2:39 "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
I already knew two days ago that this verse would be a stand alone verse needing it's own day. However I did not expect it to be as full of light and meaning as what I am now seeing. The Promise is His Spirit. In chapter one He was promised to the relatively small group of followers who watched Jesus ascend into the heavens. Now ten days later He is being promised to the listening crowd, their children meaning their descendants, and "all those who are afar off".
That's the part God is impressing on my mind this morning. It's like He was asking me "Dan do you know who they are? Do you know what that means - afar off?"
Far can mean many things. It can be distance. Much of my family lives afar off. It can be time. The more eagerly we are waiting for something to happen the more "afar off" it feels. It can be much deeper than simple matters of time and space though. A couple can be living in the same house and sleeping in the same bed. They can be linked together day after day by both time and space and yet be "afar off" from each other. You see "afar off" can mean many things.
Here is another kind of "afar off". The disciples were linked to Jesus by time and space. They also loved Him very much. Neither time, space, nor emotion/relationship separated them. That being the case, how is it that they were so unprepared for His death to the degree that the events leading up to it virtually severed their connection to Him? How could such a strong healthy bond disintegrate so quickly? How could men so close in time, space, and emotion be ripped apart so easily?
I was not ready for this revelation this morning. At least I don't feel ready. There is another kind of "afar off". It is the distance or closeness of truth. Truth unites and divides depending on where we stand in relation to it. The truth was that Jesus came to die. He was the Lamb slain "from the foundation of the world". It was a truth the disciples refused to even consider. Their blindness to that truth, their refusal to even consider its possibility became a wall, a barrier, a chasm between them and Christ. Those not united in and by Truth will eventually find themselves "afar off" no matter how close in time, space, or emotion.
Yet the Promise is for them. For the Spirit, the Comforter, the Helper will lead us and guide us into all truth. Blind eyes will be opened. Deaf ears will be unstopped. Hard hearts will be softened. In every soul where the Promise is received and believed whatever is creating the distance, the wall, the chasm will be removed.
The Promise is for every one of us. We'll talk more about what that means tomorrow...