Where Are You Going?

Jesus said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.  I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”  He’s from above; we’re not. Where you’re from matters, below or above, of this world or not of this world.  How do we live in Jesus’ world instead of our world?  To begin with, we must believe him, take him at his word, and accept what he says and does as being true.  This matters because if you’re from below, you will die in your sins.  This is why “where I am going you cannot come.” He was sent, in part, because we’ll never find our way without him.  We have to rely on him.  If we follow him, he’ll lead us to God and eternal life – life with the eternal one.

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Where Are You Going?

Jesus said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.  I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”  He’s from above; we’re not. Where you’re from matters, below or above, of this world or not of this world.  How do we live in Jesus’ world instead of our world?  To begin with, we must believe him, take him at his word, and accept what he says and does as being true.  This matters because if you’re from below, you will die in your sins.  This is why “where I am going you cannot come.” He was sent, in part, because we’ll never find our way without him.  We have to rely on him.  If we follow him, he’ll lead us to God and eternal life – life with the eternal one.

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Light the Path

“Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”  So, he’s not leaving any mystery there.  If you want illumination, he’ll light the way for you, but you have to follow him to see it.  He will give us the “light of life” if we follow him.  We can see because the life he gives us enlightens us.  He’ll turn on the light and show us the way.  Just follow him.

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Lift Him Up

People still wanted to know who he was, “So Jesus said to them, ‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.  And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.’ As he was saying these things, many believed in him.”  That’s interesting; after they “lift him up” they will know who he is, under who’s authority he’s acting, and that he’s doing everything in conjunction with the Father.  It all becomes clear when Jesus is lifted up.  Hmmmm.  What is it about Jesus being “lifted up” that brings everything into clear focus? It’s also interesting that he says that they will lift him up and then they will realize who he is and that he’s speaking the words of God.  What does that mean?  How does that clarify things?  I guess we’ll have to stay tuned and find out.

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Testify

Jesus said, “I am he who testifies about myself, and the Father who sent me testifies about me.”  God testifies about himself; he doesn’t need anyone else’s authority to validate himself.  We are under the mistaken impression that God needs us to validate him.  We think that if we acknowledge him, he will be more real.  Of course, God exists and is the authority in the universe, with or without our approval.  He takes an interest in us because he created us to enjoy intimate fellowship with him, to make us alive, and to share his life and his Spirit with us.

If we’re really paying attention, his effect in the world will be obvious.  The actions of Jesus himself show the validity of who he is: “If you knew Me, you would know My Father also.”  Knowing Jesus is knowing God.  This implies that we have to know God through his work and the road signs he has given us. Then we will recognize and see the actions he is doing in Jesus; then we will see who he is. Jesus is showing the way, but we must be looking for him.  We have to take what he says and does seriously, not just file Jesus away as a quaint teacher with some pithy sayings.  He is the gateway to God.  We really need to let his words sink into our souls if we want to know God.  If we assume that human explanations are right and ignore the clear signs God is giving us, we won’t recognize him.  God has things to say.  To find him, we must be listening. “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13.

The Father and Jesus are one and the same, inseparable.  This is why Jesus was born, so that we could come to know him and his Father, God.  By knowing him, we can live with him, share his thoughts and his character, and ultimately become more like him.

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What’s the Evidence?

Then, the Pharisees argued with Jesus again about who he was, and he appealed to the Father again, saying that he was united with God and his identity was sure because the work they did together verified that he was in unity with God.  Jesus was asserting that he and God are the same because the miracles that he performed were not the work of a mortal.

After Jesus taught in the temple, some people said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”  Isn’t it reasonable to conclude that if someone does miraculous things that they are close to God?  Jesus has done enough already that you could certainly come to that conclusion.  The Pharisees asked for outside confirmation, but really they were just looking for excuses not to believe the evidence they already had.  What evidence are we looking for, and how much evidence do we need to be convinced?  And will we believe it when we see it?

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Who is this Guy?

The rulers wanted to arrest Jesus, but even their own officers, sent to arrest him said, “No one ever spoke like this man!”  They were all affected by him one way or the other.  The rulers couldn’t believe anyone would follow someone besides themselves and ridiculed anyone who showed any interest in Jesus.  If Jesus was in charge, their authority was at risk.  Their own personal interest got in the way of really looking at him.  A lot of people just couldn’t take the next step and buy in at that point.  Some believed, some didn’t — not much different than today.  What is the criteria we use to determine the truth?  Are we really looking for answers or do we just want something to validate our position and make life easier for ourselves?  But if we do that, we’ll never know what the truth is.  We’ll never have the fulfillment of knowing our purpose in life.   All Jesus asks is that we look at him truthfully, see who he really is, and respond accordingly.  If you’re confused, ask God to show you the truth; read the accounts with an open mind to God and he’ll show you what you need to know.

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God, Overflowing

Jesus’ words struck a chord with some, but at least he got everyone talking about him.  His first goal was to get people to consider him and who he was.  Jesus certainly accomplished that; he definitely got them talking and piqued their curiosity when he said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.”  They got thirsty, but would they take the next step – believe in him and come to him to get his Spirit, flowing through them like living water?  So, some said, ”This really is the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” The gospel of John says, “So there was a division among the people over him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.”  What do we do with Jesus?  He says and does stuff that makes us very curious, but is he really the Son of God?  Was he sent from God to make a way to be united with him?  What can we make of all the incredible miracles he did?  Is this really the Christ, the Messiah sent by God to deliver people from their sins and lead us back to God?  Can we trust Jesus to fill us to overflowing with God, united with him and spilling out everywhere?  Is it worth the risk to give Jesus complete control of our lives?  How thirsty are we?

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Jesus, Spilling Over

So, Jesus stood up and shouted, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”  Jesus was doing everything he could to communicate how much he wants to connect with us and how sweet this relationship will be if we come to him.  Interestingly, he’s talking about a relationship that’s not yet possible. He’ll fill them with the Holy Spirit, with living water pouring out of them, but not until he is glorified.  It’s a great image of how he’ll fill us with himself through the Holy Spirit, flowing through us and spilling out into the world, when he is glorified.  It’s his call to the world: Come, drink, live with me.  But are we thirsty enough to dive in with him?  This represents the beautiful relationship he wants to have with us, if we will only believe, when he is glorified.  So, when will that be?  I guess we’ll have to stay tuned and find out.

Rivers of living water flowing from the Spirit; living water – the life of God flowing through us.  How thirsty are we?  Do we want to drink the life he has for us, or are we satisfied with our own little kingdoms and tributes to our egos?  We need to make a choice, grab what we can finagle for ourselves or bask in the life and presence of the creator and God of all life, love, and joy – tough choice.

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Thirsty?

Then Jesus stood up in front of the crowd and called to them, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”  So, are we thirsty enough to come to him?  That is how we are filled to overflowing with “living water” and immersed in the life of God.  When we come to, Jesus what are we thirsty for?  Do we want his life and love flowing through us? How thirsty are we? We have to decide if we really want him and a relationship with him and the Father.

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