Awed By Christ’s Resurrection: 6 Days Of Decrease

Awed By Christ’s Resurrection: 6 Days Of Decrease

DAY 3 OF 6

Embracing the Mystery of the Unknown

Following Jesus’ reminder of his coming death, Matthew and Mark recorded a story about the sons of Zebedee that has often been explained as a bold, but naïve, attempt to secure leadership spots in Jesus’ coming kingdom. However, since Gospel writers sequenced stories with intentionality, I wonder if, in context, the brothers’ request was motivated in part by a search for some semblance of control.

With a perspective reminiscent of a cosmic game of musical chairs, John and James called dibs on the spots to the right and left of Jesus during His Messianic reign. While Matthew stated that the brothers’ mom championed the maneuvering, Mark laid responsibility for the religious positioning squarely upon the shoulders of John and James.

Uncertainty is quite revealing. The unknown triggers different reactions in different hearts and exposes our souls’ defaults. Ambiguity reveals where we instinctively go to feel the illusion of security again. In response to a yet-unnamed but imminent storm, some hide, some run, some live in denial, some escape into fictional worlds, some feast, and some stake out their territory. The latter we see in John and James’ response to Jesus’ continued cross-talk. All the uncertainty triggered something deep within the brothers. As they wrestled with the seemingly mixed messages of Jesus as Messiah and Jesus crucified, they reasoned it time to take control.

What does uncertainty trigger within us? What defaults do we gravitate toward when facing the unknown? To address our theology of uncertainty, we must first befriend mystery. Mystery is a given for relationship between the Infinite and the finite. As we follow Jesus into uncertainty, we are free, in the words of Gerald G. May, to “join the dance of life in fullness without having a clue about what the steps are.”

Today’s Fast: Avoidance
Today, pay attention to avoidance mechanisms that surface when you face the unknown, unknowable, uncomfortable, or unavoidable. Do you eat more? Sleep more? Domineer more? Disappear more? Why? Ask God’s Holy Spirit to sensitize you today to the existence of avoidance defaults in your life. Prayerfully consider what beliefs might underlie any avoidance that emerges when you are facing uncertainty. Return to John the Baptist’s words, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30), and consider what relevance John’s wisdom might have as a guide through the unknown.

About this Plan

Awed By Christ’s Resurrection: 6 Days Of Decrease

Drawn from 40 Days of Decrease, this devotional emphasizes a different type of fast for Lent, Easter, or to unclutter you heart any time of the year. What if you fasted collecting praise in order to amplify your generati...

We would like to thank Alicia Britt Chole and Thomas Nelson for providing this plan. For more information, please visit:

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