Summary: Jesus said something really important after he raised Lazarus from the grave. He said, "Take the grave clothes off him and let him go." Has God raised you to life only for you to be weighed down by the grave clothes?
Lord God and Father,
open our eyes so we can see Your truth.
Open our ears so w can hear Your voice.
Open our mind so we can understand Your Word.
And open our heart so we may receive all that You want me to receive. AMEN
There are many things that stand out to me in regards to Jesus’ earthly ministry. One of those things was His willingness to associate with people. Jesus hung out with all kinds of people. Even within His closes contacts we see a variety of people.
Four of them were Galilean fishermen.
James and John were men who had short tempers.
Philip was a man of calculation and reasonable thinking.
Bartholomew was a quiet man.
Matthew was a selfish tax collector.
Thomas was a man who needed proof.
Simon the Zealot was a member of a Jewish underground militia.
Judas Iscariot was greedy.
They were all different and they were all sinners. They were not that different than you or me.
12 men in all who were chosen by Christ to be the pillars of the new Israel, the Christian church. Each of the disciples represent different kinds of people to help us understand that we can reach all nations with the message of hope.
None of these men were famous or outstanding in anyway. They were for the most part humble and eager to learn.
Jesus took these men with Him almost everywhere He went. He allowed them responsibilities. He prayed with them. He taught them. He even let them walk on water with Him.
And, He sent them out.
Jesus told His disciples that they were supposed to go out and tell others the same message that He was telling. He told them to go and make disciples of all nations. He told them to go and minister healing to others and that they could expect miracles.
And when Jesus told those men these things, He also included all of us. We see this in John 14.
Jesus was comforting His disciples because they were feeling a little down. Jesus had told them that He was going to die for them and for us
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4 NIV
I love this because Jesus was giving them some vital information that would not just benefit them, but would benefit us all.
Jesus was telling us how it would be possible for us to carry on until He returned again.
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.
Here is how we are included. Here is the bonus… 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14:6-14 NIV
The key to this is accepting that Jesus is the way the truth and the life and that the only way, the only way to God is through Jesus and the benefits are awesome!
You see, Jesus is still willing to associate with all kinds of people. He is willing to allow people who are not worthy of His grace to participate in His mission!