Believe Me!

John 14: 10-11.

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.

Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.

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As Jesus continued to respond to Philip’s request to show them the Father, He makes the case that it is their lack of understanding and belief that is the problem.

Many try to present the Old Testament God as only a God of anger and retribution, not seeing the many evidences of the love and mercy of God in the Old Testament. Exodus 35: 5-9 is just one example of many. Read the Psalms to see the Old Testament God of mercy and compassion. The idea that it wasn’t until Jesus came that we saw a different side of God is nonsense, spawned by Satan. The idea that we ought to disconnect from the Old Testament is exactly the same–spawned by Satan. It is all one Book. To eliminate any part of it goes directly against the purpose for which it was given, and will be severely punished (Rev. 22:18-19; Deut. 12:32; Rev. 1:1-3).

Jesus then states, as a recurring theme in John, that He is totally dependent upon the Father, Who is His authority. He does nothing in Himself, but relies on the Father. He does nothing apart from the Father; in fact, He makes it clear that it is the Father in Him Who does the works that He has performed.

Finally, He says, “If you can’t believe that I AM in the Father, and the Father in Me, then believe in Me because of the works that I have done.” (My own words)

Note here that Jesus asks the disciples to not only believe IN Him, but to believe Him. That is, every word that Jesus spoke was the truth. He was telling them that true faith is to believe even before they could completely understand.

Show Us the Father

John 14:8-9.

Philip saith unto Him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus  replied, “Ha… | Inspirational quotes pictures, Inspirational bible quotes,  Biblical quotes

Philip entered the conversation at this point. We need to remember that later, Philip was called The Evangelist. Clearly, he understood after Jesus went to the cross, gave up His life, arose, and returned to the Father.

Jesus showed a small hint of distress in His response to Philip. “You’ve been with Me all this time! Do you really not know Who I AM? If you have truly seen Me, you have also seen the Father! Why, then, do you ask Me to show you the Father?” (my own words)

Again, we ought not to be too critical of the disciples. If we had been there, the chances are good that we wouldn’t have seen the whole picture yet, either! I remind you again that these men were reared to adhere to the Law, including all the ritual and sacrifices. Jesus could see beyond the Law, but these men were getting just a glimpse of what He already knew.

Don’t be too hard on them. Later, they showed their complete devotion to Him in a variety of ways that I’m not sure you and I would be willing to match today.


John 14: 5-7.

Thomas saith unto Him, Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way?

Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.

If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him.

HOW IN THE WORLD!!: I Am The Way, The Truth And The Life (John 14:1-14)  Refracted Glory: Jesus revelaed in the I AM saying s of John's Gospel (Part  4)

I have long been fascinated by this conversation among Jesus and His disciples. After all they had heard and seen of Him, walking with Him daily, they still didn’t completely understand what was about to happen, or why it was happening.

Jesus had just spoken with Peter, and told him, “You know where I’m going, and you know the way!”

Then Thomas speaks, and says, “Lord, we DON’T know where You are going, so how can we know the way?” This was not rebellion or debate on Thomas’ part. In fact, he was being honest with Jesus, clearly not yet understanding what was taking place. He asked the question without fear of a negative response from Jesus, but confident that Jesus would help him understand.

The next verse is one that children learn in Sunday school in churches that teach the Bible clearly:

“I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me.”

I remember learning this same song when I was very young:

Jesus didn’t say that He would show us a way; He said that He is the way. He didn’t promise to teach us a truth; He said that He is the truth. Jesus didn’t offer us the secrets to life; He said that He is the life.

David Guzik,

I think David Guzik summed it up perfectly. Jesus’ statements in response to Thomas’ question were direct, clear, and to the point.

Then Jesus made a dynamite statement, especially to His band of Jewish disciples: No man comes to God but through Me!

This was a radical idea for men who had been reared in the Jewish law of sacrifices, rituals, and traditions. Was Jesus saying none of that would get them to heaven? Yes! And there are millions even today who will say, “Well, yes, I know you have to believe on Jesus, but you also have to. . . .” and then they will recite creeds and rules that Jesus never taught. In fact, the last verse in today’s passage says, “If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him.”

In my own words: “If you had truly known and understood Who I AM, then you would also have known My Father! You have seen Me, and through Me you have seen the Father.”

It seems very clear to us now, but don’t forget–they hadn’t yet seen the ultimate proof of the love of God as Jesus accepted the cross and gave up His life for us. That is yet to come.

I Will Come Again

John 14:1-4.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.

