Why doesn’t the world know him?
The world operates like Jack has experienced it: I scratch your back and you scratch mine.
At another point in Robinson’s book, Jack is standing stiffly, guardedly while his sister Glory is talking to him. His awareness is buzzing with alertness. “What does she want?” “Why is she here?” Eventually, he hears her say that their father wants them to talk and the stiffness softens ever so slightly. “Ah,” Robinson has Jack sigh. “Finally, that is what this is about.” See, there must be terms of interaction, a framework for why she would be there. Until he finds it out, he is edgy.
Jack and Glory’s dad does not want edgy, terms, quid pro quo, but rest, peace, and normalcy of kindness.
The world does not understand this which is why the world does not understand the Christian. (Not the one who upon being questioned will claim it, but the one who lives as Jesus lived.)
I am partly writing this here because I don’t understand this. I am a lot more like Jack than I’d care to admit. I have not run into the misdeeds that he did, but the reaction-style? Yeah, I am very familiar with that. Perhaps, even, my obedience is an outgrowth of quid-pro-quo. As I re-read that sentence, it is clear to me that the word “perhaps” should not be there. Grace: that is a thing the world does not understand. It is a thing that I don’t understand, but God is giving me peeps of; peeps that I will see, think about, and accept.
On our way
2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2–ESV)
The Christian life is a journey. We are permanent members of God’s family, but we have yet to attain all that God has planned for us. What we will be, the attainment has not been laid out. The ESV says that it has not yet appeared. Our final shape is not set in stone, but the stone is being formed.
Children are found out to be like their parents. Some kids don’t like to discover this. Others are not troubled by it. When the Holy Spirit enters into our lives, though, we become God’s children. That is transformative but is a process. In our impatience, we yearn for it, but God in his wisdom did not give it all at once.