Thursday, June 7, 2012

John 14:28-31

Jesus ends this Upper Room discourse much like a good coach would. You can almost see them all huddled in a circle while the coach gives His final inspiration and charge! Note His final words in this chapter:

“You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.  I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.  I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me,  but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. 

“Come now; let us leave.” (John 14:28-31)

Jesus assures the disciples that His leaving them is actually a good thing. He lets them know that His return to the Father is part of the plan, because the Father’s plan is much bigger than anything they could conceive. How gracious Jesus was to prepare these men for what was coming that very night. It would appear to many, including the dejected disciples, that Satan had won when Jesus hung on the cross. But Jesus declares here that his death was imperative to show the world His great love for the Father and His commitment to obedience in all things.

Paul writes of our need to imitate Christ’s attitude by emptying ourselves of our own desires and serving others with humility:

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,  then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  

Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 
but made himself nothing,
    taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.   
And being found in appearance as a man,

    he humbled himself

    and became obedient to death

        even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:1-8)

Jesus began this evening with the disciples by washing their feet - being the example of the humble servant-leader. He ended it with a charge, “Come now; let us leave.” This is where the coach and the team put their hands in the center of the circle in unity and raise them with a shout out. “Okay, now - let’s get out there and do this thing!”

I feel like Jesus has been telling me all week, “Get your eyes off of your circumstances. Keep them focused intently on me and just do what I ask of you.” Several of you have encouraged me with some great verses or messages of love this week! Yesterday, my dear friend Pammie (Royce’s grandmother), sent me an email urging me to read Psalm 37. I could not believe it! It is the perfect message just for me (read it!). Pammie did not know that I have always called Psalm 37:3 my “mental health” verse, because it states the very thing we need to do when we are discouraged or in a pit of depression: “Trust in the LORD and do good.” In other words, know and believe that God is still on the throne. He sees what is happening, so you can cast that burden on Him, then get out there and start serving others - because it’s NOT ABOUT YOU! :)

I’m pumped after this great encouragement from my LORD! Jesus is saying, “Come now; let us leave.” Leave the doubt; leave the anger; leave the hurt; leave the fear - whatever it is that is plaguing you - and get out there! I’m ready, are you? :)  

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