Stop! Think! and Be Grateful!

Maybe Stop! Drop! and Roll!  should be changed to Stop! Think! and Be Grateful!

This morning, we looked at John 14 and specifically the phrase “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (vs. 9).

Often times, I find myself reading texts and moving past phrases because I’m aware of what the text says.  I have to force myself to simply quit reading and start “chewing.”  Jesus brings Christology and Theology together in the phrase above.  In other words, if we want to know God,  we must look to Jesus.  If we want to know how God interacts with Creation, we should observe Jesus in action.  The chapter goes on to speak of the Holy Spirit (Pneumatology).  Needless to say, there’s a lot going on.

Our focus was simply to begin to “digest” the phrase in verse 9.  Although there are many things that could be said, here’s a few things that are important:

1)  Although Jesus relates to the apostles, something that sets Him apart is His union with the Father.

Of course, Jesus had been offering a relationship with God to those around Him.  But as He prepares to return to the Father, the teaching takes a slight turn.  One might perceive momentum being gained as John is getting closer to describing the cross and the ultimate sacrifice.  So Jesus speaks of His special unity with the Father, before sharing with the apostles they would do “greater things” (v. 12).  In chapter 15, he will admonish His followers to remain in Him and be successful.  Not doing so would lead to failure.

2)  Often times, we choose to think of Jesus in the spiritual sense but fail to recognize His humanity.

Sure, Jesus was Divine – fully God.  But He was also fully man.  Of course, that causes problems for those of us with finite brains.  We believe by faith.  But we’re challenged by limitations.  Thinking of Jesus simply as One who had an “in” with the Father is a huge miscalculation.  Ultimately it would devalue the sacrifice on the cross.  To put it another way, we must understand Jesus’ full humanity to appreciate the pain, suffering, and sacrifice made.  When Jesus spoke of being One with the Father, He referred to His own humility and choice to be obedient – even to the point of death on a cross (Phil. 2).

As we read Scripture, it’s important to not just read, but to meditate, to allow it to germinate, and eventually take hold in our lives.  What appears to be a simple and straight-forward phrase turns out to have so much contained inside.  Phrases like “make man in our image” (Gn. 1:26), Jesus as “the Great High Priest” (Heb. 4), etc. cannot be glanced at and then forgotten.

Take time to stop, think, and be grateful.  It will do you some good!

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2 Responses to “Stop! Think! and Be Grateful!”

  1. I loved reading this chapter in the King James Version – I had to read it so very slowly – and the words resonated in me.

    To 1): Jesus was comforting his closest friends – saying goodbye to the human relationship they had (His humanity) and telling them that they would be together again. He goes on to tell them that even though they will not see him, that he would be IN them (His Divinity) and he illustrated this explaining God the Father IN Jesus. His union with the Father and our union to Jesus (Him in us) to me… is… like a possession, if you will – that without it, we are only human indeed. I agree, there is a LOT to be said here (I had to delete a few paragraphs!)

    To 2): Understanding Jesus’s humanity is actually a gift that that we need to definitely recognize because it gives us the strength to endure our existence in this world. Not only that, but also how we are to serve and not be served. If we only see Jesus’s divinity, we only see what he can do for us and not what we can and should do for others.

    I have to say that sometimes my excuse for not reading the Bible is because I want to be alone and have quite and lots of time to read (bad excuse, I know) – but the Bible is not just a book to be read. A friend of mine once called it a “love letter” and that is exactly what it is for me when I open it.

    Thanks for the post – always gets me to Stop, Read, Think, Write – and definitely be Grateful! And I need that reminder!!

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