Surrendering & Submitting to the Borders of Your Calling & Identity

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically today’s passage is found in verses ten through thirty-six of the seventh chapter. “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him. Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate ; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works therefore are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee” (John 7:1-9).

 

            “But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: For some said, He is a good man: other said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews” (John 7:10-13).

 

            “Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any many will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? (John 7:14-19).

 

            “The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth ab out to kill thee? Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a many every white whole on the sabbath day? Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:20-24).

 

            “Then said some of them of Jerusalem, is not this he, whom they seek to kill? But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man. Knoweth whence he is. Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom eye know not. But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me” (John 7:25-29).

 

            “Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done? The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent offices to take him. Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. Then said the Jews among themselves. Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? Will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles and teach the Gentiles? What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come?” (John 7:30-36).

 

            When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find what might seem to be a new course of events which took place within the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ. As you read the narrative that is found in this chapter you will quickly discover that it essentially has its roots and foundation in the events which took place in the fifth chapter when Jesus went up to the city of Jerusalem at the time of one of the Jewish feasts of Israel. I am absolutely and completely convinced that in order to truly understand the words and language that is found in this passage of Scripture you must needs turn and direct your attention to the words found in the fifth chapter. It is without a doubt necessary to turn and look back at the events which transpired in the fifth chapter for within it you will find Jesus journeying unto the city of Jerusalem at one of the appointed times during the year when the Jews were celebrating one of the feasts of Israel. The apostle John writes and records how the Lord Jesus Christ entered into the city of Jerusalem and how there was near the Sheep gate a pool which in the Hebrew tongue was called Bethesda. Located at this pool were five porches in which a great multitude of impotent folk, blind, halt, maimed and withered were present. What’s important to realize about this particular location is that the great multitude which was present here had two things in common—namely, that they all had their own infirmity and need and that they were all waiting for the troubling of the water as they hoped they would be among the first or perhaps the first to enter into the waters when they were troubled. John writes that an angel would come down at a certain season and trouble the waters and whosoever was first into the waters after they had been troubled would be made whole of whatsoever infirmity and disease plagued their physical bodies.

 

            As you continue reading the words which are found here in the fifth chapter you will notice that Jesus shows up to this pool and to one of the porches unannounced and without anyone knowing He was there or even recognizing Him. Perhaps one of the greatest truths surrounding this narrative is when you consider the fact that even after this man who had an infirmity for thirty and eight years was healed and made whole of his infirmity he did not know that it was Jesus who had healed him. Even when the Jews saw him carrying his mat on the sabbath day and cautioned him that it was not lawful to do so he declared unto them that he was carrying his mat because a man commanded him to rise up and to take his mat and walk. When the Jews asked him who it was who had healed him he honestly had no idea who it was or even that it was Jesus who had healed him because Jesus had moved into and among the crowd of people which was in Jerusalem during those days. Pause for a moment and consider the fact that Jesus showed up on this particular day unannounced and without any fanfare and did so for one single purpose—to heal this man of the infirmity which had plagued his body for thirty and eight years. Jesus showed up in one of these porches perhaps even at a time when the waters weren’t troubled and offered healing unto this man who had been plagued with an infirmity for almost four decades.

 

            It is actually quite remarkable and astounding when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth that the Lord Jesus Christ not only showed up at this pool unannounced but He also showed up without anyone recognizing Him or even being aware that He was present in the midst of it. Pause for a moment and think about the fact that Jesus was able to show up at this pool without any announcement and without any great crowd of people walking with and following Him and was not recognized by anyone who was there. Could you imagine what would and perhaps could have happened at this pool within these five porches had all those who were present there heard that Jesus was present among them in their midst? What would it have been like if all those impotent, lame, withered, halt and maimed people which were present there in this place had heard that Jesus was present among them in their midst? Each and every individual which was present here at this pool of Bethesda and lie or sat in one of the five porches located there were all waiting for one single event and one single chance and opportunity. All those present in these five porches were indeed and were in fact waiting for that season and time when an angel would come down from heaven and trouble the waters that they might be the first or among the first to enter into the waters and be made whole of whatever illness and ailment plagued their physical body. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this reality for all those who were present there in this place were waiting for the same event to take place—this despite the fact that not all of them had the same opportunity and chance as others. The very response of this man to Jesus’ question of whether or not he would be whole seems to indicate that not everyone had the same chance and opportunity for this man would declare unto Jesus that he had no one to help him down into the waters when they were stirred. What’s more is this man would also go on to declare that even if by some chance he could begin to make his way down to the waters another would step down before him and would be healed before him.

