Summary: “If Jesus is coming down now, Are we ready for Him?!”
Last night in the midst of silence and darkness I heard a distinct whisper “If I am to Come Down now, are you Ready?” In the continuing disappearance of the shrill night that raised a thousand questions that scorched me in acute embarrassment as I bewilderingly realized confessing to my conscience that “I am not ready for my Christ – Yet”.
“If Jesus is coming down now, Are we ready for Him?!”
The question having demolished my spiritual vanity that had stealthily creeping in me this past many years and with my Christian civic conscience looming gigantically over my spiritual consonance posing a ‘follow-up’ query “Why despite 2,000 years, you & your brethren are not ready for Me?”, I shuddered as I viewed the theolographical mosaic around me and to my intense humiliation & discomfort, the smoldering question grew even larger & swelteringly interrogative.
In self-retrospection I began poignantly pondered what Jesus would ask me if He comes down in front of me this moment – would He pull me up on my continued failures? After much deliberation and cross examination in the sanctum of my soul & spirits, I trembled as I once again heard the sacrosanct whisper “is it so hard for you just to love your neighbor inspite of me emphasizing significantly that it is my new & most important commandment?”
Yes, it is true that Jesus through His horrendous saga & sanctified sacrifice on the gruesome Cross forgave & washed away our sins thereby initiating hope for mankind and doom for Satan, but would ‘He’ pardon and absolve us of our failure to follow “Love Thy Neighbor as Yourself” – His one & only ‘New’ & most important commandment that He considered closest to His heart?. Searching deep inside me I earnestly realized that definitely Jesus would not excuse me for that – would He? Don’t we hear the pained voice of Jesus loud & clear “Can’t you follow this very simple command which I personified and exemplified through my own life from the virgin womb to the virgin tomb?”
Let us solemnly meditate on the protevangelium of the gospels & inquire what Jesus said would happen to those who did not follow this specific command of love: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:1-2). What Jesus implies by the word ‘fruit’? Of course, it is absolutely apparent that He was parabolically escalating the most important virtue that was closest to His heart, i.e. the “Love & Compassion” for our fellow humans.
Now if we revisit this sanctified scenario where Jesus & His Apostles had just left the Cenacle (upper room) after the Last Supper and were walking towards the Gethsemane garden, we would see Jesus was almost ruthlessly stern for the first time with His very own disciples as He accentuated to them the importance of following His command of ‘Love Thy Neighbor’: “If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned” (John 15:6). All our Christian life we are used to the image of Jesus being ‘soft, kind & gentle’. Please read this passage from John 15:6 alone and in the midst of the midnight silence – you would tremble and quiver in fear at the imperious wrath of Jesus for the 1st time in your life for you would inexorably see the Jesus from whom the “earth and sky fled” (Revelation 20:11).
Having abbreviated ourselves with what would happen to those of us who have not understood & followed the words of Jesus recorded in John 15:1-2 replicated here above, let us indulge in understanding clearly what Jesus meant “Abide by Me”: “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love” (John 15:10).
Finally, let us see the glorious reward for those of us who would fervently follow this new, specifically distinctive and special commandment of Jesus: “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples” (John 15:7-8).
Apostle Paul cautions: “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12) because Paul firmly believes that “For in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay” (Hebrews 10:37).
Spiritual pragmatism prompts me to zealously follow Apostle Paul’s prognosis: “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).