Category: Jesus the Revealer

Ten – The Completed Work of Christ – p. 392

1 completed work of Christ

June 3

The Gift of… Everything (cont.)

Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2Pet. 1:4)

How shall we define or describe God’s nature? Scripture offers us two ways.

First, we see the nature of God in the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us about the divine qualities which produce the various “flavors” of the divine character.

fruit-of-the-spirit-tree

Second, we might define or describe the divine nature as offered by what we SEE in the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus. Through The Christ, we see the aspects of the divine nature in real-life situations, providing us invaluable insight into the practical aspects of God’s nature.

In Jesus, we see the “fruit of the Spirit” in living, interactive form. Through Jesus, we see that God’s nature is…

moved and motivated by compassion and love (Matthew 9:35-36; 14:14; 20:34; John 3:16);

willing to offer divine help to meet human needs (Matthew 8:2-3; Mark 1:40-42; John 2:1-11);

Jesus healing a womangentle and humble (Matthew 11:29; 12:20; 21:5; John 13:12-15; Philippians 2:6-8);

loyal and faithful (Matthew 28:20; John 14:18-21);

able and willing to intervene in situations of peril, sickness, and trouble (Matthew 4:24; Mark 4:37-41; Luke 4:38-41; etc.);

caring and nurturing (Matthew 23:37; John 10:11-14);

intent on fully satisfying the human spirit (John 4:10, 14; 6:35, 48-58);

desiring to offer direction, sustenance, revelation, and purpose (John 14:6; 10:7-9; Matthew 11:27);

intent on revealing truth (John 14:6; over 70 times Jesus prefaced His statements with, “I tell you the truth…”);

eager to impart life (John 14:6; 10:10; 11:25);

committed to teaching the ways of God (John 13:13; Matthew 7:28; Mark 1:22; 6:34; Luke 21:37; over 30 times Jesus is mentioned as teaching the people and/or His disciples); and

the embodiment of light opposing all forms of darkness (John 8:12; 9:5).

Jesus came as the perfect revelation of God – His Own character, heart, and nature. Our perception of God must be drawn from Christ, Who came to this earth, not only to die for our sins, but also to impart a true revelation of the God Who purchased our salvation with His Own sacrifice. As the apostle John was inspired to write:

1-john-5-20.png

An unmistakable truth emerges: God desires to reveal Himself to us. It is His purpose and pleasure to reveal Himself through the display, and personal experience, of His divine nature. Jesus came as the first to fulfill this purpose. All generations of His disciples, to follow, are also given this marvelous and glorious task. The good news is that we have already received all that we need to accomplish this purpose. We have become fully enabled to “participate in the divine nature.”

But it gets better still…

Nine – Our Purpose, pt. 2 – p. 339

1 Understanding our purpose 2 Rule of God

March 4

Jesus came to reveal The King (cont.)

Jesus came to put the King’s Person on display, to reveal His character and nature through all that He accomplished. This fact is confirmed in Jesus’ Own words:

John 14 11

Jesus not only claimed to be from the Father, and fully representative of the Father, He offered His Own actions as proof of His claim. Jesus’ works verified His words. Stated another way: His works gave irrefutable evidence that He was “The Word” of God Himself, dwelling among us. He showed us, each and every day, the character and nature of the One True King!

Jesus’ entire focus, in His time on this earth, was centered in one consuming passion: to bring attention to the One True King. One of the prominent ways He accomplished this passion was through the miracles He performed. It is so important to note that He did not come just to “wow” us with miraculous power – He came to offer us Himself, and His actions, as living proof of the unseen and almighty God and King. His wonderful works of healing, of deliverance, and of bringing life from death were the simple and undeniable proof of the power and intentions of the Great King of all kings. Jesus’ actions revealed the heart of the King to rescue, deliver, liberate, heal, and to make whole.

jesus healing man

Everywhere Jesus went, the “evidence of the miracles” exclaimed one loud and irrefutable truth: The God of heaven desires to rule over this earth – and in every place where He rules there is hope, healing, blessing, and wholeness. There is deliverance and freedom. There is comfort and peace. And there is life in abundance!

Jesus’ day-to-day ministry was a ministry of example and evidence: The Kingdom is here! Place your complete trust in the King, and He will bring you into the fullness of the blessing of His Kingdom. This was the assertion of our Master when challenged, by His adversaries, about His ministry of miracles: “If I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the Kingdom of God has come to you.” (Luke 11:20)

Jesus’ mighty works were not intended as a performance in order to gather a crowd of followers. His mighty works were a demonstration of the very heart of the great King, Who sought to win the hearts of those who would see Him – and, in response, devote their lives to this loving and faithful King. At the very epicenter of all that Jesus did, was His desire to reveal the One True King and to display what His rule could accomplish upon this earth. Jesus did this by giving us example after vivid example of what this King’s rule would bring to our lives.

