While our range can be helpful in keeping us from being distracted by "every wind of doctrine," it can also limit and hinder us from learning what God wants to teach us. There are many examples in the scriptures of people who's range actually kept them from the knowledge of God.
"For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks , Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." (1 Corinthians 1:22-24)It has always amazed me how Jesus could come to Earth and perform the miracles that He did and yet most people missed the importance of what was happening. Especially the Pharisees, who claimed to be waiting for the messiah, yet they failed to recognize Him when He came. I think in part, it was due to their limited range.
The Greeks sought wisdom and knowledge. Their range was limited to what they could know and understand. To them, the Cross was foolishness; it didn't make sense, it didn't seem logical. They had little use for revelation and were focused on what they could figure out themselves; what they could grasp with their own minds. The Jews, on the other hand, sought a sign. This was not because they were expecting a sign, but because they were closed to any revelation that did not fit into their understanding of religion. Any spiritual thing that did not come in a way that their religion expected they rejected, unless validated by special sign. This is why they asked Jesus, "The Jews then said to Him, 'What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?' Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." (John 2:18-19) The truth is that they were not interested in a sign. Even when Jesus did provide the sign of His resurrection from the dead, they still would not believe. No matter what the sign, they were not willing to receive anything that was outside of their nice, comfortable, religion. Perhaps no where can this be more clearly seen than in the following scripture.
"On another Sabbath He entered the synagogue and was teaching; and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely to see if He healed on the Sabbath, so that they might find reason to accuse Him. But He knew what they were thinking, and He said to the man with the withered hand, 'Get up and come forward!' And he got up and came forward. And Jesus said to them, 'I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to destroy it?' After looking around at them all, He said to him, 'Stretch out your hand!' And he did so; and his hand was restored. But they themselves were filled with rage, and discussed together what they might do to Jesus." (Luke 6:6-11)What more of a miracle could they have asked for? Yet they rejected it simply because the miracle was done on the sabbath. They rejected Jesus and His ministry because He would not play according to their rules; because He didn't fit inside their "box".
Both the Jews and the Greeks had developed a range that was closed. They had no room in their range for what they could not understand or for what was different than their expectations. When we allow our range to become closed, then our range becomes the proverbial box into which we wish to place and keep God. A range is important, but we must always be open to the idea that our range is not the same as Jesus' range. We must always leave room for that which we do not know, what we cannot understand, and what we do not expect. We must always leave room for Jesus, and allow Him to break out of the box we so often love to put Him in. We must always remember what God spoke about Himself.
"'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' declares the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.'" (Isaiah 55:8-9)More to come... David Robison