Don't Miss Jesus in Tough Times

Reading Time: 6 Minutes

Finding Jesus when it is hard to see him

John 8.21-24Again he said to them, “I am going away, and you will search for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.”

22 Then the Jews said, “Is he going to kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?”

23 He said to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.”

Jesus addressed the above words to the religious leaders of his day. They missed the greatest opportunity of their life because the refused to open their eyes to who Jesus was and what he was on earth to do.

One of the central cautions of John’s Gospel is to not let our idea of how God should act to cause us to reject him and miss his presence.

Who are you?

John 8.25-27 They said to him, “Who are you?”

Jesus said to them, “Why do I speak to you at all? 26 I have much to say about you and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he was speaking to them about the Father.

The religious authorities were men with credentials and authority. If someone asked, “Who is in charge here,” they would have answered, “We are.”

When they asked Jesus, “Who are you,” they were challenging his authority. Jesus both spoke and acted as someone with the right and power to be in control.

Jesus’ responded to these men by saying, “Why do I speak to you at all, because you aren’t even listening?” The last phrase is not in the text, but some scholars believe that it is what Jesus meant.

The religious authorities were convinced that their own best thinking was right and they missed the opportunity to follow the One who came to earth to give us the best life possible.

Too bad the religious authorities didn’t attend AA meetings. They may have prayed the Third Step prayer and opened their hearts to have received Jesus as the friend and Savior that he was and is.

AA Third Step Prayer

God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of Life.

As we pray this prayer, let’s be sure that we are open to ALL of Jesus’ authority – his right and power to direct our lives.

One of the most important statements in the Gospel of John

John 8.28-30So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as the Father instructed me. 29 And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

The “I am he” in verses 24 and 28 is critical to understanding Jesus and his mission. It stems from the “I am” passages in Isaiah. Notice the claim of the Great I AM in Isaiah 43.

Isaiah 43.10-11
You are my witnesses, says the Lord,
and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.
11 I, I am the Lord,
and besides me there is no savior.

Jesus took Isaiah’s words about God being the absolute God of the universe and applied them to himself. Jesus did not presume to be something that he was and is not. He has the right to say and do what he does, because he is “I am.”

Once again, Jesus can be trusted in who he claims to be, because he was completely surrendered to the Father’s will (verse 29). The phrase, “I always do what is pleasing to him,” and all of the other references to Jesus’ absolute submission to the Father’s direction is possibly the most important thing to learn in the Gospel. As we surrender to the Father in every way, we will learn the power and joy of the Jesus-kind-of-life.

Your Turn

My encouragement for readers of real-voices.com today is to not let our idea of how God should act in this time of history to cause us to reject him and miss his presence. Let’s learn today how to know and do his will. Let’s deepen our friendship-relationship with Jesus.

Today’s Prayer

Dear God, we open our inside condition and outward behavior to you today, as we pray the AA Third Step Prayer.

God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of Life.

4 Comments

  1. I can never find my ease of freedom until I surrender my will to God. That is a struggle sometimes taking months sometimes I can do it for a minute. The next time I can do it for 2 minutes. Finally I release it to God and get peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Donna. I think we all have a difficult time surrendering to Jesus. There are layers upon layers of self-will in my life. Once one is surrendered, there is another. I am thankful for grace, because without it I would be in a tough place.

    Like

  3. How true I hadn’t thought about layers and layers of surrender but yeah that’s exactly right.
    And during the surrender. Your trust and your faith increases too.

    Like

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