Father

It is fair to say that Jesus stood out from the crowd.
Life with Jesus was an adventure. Twelve men followed Him everywhere, dispersing themselves among the people watching and listening at all times. Crowds pressed Him without mercy, some with sickening needs, others with dangerous motivations. After the latest challenge by the Pharisees, Jesus began to speak publicly about when this all would end.

“I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin.
Where I go you cannot come.”

Surprised by this, His enemies whispered among themselves what He might mean by “going away.” Did He mean departure—no doubt they hoped for this—or did He mean suicide? There was no way of predicting what He might do or understanding what His words meant. They could not hide their breathless questions from Jesus.

“I am from above.”
Jesus wanted them to understand. His visit to this earth would be brief by design. He had come from “above” to do a work here “below.” Just as they could not restrain Him before His “time,” neither could they stop Him from completing His mission. Once again He explained that His origin was a different one from theirs. He made it as clear as He could:

“You are of this world; I am not of this world.”

He also made it personal and dangerous not to believe in Him.

‘Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins;
for if you do not believe that I am He…’

Who are You?
The Pharisees and priest had had enough of this pointless discussion. One of them blurted out the question that troubled each of them.

“Who are You?”

They knew the rumors.

  • He was a carpenter’s son from Nazareth,
  • He was a gifted speaker who held massive crowds spellbound while teaching incomprehensible things,
  • He was either a healer or a magician who worked wonders or performed magic tricks depending on what one wanted to believe, and for sure,
  • He was a trouble maker who threatened the fragile peace of the day and the power structures of the nation.

Those in the crowd who believed in Him shouted their answer to the crucial question—He was the Christ, the Promised One, the Messiah! This was the greatest fear of the leaders. They shouted protests and all order was lost. When a quieter moment presented itself, Jesus tried once again to explain.

“I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true;
and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.”

He was talking about His heavenly Father who prompted His every move and message. His connection with Jehovah was the key to believing in Him.

“And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone,
for I always do those things that please Him.”

Lifted Up
He spoke of a coming day when He would be “lifted up.’ At that moment those of faith would see and understand.

“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things…”

That day of “lifting up” was still in the future but, even on this day of debate and discourse, many believed on Him.

Scriptures:
John 8:21-30
Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.” So the Jews said, “Will He kill Himself, because He says, ‘Where I go you cannot come’?” And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” Then they said to Him, “Who are You?” And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.” They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father. Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, the bond between You and our Heavenly Father is a mystery, but this I know—it is strong, unbreakable, and eternally secure. Just as You walked this earth in dynamic contact with the Father, so may I today walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. I please the Father when I stand in Your righteousness and not my own. When I have seen You, I have seen the Father! Thank You, Lord. Amen.

Song:
Son of God, Eternal Savior

Words: Somerset Corry Lowry; Music: Traditional Dutch Melody

1. Son of God, eternal Saviour, source of life and truth and grace,
Son of Man, whose birth incarnate hallows all our human race,
thou, our Head, who, throned in glory, for thine own dost ever plead,
fill us with thy love and pity; heal our wrongs, and help our need.

2. As thou, Lord, hast lived for others, so may we for others live;
freely have thy gifts been granted, freely may thy servants give:
thine the gold and thine the silver, thine the wealth of land and sea,
we but stewards of thy bounty, held in solemn trust for thee.

3. Come, O Christ, and reign among us, King of love, and Prince of peace;
hush the storm of strife and passion, bid its cruel discords cease;
by thy patient years of toiling, by thy silent hours of pain,
quench our fevered thirst of pleasure, shame our selfish greed of gain.

4. Son of God, eternal Saviour, source of life and truth and grace,
Son of Man, whose birth incarnate hallows all our human race,
thou who prayedst, thou who willest, that thy people should be one,
grant, O grant our hope’s fruition: here on earth thy will be done.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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