September 18, 2020
John 8:19-24 (NIV)
Then they asked him, “Where is your father?” “
You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.
Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.”
This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?”
But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”
Jesus knows where he has come from and he knows where he is going. He has come from God and he is returning to God. He knows he has come into time from eternity and that he will leave the realm of time and return to eternity. Because Jesus knows his history and his destiny he is able to live fully in the present, as a frail human being filled with all the fullness of God.
To follow Jesus is to live as he lives. Everything Jesus does we can do. In fact, he will soon tell us that we will do even greater things than he did because he is going to the Father. In his famous sermon, John later put it like this, “This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus” (1 John 4:17).
We are like Jesus? Unfortunately, this gets translated into the thin ethical framework of W.W.J.D. (What would Jesus do?) It gets framed as a behavioral-management approach. Jesus cared for the poor so we should care for the poor. Jesus loved his enemies so we should love our enemies. While these propositions are true, they miss the bigger point. To be “like Jesus” in this world means to be a frail, weak, and profoundly limited human being who is filled “to the measure of all the fullness of God” (see Ephesians 3:14-20). This is not about becoming a superhero. This is what it means to become a saint—a holy one.
Being like Jesus doesn’t begin with behavior, but beholding. It cannot be sustained by mere imitation. It takes impartation. The love of Christ, though it be delivered by ordinary means, is supernatural power. Love makes people powerful. In fact, love is the only source of true power.
When it comes to this love, we live in an age that is quite asleep. This is the awakening we need. This is the awakening we must have.
Abba Father, we thank you for your Son, Jesus, who reveals to us in our own frail frame what divine love looks like in human life. We cannot be like him without his power at work in us. Come, Holy Spirit, and awaken us to this love that can change everything. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.
1. Have you ever considered that the love of Jesus is actually the power of God?
2. Do you believe it is possible to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God? What would that be like?
3. What if we are living in an age of great slumber when it comes to this reality of being filled with the fullness of God and living at the level of supernatural love?
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For the Awakening,