July 5, 2016
27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
I love the way Eugene Peterson captures this text in The Message.
Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. “The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I’m not keeping it to myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.
Wow! This is very good news. Can you imagine the God of Heaven and Earth speaking directly to you like this and saying such things? Imagine it, because its true. This is the disposition and posture of God toward the human race. He’s not angry or anxious or out to shame and punish. He is a good, good, Father.
We have placed an almost exclusive focus on the forgiveness of sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our focus here must be ever extraordinary, but never exclusive. The Gospel is infinitely larger than this infinitely large aspect of it. The forgiveness of sins is the doorway into the house of the glorious grace and goodness of God.
Imagine your children have rejected you for no apparent reason other than their own extreme selfishness. They will not speak to you despite your repeated efforts to understand why. You send one of their siblings to them with an explicit message of your unconditional forgiveness and desire for reconciliation. They are overjoyed at the news and grateful and feel at peace again with you. You invite them over regularly, but they always politely decline. The status of the relationship has been changed but that’s about it. Imagine your grief as a parent.
This is so much how it is with the way the church has focused on the Gospel for the last fifty years or so. Millions and millions of people have received the good news of the forgiveness of their sins and yet never taken Jesus up on the incredible invitation:
No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I’m not keeping it to myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.
People have been glad to have the forgiveness but not so much into the miracle of Divine fellowship. This is the only way we can explain the stratospheric number of “decisions” made to receive Jesus with little movement of the needle on a transformed nation and world.
He’s ready to go over this extravagantly powerful relationship with God with us line by line. This is what discipleship means. Isn’t it time to dive into the rest of the Gospel? Yes. it’s time.
1. How do you relate to this notion of the “rest of the Gospel” with the forgiveness of sins being the doorway into it?
2. How would you characterize your faith at this point in your life? Are you still hanging around the door or have you moved fully into the house? Are you stuck somewhere along the way?
3. Are you ready for Jesus to go over it with you “line by line?” Have you told him that?
And P.S. There are 9 Distinct Prayers of Jesus. ;0)
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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. firstname.lastname@example.org.