Nine – Our Purpose, pt. 2 – p. 338

1 Understanding our purpose 2 Rule of God

March 1

Jesus came to reveal The King

John’s gospel account begins with a powerful description and a striking concept…

John 1 1

John is inspired to identify the Subject of His gospel (Jesus) by calling Him “The Word.” What does this mean?

As we think about it, the very purpose of words is to successfully communicate ideas or facts from one person to another. One person has something in mind, and desires to communicate that something. To do so, one thinks of words that might be used to best communicate, then those words are expressed to another person so that those words might be received and comprehended. Words are tremendously useful to human beings — they help to connect us. Words are critical to promote the possibility of comprehension and understanding. We communicate our thoughts, ideas, and facts to one another, mostly by using words.

With this in mind, we turn our thoughts to Jesus, described as “The Word.” He came as the exact expression of the Almighty God. To look upon Jesus, and to see Him in action, was to observe a true and accurate physical representation of the Most High. This is a fact that is prevalent in Scripture:

the Word

This is also confirmed with Jesus’ Own words spoken to Philip and the rest of the disciples: “If you really knew Me, you would know My Father as well… Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father…” (from John 14:7-9)

With this conclusive remark, our Lord Jesus brings us to a crucial consideration – and the very essence of our current discussion. Jesus came to reveal the King, and to grant us a life-changing understanding of Him and His ways. As John was inspired to affirm at a later date: “The Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him Who is true.” (1 John 5:20)

We just cannot understand, and know, the King if we do not have an accurate view of Him. Human beings need to see Him as He truly is, to fully observe and grasp the King’s character and nature. The King seeks to conform all things to His character and nature, and through the display of His power and authority, He desires to align all things with His Own purposes. Without the displayed works of the King, it is extremely difficult to know and understand His Heart for us…

Six – Understanding the Holy Spirit, p. 193

1 HS Banner

 July 15

5) Jesus possesses the right of revelation. In our previous chapter, we talked at length about the importance of divine revelation. At the heart of that importance is the revelation of God, Himself. We all need a personal revelation of God, as He really is, to capture and motivate our hearts and minds.

Scripture tells us that this right of revelation belongs to Jesus, The Christ. “All things have been committed to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” (Matthew 11:27) This word “reveal” means to “uncover something previously hidden or unobservable.”

The purpose behind The Christ’s “revealing” is to allow devoted disciples the ability to really know the Father, which is the true foundation of eternal life. As Jesus said…

John 17 3 niv

This truth indicates that we really cannot know The Father, or the Son, until we receive a revelation of God as He really is. Revelation, from God to us, comes first – and forms the basis of growth into the things of God. The Lord Jesus possesses this right of revelation, and He eagerly longs to bring this revelation into the hearts of His devoted disciples.

As Jesus’ “High-priestly prayer” (recorded in John 17) indicates: Jesus made the choice to reveal The Father to His first disciples – and, subsequently, to every dedicated disciple to come after them:

Jesus praying painting

Once again, we observe that the basis for connecting to The Christ, and to God’s immense love, is a real relationship with God, made possible through what Jesus has done, and through what Jesus reveals.

And also, once again, we are led to the understanding that Jesus’ revelation comes to disciples through the Person of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit Who makes known, and keeps making known, all that Jesus desires to reveal into the hearts and minds of His people.

The Holy Spirit applies what Jesus supplies.

This is why His role is so significant within the lives of true believers. Without the Holy Spirit applying Jesus’ revelation of God (within committed disciples) we cannot really know and love God, as we should. The intent of divine revelation is to bring us to a heart-understanding of Who God is, of what He has done, and of how much He loves us.

HS Reveals

It is this understanding that forms the foundation and shapes our lives in The Christ. It is God’s Holy Spirit Who “comes alongside,” and dwells within the heart of the believer, to perform this essential work.

Five – Understanding Revelation, p. 146

Man with lamp walking illuminating his path

May 29

Religion (simply defined as man’s attempts and efforts to try and do what pleases God) always tends to distort the true picture of God. Religion is inclined to focus on a few aspects or dogmas and, eventually, those focal points or dogmas become how God is identified and experienced.

This is exactly what had transpired in Jesus’ day. The religious Jews (Sadducees, Scribes, and the Pharisees) had so distorted the true picture of God that the people had lost sight of the God they were trying to worship and serve.

God distorted

So much so, that John records some of the saddest words in all of Scripture: “He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.” (John 1:10-11)

God came to this earth, and was virtually unrecognized by the people with whom He had dealt for centuries. He should have been readily recognized, accepted and worshiped, but He was virtually unfamiliar and unknown. One of the certain objectives of Jesus was to restore mankind’s true vision of God. He came to make it a true vision once again.