In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

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We don’t know what heaven looks like. We have only artist’s renderings, which are fun to look at, but I don’t believe any of them even come close to what awaits us there. We know what the book of Revelation has to say about streets of gold and pearly gates, but we don’t really have an accurate vision of heaven itself. My husband, who grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, loves the outdoors. He says he’d much rather have a tent in the woods than to live in a fancy house. And maybe that’s exactly what God has prepared for him.

This passage is perhaps one of the most well-known in all of the Bible. “Let not your heart be troubled” has become the well-used motto of a well-known radio personality. But I don’t think Jesus was speaking of politics. In fact, I’m sure He wasn’t. He was speaking of the disciples, and how they would deal with His leaving them alone after having spent three years walking with them every single day. “Don’t worry,” He said. “I know you believe in God; you also must believe in Me, that I will provide for you and take care of you!”

Jesus’ command that they not allow their hearts to be troubled, worried, fearful, was actually an imperative. He could have said, “This is an order; pay attention! Don’t worry! Don’t forget Who I am, and don’t allow fear to consume you.”

Then He makes them, and us, a wonderful promise: “In My Father’s house there are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

Mansions? Everybody gets their own personal mansion? Well, it IS heaven, and it IS God! He can do whatever He chooses. One of my sources says that the word used for mansions here could be just as accurately translated as dwelling places. Some translations use the word rooms. In any event, there will be a place for every soul that has ever believed and accepted Jesus Christ. A tent, a room, a mansion–a dwelling place. I like to think that God will give us exactly what fits our desires. I think my place will be filled with teapots, endless varieties of tea, gorgeous dolls beyond counting, and books that never end. And music. Lots of it. My arthritic hands, which will then be perfect, will play easily on my heavenly piano 🙂

Won’t we be spending all of eternity just worshipping God? Yes, of course. But the fact that Jesus mentions dwelling places tells me that there is much to enjoy in God’s plan for us in heaven. It will be infinite, after all.

The best part of Jesus’ promise, of course, is that if He is going to go and prepare a place for us, then He will come back to get us and take us there. He will take us unto Himself, to be with Him forever. So don’t worry!

“After all,” said Jesus, “You really do know where I am going, and you also know the way. It’s just not your time yet. There is work for you to do.” (My own words)

Till Thou Hast Denied Me Thrice

John 13:36-38.

Simon Peter said unto Him, Lord, whither goest Thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow Me now; but thou shalt follow Me afterwards.

Peter said unto Him, Lord, why cannot I follow Thee now? I will lay down my life for Thy sake.

Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for My sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied Me thrice.

March 2018 – Seated in Heavenly Realms

Peter, demanding as always, wanted to know WHY he couldn’t follow wherever Jesus was going right now! He clearly didn’t understand yet what Jesus was saying. Jesus was speaking of His return to the abode of the Father, His return to heaven. Peter wanted to go, too, although he had no idea to what Jesus was referring.

Wouldn’t you have wanted to follow Jesus? Especially if you understood that Jesus was talking about returning to heaven, wouldn’t you like to go with Him? But would you be willing to go through all that He endured on His way back to the Father?

Jesus had said, (my own words) “You can’t follow Me now, but you will later on, when all this is over and you have finished your work on earth. THEN you will join Me in heaven!”

But Peter didn’t hear that part. He wanted to go with Jesus now. Even, he said, to death. “Lord, I will lay down my life for You!”

How confounded and horrified Peter must have been when Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied Me thrice.”

(In my own words) “Peter, I’m telling you the truth. You will deny Me three times in the coming hours, before the rooster crows to signal the morning.”

Cockcrow was the third watch of the four Roman night watches, and took place halfway between midnight and dawn. It wouldn’t be long at all, on that fear-filled night for the disciples, before Peter would deny having any part with Jesus. He crumbled at the accusation of a servant girl.

Years ago, our church choir sang an Easter cantata in which I was assigned the alto solo, His Wonderful Look of Love. The song detailed this dramatic story of Peter’s betrayal and Jesus’ look of love and compassion. I’ve never forgotten the words, nor the emotion that shook my voice as I sang:

No Greater Love
by John W. Peterson.

1. I chose a path of sin and loss, apart from God above;
Until by faith I saw the cross and Jesus’ look of love.

2. I viewed His body on the tree and searched the thorn-crowned brow;
It seemed He spoke from Calvary, “For thee I’m dying now”.

