Craig’s Coffee House



25 Days in the Desert



Much as we observe with John the Baptist’s time in the desert, Jesus is known to covet solitude throughout his ministry.  Both John and Jesus ‘convert’ to the higher understanding to help the poor, both in spirit and those destitute, and departed from the conformity of Ossaean beliefs which held back spiritual truth from the common man.  Many scholars believe Jesus’ ministry message emerged from these times of solitude.  Without the unbending dogma of the legalists, John and Jesus arrived at the greater conclusion (revelation) that the heart of Judaism could no longer be bound by hierarchies of priests and those entering the priestly order—Judaism, the pathway to God, must be reclaimed by the common man.


What is common to all is the kingdom within, regardless of knowledge or training.  The message that the kingdom of God (spirit) was within was not a well-known understanding, only the higher priests knew, even though caked with Second Temple legalism.  Most looked around and asked where this new kingdom was, and then dismissed Jesus as a provaricator, one filled with insurrection.  They did not awaken, nor could they see.  But the announcement of the kingdom meant also that you had to walk into the kingdom or it could not be real for you, there would be no awakening.

The days of solitude showed Jesus that the door was already open, God was beckoning to the seeker, the traveler, the passer-by, and even the robber, to enter.  No one would be turned away, confession relieves the soul, and repentance makes light the walk through the open gate.  Now the vision of the narrow gate becomes clear, as the simplicity of the narrow gate reflects the simplicity of the solitude.

What could be more obvious, John and Jesus must have thought?  No longer the complexities of this law and that law—healing on the Sabbath is God’s work.  No more mincing at the sliver of the law—God loves you and you are welcome.  No more tests of worthiness—you are His child and he accepts you.  No more sacrifices to atone—walking through the gate leaves the old man behind, and that is sacrifice enough.

The solitude, the contemplation, the meditative voice that lingers and calls us to our pathway, this so often forms the vision the mind beholds.  Those precious quiet moments where without knowing we enter into the silence and suddenly the revelation emerges into clarity.  Of these things came the vision John and Jesus beheld, grounded within a plentitude of study yet seeing the deeper need of all men—the walk into the spirit of God.

Soon after would come the many trials John and Jesus would endure, but just as you will have trials, so the pathway emerges and the steps are taken.  Do not be distraught, my brothers, your trials are easy by comparison.  The pathway has been walked by many before you, and there will be many more who will follow.  Sow seed for a healed heart so you may be bolstered, allow the quickening of the spirit within to move you, and let your mind rest in the knowing, that the narrow gate is surely wide enough once you come close, and then enter.


copyright, C. Ray Evans, The Way, 2024


God Bless!


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