March 30 – Today’s Readings – John 17-18 and Psalms 90
Two thoughts struck me today in our Gospel of John reading.
1) In John 17, Jesus makes a direct link between the unity of believers and the world “believing” in Him. In other words – we have a direct role to play – even without saying a word. Our responsibility is to be one, united in one purpose, in our love for God and for each other. Aside from this, we must also be united in our love for the lost and in “showing” God to the world.
2) From John 18 – verse 37 there is an exchange between Pilate and Jesus – “You are a king then!’ said Pilate. Jesus answered, ‘You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.”…
We often overlook a simple but weighty matter. Jesus is King. In fact, He is the King of all kings – but more importantly He is MY King. Here on Earth, there is no such thing as a “benevolent dictatorship” style of government. A good monarchy could come close if the king or queen were all-powerful, yet full of wisdom and unfailing in their love for the citizens of the nation. The king’s word in an old-style monarchy was absolute and final. Once the king made a decision, that judgment was binding. Here’s the kicker – my King’s choices and decisions concerning MY LIFE are absolute – His will becomes my focus and my desire. What Jesus says goes – so when Jesus tells me to forgive those who trespass against me or tells me to do good to those who despitefully use me – or He tells me to love my brother – I’ve only got one option and I go there enthusiastically.
How do we marry this thought with another teaching of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-29? – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” In this passage, we see The King of Kings telling us that it’s not burdensome to follow Him and to be His servant. How can this be? – There seems to be so many things we should be doing if we are to be “good Christians”. The answer of course lies in the person of the Holy Spirit. He makes it so easy – we listen and follow – we keep in step with Holy Spirit – we pray and obey. Too little is made of the marvelous gift of the Holy Spirit. When God decided it was time to change the world (and save the world) He sent Jesus Christ – AND THE HOLY SPIRIT. Without the work of the Holy Spirit, the work of Jesus would have gone nowhere. The Apostles would have never preached the Gospel with authority or worked miracles – and you would not be a Christian today. Walking with the Spirit is what makes the yoke easy and the burden light.
1. What is your role regarding “unity” in the Church?
2. If Jesus is “absolute monarch” in your life, what role does your will and decision making play in your life?