Humble Wisdom

John 9:35-41

“He answered and said, “Who is he Lord, that I might believe on him?”
“And Jesus said unto him, “Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.”

Jesus is so humble here. He is not speaking of himself, Jesus; he is indirectly referring to the manifestation of Christ as the reflection of God within him. This is what it means to have discovered divinity within your very center, and to speak from this place without your own ego attached.

I reflected on the fact that it is possible we could all speak from this place – the place where light gathers within us. Jesus did this so amazingly – but I sense we could all do this to some degree. What would it look/sound like? Likely you are already hearing this voice. In my experience I hear this voice speaking through many different voices – from children, from innocents, from the wise, and from people who love me. When I hear this voice something deep within me is touched, stroked, and nurtured. It is like what happens when we hear poetry that just seems to touch our hearts, or a message that “speaks to our condition.” Maybe we even hear this voice of God within ourselves, the “still small voice”, that sometimes we honor and let rise to the place of speaking, but we aren’t quite sure why or for whom we are even verbalizing these thoughts that bubbled up within us. If we move through our lives letting the God within us speak up more often, how would it change things? What effect would this have on our relationships, on reducing suffering through compassion, and on the choices we make?

And Jesus said, “For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind” John 9:39

I read that the word judgment here could also be thought of as divine intelligence, rather than the usual meaning for judgment as condemnation. For me, this changes the possible meaning of this scripture dramatically. With divine intelligence, Jesus Christ is the manifestation of the wisdom of God. He teaches from this deep wellspring of wisdom intelligence those who are spiritually ignorant (blind) but who want to know and perceive the truth. Likewise, with his humbleness and his divine wisdom, Jesus reveals the blindness of the worldly wise who think they know the truth but who do not embody this truth. Those who receive this wisdom teaching but do not accept it remain in “self perpetuated dark delusion,” or sin.

This sounds so black and white (pun, anyone?) to me – you see and know, or you think you see but you really don’t know. I really perceive this is more like a continuum, as Larry and I discussed earlier. For me, I seem to always be moving back and forth feeling like I am blind, in that I can’t understand, or I can’t feel God’s presence, and then in another circumstance I realize that I do See to some degree here and there, and in this Seeing I am inspired and enlightened. Then, for whatever reason – a different day and a different time, I don’t see as well as I wish I could. However, once having the experience of seeing and knowing, I have never felt like I slipped back into total darkness again.

With all this talk about blindness and seeing, I think of Crystal, and her visual challenges. My heart goes out to you, Friend. But in this discussion, clearly it is not eyesight that we speak of – it is the knowing and experience of God. And in this, perhaps at times your vision may be “Crystal clear.”

Blessings dear Friends.


10 responses

  1. What a simple, yet powerful concept — the idea of judgment as divine intelligence, perhaps even a sort of discernment. Wouldn’t it be funny if the ideas of tribulation and judgment are not about an angry God punishing sinners, but rather about our inner struggles in this life to try to discern the right path.

  2. In fact Marjorie — I think they are. There is a tradition going back hundreds of years which included early Friends that the bible story from creation to Revelation is also the story of our individual souls.

  3. You’re right on, Marjorie. The word judgment is so loaded with ugly connotations that millions have fled from Christianity because of it.God’s judgments are all beneficent. They were misused, especially in the O.T. by misguided writers who had a dim vision of God. Through the centuries it grew brighter to eventuate in that of Jesus, and as Meredith has so beautifully intimated here, in us.Soon we will read that Jesus tells the disciples [us] that they will do greater things than he did. Paul speaks of “Christ in you”, the hope of glory.

  4. Meredith: certainly thsi sis oemthing I struggle with. Your witness to the Chrsit Spirit speaking within each of us with the clarity it spoke from Jesus attracts me greatly. And yet the orthodox Chrsitian teaching that Jesus was divine is a special way that we are not remains with me. I struggle to reconcile them. But I know in the end the reconciliation will not a logical or philosphical or even theological reconciliation. I must know it in my spirit.Not there yet. On the path (perhaps) (I hope).

  5. David, I hear you. I was on the path many, many years before it became clear to me that Jesus is my brother. At that point he became much more real than he had been heretofore.”Brethren, even now are we sons of God” “Why call ye me good; there’s none good but God.”I’ve noticed that Paul always used phrases separating God from Our Lord: Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;I realize that these verses mean different things to different people, but maybe the best “Henceforth I call ye not servants, but friends.”I am convinced that your journey is coming along wonderfully, wherever it may lead.

  6. Hi MeredithMy heart goes out to you, Friend.. …….. thank you, that’s very kind :-).I wonder too how to tell about that inner voice of the holy spirit. Ignatius of Loyola has some rules in his Spiritul Exercises that are supposed to help one discern what promptings are from the good spirit but I still have trouble figuring it out.

  7. Crystal asks, with all sincerity, how to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit. I can only answer from my experience – which may not match others. For me, in silent worship whether in Meeting or alone, when I center on a thought that is particularly strong, that just won’t go away during or even after my silence, and if I feel my heart surge with a little more adrenalin, and the message seems uplifting, insightful, compassionate, to bring peace or understanding, then I feel assured it is the voice or intention or presence of the Holy Spirit. It really doesn’t feel mysterious or complicated to me anymore – I seemed to more readily attune to this voice and presence than I used to.When I am with another person, and I am touched by a look, an expression, a shared experience or meaningful personal story, I feel a strong and deep inter-connection develop. With this a warmth begins to well up and radiate from me, and I feel as though I am in the presence of God. In this, I feel a sense of peace and calm fearlessness. An opening sensation expands in my chest or my heart, and loving kindness is conveyed in my speech and in my intentions. I believe strongly that this is how the Spirit works through us. Likely it is going on often, but we have not given words to it. I’d love to hear what others say about this query.

  8. How neat – your description of how to tell about the holy spirit is a more elegent version of what Ignatius seems to say 🙂 … … consolation (the action of the good spirit) is every increase of faith, hope, and love and all interior joy that invites and attracts to what is heavenly and to the salvation of one’s soul by filling it with peace and quiet in its Creator and Lord.

  9. Discernment.In M4W it is a physical sensation — a force come upon me. I my daily life discernment is much more difficult. I look for coherence with what I already know of the spirit’s work in me and in others. I look to way opening — a sign that providence or the wisdom of another whose judgment I respect — supports the leading.At its heart — I believe we sometimes cannot know that it was God talking until after the fact. Faith sometimes requires risk.

  10. I just noticed — Meredith made a pun — Crystal clear!

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