 

            JESUS IS HERE! Oh I sit here thinking about and considering the words which are found in the fifth chapter and I can’t help but wonder what great joy, what great excitement and what great anticipation would and could have been present in this place if Jesus not only healed this man who was plagued with this infirmity for thirty and eight years but also if others knew and understood that Jesus was present among them in their midst. Think about what it would and could have been like if Jesus showed up in the place of troubled waters and in the place where healings and miracles did in fact take place and offered to heal men and women outside of and apart from the waters. We know from this passage of Scripture that Jesus was able to heal this man who had been plagued with an infirmity for thirty and eight years outside of and apart from the waters. This man had perhaps spent a considerable amount of time and season after season waiting for and watching the waters being troubled and yet could never seem to experience his chance and his opportunity to step down into the waters and be healed. On this particular day, however, this man would and could experience healing and wholeness within his physical body separate and independent from the waters which were present at the pool. Whereas a number of others had received healing by stepping down into the waters after they had been troubled this man would receive healing within his physical body simply based on the word and command of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

            HEALING APART FROM THE WATERS! HEALING OUTSIDE OF THE WATERS! One of the greatest truths present within this passage of Scripture is the fact that Jesus showed up unannounced in the place where stirring had taken place in the past and where healing had indeed taken place in times past and offered healing and wholeness unto this man who had spent almost four decades living with an infirmity within this physical body. What’s more is that there is something to be said within this passage about Jesus being able to show up in such a great and tremendous place of need unannounced and was able to heal one present in one of these porches without that man recognizing and knowing that it was him and without anyone present within these porches recognizing or even knowing that Jesus was indeed present among them. Oh I still can’t escape what would and could have happened in this place had Jesus been recognized and had men and women who were present there in this place learned and discovered that Jesus was present among them. We know that Jesus’ healing this man of the infirmity which had plagued his physical body for almost four decades would anger and infuriate the Jews because He healed him on the sabbath. Jesus healed one man of the infirmity which plagued his body for almost forty years and this man was seen carrying his mat on the sabbath in the midst of the feast on the sabbath day and was immediately indicted, criticized and judged by the Jews for doing that which was not lawful on the sabbath. Oh there is not a doubt the Jews were greatly offended with and by this particular man who was carrying his mat on the sabbath day and doing that which was not lawful to do. Oh imagine what would and could have happened had Jesus not only healed this man of his illness and infirmity but had healed each and every one who was present within these five porches.

 

            I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are present within the fifth chapter and I can’t help but think about what would and could have happened had Jesus emptied all five of these porches of the blind, the halt, the impotent, the lame and the maimed which were present there. Imagine if Jesus not only emptied all five of these porches of those who suffered from and were plagued with infirmities and if they all departed from them and began walking in the midst of the streets of the city of Jerusalem. We know the Jews lost their mind when they witnessed this man carrying his mat on the sabbath day but could you imagine what a great uproar would and could have happened had countless men and women been seen in the city of Jerusalem carrying the mats they had previously been lying upon. How absolutely incredible it would have been within the city of Jerusalem during those days and at that time as it could have created quite the stir and uproar in the midst of Jerusalem as men and women could been seen all over and throughout the city carrying their mats. What an absolutely incredible thought it is to think about how this particular man who was plagued with an infirmity for thirty and eight years was healed and made whole of his infirmity and was carrying his mat on the sabbath day. What’s more is that when you read the words which are found in this passage you get the sense that the Jews cared absolutely nothing for the testimony this man had and the fact that he had been healed of the infirmity that had plagued his body for almost four decades.

