Further Up and Further In

Grace Claus

READ : John 21:24-25

The world itself could not contain the books that would be written. (v. 25)

When I read this verse, I imagine an endless library, with room after room of floor-to-ceiling shelves of books, with nooks and rolling ladders, with magical light that pours in and invites readers to linger forever. And I imagine that readers enter and explore it, all the while calling out the same words that echo through the end of C. S. Lewis’s The Last Battle, “Further up and further in!” The deeper you go, the greater the library becomes.

Though Jesus lived on earth for a bounded period of time, the way he inhabited that time makes it feel boundless, so that if everything he did were recorded, “the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (v. 25). We could enter into the sacred space of a library, full of books that chronicle his work, the room expanding even as we begin to read. It’s a library unlike any other; even if we were to read until the day we die, we wouldn’t exhaust the stories of Jesus, the volumes of his significance, the exultant poetry, the bedtime tales.

Jesus Christ is inexhaustible. We’ll spend our lives moving further up and further in. That last sentence in John is not merely hypothetical. It’s true. We’ll never master Scripture. We’ll never know all there is to know about Jesus. All we can do is keep moving further up and further in.

PRAYER

Inexhaustible Christ, let us move toward you more and more closely, always moving further, always seeing more.