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Summary: Faithful or Faithfilled?

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April 15, 2007

John 20:19-31

Obstacles to Faithfilledness

Last Sunday in my Easter Sunday message I spoke on Luke’s account of that first resurrection morning.

Early in the morning the ladies went to Jesus’ tomb carrying burial spices to anoint a dead Jesus. But when they arrived they didn’t find Jesus lying in the tomb, but instead found an empty tomb. Jesus wasn’t there. His body gone.

And Luke says they "wondered" about this. The word I used to describe these ladies was faithful. They were faithful.

From the moment Jesus entered into their lives, arriving in their village and teaching at the Temple, these women were faithful. With him and supporting him. They were alone with him at the cross when everyone else had fled.

These women were faithful.

They were loyal, dependable.

And yet in their faithfulness they failed to grasp, understand or believe a repeated teaching and saying of Jesus’. A saying he said in one form or another 7 times. "The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and one the third day be raised again."

Their faithfulness, I am led to believe, caused them to not hear anything Jesus said beyond the word "crucified". They didn’t hear the "raised again" part or didn’t understand it. But would you?

And so I pointed out that they came carrying burial spices to the tomb that day expecting to find a dead Jesus rather than balloons, expecting to find a living Jesus.

Though they had heard Jesus’ words and his prophecy that this would happen. Their behavior and their actions demonstrated a lack of faith that things truly would. They were faithful - yes-but faithfilled? No. But neither were the men - neither were the disciples. The men quite honestly hadn’t even been faithful - each of them

Running from the cross

Running from the table

Or denying knowing Jesus completely

And so when the women tell them that Jesus wasn’t in his tomb, Luke writes, "They did not believe the women because their words seemed to them like nonsense." (Luke 24:11)

Faithful? No not really at all. And faithfilled? Not one bit. Jesus followers both men and women were not expecting

Were not anticipating

Were not awaiting Jesus to venture back into their lives.

Their Jesus was dead and would always be dead.

The picture Luke paints about Jesus’ followers isn’t the greatest. If this were a movie about Jesus’ followers, it would not have a happy ending. When we look at the lives of those nearest to Jesus those in whom the Son of God had taught his ways and demonstrated his love, we would have expected more of them.

And yet when we look at our own lives with Jesus, are we much different?

If I had been there that morning, I’m pretty certain I’d been carrying burial spices and not balloons. How about you?

Faithful? Yes.

Faithfilled? That’s a lot harder.

It preached well last Sunday, I would preach it again if given the opportunity but for me anyway there is a big space

A large chasm quite often between faithfulness and faithfilledness.

"Lord I’ll stick to what I know, what you have proven to be true. I’ll be faithful in small things but filled with faith about everything else - Ah Lord, that’s asking a lot."

Yes, I’m faithful, but faithfilled, adjusting my life, entrusting every aspect of my life, surrendering all things. O Lord I’m not so fast.

Yes?

And yet these men and women who were not faithfilled at the end of Luke’s Gospel in the book of Acts, Luke’s second book, become people who are so filled with faith they literally turn the world upside down.

These men and women do make the leap.

Do take the faithfilled journey.

Healing, teaching, evangelizing, speaking, explaining and eventually crying for the sake of Jesus.

What this tells me and gives me is hope.

That though they were slow.

Though they weren’t the most expectant, they did become faithfilled.

But it didn’t look so good at the beginning.

In our text for today, John described for us 2 scenes, on two different days.

The first scene happened on the day Jesus resurrected, Easter Sunday.

The second scene happened eight days afterwards.

In each of these scenes there is an emotion present. An emotion that is an obstacle for the disciples to become faithfilled.

In the 2 scenes that John tells us about on the day Jesus resurrected and 8 days later, Jesus’ closest followers have something that must be overcome and dealt with in order for them to be faithfilled.

On Friday morning, our family got in the car to visit Vancouver. Once we were in, Ben our 4-year-old son volunteered to pray for our trip. "Lord, may there not be ice on the road, so we don’t go in the ditch."

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