Why Jesus Doesn’t Do Reverse Delegation


October 23, 2020

John 14:22-27

Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.


Why do we want Jesus to do what he wants us to do? Isn’t that what Mr. Judas (not Iscariot) was getting at? Jesus does not do reverse delegation.

“But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

Sometimes I think this is how we think when it comes to the greater works Jesus told us we would be doing. We see signs and wonders as something Jesus drops here and there like glory bombs. We think of them as being the causal agent of people believing in God. Here’s my question: What if it’s the divinely empowered human love behind the signs and wonders that makes the bigger difference? That would make love the causal agent of faith. It raises my thought from yesterday about the lack of greater works being directly related to the lack of greater love.

“But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

Isn’t that just like us? We want Jesus to show himself to us and to the world. Instead, Jesus intends to show himself to us—and through us he intends to show himself to the world. We keep asking Jesus to do something he is asking us to do. It’s like we are asking him to write the check and all the while he is saying to us, “Cash it!”

My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 

Jesus will have no other home, no other temple, than his disciples.


Abba Father, we thank you for your Son, Jesus, who is himself the great sign and wonder. Thank you that he has chosen to show himself to the world through the church. Awaken us to his readiness to love the world through us. Lead us to the greater love that leads to the greater works. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.


1. Wouldn’t it be easier if Jesus would just show himself to the world directly? Why do we, like Judas, want this?

2. What hinders Jesus showing himself to the world through the church?

3. What hinders Jesus showing himself to the world through you?

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J.D. Walt

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

2 Responses

  1. We want Jesus to reveal himself to the world directly because we don’t feel totally empowered to do it.
    I believe the biggest hindrance to our fulfilling the call to be the salt and light to the world is due to the lingering effect that Christendom has left on the Church. Rather than tacking the tasks that were given directly to the Church to do, we’ve come to expect the State to do it. The result is: we are satisfied the task is being done, we did not have to utilize the power of the Spirit, and the State, not God, gets the glory.
    I personally believe that at this time, God is in the process of breaking the Church’s dependence on the State. In my opinion this new paradigm would force us as disciples to come together in the unity of the Spirit (classes and bands), and become totally dependent on the empowerment of God’s love to fulfill the Great Commission.

  2. I’m not sure how I found you, but I praise the Lord! Each morning I pray, and am learning more how to pray in the way Jesus taught His Disciples. I post my written prayer on a Facebook group and have done so for the past three years. I am not sure if I am worthy of your mission, but I will watch and hope that God will ask me to join you.

    I wanted to comment that I believe that Judas Iscariot also had the same hope. He wanted a bold act from Jesus to do the work that Jesus was asking him to do. And for this Judas turned away. This is a profound and deeply sad realisation for me. I don’t want to be as either Judas, desiring Jesus to do the work His Father and He ask me to do through the Holy Spirit.

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