 

            OFFEDNED WITH THE MANIFESTATION OF HEALING WHILE CARING NOTHING FOR THE TESTIMONY! One of the greatest truths that is found in this passage of Scripture is that the Jews could only see this man carrying his mat on the sabbath day and how he was in violation of the sabbath. Even when this man declared unto them how the man who had healed him and made him whole commanded him to rise up and take his mat they asked who it was who healed him—not because they wanted to learn more about the testimony within his life but that they might discover who it was who healed him that they might find fault within that individual. The apostle John writes and records how this man would later be found in the Temple and how Jesus found this man in the Temple and not only declared unto him that he had been made whole but also cautioned him to go and sin no more lest something worse come upon him. When this man realized that it was Jesus who had healed him he would immediately report it unto the Jews—something that would set off a chain of events and an exchange between Jesus and the Jews. After the Jews learned and discovered that it was Jesus who had healed this man—and not only healed this man but healed him on the sabbath—they immediately began persecuting Him for violating the sabbath. What makes this so challenging is when you consider the fact that the Jews were offended with and by this man carrying his mat on the sabbath day and they were angry and offended with Jesus for healing this man on the sabbath. Once they learned that it was Jesus who healed this man they would turn and direct their attention to Jesus and would seemingly forget all about this man and how he had been carrying his mat on the sabbath day.

 

            As you read the words found in the fifth chapter you will find the Jews murmuring against Jesus and persecuting Him because He had healed this man on the sabbath day. In response to the Jews persecution of Jesus He would make a statement that would further anger and infuriate them—the statement that His Father works and that He Himself must work. Upon hearing these words and this declaration from the mouth of Jesus the Jews would not only seek to persecute Jesus but would also seek to kill Him. What makes this particular account so incredibly unique is when you think about the fact that Jesus knew exactly what He was saying when He spoke these words and He was never one to mince words. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus spoke these words unto the Jews knowing that it would further anger and infuriate them and as a direct result of His speaking these words they would strive to kill and destroy Him. It is this context of the Jews persecuting and seeking to kill Jesus that serves as the backdrop and foundation for the seventh chapter. Scripture reveals how there would be a lengthy exchange between the Jews and Jesus as Jesus would speak unto them concerning the works which He wrought in the earth and the witnesses which bore record of Him. Jesus would spend a considerable amount of time speaking unto the Jews who sought to kill and destroy Him concerning the will of the Father, the works which He performed and the witnesses which bore record of Him. THE WILL, THE WORKS AND THE WITNESS! You cannot read the fifth chapter of this passage of Scripture and not encounter each of these three realities as Jesus would speak to and speak with the Jews as they sought to kill and destroy Him. In fact, I am convinced that before we delve into the words found in the seventh chapter we must needs take a look at the words which the apostle John wrote and recorded in the fifth chapter. Consider if you will the following words found in the fifth chapter concerning this exchange between the Jews and Jesus after He had healed this man on the sabbath day:

 

            “And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: IT is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son,  and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear,, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. He was a burning and a shining light: and y e were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. But I have a greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 6:9-46).

 

            It is absolutely necessary that we pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture as it helps set the stage for what we find in the seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John. In the fifth chapter of this gospel you find the apostle John writing and recording how once the Jews learned and discovered that it was Jesus who had healed this man on the sabbath day they immediately began persecuting Him. This persecution would be increased exponentially when Jesus responded to them by declaring how His Father worked and how He Himself also worked. Scripture reveals how when the Jews heard Jesus speak and proclaim these words they not only persecuted Him but also sought to kill and destroy Him. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for when we come to the seventh chapter we find another one of the Jewish feasts taking place—namely, the feast of tabernacles. At the beginning of the seventh chapter we find Jesus continuing to walk in Galilee and how He would not walk in Jewry because the Jews sought to kill Him. Pause for a moment and consider how in the fifth chapter we find the Jews persecuting and seeking to kill Jesus while in the sixth chapter we find many of His disciples turning back and walking no more with Him. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this as in the fifth chapter we find the persecution of the Jews and in the sixth chapter we find the forsaking of the disciples. THE PERSECUTION OF THE JEWS AND THE WALKING AWAY OF THE DISCIPLES! By the time we come to the seventh chapter of this gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find the Jews seeking to kill Jesus because He both healed on the sabbath and suggested that God was His Father and we find many of His disciples turning back and walking no more with Him. It is this context and framework which sets the stage for what we find in the seventh chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John for Jesus was still walking in and abiding in Galilee rather than Judaea.