Refrain to be sung after each verse:

His wonderful look of love; His wonderful look of love;
Made the teardrops start, broke and won my heart,
His wonderful look of love.

3. I could not spurn His love divine and careless turn away;
He saved this guilty soul of mine, Now I am His today.

His wonderful look of love; His wonderful look of love;
Made the teardrops start, broke and won my heart,
His wonderful look of love.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Politics

No, I’m not going to write about the upcoming election, or either candidate; not about the looming scandals and the lying, trickery, threats, etc. Sick of it all.

I just got to thinking about the word politics, and decided to give myself a refresher course on the true meaning.

Too often, we have moved so far from the origin of words that they change their meaning across time and misuse.

The root word is from the Greek: polis, or, in English, city. It could also refer to a fort, a citadel, the state, community and finally citizens.

Politikos, also Greek, refers to the citizens; pertaining to the state and its administration; pertaining to public life.

The Agora of Athens

Citizens would often meet in the agora, an open marketplace where goods were bought and sold and matters of the city were discussed. Agora, by the way is the root word for agoraphobia, or “fear of the market place.” People who have an acute dread of leaving the safety of their homes are often diagnosed with agoraphobia. And if you didn’t already know that, you’re quite welcome 🙂

Okay, so we see now that originally there was nothing secret or subversive about politics. It was simply having to do with the affairs of the city, which in early Greece, where they liked the idea of pure democracy, were settled by the votes of the individual citizens.

History tells us that it didn’t last long, because pure democracy devolves rather quickly into total anarchy, which is what we want to avoid. Instead, America is a republic, in which matters are decided by representatives chosen by the people.

Things get sticky at this point. Human nature being what it is, people in modern politics are subject to all sorts of influences that often have very little to do with the desires of the people they were chosen to represent. Special interest groups, outright bribes, secret dealings with organized crime and even with other countries can go on for some time before such things are discovered. And often, even after they are discovered, they are often overlooked, depending on the power and influence of the perpetrators.

You understand, of course, that I’ve condensed history almost unforgivably in order to keep this short enough to hold your interest. My point? Politics hasn’t always been a dirty business in America. In the beginning, the elected representatives and senators met for a short time each year and then returned to their farms and businesses, because they didn’t make enough money in Washington to consider it their only full-time job.

Those were the good old days. That was before government started to grow into a many-tentacled monster that now wants to control what we think, what we are allowed to read, who we are allowed to listen to. All, of course, for our own good. Which government knows better than we do.

So, in the women’s Bible study I lead, we’re in the book of Hebrews. This week we talked about the only sure anchor we have. Hebrews 6:19. “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast.”

Jesus is our Anchor. He is sure and stedfast. He does not change at anyone’s whim, bribe, or threat. He is always the same. And of course, all of us who were there know this song, and sang it together:

Love One Another

John 13:33-35.

Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek Me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.

HOPE FOR TODAY Revival Series - ppt download

Jesus is about to endure the most horrific hours of His life, yet His concern was not for Himself, but for His disciples. The words He spoke to them in this passage are full of His love for them, his concern for their loneliness for Him as they continue their earthly journey.

He addresses them, with great affection, as “Little children.” In doing so, He was not being patronizing or condescending. Rather, He was acknowledging that they still had some difficult paths to travel, and what they had learned from Him would continue to grow in their hearts into full maturity.

Then, He spoke to them of His imminent departure. In my own words, “I’ll be here with you for just a little while longer. After that, I will leave, and you cannot follow Me. So I want to tell you that you need to care for each other, and for others you will meet on your earthly journey. You need to love each other the way I have loved each of you. All other people will know you are My disciples by the way in which you love each other.”

It has always impressed me that, while facing hours of torment, Jesus’ concern was for His disciples. He wanted them to show each other the same love He had shown them. Instead of complaining about what He had to go through, he encouraged them to love each other, stand for each other, show the world around them what they had learned from Him, and be examples of Christian love.

Under Cover of Darkness

John 13:30-32.

He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him.

If God be glorified in Him, God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him.

Now Is The Son of Man Glorified | Mary Pezzulo

Just a few words more about Judas here. He still had the taste of the sop in his mouth as he quickly got up and left. It was night, dark. The Bible tells us that men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil (John 3:19). Judas, though determined in his sin, wanted the cover of darkness. We all do, when we are knowingly doing wrong. Even a little child will look for a place he won’t be easily found when he is up to no good! We like secrecy, because it seems to hide our sin. What we forget is that God’s vision is not hindered by darkness.

