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Following Jesus to the best life possible
John 8.12 – Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
The deepest longing of people is to live. Our experience with the corona virus over the past couple of weeks shouts at us that people want to live and to live fully. All of our irritations, inconveniences, and fears at this time reveal how much we truly want to live.
Jesus promises to give us “light” or real insight into how to fully live. Jesus came among us to uncover the genuine character of God (John 1.14, 18). In his abounding grace, he showed us in word and deed what is really real (truth). He teaches us, so we can walk in his truth (what is really real in life).
How can we best walk in Jesus’ “light” today?
If you are largely confined to home, please take time to read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). In Jesus’ most famous sermon we learn that his “light” or wisdom into how to really live seems to be upside down compared to how people think today. Yet, Jesus’ thoughts in this sermon are clear direction to the path of abundant living.
Please engage in a prayerful reading of Matthew 5-7. If God gives you insight, please share it in the comments section below. Thanks.
Jesus makes big claims. Are they true?
John 8.13-16 – Then the Pharisees said to him, “You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.”
14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.
We are gambling our lives, even our eternal lives, on the belief that Jesus is true. The religious authorities weren’t ready to accept Jesus’ teaching without an argument.
However, Jesus can be trusted because he had the purest motives of anyone to walk the face of the earth. He came from the Father to reveal the very character of God and to give life to people. He had no reason to be deceptive about who he was and what his mission amounted to, because he was totally committed to serving God and people like us.
The old saying, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating,” is true of Jesus. Not only did he claim to have heavenly information about life, but everyone who became and becomes his friend experiences abundant life. They are truly “satisfied customers” in a friendship-relationship with him.
If you know Jesus, you know the Father.
John 8.17-20 – “In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid. 18 I testify on my own behalf, and the Father who sent me testifies on my behalf.”
19 Then they said to him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
20 He spoke these words while he was teaching in the treasury of the temple, but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.
Notice the last sentence of verse 19, “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
Over and over again, Jesus claimed to do nothing outside of the will of God. He did not have a single independent motive or message apart from direction from his heavenly Father.
Bring your questions about life to Jesus, both in prayer and as he is revealed in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). Develop your friendship with him and see what he does with your life.
I believe God has called me to use this time of staying at home to understand his will and to pray for his will to be done. I believe that whole chapters and entire books of the Bible need to be read, and not just favorite verses.
Please join me in prayerfully reading the Gospel of John and thinking about the daily passage throughout the day. If the Holy Spirit prompts you, please turn what you are learning into a prayer for the good of people and the glory of God.
Dear Jesus, we believe that you have the message of life – the best life here and now and beyond. Please draw us into a powerful friendship-relationship with you. Please show us how we can best pray for people everywhere. Thank you for your abundant love and grace.