I am a Texan now. I have the drivers license and the Texas plates to prove it. Actually, I am a transplant by way of Oklahoma and a New Mexican by birth, a born and raised desert dweller. I know cactus and yucca plants. My thumbs tend to be black and blue, but definitely not green. I can kill a rose bush. Do not ask me the name of any plant or flower. There is an app my mother uses, “Picture this”. It identifies and names all flowers and plants and maybe even weeds. My husband suggests I need this, but – DO I? I just care if flowers are colorful and plants are pretty. I’m not into the details (like names.)
My daughter-in-law is a born and bred Texan from deep in the heart of Texas where the bluebonnets grow. Every Spring she makes a point to take family pictures in a field of blue bonnets.
My dad was central Texas born and bred, Carbon, Texas to be exact, straight down highway 6. His childhood home is no longer there. The Eastland County fire consumed it this year. My dad also knew when the blue bonnets bloomed. If we traveled to Carbon in the springtime Dad would make sure to point out the fields blooming with blue bonnets. I would look out the window and all I saw was a landscape of blue. I didn’t take note of the details.
So imagine my delight while walking in my neighborhood this spring and I see a field of blue. I take a picture. Now imagine my chagrin when I compare the field of blue bonnets my beautiful grandchildren are in to the field of purple plants I took a picture of. If dad were still around I am pretty sure he would give me a quizzical look, “Sis, you just took a picture of a field of purple weeds.” You think?
Now to the point of my excessive verbiage and storytelling. Welcome to my mind.
Every year after Easter I like to study the appearances of our resurrected Lord. It solidifies in me over again, “He is Risen! The tomb could not hold Him!”
“But Stephen, filled by the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven. He saw God’s glory, with Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God! ””
Acts 7:55-56 HCSB
Travel back in time with me to a road that leads to a village called Emmaus, 7 miles from Jerusalem.
“Now that same day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. Together they were discussing everything that had taken place. And while they were discussing and arguing, Jesus Himself came near and began to walk along with them. But they were prevented from recognizing Him. Then He asked them, “What is this dispute that you’re having with each other as you are walking? ” And they stopped walking and looked discouraged. The one named Cleopas answered Him, “Are You the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that happened there in these days? ” “What things? ” He asked them. So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus the Nazarene, who was a Prophet powerful in action and speech before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified Him. But we were hoping that He was the One who was about to redeem Israel. Besides all this, it’s the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women from our group astounded us. They arrived early at the tomb, and when they didn’t find His body, they came and reported that they had seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they didn’t see Him.” He said to them, “How unwise and slow you are to believe in your hearts all that the prophets have spoken! Didn’t the Messiah have to suffer these things and enter into His glory? ””
Luke 24:13-26 HCSB
The humor of the dialogue between these two friends and Jesus makes me smile. Incredulously they asked Jesus ”Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who did not know what happened?” Jesus asked, “What things?”
Of course Jesus knew what had happened. He was the Savior on the cross. He was the One who had been beaten and battered. He was the One who had freely breathed His last breath for all of humanity. He was the Only One who could pay the price for our sins, so He followed God’s plan and look at Him now! He knew something they didn’t, He was the One who broke through the darkness of that empty tomb into the glorious light of that Easter morn.
But these two friends – Why didn’t they recognize their Deliverer in their midst? Why didn’t they believe all of Jesus’ Words that He would die but come back to life again? Before I get too hard on them – I read this passage from my side of His Story. These two were smack dab in the middle of living it. They didn’t know what they didn’t know. They didn’t have the written Word as I do, but what they did have was Isaiah 53. You know the passage when Isaiah foretold of a coming suffering servant, prophesying of the very brutality Jesus had just experienced. Cleopas and his friend didn’t pay attention to those details. The law and prophets clearly spoke of a Suffering Servant, but none of Israel wanted that type of Messiah. They wanted their Mighty Liberator. They didn’t recognize this Savior because He wasn’t what they expected nor wanted.
They didn’t know what they didn’t know because they didn’t want to read the fine print. They didn’t pay attention to the details of the prophets.
I didn’t know what I didn’t know about Texas Blue Bonnets because I didn’t have the plant identifier app.
I do have the YouVersion Bible app. I do have bookshelves lined with Bibles. I don’t have any excuse not to recognize my Lord. I just need to pay attention to the details and know His Word and His promises.
“For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the peoples of the earth will mourn; and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”
Matthew 24:27, 30-31 HCSB