I like that truism from years past: “My mind’s made up; don’t confuse me with facts.” It really is a great example of truth-seeking versus self-seeking, because let’s face it, truth can be downright painful!
But then, so is a surgeon’s knife…
At this writing, I’m coming upon the one-year anniversary of my emergency appendectomy. We were on vacation with Bob’s whole family (and ours!) in a house ten thousand feet up the mountain in another state. Having “caught” a few of these cases through my office as a school nurse, I was certain that it was not my appendix, and I should know, right?
I have since adapted Tony Bennett’s immortal tune to read I Left My Appendix in Cedar City, Utah. (Doesn’t have quite the same crooner style to it.)
I was dumbfounded, completely caught off guard by the facts! But if I had ignored the doctor’s expert advice, I would not be here today to write this.
Unfortunately, we humans are quite prone to doing this in many ways, the most dangerous being those things which concern eternity. Our mortality is not a comfortable subject; even less so our moral state of preparation for it.
So I like Peter’s (typical) boldfaced reply to the religious leaders’ questions about how a lame man was now “walking and leaping and praising God”.
“Do you want to know how he was healed?”
Do you REALLY want to know? Do you really WANT to know? Do you really want to KNOW? I wonder if Peter emphasized any particular word in his responding question; either way, it was incredibly insightful, since he cuts through the insincerity to the true heart of the matter (which is usually insincerity…) Of course, our protagonist wisely doesn’t bother to give them time to answer before he lets it hit the fan, so to speak:
“Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene,the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead.”
Peter looks them eye to eye as he thrusts the surgeon’s scalpel deep into their infected thinking. He cuts through the Pharisees’ self-seeking foundation of falsehood and pride to the truth-seeking power of spiritual reality.
From there, Peter is on a trajectory where there is no going back. Nor does he want to. As he told the Lord Jesus when all the self-seekers were giving up,
“Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.”
Self-seeking for my own comfort, clinging to my own thoughts and ideas? Or truth-seeking, even in the face of deep discomfort and time-consuming recovery?
I’m thankful I chose the doctor’s opinion over my own.
Acts 4:9,10; John 6:68,69 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.