There are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books which were written. John 21:25
Would Not Contain – You have been reduced. No, sorry, don’t run to the bathroom scales to see if you supernaturally lost weight. It’s not that kind of reduction. What I mean is that your communication has been stripped of its richness. Today, if you can’t say it in 140 characters in a text message, then you don’t get heard. Today we have five second sound bites, one minute solutions and fast-food everything. There is no time to savor the wine. There’s too much to do (but does it really matter?).
We have often noticed that God’s view of the world is upside-down. What God values is often found on our “reject” list. God looks for humility; we want glory. God favors the oppressed; we favor the victors. God loves the sick; we love the healthy. So it is with communication. God longs for leisurely conversation. We want text-message theology. The apostle John notes that if we really wrote in detail all the things that Jesus did, we would have many, many books. Of course, John uses a hyperbole, but his point is obvious. There is a lot of material. It’s not reducible to 140 characters, a four-page tract or a quick prayer. A relationship with God takes a lifetime to experience and enjoy.
John uses the Greek choreo. It means “to make room for, to give place to.” Combined with the negative oude (not even), John suggests that there is not even enough room in all the earth. Jesus did more, said more and taught more than John is able to record in just these few chapters. The divine conversation is much, much bigger than John can write down.
Isn’t that the kind of communication we really want? Doesn’t it frighten you to learn that parents in America spend less than ten minutes a day in conversation with their children? If we are so disconnected from the animated bodies that inhabit our own living rooms and kitchens, how can we imagine that we have a deep and viable experience with the invisible God? If our world is slowly being stripped of its tone, expression, mood and non-verbal engagement as it progresses toward distilled text-message pseudo-relationships, how can we imagine that this doesn’t affect our interaction with God? While we are being choked to death with trivia, the value of our communication is being reduced to characters on a cell phone keypad.
Did you notice that Jesus was never in a hurry? Have you ever wondered why? Do you realize that God never rushed anything, especially His judgment? Have you ever considered what would have happened if God reduced His communication to us into 140-character electronic burps? Aren’t you thankful that God spends His time (the most valuable time in the universe) taking us by the hand and whispering in our ears?
In God’s upside-down world, communication takes on a very different sound, look and feel. Maybe it’s time to adjust to God’s way.
Topical Index: Communication