Tell and Show
17 September 2017
Reading: Ezekiel 42-44; Revelation 22
10 “Son of man, tell the people of Israel all about the Temple so they’ll be dismayed by their wayward lives. Get them to go over the layout. 11 That will bring them up short. Show them the whole plan of the Temple, its ins and outs, the proportions, the regulations, and the laws. Draw a picture so they can see the design and meaning and live by its design and intent. (Ezekiel 43:10-11 MSG)
Ezekiel’s prophecies come in several types; graphic descriptions of the evil people are doing, graphic warnings of judgment to come, dramatic stories and poems, and in chapters 40-44, a vision-picture of a perfect Temple of God in a perfect City of God. As I was reading these chapters I asked God why he took up so much space in the Bible describing this vision-Temple in such minute detail. It seemed to me that there is so much else that could have occupied Ezekiel’s interest and attention – things that would have more practical application to my life!
I don’t know if this is an answer from God, you can be the judge of that. It seemed to come to me that perhaps this may be an explanation of Ezekiel’s Temple vision… God showed Ezekiel the Temple and then commissioned Ezekiel to tell the people how wonderful it would be to be God’s perfectly restored people and worship at God’s perfectly restored Temple in God’s City. He said, “Paint them a word picture and give them enough detail that as they contrast the way they live now, they’ll be ashamed of their sin and desperately want God’s way of living. Then draw them a picture so they can see how it looks, how it works, and how they could live that way.”
Our task, the task of Christ-followers today, is also to “Tell and Show.” The proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus – bad news of sin and its consequences and good news of forgiveness and eternal life – is the “tell” part. Living the life, Christian community, caring for others, being in the world but not under its control, these are the “show” elements of the task. Anyhow, that’s how it looks to me this morning!
Father, Please help us to see the picture and tell the story in as many ways as possible so that there’s something for everyone to hear and desire. And help us to show the new life – the Christ life – as we live together in family, church, and community. Let our lives draw a picture so they can see and live. May we tell and show the true picture of Kingdom of God living in the here and now. Amen.