It is also important for us to note that Judas had the best Teacher, the best example, yet he still did not believe. Having been in the presence of the Master for three years did not move his hardened heart. He did not want a Messiah, perhaps, Who would stoop to such lowly service as foot-washing. Maybe Judas feared that he himself would be expected to follow Jesus’ example.

Years ago, one of my sons broke both legs in a ski accident. He was casted from hip to toes for nine weeks. The day the casts came off and we were back home, I helped him wash his legs and feet. He said it felt SO good! But I had to hold my breath, because the smell was beyond unpleasant. It wasn’t a job that got me any notice, but it sure felt wonderful to me to know I was giving my son the pleasure of being fresh and clean. In that light, it was a noble task. That is how we should always regard work that may be unpleasant, but will bring pleasure, relief, and satisfaction for someone else.

Now, to Jesus’ words. “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him.” What did He mean? He was about to be betrayed to His enemies by a disciple He loved; He was about to undergo gross mistreatment, torture, and death. How is that being glorified?

For the usual criminal, the cross was the. ultimate humiliation. For Jesus, it would be glorification!

Jesus knew that His death, even more than His life, was in obedience to the will of the Father; that it would show mankind the most perfect love there is; that both He and the Father would ultimately be glorified by His suffering, because it was the ultimate sacrifice: That a Man would lay down His life for His friend (John 15:13).

Jesus goes on to speak, in my opinion, one of His most beautiful and heartfelt messages to His disciples.

Satan Entered Judas

John 13: 28-29.

Now no man at the table knew for what intent He spake this unto him.

For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that He should give something to the poor.

A Special Meal

Had not Jesus just said that the man who received the wine-soaked bread would be the one to betray Him? Did they not see that exchange between Judas and Jesus? Did Jesus do it so quickly and privately that the disciples missed it altogether?

They did hear Jesus tell Judas to go quickly to do what he planned, but they took it to mean that Judas needed perhaps to pay for the meal, or give money to the poor.

Matthew 26: 25 gives us a little more insight into the conversation. The disciples had asked, I imagine in a near-panicked way, “Is it I, Lord?” And Judas, sitting next to Him, voiced the same question. Jesus, handing him the bread He had dipped into the wine, looked him in the eye and said, “You have said it.”

Then, we are told, Satan entered Judas completely. And Jesus saw it, saw the moment reflected in Judas’ eyes when he allowed Satan complete control of his behavior, all the while knowing that he was still loved by the Master. How did he know? The sop, the bread dipped in wine, was a token of friendship and hospitality. It must have tasted bitter in Judas’ mouth!

Never think for a moment that anything that happened during the next hours came as a surprise to Jesus. He knew exactly what would happen, did not shrink from it, and even suggested to Judas to hurry up and get it under way.

Neither is God surprised by our own lack of faithfulness. Still, He loves us. It’s an amazing thing.

What surprises me, though, is how the other disciples could have missed what was happening between Judas and Jesus. Maybe they were engrossed in conversation with each other, and missed the passing of the sop. Maybe they weren’t paying enough attention to see the nonverbal exchanges between Judas and Jesus. And clearly, they still trusted Judas. He must have been a very good actor.

Do it Quickly!

John 13: 26-27.

Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when He had dipped the sop, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

What thou doest do quickly." | Bible video, Bible images, Jesus last supper

When the disciples wanted to know who would betray Him, Jesus answered that it would be the one to whom He gave a piece of bread dipped in wine.

How the tension must have mounted as He broke off a piece of bread, dipped it into His wine, and quietly handed it to Judas.

Can you imagine? I think there was utter and complete silence during this exchange. Often, silence is far more dramatic than a lot of noise!

I wonder what Judas was thinking when Jesus handed him the wine-soaked bread. Was he shocked that Jesus knew what he had already begun? Was he ashamed? Was he angry? Afraid? Maybe all of the above, all influenced by his greed. Thirty pieces of silver was a lot of money, and you can bet he wasn’t planning to put it in the “general funds” category in his ledger.

The Bible says that “Satan entered into him.”

I believe that Jesus captured Judas’ attention completely, eye to eye, and saw Satan in Judas’ eyes. “What you are going to do, go right now and finish it.” He was speaking to Judas, but He was also speaking to Satan. He knew very well who His enemy was.

It’s almost as if Jesus had said, “Get ‘er done,” in our vernacular. He knew what was coming, and knew that it was time. No more delay.

Yes, a lot of drama in those few moments.