What shall I say?

Now my soul is troubled and what shall I say?  Father save me from this hour? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.   

John 12:27

A crossroads is where you find yourself standing with the ability to take an alternate course.  A choice is required.  Do we choose to pursue a narrow way where the course before us is obscure and difficult or the wide, smooth and easy way?   What shall we say, “Father save me from this hour or glorify your name?”

I often think about the moments of crisis in Jesus‘s earthly ministry where it is so natural for man to desire avoidance. The Bible tells us Jesus was a man of sorrow acquainted with grief, betrayal and rejection and in it all, continually set his face to pursue his father’s purpose. 

Jesus said, Now my soul is troubled. At this crossroads that demands a choice, Jesus reminds us, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.  We are encouraged to pray that we do not enter into temptation.  A natural man would not choose this narrow path, but a dead man could.  Jesus, tempted in all points yet without sin, shows us we too can walk this road in our hour but must first answer this same question.  What shall I say, “Father save me from this hour or glorify your name?”

In John chapter 12 we find the beginning of the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry. He is preparing not only himself but the men to whom he has committed his life’s work. His hour, his crossroads stands before him. Facing the cross, understanding that a seed must die to bring forth life He chooses a narrow way that not only brought him life but provided the way for others. 

First Peter chapter 2 tells us Jesus has been set as an example for us to follow. It’s a very high standard. He tells his disciples in chapter 16 of John, “I have said all these things to keep you from falling away......I have said these things to you that when your hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.”

These words were sufficient to hold them steady in their hour.  His word remains sufficient to hold us and keep us from falling in our hour.  

Everyone one of us lives to face our own hour.  The question stands, What shall I say?  Save me from this hour or Father, glorify your name? 

Do I need to see to believe?

“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples which are not written in this book, but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

John 20:30-31

We all have seasons where we are tested to see what we believe.  They don’t come at times we have been thinking, “O I have a test tomorrow, I better prepare for it”.  

The test occurs in the most mundane of circumstances.  Usually seen in the needs or wants of others that require some kind of sacrifice of time, money, effort, or energy on our part. You know, the things that say to us, “Die to the flesh.”  We are all selective about when, where and how we choose to die. The test is in our first response to the moment. 

It is in these very times of testing our hearts reveal truth and we see how our lives our measuring up to the image of Jesus.  In every test the Father measures our capacity for increase, spiritual as well as natural. 

I love the gospel of John simply because it reveals hearts values and motivations so clearly.  In this gospel, John reveals the Father’s Heart to Jesus, Jesus’ to the Father, the Father’s to us, Jesus’ to us, and ours to others. Our scripture today says all these things have been written that we might believe. Jesus showed us how to live so we could live like Him and that by believing, you might have life in his Name.

The Apostle John wrote in his first epistle, “…What we have seen, what we have heard, what we have touched and handled, we proclaim.”   All of this is for the purpose of us entering into the same fellowship.  “And we are writing these things so that your joy may be complete”. 

Jesus appeared to the disciples following his resurrection proving He was alive.  Acts said this was proven “by many infallible proofs” so that he could establish in their hearts and minds that everything he had said and done was truth.   They saw, they heard, and they believed.  

Thomas was the disciple who said, “I will never believe unless I see.” Jesus response,  don’t be unbelievingDo you believe just because you have seen me?  A good question to ask ourselves: Do I need to see to believe?  Jesus said, Blessed are those what have not seen and yet have believed.  

These are written that you may believe and that believing, you may have life in his Name.  

Jesus came to give us life.  He is the way, the truth and the life.  We seek to see Him in the word that is written and it is sufficient for us to believe.   We need no proof of external evidence but he that has eyes to see, can see the hand of God in the smallest of acts.  

The further removed I am from the entrance of the word into my life, the less abiding I’m doing and Jesus said apart from me you can do nothing.  His words wash my mind, refresh and strengthen my heart, heal the brokenness and assure me of my Fathers love.  Natural life’s events cannot give me this.  There are things that Jesus wants us to see and hear that we will never see or hear without attending to the word and believing what has been written.  

The word was made flesh.  The word dwelt among them.  They beheld His glory.  They saw, they heard, they touched, and handled.  They wrote, and these things are written that you might believe and that believing you may have life in his name.