God IN Us

“If only I had been alive when Jesus was walking the earth. Things would be so much simpler. It would have been so much easier to believe. If I had a question,  I could just go ask him and he’d clear everything up. Yeah…I wish I had lived back then when trying to be a Christ follower.”

Have you ever thought those thoughts? Many people do, I know I certainly have.

The thing is, based on what we learn from the Gospel of John (as well as the rest of the New Testament), that line of thinking is flawed. For one thing, there’s no evidence given in the Gospels that Jesus’ disciples had an easier time of believing than we do. In actuality, maybe just the opposite. Those who were closest to him were still so unsure about him that betrayal and denial were still ready options. When push came to shove their lack of certitude about him made it easier for all of them to run and hide rather than stand with him in his arrest.

One could argue that they didn’t start taking shape as solid believers until after he wasn’t with them physically.

The reason for that may be found in the passage we’ll be reading this Sunday, John 14:15-31.

Notice that Jesus doesn’t say “If you keep my commandments I’ll love you”. The only “if” of this statement is connected to our love for him. Obeying isn’t a condition required in order to be loved…it’s a symptom of a condition of love. How does living by Christ’s teachings reveal love?

Jesus introduces the Holy Spirit to us in this passage. Jesus seems to indicate that our journey with him will be that much more stable because he’s sent the Holy Spirit in his stead. Now, instead of being with the Holy Spirit as he’s operated through Jesus, he will be in us, guiding, teaching and helping us on our way. That indicates a quantum leap in our journey. Think of it – a 24 / 7 Counselor and Friend within us, available to us at all times. He will teach us and guide us and empower us. What of life’s puzzles and dilemmas do you bring to the Helper? How has His presence in you provided guidance for your life?

Jesus says that the Holy Spirit will teach us and lead us into truth? If He is the teacher, how can we properly understand the role and place of “teachers” in the Body of Christ?

Just as he’s about to be arrested and crucified – with the launch of the church in view with all of the persecution and turmoil it has faced throughout history – Jesus says he will leave us with peace. How can we understand what he’s saying? How can we be peaceful even when there is turmoil surrounding us?

The characteristics of this relationship with God are profound. God IN us manifests in our lives as love, discovery and peace. For as much as I’d really like to see Jesus, I still think we’re better off where we are right now.

This should prove to be an interesting (albeit heady) exploration this Sunday. Hope to see you there!

 

 

5 comments

  1. Lot’s to ponder here! “Obedience is a symptom of the condition of love”, how profound?! In vs.31 Jesus said that so the world would know that He loved the father He did what the Father commanded… When we obey, we too display our love for Him. To me implicit in love is trust, respect and honor. Because we trust Him we know that what He asks of us is what is best for us, because we respect Him, we desire to submit to His authority, His plans.. In The Dark Knight Rises, the villan said she honored her father by continuing his work…When someone we love is on their death bed and asks us to please do “xyz” for them in their absence, love is the force ignites in us a determination to carry out that persons wishes…This is the love Jesus asked us to demonstrate in His absence as well! The next piece provides the power to actually pull this off, the Holy Spirit within us!
    The Holy Spirit being ever present and available to counsel, guide and empower is beyond the bomb!!! There is nothing too big or small that He is not interested in helping us with…
    The Holy Spirit as our teacher does not diminish the role of bible teachers but instead helps us discern whether what is being taught align’s with scripture. He reveals truth and error as we ask His guidance in this.
    Looking forward to delving into this Sunday!!

  2. To be honest , I dont believe, how could a man do the things the bible says he done, raise the dead, rise from death, why would a God let innocent children be beaten to death, kidnapped and raped, why would a God let people starve to death, because of where they live and what life they are born into….No one ever sees God , He remains invisible, but yet many people bow down to a God they only have faith in,…the bible says He is a jealous God, and then contradicts itself by saying Jealousy is a sin

    1. Even Yoda said “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose”. Sounds weird but you confuse evil with pain and suffering. Jesus said we must lose ourselves to follow Him. Nothing in the kingdom makes worldly sense. CS Lewis (very intelligent atheist converted as an adult) said “I believe in God like I believe in the sun, not because I’ve seen it but because of how it illuminates everything I do see.” We worship a suffering, executed man, a donkey rider, not because of what he taught (no one understood Him, even the disciples after 3 years) but because of what he did to the 11 disciples and Paul after He returned from execution. Paul and the martyred disciples prove the resurrection by their changed hearts. All historical. As CS Lewis might say, “Jesus was a liar and a lunatic for dying for a lie, or He was Lord.” Pain and suffering was a necessary part of the plan for Jesus, our lives, and the world.

  3. I believe Jesus did exist, but being the son of God is hard to believe,, I dont belive in magic and the things he done, would qualify for such, I do think he was not of this world and he possesed a power given to him by his father, a possible Alien or for a better word : Extra terrestrial., maybe he came from another deminsion, …He said …where I go you cannot come. ,How could he heal the sick,…through his DNA his skin cells. sort of like a lizzard grows a new tail….may sound a little far fetched ,,,,I wish I knew him

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