John 14:8-14 NASB
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
Do We Know Him?
I believe Jesus is asking many of us the same question as he asked Philip, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me?”
Do we really know Jesus? I don’t mean, “Are we really saved from our sins?” or, “Are we in a relationship with Almighty God?” but do we really truly know him? – who he is, how he thinks, how he feels, what he values, and what he likes and dislikes? Do we know what saddens him? What gladdens him? Do we truly understand why he created us and what purpose he has for our lives? Do we know what he is passionate about? And, what angers him? And, do we truly comprehend why he gave his life up on a cross for us?
And, he is not looking for “Sunday School” answers to his question, either. Do you know what I mean? Those are all those canned – “pat” – answers to questions that we learned to memorize by rote, but to which we have given not much thought or consideration ourselves as to whether or not those answers are true, or if they have any real substance or depth to them. Oftentimes these answers come up very short in dealing with real issues, and they can leave people just as confused as they were before, or more so.
I believe the Lord Jesus wants us to do a deep search of our own hearts and lives and for us to truly examine this question more in depth, rather than on just a surface level. Do we truly know this person Jesus who we claim as our Lord and Savior? Can we say that we know him as well as we do our spouses, or our best friends, or our closest family members, or someone we admire or even idolize? And, have we invested the time, the heart, the focus, the interest and the pursuit of him to really get to know him on an intimate level? – like we would do for someone we truly were interested in?
For, that is how we get to know him, right? We have to work at it. We have to hang out with him a lot, and listen to him, and ask him questions, and pay attention to his answers. And, we have to be interested in what interests him, but not in pretense, but truly. And, we have to communicate with him, too, and share our thoughts and burdens, and bring to him our needs and our requests. And, we have to read about him, too, and follow him, but not like someone who may “follow” you on a blog or on Facebook or Instagram.
We have to walk with him, too, and go where he goes, and do the things he likes to do. We need to experience life right along with him. And, that way we will begin to feel what he feels and know what he thinks about stuff, and we will get to know his personality and his character and what makes him tick, and what is super important to him and what is of minor significance.
You know the true test of whether or not we truly know him? It is when we go through the difficulties of life. It will be revealed by our responses to those difficulties. I know! For, my responses to my life situations say a lot about how well I know my Lord, and sometimes my responses say I still have a lot to learn. Because, the better we know him, the more likely our responses to life’s troubles and hardships will be united with him and his thinking, than they will be closer to how the world and the flesh thinks.
Not On His Own
One of the first things we need to understand about Jesus Christ is that he is God, for not everyone who says he believes in Jesus believes that he is God. They have been taught that he is the Son of God, but not that he is God. But, Jesus existed with God from the beginning, and he is God, and all things which were created by God were created by him. So, he made us. He formed us in the wombs in our mothers. And, his works are wonderful, for they are the works of God (See: Jn. 1; Jn. 10:30-33; Heb. 1:8-9; Col. 2:9).
So, if anyone tries to convince you that all religions worship the same God or even that the Jews who don’t believe in Jesus worship the same God as we do, don’t believe them. For, the God we believe in is Father, Son and Holy Spirit – three distinct persons, but one God. So, no one who denies that Jesus Christ is the Lord, the Christ, the Messiah, also worships the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for he was the same God then that he is now.
And, going along with this is that there is a line of command and of relationship among the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. For, Jesus submits to the Father, and the Spirit is in submission to both the Father and the Son, from what I understand. Jesus does not act or speak on his own, but he acts and he speaks in the power of the Father who dwells within him. And, the Spirit was sent to us by Jesus, and he serves as Jesus’ representative to us, and he gives all the glory to the Father and to the Son.
And, this serves as a model of our relationship with Jesus Christ (with God), too. For, when we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, he, in the person of the Holy Spirit, comes to live within us, and yet scripture speaks of how the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit all dwell within us, for they are inseparable. And, then we are Christ’s representatives to the world, and we should not speak or act on our own accord, too, but only in the power and direction of our Lord who is living within us.
Whatever You Ask
Jesus said that if we ask anything in his name that he will do it. So, what does that mean? Well, I can tell you right off the bat that “in his name” is not a mere formality or just a phrase that we say at the end of our prayers. For, when we do something in someone else’s name, it means he or she is in agreement with what we are doing, and it is as though that person was doing it himself or herself, i.e. as though we are being his or her representative. And, so we need to not just throw out that phrase lightly.
For, a person’s name is not just a title or a label they have been given, but their name is their character, their reputation, their identity, and their seal of approval that they are in agreement with something. In someone’s name means in his authority, as well. So, if we do something in Jesus’ name, although we may be the ones to physically carry it out, the power and the authority to accomplish it is not our own, but it comes from Jesus Christ, like Jesus’ came from the Father.
So, when we pray “In Jesus’ name,” it means we are praying and we are asking for what is in accord with God’s will and purpose, what he himself would pray for, and we are asking on the power and authority of Christ, as his representatives, for God to do what is according to his own will and good pleasure, and for his glory. And, that is why Jesus will do it, because we are asking under his authority and according to what he would ask for, and so we ask as though representing him.
But, a lot of people today are misrepresenting Jesus and his interests, and they are actually hiding the truth about who he is, and what he is about, and what is critical to him, and what grieves him and what brings him pleasure. And, these are people who truly do not know him other than in name only.
And, if we follow them and what they teach, we will most likely get the wrong idea about who Jesus is and the power and significance of his name and his authority, and then we may end up misrepresenting him and what he is all about, or else our prayers may be way off base because we don’t realize the significance of praying in his name.
And, worse than that, we may end up “down in a rabbit hole” because we were taking the word of those who don’t truly know him, in order to get to know him, rather than us investing the time and interest it takes with him to truly get to know who he is, so that we will serve him in the way he has planned for our lives, and so we will pray according to his will.
An Original Work / November 21, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
My people have forsaken Me,
Their Savior, who died on a tree;
Made idols, and they worshipped them;
So empty, they will ne’er fulfill.
Lord, You are the hope of Your chosen ones.
Those who turn away from You will be shamed;
The Spring of Living Water left behind.
Living Water satisfies.
The thirsty, let them come and drink;
Believe in Jesus as their King;
The gift of Jesus given them,
So they will never thirst again.
Indeed, the Living Water flows within.
It springs up like a fountain cleansing sin.
Eternal life in heaven promised them.
Living Water glorifies.
Oh people, won’t you come to Him?
Obey Him and repent of sin.
Let Jesus come and live within.
Surrender all your life to Him.
My people, won’t you turn your hearts to Me?
Forsake your idols and then you’ll be free.
Won’t you come now to Me on bended knee?
Living Water sanctifies.
Saturday, December 29, 2018