This is Jesus • Sermon • Submitted
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Christian, the question I want you to wrestle with today is this: “What is most important in my life?” Not just what you think is most important… Not just the thing that you say is most important. Listen, we’ve all met people before that will tell you that their families are important to them, but they spend overtime at the office without being asked. We’ve met people who will tell us they want to be drama-free… And yet they find ways to get in everybody’s drama.
No, I’m not talking about what you say is important. I’m talking about what your actions and your life show are important to you!
If your career is important to you, you take the time to develop your skills and get after the work. If your family is important to you, you set aside quality time and gather often.
If knowing the Father is important to you, you get after being with Him. That’s what the disciples craved.
I fear too many of us today have replaced desiring God with desiring entertainment or comfort or leisure. We’ve replaced our desire for God with desire for the dopamine hits that we get from scrolling facebook or instagram.
These things sound trivial! And that’s the problem. They ARE trivial, but we’ll spend 4 to 8 hours a day scrolling through our newsfeeds and hardly 10 minutes a day in our Bibles or in prayer.
The problem is, these trivial things have taken a high place of importance in our modern lives, whether we realize it or not.
We, as a culture, as a modern people, need to cultivate a heart for God. I say cultivate, and some people in the room understand that word. It means to shake up the ground on which you stand. Ever see a tiller tilling the earth? It rips up the ground, bringing the nutrients back up from the trodden soil, making the ground fruitful again.
A little bit of context surrounding the passage:
This takes place directly after Jesus foretold Peter’s denial.
Jesus knows He is about to head to the cross. He’s just told the disciples in Chapter 12 that His soul is troubled.
Jesus has told the disciples that one of them is about to betray Him.
What the disciples want the most is to be made right with God…
The Way is a Person, Not a Checklist
The Way is a Person, Not a Checklist
Thomas has trouble understanding… “We don’t know your destination, much less how to get there!”
Jesus responds: “I am the journey… I am the Way… The Father is the destination.”
Jesus responds: “I am the truth… There is no other way to see the reality behind everything you experience.”
Our culture struggles with truth, as it is. Truth, to the modern mind has become, “my truth,” “your truth,” but no objective truth… Truth that stands outside of a person’s experience.
Jesus responds: “I am the life… There is no true life outside of Me.”
We think ‘the life’ is filled with riches, success at work, getting bigger homes and better cars. Jesus’ answer to that is that He is the life our soul most desires.
Jesus does not say, “I am a way, a truth, and a life.” He is the. It’s not colonialism, as many leftists will tell you today. It’s not oppressive. It’s life-giving.
And if He is the Way, that means He knows a thing or two about how to live a godly life. Listen, you go out into the world, and people will tell you things that you think are novel ideas. But they couldn’t be further from the truth.
People seek to get Jesus in their corner all the time, manipulating Him to fit whatever they’re thinking or feeling. The next time a politician invokes the name of Jesus, or someone uses the name of Jesus around politics, I want the hair on the back of your neck to bristle. Mine sure does. Don’t mean they’re automatically wrong, but too many people are too careless about what they think Jesus will do or would have done.
Jesus is not your tool to use, He is the Lord. Remember that. He is the Way. We submit to Him.
Believe the Way
Believe the Way
It is Jesus who should be troubled, but he takes the opportunity to comfort His disciples.
The disciples were on edge due to these things. Jesus is offering them comfort in the midst of intense anxiety.
Don’t let this be lost on you. They will soon have their lives altered forever. They will soon be persecuted. The Disciples will soon face the loss of their Lord.
The way Jesus describes His departure is with purpose. Jesus is not simply coming to the end of His life. He’s going to prepare a place for His followers in His Father’s house.
This is in reference to a lot of things to happen in the future from Jesus’ point of view:
His Second Coming
They worry that they won’t know the Father. They worry they won’t find righteousness. Jesus says of course you do. You know me. The Way isn’t about doing everything right. It’s about knowing Me.
Follow the Way
Follow the Way
Then we come to some of the most encouraging, even if difficult, verses of the passage. Verses 12-14.
Jesus tells his disciples that, of all the works they have seen Jesus do, they will do even greater works! This is a massive statement. And not just the disciples, whoever believes in Jesus.
That means YOU, Christian!
Do you recognize this? What happens in your heart when you hear this truth?
Maybe you’re emboldened to go out and get after the work of Jesus. Maybe it causes something within you to well up and get after kingdom work. You hear these words and you’re ready to charge the fires of hell with a water pistol.
Maybe you respond to this statement in a different way. Perhaps you respond in disbelief. “Uh, yeah, Jesus, but you fed 5000 with a sack of Wonderbread and a cod.”
If this is you, listen in…
Jesus says that it is because He is going to the Father that greater works can be done. What he’s saying is not that you’re going to do the same kinds of works. He’s saying you’re going to do greater works.
This means that we have to understand the place of miraculous works. Miracles are not something that happens so we can marvel at the miracle. Miracles are things that happen so we can marvel at God.
When someone comes off of the mission field and they report that God did a miracle amongst a people that has never heard the Gospel, I am much more amenable to that than a celebrity preacher who ends his message asking you to give to his ministry so he can buy a new jet plane.
The point of a miracle is to point to the greatness of God. And He is still able to perform the miraculous. What Jesus wants us to see, however, is that the miracles are not the great works.
The great works come because Jesus has gone to the Father. Think about that for a moment. What is different about Jesus being with the Father instead of being on earth?
It means He is with the Father, interceding on our behalf. It means the way of salvation has been opened.
It means that the death, burial, and resurrection has been accomplished so people no longer have to face the consequence of hell for their sin.
The work that Jesus bestows upon His Church is the ministry of telling the world of the Good News and seeing people come to new life in Christ!
It’s literally the way that people escape Hell and find God.
You may say, “Well, that sounds harsh.” CONSIDER THE WAY OUR CULTURE OFFERS HELL BUT NO FORGIVENESS! This week, I came across a story that I thought I would care nothing about… Young lady before her first day on the job was canceled…
If you’re new to all of this… EXPLAIN THE GOSPEL.
Trust the Way
Trust the Way
Finally, we see that Jesus’ command and comfort to them has a lot to do with His ability to accomplish what He is promising them.
Verse 12 is dependent upon verses 13 and 14 in the same way that miracles and great works are dependent upon God.
And again, the whole reason for all of this is the glory of the Father.
We can trust that the Son seeks to glorify the Father. You can count on it!
Further, you can trust that Jesus seeks to glorify the Father using you.