See Me, See God

John 12:44-45 WEB

Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me, but in him who sent me. [45] He who sees me sees him who sent me.

When we reflect God, we obey the Bible. We care about the 10 commandments and the commandments of the New Testament. It is natural to bind the Word to our hearts, it reflects the Father. Additionally, we put away anger. Instead, we respond to people gently, even when they are rude. We do not try to get even or to justify ourselves. Instead, we are patient, caring more about the things of God than our egos. Finally, when we reflect God, we walk in love. We put away jealousy and bitterness in exchange for mercy, kindness, and grace. In our daily walk, we testify of God through our words and actions.

When we practice these basic principles, God is reflected to the people around us. We must separate ourselves from sin and come into obedience to the Bible. More, we must submit our goals to God. Are our goals truly Biblical reflecting the whole counsel of the Bible? Or do all our choices hang on one or two scriptures that speak of blessings? When we are purposed to reflect God to the world, we bring all these areas of “flesh” into obedience to the Scripture.

When we separate ourselves from fleshly indulgences we begin to look like Jesus. We both reflect God, and we reflect Jesus’ motivations. Like Jesus, we love to the point of laying down our lives. We are powerful to confront sin in other believers. We are passionate about getting people into a relationship with God. We also believe the Bible when we reflect God. We believe in heaven and hell and an eternal destiny so we realize the worthiest thing we can do to reflect God and imitate Jesus is to share the gospel with the lost.

Lord, please help me have the same motivations as Jesus. I long for those around me to see your love and goodness. Please help me witness to the lost. Help me focus on your priorities. Teach me to love others more than myself. Please help me bring my flesh into subjection to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

I See You, Jesus

John 6:67-70 WEB

Jesus said therefore to the twelve, “You don’t also want to go away, do you?” [68] Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life. [69] We have come to believe and know that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” [70] Jesus answered them, “Didn’t I choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?”

I love this passage because twice it shows the Lord’s human vulnerability. Jesus and the disciples just experienced a ministry disaster. The Lord, teaching under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, told everyone to eat his flesh and drink his blood. Nearly all of Jesus’ followers left.

Can you imagine someone telling people to eat and drink them? The disciples who did not truly believe did not trust, so they left. And Jesus was left with the twelve. Notice in the verse he is specific when he says, “Didn’t I choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” Jesus was just a little proud. Just a little human. Just a little vulnerable. And so easy to overlook.

Part of the joy for me in reading the Bible is finding these little nuggets. Every verse that tells me about Jesus’ humanity is golden. More, verses in which I can see Jesus’ personality are special treasures. Jesus is our special treasure, and I love meeting him in the Bible.

Lord Jesus, please help me notice scriptures that give insight into your walk as a human. Help me know you better. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Understanding or Trust?

John 6:64-66 WEB

But there are some of you who don’t believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who didn’t believe, and who it was who would betray him. [65] He said, “For this cause have I said to you that no one can come to me, unless it is given to him by my Father.” [66] At this, many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

Have you ever regretted being a Christian? Has God ever asked you to do something you did not like? There are times our flesh rebels against the work of the Spirit in our lives. Giving up our lives is hard (Luke 14:27). If it were easy, there would be much more victory in the church (Jam 4:7). If people could serve God without submitting their will to him there would be many more Christians (Rom 1:28). When we come to Christ, there are times when what he asks us offends (Phi 1:9-11).

Offense is a blight in the church (Mat 11:6). The disciples who left Jesus in the above passage became offended by something they could not understand (John 13:7). In the preceding verses, Jesus told the disciples they had to eat his flesh. I believe eating Jesus means suffering in service to him (1 Pe 4:13). However, the disciples thought he was talking about actual cannibalism (John 6:54). They could not understand so they would not trust (John 6:60).

Obedience comes from two places, understanding, and trust (Pro 3:5). When we obey God because we trust him, we are protected from offense (James 5:16). However, if we demand God explain himself, we are going to become offended (John 14:5). God is kind and explains many things through his Holy Word and his Holy Spirit (Is 41:10). However, if we demand God give us understanding we are not in trust (John 6:52). When we trust God’s motives, we no longer demand to understand (Rom 4:5).

