reborn? Is that not just as absurd? You see, the un-reborn cannot grasp these lines of thought. Truth is, most of the "born again" consistently struggle with them.
So, what is "warm, dark, and full" to the un-reborn? What should they know in order to pass through the re-birth canal? In Matthew 16, Jesus asks the question, "who do men say that I am?" For those familiar with this passage, you know that the disciples answer, "some say Elijah, some John the Baptist, others one of the prophets." Then comes the re-birth question. The one where the proverbial rubber meets the road..."who do you say that I am?"
Maybe I'm just a big picture kind of guy, but the gospels make it pretty obvious to me that in order to follow Jesus, you don't need special deep knowledge...you need simple faith. The journey begins by answering the question of who you think Jesus to be...the son of God?...the forgiver of my sins?...pretty simple stuff.
I used to have a sign in my office that read "Eschew Obfuscation." Two hundred-dollar words with a simple thought..."avoid making things difficult to understand."
Bottom line, simply answering the question "who do you believe that I am" is the seed of thought that fuels the beginning of our journey with Him...and is probably a good question with which to begin each day.