After the sadly humorous weekend we’ve had (prophetically speaking) I thought now might be a good time to point out something fascinating I’ve been mulling over.
Prophecy is a strange thing. Don’t get me wrong, I was raised in good Baptist churches by parents who were part of the Jesus Movement and can’t remember not knowing Larry Norman’s “I Wish We’d All Been Ready”. I love prophecy. I’m just not sure we take a healthy perspective on it – especially end times prophecies.
Think about this. Before the coming of Christ, there were devout Jews, priests even, who spent the majority of their lives studying what we call the Old Testament. Specifically, they would pour over the Messianic Prophecies praying for a glimmer of recognition to know that the Messiah had come. It was a big deal. Much like, I would think, how we have theologians who specialize in end times prophecy. These men spent their lives studying and being ready for the coming of the Messsiah. They poured their effort into instructing and educating others so they would be read too.
And they missed it.
Now, I know that not all of them missed it. I’ve read the gospels and I’ve read Acts. I know. But honestly, how many scholars, theologians, and good Jews missed it because they had misunderstood or been taught a warped concept of the coming of the messiah?
They were expecting a king with a crown, a cool chariot, a dazzling smile, and a big hulking sword to kick the Roman’s butts all the way back to Italy. What they got was Jesus. What they were expecting was a misinterpretation of prophecy. What they got was one of God’s stereotypical, stereotype-breaking plans.
So here’s my question: shouldn’t we give ourselves the same margin of error? If these smart guys who, you know, actually spoke Hebrew could get it so wrong, shouldn’t we admit that we’re at least looking through a glass darkly? Maybe God has something in mind that will blow our minds all over again. Maybe it’s similar to what we teach and expect.
Maybe it’s not.