Summary: Each day, Jesus sought to know His Father’s will as He moved purposefully to the cross. There, He finished all that God had given Him to do. Today, our heavenly Father invites us to focus on Him for the wisdom and strength to complete the work He has give
Opening illustration: John P. Robinson often called America’s “time guru,” claims that people today sleep more than they think they do. He says that though they have more leisure time than ever, they still report feeling “stressed, rushed, and crunched for time.”
Robinson calls this problem “overchoice.” It’s caused by the sheer number of options available to fill our time and the wearying realization that no matter what we choose to do, we are leaving something undone. If our identity is defined by activity, we operate on the principle, “The more we do, the more we are.” We are exhausted, and we are the reason.
If Jesus hadn’t focused on doing His Father’s will, He too could have been overwhelmed by all the needy people and demanding tasks He faced. But instead of frenzied activity, Christ personified the focused life in everything He did. He said, “He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him” (John 8:29).
Each day, Jesus sought to know His Father’s will as He moved purposefully to the cross. There, He finished all that God had given Him to do. Today, our heavenly Father invites us to focus on Him for the wisdom and strength to complete the work He has given to us.
Let us turn to John 8 in God’s Word and learn …
Introduction: Jesus begins telling his opponents that he is going away and that after he is gone, they will realize what they have missed and they will search for him and not find him and will discover their mistake too late. This is the true prophetic note. It reminds us of three things –
(i) There are certain opportunities which come and which do not return. It is an opportunity which can be refused and lost.
(ii) Implicit in this argument of Jesus is the truth and that life and time are limited. It is imperative that we make the decision in the allotted time or everything is lost.
(iii) Just because there is opportunity in life, there is also judgment. The lost opportunity involves judgment. Seize the opportunity while you have time in hand otherwise …
Therefore to refuse Christ is to be a stranger to God; to accept Christ is to be the friend of God; and in that friendship the fear of death is forever banished. So with our time on earth …
How to focus on God?
1. Godly Speech (vs. 25-26) – things that edify God
There is no verse in the entire NT more difficult to translate than v. 25. The closest we can come is: ‘Everything that I am saying to you now is only a beginning.’ The passage goes on to say that men will see the real meaning of Christ in three ways –
(i) They will see it in the cross. When Christ was lifted on the cross.
(ii) They will see it in the judgment. He has many judgments still to pass.
(iii) When that happens they will see in Him the embodied will of God. Jesus said, “I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”
Far from being reluctant to speak, Jesus tells his opponents I have much to say. His task is to communicate the words of his Father to the world, in doing so; he inevitably testifies that what the world does is evil. When his opponents enquire about his identity, he says that he was from the beginning. He does not acknowledge that he is speaking on his own but that what he has heard from the one who sent him and that one is true alone.
We get a glimpse of Jesus not speaking his own words but giving credit to His Father for his utterances. Here he sets the example and bar for us to stay focused on our Creator and articulate His word to the hearers therefore holding no credit for ourselves. Articulation of Godly speech will keep us focused on Christ our Lord. Here the emphasis in not churchy or Christian language but Godly speech which doesn’t equate the former but is gifted by the Holy Spirit and compliments the Word of God.
Illustration: John Knox prayed "Give me Scotland or I die." John Knox was described as low in stature and of a weakly constitution. A contemporary, Mr. Thomas Smeaton, said, "I know not if God ever placed a more godly and great spirit in a body so little and frail."
When that frail body went to his knees, Mary Queen of Scots trembled. She said she feared the prayers of John Knox more than the combined armies of Europe.
Larry Christenson in his book, The Christian Family, says John Knox prayed with such power that all Scotland was awakened. He goes so far as to attribute the whole reformation of Scotland to Knox's prayers. He writes, 'Lord, Give me Scotland or I'll die!' [Knox] cried. And he prayed with such intensity that the Lord answered.