Eyes That See

“I Once Was Blind”

Who is Worthy?

Some treasures from the books of John and Matthew from church this morning:

Jesus, to His disciples:

“I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen.” -John 13:18

He goes on to say that Judas’ betrayal fulfilled prophecy.  Therefore, it seems crystal clear to me that He was saying in this verse that, although He had in one sense “chosen” all of the disciples, He had in another sense “chosen” only those the Father had given Him (John 6:37).  So, although Judas was “chosen” as a disciple, he was not “chosen” in the sense that the Father did not draw him to the Son and the Son will not raise him up on the last day (John 6:44).  Let us not follow Judas’ wretched fate!

This fits in well with the many examples of multilayered concepts in Christianity.  For example, there is a sense in which everything that has happened, ever, has been the “will” of God.  God is omni-everything, and is able to do whatever He pleases.  So, in the highest sense, everything that He has caused or allowed to happen has been the most pleasing thing to Him, if only because it affords Him the most glory.  In this sense, those who abuse Biblical doctrines by passively accepting the “will of God” are right:  the “will” of God will take place, even if they lay on their couch all day every day, eating bon-bons and watching Oprah.  However, in the other sense of the “will” of God, using the “will of God” as an excuse for our laziness is sinning against much of the Bible, not least of all the Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19).

(I meant to only list the Scriptures, but) To apply this to you and I, there is one sense in which we are all “God’s people,” just as Judas was “chosen” as a disciple.  However, we are most assuredly not all “God’s people” in the sense that we will not all enjoy salvation from God’s just condemnation.  Only those who are “in Christ Jesus” will enjoy this salvation (Romans 8:1).  Incidentally, based on the “therefore” in Romans 8:1, we would all do well to weary our eyes over the first seven chapters of Romans.  That “therefore” basically means “based on everything up to this point.”  So, we could read Romans 8:1 this way:  “Based on everything up to this point, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  Therefore we 1) need to understand how to become “in Christ Jesus,” and 2) we need to understand on what basis there is no condemnation for those “in Christ Jesus.”  Both of which are found in the first seven chapters of Romans.

“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” – Matthew 10:37-38

The answer to the quesiton in the title here, “Who is Worthy?,” is this: Nobody.  We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.  We have all loved father or mother, son or daughter, or even less valuable things, more than we have loved the Messiah, Christ Jesus.  We have all had many days where we have either joyfully taken up our sin or reluctantly taken up our cross, or both.  The cross is the means to salvation from the wrath and anger of God, which we deserve, against our sin.  The cross is the means to reconciliation, which we do not deserve, to our Creator, the living God.  A man who suffered more than most of us can even imagine said that the present sufferings are not even worthy to be compared to the future blessings.  The cross is the means to these future blessings. 

Let us, for the joy before us, take up our cross, despising the shame, and let us follow Christ Jesus!

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July 20, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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