What Jesus Meant By That…

They did not understand that He was telling them about His Father.  So, Jesus said,  “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be, and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.  The one who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases Him.  Even as He spoke, many put their faith in Him.  John 8:27-30.

The presence of God evidenced itself in Jesus’ life and actions.  The signs for knowing Him were all there for anyone to see if they wanted to, however, few really did.

Why?

The presence of sin.  Its influence and effect on the mind leaves us blind to its very presence so that people see what they want or have been conditioned to see.  What do we want to know for sure?  That we are valuable.  But that desire to be valued manifests itself in a variety of ways when sin enters the picture.  John wrote another letter in the NT which answers our question pretty well.  We find it in 1 John 2:15-17,  Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

Do you see the contrast given here?  The world and its desires pass away but those who do the will of God last forever.  If we let the desires of sinful man, which means we buy into a thing or a host of things not matching up to God’s desires, then our perception of truth will be altered and we will see God’s truth as a hinderance to our desires.  The lust John mentions is not merely indicating sexual desires but an overwhelming craving for whatever we see around us.  As for the boasting John points to, it subtracts God from its equation, which makes it godless in intent though not may be necessarily in content.  In other words, we can boast about seeing God’s great wonders as if they were a boost to our own greatness rather than praising God for creating them.  Since He created everything, everything we see is holy, but if we misuse it or extract Him from nature as its source, any boasting we do about it is godless.

A couple of verses before our key text above Jesus answered the question weighing on the minds of the Pharisees.  “Who are you?”  they asked.

“Just what I have been claiming all along,”  Jesus replied.  “I have much to say in judgment of you.  But He who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from Him I tell the world.”

Jesus all but hit them over the head with His identity.  He rarely came out and said,  “I am the messiah” but He pointed to the prophecies, Law and His own works to reveal what they needed to know.  They refused to acknowledge Him as anything but a hindrance to their agenda, especially once they saw He wasn’t onboard with what they had in mind.  Jesus’ teaching didn’t focus on Himself as Messiah, but the whole of truth.  He wasn’t interested in self-glorification, for His mission was to save mankind and turn our hearts back to God.

Though Jesus could have spewed judgment out on His detractors, He restrained Himself for the sake of following the call of His Father.  Look at the text again and see the statement of “I have” in contrast to “But He who sent me is reliable” then recognize Jesus gave us a hint as to what God wanted Him to do.  These sentences contrast each other, for though Jesus had things to say in judgment, His Father gave Him a different agenda.  This fulfills what He said to Nicodemus a few chapters before where He claimed,  “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”

Do you see?  Jesus is telling the Pharisees the very same truth.  His mission was one of salvation not condemnation.  He could have slapped them all down with guilt and judgment but trusted His Father instead to know what needed to be done.

If our God and Savior kept the goal in mind at all times, refusing to be led astray by seemingly important arguments or theological rabbit trails, what should His followers do?

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One Response to “What Jesus Meant By That…”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    We’ve been intensely studying the book of Luke in bible study. So when you speak of what Jesus did and what we should do it takes on a whole new meaning for me these days as my heart is tender towards Jesus’ walk on earth. Having immense compassion on the people, and yet being rejected by those in the temple was heart-breaking. We would be apt to speak out against them, to argue to try to set the record straight. Instead Jesus held his ground, spoke the truth and continued on his way. He wasn’t there for those who would not receive him, his time was short. He was after those who really had a need to be changed. If we could only see that and walk that example then I believe that the kingdom would have already been preached to all nations.

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