If this were a scene from a movie, it is right here where I see the director stepping in to make all the difference in the world for how this scene will be played out and what message will be conveyed to the future audience. And I also sense that if this were a movie scene, it would be the Holy Spirit as director both in the writing but also in the reading – the one who steps in to give me – any reader for that matter – a moment to pause – Cut! Read that again! – in order to hear what the Spirit was saying today.
So, the Holy Spirit as the director of a scene destined to speak to generations upon generations of Jesus’ co-eternity with the Father and the Holy Spirit. That’s what I heard after stopping and rereading.
This is how I imagine the scene unfolded. The director says to Jesus, after a first take:
“Let’s do that again. Remember these two lines shouldn’t be strung together without a pause. The first part is almost a mumble – just a private moment between you, God and the Holy Spirit, and the second part…well that is an out loud proclamation. So, Jesus, listen…it goes something like this; you say Why does this generation ask for a sign? almost as an aside and look not into the eyes of the other guys, but either upward or downward. Then, Jesus, take a moment and pause and with a pleasing yet determined veneer, look to the Pharisees and with energy and volume, exasperation even, you say Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation. Okay? Got that? Two parts to this dialogue. Two audiences. Now let’s try again.”
I suppose there is something that the Holy Spirit director knows that Jesus doesn’t even know, or at the least is aware of right then and there. In that moment it seems to me that the Spirit knows what needs to be revealed about God – the big picture – the Spirit knows what needs to be ‘in the movie’ for generations upon generations to know the co-eternity of Jesus with God.
This one little “aside” line said correctly – read correctly, actually – reveals that truth. It reveals a self-knowing via the deep sigh in his spirit that he, Jesus, has seen this before and knows how other generations – past, present, or future, need signs, not. Simply put, Jesus was there at the beginning and had seen other generations enough to compare and contrast.
John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
The Spirit had me hearing and seeing and knowing the whole God-picture this morning – God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That’s it…but, a pretty big idea that I am grateful to be reminded of. Good job, Holy Spirit. Now – back to the movie…