When a forager honeybee discovers a good source of nectar and returns to the hive with her load, she lets the other forager bees know about her discovery and she even gives them a sample of the nectar to taste. She also conveys the distance to and location of the treasure she discovered. This must be a very accurate message, not only for the efficiency and productivity of the hive, but also for the very lives of the other forager bees that head to that nectar source. As the forager bee returns to the hive with its treasure, it relates the distance and direction to the nectar source by using the sun as a reference point. If the bee points its body vertically on the comb of the hive, it signals that the flowers are located away from the hive in the same direction as the sun. A downward direction indicates conversely that the flowers are in the opposite direction. Or a message given at, say, a 30-degree angle on the comb directs the watching foragers to leave the hive at a 30-degree angle from the sun.
But, the departing foragers also need to know the distance to the nectar because they will tank up on fuel (honey from the hive) to make it to the source of nectar . The forager bee that returned to the hive with nectar indicates the distance by its body motion. A circular motion tells foragers that the food is within 100 yards. A figure eight ceremony indicates that the nectar is more than 100 yards away. The rate of the tail-wagging motion is in direct proportion to the distance of the nectar. The closer the source, the more intense the body movement.
( NOTE: So, just where do these bees learn all these things? Do they attend a honeybee school before they can assume their role as forager bees? Who teaches them? What amazing little creatures, designed by an awesome, all-wise, all-powerful, Creator God!)
Directional information must be precise since the foragers take only enough honey with them—as fuel—to reach their destination and return. If they carry too much, they will not have room for more nectar. If they carry too little, they will fall to the ground and die before reaching their destination unless they can locate another source of glucose. So, it is crucial that the forager bees give reliable messages. The life of the other forager bees and of the hive depends on it.
I’m guessing you already are thinking of the obvious spiritual application. As believers who have discovered the source of eternal life in Jesus Christ (I Jn. 5:10,11), we need to be sure to give a reliable message to others so that they too can find new life in Jesus Christ. If we give an inaccurate, unreliable message, others could end up eternally separated from God, for there is only One Way. Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me” (Jn. 14:6). The Apostle Peter, in a message recorded in Acts 4, said: “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (4:12).
We must tell others of the Jesus of the Bible, God incarnate (Jn. 1:14), fully God and fully man, not some man-made concept of a Jesus who was Lucifer’s brother, an angel who became the Messiah, or a man who became God, but a Jesus who is a member of the God-head, co-equal, and co-eternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. In John 8:24, Jesus said, “Unless you believe that I Am (He), you shall die in your sins.” By that statement, Jesus was claiming to be Jehovah God, for He was using the name God gave to Moses at the scene of the burning bush in Ex. 3:13-15. The Jesus of the Bible is the only Jesus that can save.
We must also preach the gospel of the Bible, which according to Paul has power to save (Ro. 1:16). Just what is that gospel? Paul defined it in I Cor. 15:1-4 as the Good News of the death of Christ for sin, of His burial and of His resurrection. Paul also emphasized that salvation is a gift, not something we earn through works of any kind. He said, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast” (Eph. 2:8,9). If we add anything to the requirements of salvation by faith in the work of the Jesus of the Bible, we no longer have the true gospel. As Paul addressed the churches in Galatia, he said, “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:6-8). Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.
We need to be reliable messengers of the true gospel and of the real Jesus of the Bible. Others’ lives depend on it. Beware of those who are preaching a “different Jesus” and a “different gospel.” Satan attacks the truth of the Bible every way he can. He is the “Father of lies” (Jn. 8:44) and the “great deceiver,” doing all he can to keep people from discovering the truth which alone can set them free (Jn. 8:32,36).