Tuesday, April 5, 2016
No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.” John 14:19-21(NLT)
In the years Jesus walked with and taught his disciples they’d learned so much, particularly during the “huddles”. Huddle times were when they would gather together at the end of day, and Jesus would reveal to them understanding of what they’d seen and heard that day. They would ask him questions while the evening fire crackled, and their minds were slowly being shaped and prepared for service in the kingdom.
Perhaps none of these evenings was more important than their final huddle. Jesus was more than clear as he shared the Last Supper with his disciples; his death was not the end of things, but the beginning of a new life that would open the reality of God’s forgiveness for all people.
He said these few, cataclysmic statements:
1. I am going to die, but I will live again – and that’s your future too.
2. My resurrection will open your understanding.
3. Throw your life in with mine and know the love of my Father…I won’t hold anything back from you.
For the “uninitiated,” those who have not placed their faith in Jesus, many of his statements and actions are difficult to understand. But it was designed to be that way, because, in the final analysis, faith operates absent of empirical evidence.
Just ask Thomas!
After the resurrection, when Jesus appeared to the disciples, Thomas wasn’t there. When he was told Jesus was alive, Thomas said:
I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side. John 20:25b(NLT)
And that’s how most of us are deep inside; how can you take such an important thing on faith alone? The answer, of course, even for those of us who have hung around church for a long time and been privy to the huddles, is:
You say you won’t believe until you see;
But you won’t see until you believe!
And so it is with everything Jesus taught in the final huddle with his disciples; when you begin to believe, by choosing to believe, you also begin to see and experience the love of the Father – firsthand. It is then – and only then – you begin to understand enough to know deep inside that it’s all true. And then, you don’t need anything else, or anyone else to convince you – your empirical evidence is beating and breathing from within.
A step of faith in Christ leads to deeper faith in Christ, which leads to a closer walk with Christ, and the revelation deep inside your soul, of just how much the Father loves you.
Like Jesus said to Thomas on that day, don’t be faithless anymore…believe.