Lord Jesus, please teach me to trust you completely. Forgive me for demanding understanding as a prerequisite to obedience. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

#Lord #Jesus #Holy #Savior #Trust #Faith #Courage #Power #Strength #Hope

Who’s Eating Jesus?

John 6:56,60-64 WEB

He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I in him. [60] Therefore many of his disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying! Who can listen to it?” [61] But Jesus knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? [62] Then what if you would see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? [63] It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life. [64] But there are some of you who don’t believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who didn’t believe, and who it was who would betray him.

What in the world? One moment Jesus is telling us to eat his flesh, and the next moment he says the flesh profits nothing. I’m not sure why I would eat something that does not benefit me. Unless of course, Jesus’ flesh is no more profitable than anyone else’s flesh. What Jesus did with his flesh was profitable. However, the flesh itself, Jesus’ flesh, Jesus’ humanity, apart from his godly choices has no spiritual value.

The flesh has no value because it is the Spirit that gives life (Rom 8:1). The flesh is death (Rom 8:6). What we can do apart from God has no value (Acts 20:24). Our flesh profits nothing. More, our talents and skills are worthless in the sight of God apart from his Holy Spirit (Acts 8:9). Are you an amazing singer? Are you an amazing accountant? Commit your talent to God and let him confiscate your life (1 Chr 9:33). Turn over the pride of the flesh for true life in the Spirit (Phi 3:3).

If we are spiritually dead and walking in the flesh, we are disobedient when we feel like being disobedient (2 Cor 10:3-5). The one who believes God obeys him (Mat 28:19), and the one who does not believe God does not obey (John 3:36). Monitoring our own obedience can tell us about our spiritual condition (Rom 6:16). Behaviors such as speeding with your vehicle (1 Pe 2:14-15) and gossip (2 Cor 12:20-21) indicate a rebellious spirit. They are of the flesh and profit nothing.

Lord Jesus, please forgive me for being selfish with my talents and skills. Please forgive me for making light of sinful behaviors. Lord, I want you to call me a believer, not a sinner. I want to show my belief with a new level of obedience. Please help my heart humble before you and help me repent of disobedience that I may walk in the Spirit. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Eating Jesus

John 6:52-56 WEB

The Jews therefore contended with one another, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” [53] Jesus therefore said to them, “Most certainly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you don’t have life in yourselves. [54] He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. [55] For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. [56] He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I in him.

This is a gross passage. It is easy to empathize with the disciples’ consternation. Many of Jesus’ disciples left after he preached the above sermon (John 6:66). They didn’t know Jesus very well. They were career disciples and when things became hard, they left. Still, a few remained. There were a few disciples who knew Jesus well enough to trust him, even though they could not understand his words (John 6:67-69).

It was hard to understand (John 6:60). The Jewish people were looking for a hero to come and rescue them from Rome (Isa 9:3-5). Instead, they got Jesus. Instead of a hero, they got a baby (Luke 2:7). Instead of freedom, they got told to wait better (Luke 21:19). Instead of victory, they were told to lay down their lives (Luke 14:27). Most of the people, especially the religious leaders, could not understand.

They could not understand because they had a fixed idea about God, and Jesus was not meeting their expectations. They could not understand because they wanted their freedom from Rome without having to obey God fully. They wanted salvation without suffering. They just couldn’t understand what Jesus meant when he said to eat his flesh and drink his blood.

It’s a shame they did not realize that eating the flesh of Christ means receiving his gift of salvation. More, in this passage, it also means suffering as Christ suffered.  Likewise, drinking his blood is simply the acknowledgment of his innocence when he died. More, it means giving our lives away as Jesus gave his life away. If we are genuinely ready to suffer and die for Christ, our faith will come to perfection.

Lord Jesus, please help me care enough about other people that I will suffer to see them reconciled to God. Teach me how to live a full life and also how to give my life away. Make me holy as you are holy Jesus. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Discerning God

John 6:43-45 WEB

Therefore Jesus answered them, “Don’t murmur among yourselves. [44] No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up in the last day. [45] It is written in the prophets, ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who hears from the Father, and has learned, comes to me.

How can we know when the Father is teaching us something? In the above verse, Jesus says the Father will teach people directly. The problem is, how do we discern what is of the Father and what is our own selfish nature deceiving us? We all fall victim to our self-centeredness at times. And in that selfish state, we can interpret lust of the flesh as prompting of the Spirit.