 

            The seventh chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John begins with Jesus walking in Galilee rather than walking in Judaea and Jerusalem and the apostle John writes how He would not walk in Jewry because the Jews sought to kill Him. Immediately at the beginning of this passage of Scripture we are brought face to face with what is written and recorded in the fifth chapter for it was in the fifth chapter where we learn and discover that the Jews did in fact seek to kill Jesus—and not only because He had healed on the sabbath but because He had claimed God as His Father thus making Himself equal with God. In the opening verses of the seventh chapter we read how Jesus would not walk in Jewry because the Jews sought to kill Him. This is important to recognize and understand as it directly links and connects the seventh chapter to the fifth chapter and Jesus being unwilling to walk in Jewry—unwilling to walk in Judaea and Jerusalem—because the Jews themselves sought to kill Him.  What makes this all the more interesting is when you consider the fact that Jesus’ brethren spoke unto Him trying to encourage Him to go up unto Jerusalem that His disciples might see the works which He performed. Moreover, Jesus’ brethren would also declare unto him how there was no man which does any thing in secret, and does not seek to be known openly. Jesus’ brethren would speak these words unto Him knowing that there was another feast of the Jews which was being celebrated at that time and that the city of Jerusalem would have undoubtedly been filled with great crowds and multitudes of people. Jesus’ brethren spoke unto Him and encouraged Him to go up unto Judaea and declared unto Him that if He did the works which He did He ought to show Himself to the world.

 

            As you continue reading the words which are found in the passage of Scripture you will find Jesus’ brethren did not believe in Him and attempted to encourage Jesus to go up into the city of Jerusalem and into Jewry to show and manifest Himself unto them in the presence of the Jews. In response to the words of His brethren Jesus would emphatically declare and proclaim that His time had not yet come and how their time was always ready. What’s more is Jesus would go on to declare how the world could and would not hate them but how it hated him because He testified of it that the works thereof were evil. Jesus would also declare unto His brethren that they ought to go up unto the feast but that He Himself would not go up unto the feast because His time had not yet full come. Not only this but after Jesus had spoken these words He would abide still in Galilee for an undisclosed and unspecified period of time for the apostle John does not disclose how long Jesus would continue to abide in Galilee. What makes this passage so incredibly unique and challenging when you read the words contained therein is when you consider how not only would Jesus abide still in Galilee but after His brethren were gone up He Himself would also go up unto the feast, however, He would not go up unto the feast openly but as it were in secret. Jesus would initially declare unto His brethren that He would not go up unto the feast because His time and His hour had not yet come and yet after abiding still in Galilee for a period of time and after his brethren had gone up unto the feast Jesus would Himself go up unto Jerusalem and unto the feast. Upon coming to the tenth verse of the seventh chapter you will find Jesus’ brethren going up unto the feast and how Jesus would come up after them and would do so in secret. It would be there in the city of Jerusalem the Jews would seek Him at the feast and inquire as to His whereabouts and whether or not He were indeed at the feast. What’s more is there was much murmuring among the people concerning Jesus because some said that He was a good man while others proclaimed how He deceived the people. Regardless of the views and opinions the Jews had concerning Jesus there would be no man who would speak openly of him for fear of the Jews.

