WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM? – A STUDY OF THE LIFE OF JESUS (39)

KNOWING AND COMMUNING WITH THE FATHER THROUGH JESUS CHRIST – JOHN 14:6-15

The disciples greatly needed some encouragement and Jesus, Who sympathizes
with us in our weaknesses, greatly encouraged them (and us) through six promises
and assurances He gave them in this chapter. Last week we looked at the first
one. Today we will look at the next two.

1) John 14:6-11 – The assurance of knowing the Father, now in this life. "Jesus
said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the
Father except through Me." Jesus had promised them that He would come back
and take them to where He is (heaven) and now says He is the way (the only way)
to the Father – to the One true God and heaven. Only in Christ can we be in
union and in communion with God the Father. "For there is one God
and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ
Jesus
, who gave Himself a ransom for all" (who will receive Him 1 Tim.
2:5-6) All other religions (ways to God) are based on works which greatly underestimates
the pure white holiness of God and the deep sinfulness of man. There is no way
to bridge that chasm apart from Christ, the Perfect Man and God, taking our
sin and giving us His righteousness. If Jesus is not the only way then He died
needlessly (Gal. 2:21).

But salvation is just the beginning of this relationship/union with God. Jesus
is also the ‘way’ to walk with God, to be in fellowship with God. He is the
message, the model, the motivation and the means of union and communion with
the Father.(Warren Wiersbe) Jesus says "follow Me", His example of
love and obedience to the Father as He said "not My will but Thine be done."
Jesus showed us what a son of God should look like by His own life, not just
His words.

"Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have
not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father." (John 14:9)
Knowing Jesus is knowing the Father as He is the exact representation of the
Father. (Heb. 1:3) And knowing God is the greatest good in all of life. "Thus
says the LORD: "Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, Let not
the mighty man boast in his might, Nor let the rich man boast
in his riches; But let him who boasts, boasts in this, that he understands and
knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and
righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight," says the LORD. (Jeremiah
9:23-24) Do you remember how Skip MacHarg said he had changed his definition
of what it means to be successful to that of "knowing God"? As A.W.
Tozer put it, "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the
most important thing about us." Only as we know Him truly and rightly can
we respond to Him rightly.

2) John 14: 12-15 – The assurance of prayer – We get to pray (not ought to
pray), to talk to and listen to the most wonderful and powerful Being in the
universe. "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father
may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."
(vv. 13-14) The phrase "in My name" means in God’s will. Contrary
to the prosperity gospel, God is not obligated to answer our selfish prayers
(demands) no matter how many times we name it and claim it. Prayer, talking
and listening to the Lord, helps us to grow in intimacy with Him and provides
comfort, wisdom and power to do His will. Through prayer we can do "greater
works than He did" in that the entire body of Christ can do a larger quantity
of works than Jesus alone did when He walked the earth.

To pray without ceasing simply means we talk to the Lord about everything and
constantly try to hear His voice so we can "walk in the Spirit" step
by step throughout the day. It is the realization of our desperate need for
His help and a passionate desire to honor Him in all our ways that drive us
to prayer. We simply can’t know and do His will and thus glorify Him without
that vital connection through constant communication with Him through prayer.

Yet, we must pray and obey in order to deepen our intimacy with Him. "If
you love Me, keep My commandments." "He who has My commandments and
keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father,
and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." (v.12, 21) "It
is in the context of a committed relationship (time, transparency and obedience)
that Jesus promises to reveal Himself to us. Unlike a promiscuous man or woman
who wants the pleasure of sex without commitment, Jesus refuses casual intimacy.
He is not indiscriminately intimate." (Ken Gire – The Windows of the
Soul
)

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Do you ever "boast" to others (i.e., say how very grateful you are)
that you know God personally? Is knowing Him the greatest blessing (boast) of
your life? See Jeremiah 9:23-24.

Do your life’s activities indicate that growing in the knowledge of God is
your definition of what it means to be successful?

We get to pray (not ought to pray), to talk to and listen to the most wonderful
and powerful Being in the universe.
Why don’t you talk to and listen to the Lord of the universe, your heavenly
Father, who loves you passionately and perfectly (i.e., He won’t spoil you),
more than you do?

"It is in the context of a committed relationship (time, transparency
and obedience) that Jesus promises to reveal Himself to us. Unlike a promiscuous
man or woman who wants the pleasure of sex without commitment, Jesus refuses
casual intimacy. He is not indiscriminately intimate." (Ken Gire – The
Windows of the Soul
)
How does this statement strike you?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *