Have you ever felt so isolated or rogue in a certain decision, direction, mission or calling in your life that it was almost embarrassing to speak it out loud…?
Out of the many proofs for Jesus’ resurrection there’s this 1 that is commonly referred to as “The Embarrassment Test.”
Basically it says that-at the expense of telling the story as truthful and precise as possible-an author of history will include even the most embarrassing details.
There are several facts surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection that would fall under this category including the following:
- That a member of the Sanhedrin (the Jewish religious Elite high council-the same one that carried out the very execution of Jesus) asked permission to give Jesus’ body a proper burial.
- That, after Jesus was arrested in the garden, and again thereafter when Jesus is brought to the temple (Peter and his thrice denial of Jesus), all of his disciples turn tail and run.
- Finally, the fact that the very first eyewitnesses to the empty tomb are recorded as having been women!
And it’s this last one that gets special attention…
They say the fact that Mary Magdalene and “the other” Mary were present there at the tomb to testify how Jesus was risen is such a ludicrous and embarrassing element to include in the story because of one key thing:
The testimony of a woman in 1st century Greco-Roman culture was considered WORTHLESS! In legal proceedings it was considered equal to that of a robber.
Women (and their word) were considered morally and intellectually bankrupt in that time. So as it pertains to the proof: because this detail is a major part of the narrative, then it is unlikely that someone is simply making this up.
I’ll give a more personal illustration…
My wife and I love dreaming about having another child. We have 5 as it is and I don’t have to be sitting next to you as you read this to imagine what your face looks like right now…
I know what your face looks like because I’ve seen the looks and stares and comments every time my wife and I go out for a walk with the 5.
Some people literally stop and stare. Some people stop us and say something. Most people just ogle and whisper to themselves as we walk by.
It’s not mean or nasty, its by and large probably just awestruckness… people ain’t never seen a family of 4 or 5 before… apparently… these days.
And my mom reminds me: it’s not just that we have so many but how close in age they are (5 under age 6)… which I submit is true.
In our town, in our context, in our community and even in our family and friends my wife is straight up embarrassed to even utter a word about her dream for giving birth to one more baby.
The other day she was processing, as we have done a dozen times before, her hearts cry… ‘are we crazy… is this wrong… can I do this…?’
In this moment, driving on the 5 freeway in the carpool lane (obviously) I was reminded of the embarrassment test of history, and I told my wife:
You know how I know this is right? Because, unless God was calling us to this, unless god himself had planted this desire deep in your heart, you would have to be a mad, crazy, weirdo to propose carrying and then delivering another baby whilst caring for 5 others!
I went on to say that the voice that matters now (besides God’s) is mine. And that, as hard as I try, I cannot come up with a reason, a hesitation or even a strong doubt that we couldn’t or shouldn’t do this.
I went further still and I affirmed our calling as parents-that we are both gifted in our wiring as mother and father to these children… and so long as God is willing to grant another one to us, it will be for the purpose of growing them up in one stinking righteous household.
So if God’s voice is clear
And if my voice is clear
Then there is only one voice left… the collective voices of this world.
And friends, I’m here to tell you (like I told my wife that morning on the freeway) that this voice is the one that matters least of all.
(FYI: if you’re not married find that one trusted mentor, friend or family member who knows you, your strengths and at least some of your true identity.)
If you’re looking to test if a certain thing is true, right or believable just try and get a sense for how embarrassing it might be or rather how much easier it would be to just leave it out.
I like to think of it like this: it’s so wrong it must be right. (Otherwise the author or originator of the story would have left it out!)
Now change gears from my calling to yours…
You’re currently the author of your life’s story. Well God is more the author, writer and director of the grand story, but as an actor in that story you are given a choice for the roles you play and how you play them.
My challenge question to you is: do you feel like you are seizing the decisions, directions and overall grand mission that God is nudging along through his Spirit?
If God is calling you to something, you have an obligation to walk into it… even if it would be considered worthless or embarrassing through the eyes of this world.
The question that remains is: what is it… what is that God-sized, God-breathed, outside this world mission, vision or calling that is beckoning you?
If you’re enjoying this blog; please repost and share! Thanks!