“If God could show you the end, you would be ok with the present.” (John 14:13-14) This is a statement Pastor Josh made on Sunday morning during his second sermon of the Wake the Dead series. This message was timely and applicable, yet I was unable to get past this point. With the mounting turmoil, fear, and death that is wrecking our lives, how can we possibly find peace? As COVID-19 spreads, we begin to hear of its impact on our society and people that we actually know. “Peace that surpasses all understanding” (Phil 4:7) seems far from our reach. Have you watched the news? Things are not great and very likely to get worse. So much is unknown; believers and nonbelievers alike swing emotionally from “do I have enough toilet paper?” to “what happens if I lose my job and cannot feed my kids?” In the midst of all near crippling uncertainty, there is a still small voice speaking to our hearts. On sunday morning when Josh said, “If God could show us the end, we would be ok with the present,” he was absolutely right.
The beginning of John chapter 14, the main scripture from Josh’s sermon, is a message of peace that is rooted in belief. Jesus is speaking to his disciples, present and future! He is telling them not to be troubled and to believe in God, and also in me. WHO? Jesus. What a statement, do not let your hearts be troubled believe in God and also in me. This command in itself should be enough spoken from the son of God, considering we now know what he went on to do for the world. Yet he is gracious and tells us the plan! Jesus goes on to give us a glimpse of what he is doing where he is going and who our belief is placed in. Jesus says “In my father’s house there are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” He is telling his disciples I am going away to prepare a place for all of you then he says “And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”
He is going away to prepare a place for us, his disciples. When that place is prepared he will come back for us and bring us from this “place” the world we live to himself. He does not say take you to the place, but to himself. What an interesting turn of phrase, is it not? Even more interesting is what Jesus says in response to Thomas telling him “Lord, we do not know where you are going, How can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” What an incredible statement! We went from a way and a place to truth and life! Let’s break it down.
I am the way = I Jesus am the path to the place that is being prepared FOR YOU.
And the truth = I Jesus am THE TRUTH, there is truth to be had and it is in me Jesus!
And the Life = I Jesus am THE LIFE, there is life to be had and it is in me Jesus!
“No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Are you tracking with me? Jesus says IT’S ME! You know the way because you know me! And you because you know me you know the father, God Almighty, YHWH, Jehovah, I AM! The ONE who “created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; ALL THE DAYS WERE ORDERED FOR ME WERE WRITTEN IN YOUR BOOK BEFORE ONE OF THEM CAME TO BE” (Psalm 139:13-16). Jesus is telling his disciples, “that’s me.” He is saying, the one who said “I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” in Isaiah 43:1; yep you got it– that is me!
Jesus looks at his followers and says paraphrased, “I am him and He is me, because you know me you know him. Place your trust in me and see that I go to prepare a place for you and I am coming back to take you to myself! And know this! You know the way because you know me! So DO NOT FEAR!”
Even more incredible is what we read in Jesus’ words in John 14:8-11, “Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever 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 authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.’”
Can you hear Jesus speaking to you now? Listen carefully to your heart, is he asking you?
Have I been with you so long?
Do you still not believe? “I have spoken on the authority of the Father but he who dwells in me does his works.” The God of the universe the ONE in complete control of all things is saying to you BELIEVE!
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
It is with this heart that Jesus says believe in me. I AM HE and He is me, trust me. It is with this belief that we Pray as Christ calls us to in verses 12-14 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
In this way we are to work, live and pray, in Jesus Christ believing in him, that he is the son of God, fully God and Fully man. Knowing that when we pray in Jesus and believe in Jesus, he is in us and the father is working through him in us to complete the works he has planned just as he did in Christ Jesus himself!
When we BELIEVE in his name and are baptized into his death, burial and resurrection (Rom 6) God dwells in us as Holy Spirit, through THE WAY made by Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and the works PREDETERMINED are being done in us BY God the Father. It is in believing that we can trust and see the future because our faith has been placed not in ourselves but in the person and work of Jesus Christ. When as a perfect lamb he sacrificed himself and made a way for us to be adopted into the body of Christ SO we can have no fear since it is not us who is working out the plan but “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil 2:13).
So brothers and sisters we can see the end and be absolutely certain of the present “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
With Love in Christ Jesus our Lord,
A Prayer for a pandemic;
Father God, we know you are in complete control. We know Lord that you are not shocked or surprised by present circumstances, in fact you are pleased to do your will for your glory and nothing in this world will change that will. Lord we know that you are good and righteous and full of love reaching out and taking hold of our hand even when we spurn you. Father please, HELP US that we may not boast in our wisdom or our strength or our riches, but let us boast in the fact that we understand and KNOW you that you are the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice and righteousness in the earth. For we know in these things you delight. Oh Lord God let your heart delight in us, your people, we pray in Jesus name Amen.