Is it possible that God’s approach and view and understanding of all things is so different from ours that the incarnation is less about a “delusion derived chasm crossing” than it is about a “revolutionary way of thinking?” When we see the relational beauty of the Trinity, a God emerges that we thought was the stuff of fiction and fantasy. “He is too good to be true!” we declare. It makes our heads spin when we think of a God who is powerful enough to make the universe but has no ego to protect whatsoever. As a matter of fact God our Father, Son, Spirit is so other-centered that their identity is forged in they emptying of the one for the other. Their unique individuality is forged in the fiery Love of perfect oneness. Jesus is Jesus because of His Father. The Father is the Father because of the Son. The Holy Spirit is the fellowship agent of the Father-Son relationship. They never move or exist or desire anything apart from one another but they are uniquely individual in their desire to serve one another. The Father’s greatest joy is to see the Son exalted above all else. The Son’s greatest joy is to return to the Father with the declaration of “look what we have done” and present all of us to the Father. The Holy Spirit’s greatest joy is to reveal the Father-Son to the world (as evidenced by our intoxicating, Spirit-filled revelation in this age of Pentecost).
That same intoxicating union is our home and our family and our assurance. We are now and forever in Jesus in the bosom of the Father anointed by the Spirit in Christ. Every single person that has ever lived or died has the same certainty of their inclusion in the divine circle dance…They just don’t know it or they reject it. On some level we are all still blind to this reality because it is beyond our capacity to see. The Holy Spirit is constantly illuminating another truth within us in Jesus. We begin to see, through the eyes of Jesus, a Father who is so good He shatters our perspective of fairness and justice and judgment. In our fallen thinking we insist on people paying and being punished and serving time but God says there is none of that in His family. Our inclusion is His choice not ours. The good news is He became man, as God, joining mankind, so our inclusion is His inclusion of us. We had no choice. It was His divine plan. He has thought through every detail and understands the eternal ramifications. He has missed nothing and has provided for everything. To insert our wisdom into His cosmic election is to say or Abba is dumb. No, instead we need to accept that we are blind to His greatness and beauty and goodness. We need to sit in anticipation of the next mind-blowing revelation of His awesome plan for cosmic reconciliation and salvation. We are right on schedule.
Jesus came to join us and overcome Adam so we could know Him and the Father. This is our eternal life. We expected a messiah who would create a utopia of our design. Instead He joined mankind so we would know Him in our union with Him. This is how He changed the world. This is how He reconciled the cosmos. We had missed God and hid from God and painted God with our dysfunctional and deluded images. Now we can see Him as Jesus sees Him. He is so so so good that knowing Him is Heaven. Now it is time to embrace what Jesus has done and put down our good-bad judger and live in His truth that sets us free. We get to “repent” and change our minds to “see” through the eyes of Jesus a world and a God illuminated by the Holy Spirit. In the last post I started to unpack John 14 as an example of how we can “see” like Jesus. Here is the rest (all from the ESV).
John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
Can you hear the disciples say “what commandments?” “Is it to love each other? Was that it? Or maybe dust off our feet, He said that too. Or was it that thing about praying?” They are all looking at each other sure they love Jesus but aren’t sure what He is talking about. He is getting to it in verse 21 and later in John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” What is it we “do?” Let Him love us.
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
Now they are getting excited. There must be some good stuff coming. Jesus told them to go and heal the people and they did “in the Spirit.” They had history with the Spirit when Jesus said go and really huge stuff happened when the Spirit was “with” them. Now Jesus is telling them that He will dwell in them. Wow!
18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
Hear the disciples thinking…going and coming…”what is He talking about?” Still they love the concept of not being orphans.
19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
Now your eyes should be getting really big and your heart should be swelling with excitement. He is about to do something very different. Up until now He has been seen by the world but now they won’t see Him anymore. But wait… we will see Him. Our lives come from His life. See it? Resurrection, life. He will be invisible to the world in a physical way but be apparent to us in another way.
20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
Boom! When all this happens we will know that Jesus is in the Father and we are in Jesus and He is in us. We see the Son of Man out of the right side of God like Stephen. We then come into the Trine circle in Him. And then…come on…we step forward in the circle and Jesus is in us. This is the gospel message. This is why Jesus came and died and was raised. It was always God’s plan to have His kids in His family.
21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
This word “commandment” gets all messed up in our good-bad, religious thinking. In the Greek this word for commandment is nothing more than “focusing on the end goal”. It is to share a common goal with Jesus. The common goal with Jesus is to become like Him, to become Love, to know the Father through the Son. To “keep” His commandments means we will cherish them. We share the same goal with Jesus which is to love and be love and reveal the Father to everyone. We do this in and from the love we have for Him and He has for us. It is in that cooperation and union and sharing with each other we come to know the love of the Father. The Father has always loved us and will always love us because He is love…however…we don’t know the Father or have not seen the Father or can’t know the Father apart from Jesus. So in Jesus the Father loves us. See it? And of course in that participation in our union with Jesus he becomes manifest and real and tangible and amazing to us in a very concrete way. We come to know Jesus, really know Him…as we are fully known. Come on!
22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?”
Judas asks the question we all ask of God when we understand our inclusion. We have Jesus and it is great for us but what about the world? Jesus what are you going to do about all of them?
23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
We have become Him in this world. We are Jesus to the world. We can represent Him when we cherish and hold onto the Word become flesh. This means we embrace our inclusion. It means we embrace the reconciliation of the whole cosmos. It means we can know God through the Son. It is the good news. We love Him and participate in the truth of His saving work. In that we can know the love of the Father and reveal the love of the Father. Outside of a union with Jesus no person knew the Father or saw the Father or understood the Father. We can know Love Himself.
24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
Jesus is putting and exclamation point on the whole discussion. It isn’t His idea alone but the Father who sent Him. The Father’s will is for us to know the Son and be in union with the Son so we can know the Father through the Son.
25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.
We needed to hear the words from Jesus in the Flesh. We may not understand and will likely never really understand all that He has done but we have heard clearly from God in the flesh.
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
If that were not enough now we can be sure that the Holy Spirit will illuminate the truth of Jesus in us. She will remind us and explain to us all that Jesus has said and done and accomplished.
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
In this transition the disciples would be afraid. Jesus reassured them. He does the same for us. No matter what we know we have the divine peace of Jesus not only from Him but from Him within us. We know His peace from the inside out. We know the peace of Jesus because we share in His emotions.
28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
This is the other-centered Love that only a Triune God can have. Giving oneself for another is the joy of the Trinity. We really don’t understand that kind of love. It is more gratifying to see another completely exalted over ourselves. That is the Love of Jesus. That is why He says we don’t know the Love of Jesus. His greatest joy is to come under the Father and empty Himself to the Father. That is the love of God that makes God Love.
29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.
In the prophetic proving way Jesus is telling them ahead of time. Also since the chaos will drive them all away and running back into the bushes, they can remember what Jesus said about peace and inclusion and acceptance and union.
30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.
The devil plays a part in this great Judo Move of Jesus. Jesus is “doing what the Father commanded.” Again this word is all messed up in our heads because of the years and years of good-bad judging and religious brain washing. Jesus is just saying that His end goal is the same as the Father’s end goal. His passion is the Father’s passion. His love is the Father’s love. His surrender of Himself at the hands of angry sinners is the passion of the Father and the Love of Jesus for the Father expressed on the cross.
How is your upside down thinking now? I bet your head is tilted and your eyes are squinting but your heart is leaping for joy.