Saturday, May 26, 2012

Finding Direction for Life

The scripture passage that we are studying Sunday, John 14:1-14 is the beginning of a farewell address that Jesus gave to the disciples.  It applied to them and all believers.  In John 13, Jesus attempts to prepare the disciples for His upcoming suffering and death.  He told them that one disciple would betray Him (v.21) and informed them that He would be leaving them and they could not follow Him (v.33). This was disturbing to them; they had given up everything and been with Him for three years; Now, He is leaving and they can not go with Him. Jesus provides the comfort to sustain in difficult and what appears to be hopeless times.  Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me."  He points to Himself as the sustaining force in the midst of troubled circumstances.  Although He will no longer be with them physically; He will have them in mind, because He is going to prepare a place for them; Not only, will they/we be with Him in the future, He is with us now and through the end of the age (Matt 28:20).  We must put our faith in Jesus Christ, the Sovereign Lord; He has the power and is in control of all situations.

Jesus teachings were to help the disciples/believers to trust in God and to believe and have confidence in Him as the authentic path to the divine kingdom.  Jesus' belief in God and His sense of oneness with God's presence and purpose in the world is the key to understanding why Jesus insisted that the disciples believe in Him.  We might have questions like the ones Thomas and Philip had, when Philip said Lord show us the Father.  Jesus reply was "he that hath seen me, hath seen the Father... I am in the Father, and the Father in me."  Jesus was telling them that the words He spoke and works He performed were because the Father dwells in Him - oneness.  Faith in Jesus is the only true faith in God; and love is the way that faith is expressed.  In John 13:34, Jesus commanded that we love one another, as He has loved us.  Faith will not remove external threats, however knowing that you are trusting God/Jesus will put present anxieties, human fears and treats of the future in the right perspective.  Christians must have the spiritual resolve and commitment to do God's will.

Jesus is the only way to God.  He set an example of love and made a promise to the disciples by believing in Him they would do greater works than He had performed.  When believers trust God's power, the promise of Jesus is that humans will be healed, live abundantly, and souls are crowned with joy and restoration.  Believers are called for these works and when we follow Jesus' model, He will expand His kingdom.

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