Sunday, October 5, 2008

One God, One Honor

John 5:15-23 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. (16) And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. (17) But Jesus answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I am working." (18) This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. (19) So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. (20) For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. (21) For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. (22) The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, (23) that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.

What does Jesus refer to as He requires “all” to “honor” Him? We should consider every way we honor the Father, & not withhold that honor from the Son either. One thing the Father is clearly due is worship for His benevolence, mercy, forgiveness, & love. We should bless His name for being that guiding light of goodness for the slacking sojourner. We should be thankful and full of praise for the One who holds the scales of justice, the one who sees every injustice done by every soul & is a vanguard for the wrongly oppressed.

But that’s the point; all these qualities of God we see mysteriously manifested in the ages before Christ, we see expressly manifested in the age of Christ.

In the Old Testament, God showed the glory of His righteous nature from on High- there was a physical disconnect between the dwelling place of God & that of mankind. God was clearly higher, better, & stronger than man; He demonstrated that as He set His kingdom up & ruled the observable physical dimension from the unseen spiritual dimension. Though He did do so, Christ did not need to make the verbal claim to be that God, the One whose sovereignty rules over all creation- both Heaven & Earth- for Jesus demonstrated His Godliness by His nature.

Because God was set apart from man, accordingly we may have thought “He’s never felt physical pain, the pangs of hunger, or the distress of human temptations- because He‘s God. He can‘t know my pain until He‘s walked a mile in my shoes.” But through Christ, God did walk- not a mile in man’s shoes- but a lifetime. For thirty years before He was to initiate His ministry, God labored & toiled for His daily sustenance just as we do, yet because of His higher nature, He knew no sin. As He began His ministry, He went without for longer than most any man has ever gone without food, yet He was without sin. In this greatly emasculated, enfeebled condition, He spurned grand temptations to grasp something more than was due Him at that time. In no less a place than in tremendous poverty, in a place of unfathomable suffering, this God in man’s shoes rejected the allure of sinfulness. Conversely, mankind had dominion, comfort, & riches beyond belief in the Garden of Eden, yet demonstrated his lesser nature by craving still more. For man, enough is never enough, yet Jesus demonstrated His Godliness by embracing a dearth of dominion, comfort, & riches for the sake of another- namely, His elect children.

John 12:26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

Every one of us is that aforementioned “slacking sojourner” in need of a light for his path. Part of the manner we worship Christ is by following in His steps. We truly worship Him “in Spirit & in truth” by endeavoring ever more to walk a mile in His shoes- to feel but a moment of His pain- & therefore more so perceive His magnificence. As we fight the good fight to do good instead of evil- to live out the commands of the Sermon on the Mount, we grasp the enormity of what is true goodness. It is there, in that place, that we begin to truly comprehend breadth and length and height and depth of God’s unique nature…

Ephesians 3:13-21 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory. (14) For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, (15) from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, (16) that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, (17) so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith--that you, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, (19) and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (20) Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, (21) to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

He is to us firstly God, & we should worship Him for that foremost- for even if He were what the Deists claim Him to be- a God unconcerned with our needs- He is still due worship for the mere fact that He is God & we are not. Even in such a minimalist’s view of God’s goodness, He is still Creator & we are still the created.

But our view of God goes beyond that of that of the Deists’ sect, for we believe that He indeed has demonstrated Himself beyond reason alone. He has clearly revealed His nature to us through Christ.

God has revealed his nature to us through the manifestation & ministry of His beloved Son

Sadly, many today dishonor the Son of God in order to increase their own self-image. They desire to discredit Christ so as to credit themselves. This motive is not often readily apparent at first glance, but as we know, human nature naggingly portends prodigious pride more as the rule than the exception. No different than when Adam & Eve first partook of the forbidden fruit, we always desire more than we have. No matter the extent of our abundance, we want more. More power, influence, fame, knowledge, & wealth. The riches of Christ simply don’t fulfill the natural man’s appetite for self indulgence. But they were never meant to; for darkness & light cannot cohabitate- that fact is a witness of Christ’s glory & requisite honor.

1 comment:

Even So... said...

I usually just want more comments...