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The Map is Not the Road

by on May 18, 2016

The Map is Not the Road

The map is not the road.
The wrapper is not the candy.
The picture is not the person.
The advertisement is not the vehicle.
The brochure is not the vacation.
The building is not the Church.
The blueprint is not the house.
The bread is not the body.
The cup is not the blood.
The word is not the WORD.

It is so easy to confuse the symbol for the real. It is so easy to be enamored with the symbol all the while missing the truth of which it is symbolic. Symbols are necessary. Symbols are easy. They can even become idols.

The same religious leaders who killed the lamb for the Passover, killed the LAMB of GOD. How could they do that? In the presence of the WORD they missed the essence of the word. How could they do that? In search of the truth, they missed the TRUTH for which they searched.

The religious leaders knew the prophecies but killed the prophets. They defended the temple of the Lord but killed the LORD of the Temple. Nicodemus was a teacher of the law but was perplexed by The Teacher of the Law. They knew the symbols well but missed the truth which the symbols proclaimed.

The wedding is not the marriage. The wedding is indispensable. It is critically important. The wedding takes a day but the marriage takes a lifetime.

Would anyone, in the presence of their beloved, stare at the picture of that person? Whether that person is their spouse or their grandchild or their best friend? Would the beloved not feel slighted as the focus was placed on their image and not on the person? It would make no sense. We need to ask ourselves how God must feel with our thoughts of Him. He gave us symbols but wants us to use them to bless Him; not to be enamored with His symbols.

This is not to depreciate symbols. Symbols are very important. They are critical to understanding and to life. But, they are symbols and must be regarded as such. They have a very important purpose. They point us to truth and to TRUTH. We maintain them so we do not forget. The flag is not the nation but the nation is embodied in the flag. So we keep and honor the symbols to remind us of their symbolic value.

Let us take care that we regard symbols as symbols and do not allow them to be come ends in themselves. They can become idols. We can focus on them so much that they become the focus and we neglect the important concepts they represent.

We also need to value the truths for which the symbols stand. We keep symbols to remind us of the truths. Jesus said, “This do in remembrance of me.” We do not do to just do. We do to remember. We do to perpetuate truth to the next generations.

We need the map. We need the road more. The road is where we live. The map is what we consult to make sure we are on the right road.

Read the map but travel the road with Jesus.
Jesus is your way, your truth, and your life.

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