As we move past Easter toward Pentecost, this weeks devotional begins with a reading from Aesop’s Fables.

Meditation

The Ant and the Chrysalis – Aesop’s Fables

An Ant nimbly running about in the sunshine in search of food came across a Chrysalis that was very near its time of change. The Chrysalis moved its tail, and thus attracted the attention of the Ant, who then saw for the first time that it was alive. “Poor, pitiable animal!” cried the Ant disdainfully. “What a sad fate is yours!  While I can run hither and thither, at my pleasure, and, if I wish, ascend the tallest tree, you lie imprisoned here in your shell, with power only to move a joint or two of your scaly tail.” The Chrysalis heard all this, but did not try to make any reply. A few days after, when the Ant passed that way again, nothing but the shell remained.  Wondering what had become of its contents, he felt himself suddenly shaded and fanned by the gorgeous wings of a beautiful Butterfly. “Behold in me,” said the Butterfly, “your much-pitied friend! Boast now of your powers to run and climb as long as you can get me to listen.” So saying, the Butterfly rose in the air, and, borne along and aloft on the summer breeze, was soon lost to the sight of the Ant forever.

Scripture

Luke 24:13–31 (ESV)

13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. 28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.

Job 28:20–24 (ESV)

20 “From where, then, does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding? 21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living and concealed from the birds of the air. 22 Abaddon and Death say, ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’ 23 “God understands the way to it, and he knows its place. 24 For he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.

Psalm 139:14–17 (ESV)

14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

Colossians 1:24–29 (ESV)

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

Challenge

The simple lesson of Aesop’s Fable is  that often the truth is often hidden from us.  I frequent the Logos Bible Software forums where people often make bold assertions, and even become angry because of some perceived offense.  More often than not, their perception is changed when they take the time to get all the facts.  Even then, people are sometimes so committed to their belief, nothing can change their opinion.  Have you even been in a situation like that where you thought the answer was so clear, but then as time went, and your knowledge grew, on you changed your opinion?  These mundane examples from daily life only illustrate the problem as it pertains to our deeper spirituality.  Ravi Zacharias has observed the following traits among all people.

  1. Finite Knowledge: No matter how smart or wise we are, there are gaps in our knowledge.  We cannot know everything or see every side of an issue.
  2. Propensity to Believe: When confronted with a circumstance that causes discomfort, we tend to fill the void with our own beliefs.  Ultimately we distort the reality of the situation and create a false sense of safety.
  3. Power of Deception: We are all susceptible to manipulation from others who are more than willing to take advantage of our weaknesses and lead us into destruction.

As we seek to walk the path that Jesus has laid out for us, we must be aware of our own limitations and learn to trust in the purpose, power, and presence of God in us.

  1. What are the “gaps” in your knowledge that are causing you the most frustration and fear?
  2. Are you filling those gaps with something solid or with convenient beliefs?  How can you tell the difference?
  3. Who are the people speaking wisdom into your life?  Are they voices of deception telling you what you want to hear or voices of love telling you the hard truth?
  1. Week 1 Devotional
  2. Week 2 Devotional
  3. Week 3 Devotional
  4. Week 4 Devotional
  5. Week 5 Devotional

Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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