“Dear, can you find my face-wash? It’s in a small bottle with a fuchsia colored lid on the dresser,” my wife lovingly requests.
I hurriedly look through a conglomeration of numerous bottles that I am totally unfamiliar with. I am only vaguely familiar with fuchsia. I know it isn’t blue, so I quickly eliminate everything in the blue family. Same goes with white, black, and maybe green and yellow. I think it’s in the purple or red family. So now I’m looking for something in a small bottle---quickly giving up hope.
“I don’t see it in here,” I shout back at her—not a mad shout, mind you, but a you’re-in-the-other-room-so-probably-can’t-hear-me shout. Perhaps this will cause her to give up hope or give me a much easier bottle to locate.
“No, I know it’s in there. It’s in that wire basket”. She thinks that narrowing my locations will somehow cause me to have girl eyes and understand what fuchsia is and what her face-wash looks like.
I quickly peruse through the previously described basket. Eliminating several options I’m soon coming to the conclusion that our daughter must have stuck this face-wash in the toilet, or perhaps a stray goat wandered into our bedroom and had lunch, or maybe my wife is just insane and this object simply does not exist. “It’s really not in here”, I lovingly inform her—and with a voice that lets her know that I’ve looked absolutely everywhere.
I mean I really know this wire basket. I’ve searched everywhere up and down, left and right. It’s really not in here. I’m going with the goat theory, because it absolutely is NOT in this wire basket.
My wife gives up hope. “That’s okay.” A few minutes later my wife walks into the bedroom, looks into the wire basket, and pulls out her fuchsia lidded face-wash that must have the ability to disappear when gazed upon by desperate men. (Which by the way is a superpower that I hope my daughter learns).
“Ohhhhhhhh, that bottle. Ohhhhhhh that’s what color fuchsia is”.
That bottle was there the whole time. I thought I knew the wire basket but I didn’t. I forgot in my maleness to actually look under other objects. I was convinced that I had exhausted my search for this fuchsia colored bandit but was quickly exposed by a wife that knew the basket and her face-wash far better than I did.
The Danger of Assuming
I share this story because there is an ever present danger in assuming the gospel in the same way that I assumed that I had searched everywhere for my wife’s face-wash. In Hebrews 2:1-3 we read a very sobering warning:
“Therefore, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it”. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?
The “therefore” is there because the author of Hebrews has spent the entire first chapter showing that Christ is far superior to angels. And as verse 2 says if the message delivered by angels (the law) was reliable and if transgressing it was enough to cause legal action against you then how much worse if we neglect the gospel.
This warning is the first of five warnings (3:1-4:13, 5:11-6:12, 10:19-39, 12:12-29) that each ascends in strength and urgency. I believe it is intentional that the author of Hebrews begins his warnings with the subtle-yet-deadly drift of assuming the gospel.
I take the author of Hebrews admonition to be something similar to this: “Don’t just assume you know that wire basket, that you’ve searched everywhere, that you understand the color fuchsia, or that you even know what girly face-wash looks like. Dig Man, Dig! Turn over stuff. It’s there—right where it was said to be—if you can’t find it there the problem is that you’re dense not that the gospel is bland, unhelpful, or exhausted.”
Infidelity always starts with the wrong-headed assumption that you’ve exhausted the gospel. And to this foolishness the author of Hebrews calls us to “pay much closer attention” to the gospel.
Dig man, dig! The Spirit within you is eager to spotlight the gospel and leap for joy at the sight of Jesus. Just keep turning stuff over until the gospel is exposed.