On Monday, I had the chance to meet with a woman who goes to our church. During our time together, she shared with me that she has been raising Monarch butterflies. She raises them in cages indoors so that the flies don’t get them while they’re in their caterpillar phase, and she has different cages where the butterflies are at different phases of their development. Some are caterpillars, some are in the chrysalis phase, and some have fully turned into butterflies. As I met with this woman, I started to think about the ways that development mirrors our spiritual journey.

We are all on a journey of transformation, but so often we can only see a limited portion of that journey. Sometimes we imagine that we will forever be in the phase we’re currently in. How cool would it be to be able to see all phases of transformation at the same time? How great would it be to not only be able to celebrate where we are but to clearly see where we are going? That’s exactly what Jesus was able to do, and it’s the truth he shared with his followers.

In John 5:21 Jesus said, “For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.” Jesus’ claim was that he had the capacity to awaken people to live – spiritual life. He was referring to “zoe” life, the kind of life that not only allows you to breathe but makes you grateful that you’re alive. However, that was only one phase of the journey. That was akin to the caterpillar phase of the Monarch. He also declared, “An hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life.” (John 5:28b-29a) We might view that as the butterfly phase.

Jesus was able to see all of those phases of transformation at the same time. He boldly declared that he was awakening people to life, and he spoke prophetically about the way he would one day raise people from the dead. The life Jesus made available to his followers while he walked with them was a foretaste of the resurrection he promises to provide.

As we walk with Jesus and experience his life and joy today, it’s a reminder for us that the life promised is eternal. He can be trusted because he sees all phases of life at one time. The question in front of each of us is, will we trust him for life?

Ryan Paulson

Subscribe to the Daily Fill