Scripture confirms this:

1 J 5 20

Through His words and His actions, Jesus came to both bring divine revelation and also to be divine revelation to every longing heart.

…Like The Master

If it is true that Jesus’ ministry was based on divine revelation, and that an important part of His ministry was to be and to bring divine revelation, then it is only reasonable to conclude that divine revelation would form the foundation of the ministry of Jesus’ disciples. If it is the pattern of The Master, it must also become the pattern of the disciples of The Christ. This is exactly as Jesus said: “It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.” (again, Matthew 10:25)

This is precisely what we discover as we read through the Book of Acts. Time and again, the disciples of Jesus are influenced and directed by divine revelation, creating an opportunity for the power and grace of God to be openly displayed or to flow out and change lives. By working directly through the disciples, God could openly display His Person and His character. He could, once again, be clearly seen as He really is.

Peter heals

As it was true in the life and ministry of The Christ, so it was true in the lives and ministry of those who were His dedicated disciples. Divine revelation came to the disciples so that divine revelation could come through the disciples.

Five – Understanding Revelation, p. 136

Divine Rev

May 17

At Caeserea-Phillipi, Jesus asks His disciples a question…

Who do you say

Peter responds to the question: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

But now comes the most fascinating part of the conversation…

Upon recognition of Peter’s true confession, “Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by My Father in heaven.“” (Matthew 16:17)

Peter and Jesus

Jesus is abundantly clear. Peter did not reach this conclusion because He had thought it out and arrived at a logical deduction. This had nothing to do with brainpower, or human observation, or opinion at all. The Lord makes the profound point that Peter arrived at his conclusion about Jesus because the Father had brought revelation to Peter’s heart. Peter spoke up because this truth had been revealed, and the truth about Jesus had made its way into the core of his being.

Scripture reminds us that a man speaks from the overflow of what is in his heart (Luke 6:45; Matthew 12:34). We cannot underscore this thought enough. Peter spoke out because divine revelation had come and taken root within him. Jesus immediately recognizes this fact – and emphasizes it for all the disciples to hear. It is because of this revelation that something has occurred within Peter that enables him to speak out, and his confession is absolutely true.

This distinction emphasizes God’s ability and handiwork and de-emphasizes humanity’s capacity for effort and reason. God instigated and conveyed this revelation, and a man was the recipient of God’s gift. Because of the Father’s revelation, Jesus tells Peter that he has stepped into a state of blessedness. “Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah…” The revelations of God not only enlighten… but also bring divine favor.

blessed1

Jesus’ very next recorded words were meant to take the disciples to a new level of anticipation. Because of the supremacy of God’s revelation, there would be a new concentration of power at work within those who are the recipients of divine revelation. It is a power to build up. It is a power to endure, and withstand, any attack of God’s enemies. It is a power that draws attention to the overcoming nature and supremacy of God. It is a power that will reshape cultures and shake the very foundation of nations…

Two – Understanding Jesus – pg. 76

March 18

Yet still more key thoughts from John 14…

Five) The Source for Jesus’ ministry, was the Father indwelling Him. Not only did Jesus come to reveal God, as He really is, but He also came to reveal how true ministry would occur. Jesus’ Source for all that He did and said was “The Father.” Jesus took great pains to make this point obvious: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does… By Myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and My judgment is just, for I seek not to please Myself but Him who sent Me… Do not believe Me unless I do what My Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe Me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” (John 5:19, 30; 10:37, 38)

healing-hands

What we see is that a direct connection with The Father is required to accomplish God’s purposes. Human hearts need God’s Personal direction. We also need God’s Personal empowering. Human beings are not capable of doing divine things. Only God can do divine things. This is the essential point Jesus made concerning all He accomplished in His earthly ministry. It was His connection with God, The Father, which made everything possible. It was “The Father” indwelling Jesus that produced all that the Father desired that His Son accomplish.

Jesus-miracles

God not only desires to be seen as He really is, but He also desires to bring His divine power into direct interaction within, and through, our lives. Human beings need to see the divine character, but we also need to see divine power at work in, and through, us. Everywhere Jesus went, the character of God was truly seen, and the power of God was truly felt. But Jesus did not take the credit for this – He continually pointed the focus back to the Source of all that He was, did, and said. The Source was the focus – revealing, inspiring, motivating, directing, and empowering.

We discover that this becomes the very model by which all disciples of The Christ will operate. Jesus modeled this for us… and then established the model for us: “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. no branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)

All true and Godly ministry flows from divine connection with the One True God. Jesus lived His earthly life this way, and all true disciples must also live this way as well. This is so essential that Jesus made an astounding promise to His disciples – a promise that still amazes to this day:

last-supper