Too Good to be True!


Thursday after Epiphany

1John 4: 19 – 5: 4; Luke 4: 14-22

Dc. Larry Brockman

“Too good to believe”.  That would have been my reaction if I were in the crowd in that Synagogue.  Just imagine the situation.  This assembly right here is a group of folks who largely know each other.  This is the same as the Gospel writer infers about the people in Jesus Synagogue.  So just suppose one of the people in this congregation right here, perhaps our Reader this morning, stands up, and reads the scripture; and then, as he takes his seat, says: “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing”.  Can you imagine looking at the reader with the new-found knowledge that he claims to be Almighty God incarnate?  The cynics in our assembly would say, “Oh yeah, sure”; the real believers would be in shock; but I just went on record with a different response: “Too good to believe”. 

I say that because God becoming man, the incarnation is, in fact, too good to believe at first blush.  But, sitting here 2000 years later, that is precisely the essence of our faith- that Jesus was, is, both God and man. 

Now the image that I just tried to put in your mind, that is, what it would be like if this reading had been fulfilled today in your hearing, brings into focus a challenge and a reward.  The challenge is your ability to believe, your faith. because the incarnation is not something that makes sense when you try to comprehend its details.  The more you reason about the details, the harder it is to believe it.  It just has to be accepted on faith.  And faith is believing in something that can’t be proven.  The image of “one of our own” makes it so very clear.  We just have to believe it.  Once we accept that “faith” is the key, then we can reap the reward.  And the reward is the almost incomprehensible joy associated with a complete acceptance of the Incarnation.  It is the knowledge that God loved us so much that he sent His Son to become one of us, and that he did all those things in the Isaiah prophecy for us.  We have been set free, we have been saved.  That is the real joy of Christmas.  Rejoice, because it’s almost too good to be true. 

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