How can we approach obedience when our flesh speaks so loudly? We have a helper, God’s word the Holy Bible. The Bible may not contain every truth, but every word in it is truth. When we feel prompted to a course of action, we can cross-reference the Word of God for direction. Having a knowledge of the Bible will protect us from following the flesh.

We can learn God’s directions, even when they come through the inner whisper of the Spirit. We have the Spirit and the Truth to direct us, and they will always agree. The Spirit of God will not tell us to do something that contradicts the Truth of the Bible. So our first line of defense against the deception of the flesh is to know the Word of God.

Lord Jesus, please help me press into reading and knowing your Word. Protect me Lord from the deception of the flesh. I want to follow you alone, please teach me how. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.


John 1:18 WEB

No one has seen God at any time. The one and only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.

The Book of John was written after Jesus was resurrected and ascended to heaven. Scholars suggest John was written around 100 CE. Conversely, others give an earlier date. What is consistent is the assumption John was written after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Another consistency scholars point out is John’s purpose in writing the Book of John (John 20:19-31). John was written so all people may believe in the name of Jesus and be saved.

I trust the author of John. So when the author of John says no one has seen God at any time, I believe him (John 1:18). I assume that includes Jesus because Jesus is a person (Rom 1:3). Yet, John is written to demonstrate Christ’s divinity (John 20:31). The author often does that by revealing Christ’s humanity (John 4:6). And, if Jesus had seen God, John would have told us.

In John 6:46 we are told Jesus has seen the Father. However, the root word of the first “seen” (μανθάνω) in the verse should probably be interpreted learn rather than seen. Also, the second “seen” in the verse (ὁράω) should probably be translated as perception or understanding. John would not have said, no one has seen God if Jesus had seen God. The “seen” (ὁράω) in verse John 1:18 is mental understanding. We can know this because Jesus “seeing” God is explained in the second half of the verse as “explaining” God.

These minor nuances matter. If Jesus can see God with his eyes then God is at least two separate people. Saying Christ has seen God literally affects our understanding of the Trinity. Also, it causes the people of God to misunderstand Jesus. Jesus was both fully divine and fully human (John 4:6). He prayed (John 17:1, 18:1) and listened for the small voice within (John 8:6), just like you and I. He knew and understood scripture (John 19:28), he declared the Word of God (John 6:35), he taught sermons (John 6:59). In other words, he had the same toolset that you and I have. We can know the singular God just like Jesus because Jesus has revealed Him (John 3:21).

Lord Jesus, you testified God is one, please give me a new revelation of that truth. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

The Word Became Flesh

John 1:14 WEB

The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word became flesh. Jesus is called the word in the Book of John. In fact, the first verse in the Book of John says, “in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” When I see Jesus became the word, I wonder if it’s the voice of God that became flesh through Jesus Christ. Thus, in the beginning was The Voice, and it was God’s Voice. And through God’s Voice, all things were created and nothing was created without God’s Voice.

Then, is Jesus God? Is Jesus divine? The spirit inside of Jesus was from the Father directly (Luke 1:35). So yes, Jesus is divine (Phil 2:5-7). Yet, Jesus testified that the Father was one (Mark 12:29). Conversely, Jesus also testified he and the Father were one (John 10:30). However, that most likely meant the same thing it means for you and me. We are all one with God but that does not make us God (John 14:20). We have God’s voice inside of us but that also does not make us God (Mark 13:11).

I believe Jesus and God are one and the same. But we have a human element we’re dealing with that may not be God. My concern is when Jesus returns to Earth we are going to be dealing with a human element and it’s probably going to be a different human element. Unless Christs’ body is able to exist where he is, with the Father, when he returns the Father will have to give him another one.

If Jesus returns as a baby, will he have the same memories? Will he know who he is? Will he have to grow in stature and grace (Luke 2:52)? Jesus testifies he is the same yesterday today and tomorrow (Heb 13:8). That is why I think we should expect something similar with Christ’s second return to what we had for his first coming (Luke 2:7). That is a human being that has to be born, come to an awareness of who they are, then grow in grace and stature. I believe this is one possible way Jesus will return.

Lord Jesus, I ask that you give each one of us a revelation regarding your return. We know that you come back victorious, but we do not know the journey you have to take to that victory. Give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and a willing and tender heart. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.