Getting Back to the Red Letters….

August 23, 2011 — Leave a comment

I have been away from the red letters for too long in this blog. For that reason we will spend the next several posts getting back to the core of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ and that is to take his words and especially his commands to heart.

Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

John 14, 11-15

I chose these words because of several things. One is that Jesus says that he is in the Father and the Father is in him. Some say this is a foundation for the concept of the Trinity but I don’t necessarily take it as such. To me it just says the Jesus and God in heaven are aligned in everything Jesus does and says. So, we are to treat Jesus’ words as if they came directly from God the Father himself. Let’s look as some of those words in this text.

Jesus says if you believe in God then you will imitate him in the works that he did. But he even goes beyond that and says that if you really believe in God you will actually do greater works than Jesus! So much for the belief that we are all just poor miserable sinners incapable of anything good!!  Jesus, by the words found here, was staking his reputation on his actions. He even said if you don’t necessarily believe in me then believe in the works that I do. He certainly puts a lot of emphasis on works in these words doesn’t he. In that regard when he says when you ask in my name (and in the works that I do), I will do it, he is saying when you do the works that I do I will be there to help you out. So when you do good works Jesus is there to help you out. What an awesome thought!

The final verse in this quote is the kicker. If you love me you will keep my commandments. Just what were the commandments of Jesus. He told us elsewhere in this words that the new covenant he brought only contained two commands and that is to love God and to love each other. He also made it clear that all the Old Testaments laws could be wrapped up in his new covenant and therefore in these two commands.  Notice that Jesus did not call his commands “suggestions if you feel like it”, he called them commands. These words like so many others found in the red letters goes contrary to what many who call themselves Christians today espouse.  When Jesus commands we should be listening but it seems many of us have glossed over these type words to make them almost meaningless. I am certainly not one of those and I hope and pray that each and every one of you who are reading these words aren’t either. When Jesus commands I am certainly going to listen.

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