 

            The more you read the words found in this passage of Scripture the more you will encounter something truly astonishing concerning Jesus’ journey unto the city of Jerusalem and that which He actually engaged Himself in while at the feast. IN verses ten through thirteen we find Jesus going up unto the feast in secret and how there was much murmuring in the midst of the city of Jerusalem concerning Him and whether or not He was present among them in their midst. It’s incredibly interesting to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and consider the fact that in the fifth chapter the Jews sought to kill Jesus because He had claimed God as His Father and had healed on the sabbath day. The Jews would initially seek to persecute Jesus because He had healed a man on the sabbath day and yet their persecution would take on an entirely new and different level as they would actually seek to kill and destroy Him because He had claimed God as His Father thus making Himself equal with God. This is the context in which we must needs recognize when reading the words found in the seventh chapter for in the seventh chapter we find Jesus being unwilling to walk in Jewry because the Jews there sought to kill Him or had previously sought to kill Him. With this being said, however, it’s quite interesting to note that even though Jesus would initially tell His brethren that He would not go up unto Jerusalem because His time was not yet come He would ultimately go up unto Jerusalem at the time of the feast. Oh Scripture is unclear whether or not Jesus went up unto Jerusalem to celebrate the feast or merely to continue and carry out the work which He spoke of in the fifth chapter when He declared that His Father worked and that He Himself also worked.

 

            If you begin reading with and from the fourteenth verse you will find that in the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught and how the Jews marveled at His teaching and His doctrine and asked how He knew and had such great learning and knowledge despite having never studied the Law the way the scribes, the teachers of the Law, the Pharisees and the leading religious elite had. Jesus would go up into the Temple at the time of the feast and would teach in the Temple and the Jews would themselves marvel and be astonished at His doctrine because they could not understand how He had such great knowledge, insight, and understanding having come from. Nazareth and not having the same education and learning as the leading religious elite had. Jesus would be aware of the conversation and thoughts of the Jews and perhaps even their confusion and questions concerning His doctrine and would go on to declare and proclaim that His doctrine was not His own but that of the One who had sent Him. Moreover Jesus would go on to declare that if any man would do the will of the Father they would know of the doctrine which He taught and whether it were of God or whether He spoke of Himself. Furthermore Jesus would go on to declare that those who spoke of themselves seek their own glory but that He which sought the glory of the One that sent Him was true and no unrighteousness was found in Him. OH it is absolutely necessary that we recognize what is being said and spoken here for not only would Jesus declare that His doctrine was not His own, but He also declared that he was a man who was bound not by His own will but by the will of the One who had sent Him. In all reality if there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s that Jesus was indeed and was in fact one who was entirely and altogether bound by the will, the work, the words and the timing of the Father.

 

            We cannot read the words found in this passage of Scripture and not encounter the tremendous truth that Jesus was a man whose life was not His own. We know and are aware of the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Corinthian saints and how our lives are not our own and how we were bought with a price, however, very rarely do we ever think and consider that even when Jesus walked upon the earth His life was not His own. Despite the fact that Jesus was fully and one hundred percent God in the flesh His life was not His own and He never lived for Himself. If there is one thing the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John reveals unto us it’s that Jesus’ life was not His own and He lived His life according to the will of the Father present and manifested in the earth. In all reality I would dare say that the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John presents us with and paints a powerful picture of the example Jesus offered us concerning our lives not being our own. There was not a single work Jesus did which He did not see the Father do and there was not a single word Jesus would speak which He did not hear the Father speak. Oh we must needs recognize and understand this concept for when we read the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we must read it through the lens that Jesus was the Word which became flesh and dwelt among man and yet did not come to seek His own glory or to do His own will.

 

            SEEKING YOUR OWN GLORY AND DOING YOUR OWN WILL! The more I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the incredibly awesome and powerful picture that when Jesus came to the earth as the Word made flesh He did not come seeking His own glory nor did He come seeking to do His own will. This truth is perhaps the most evident within the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John as time and time again we find Jesus declaring unto those whom He would encounter and speak with that His words were not His own and that His will was not His own. One of the greatest truths found in this New Testament gospel is the truth that Jesus came to this earth not to speak His own words or to do His own will but to speak the words which He heard the Father speak and to do the will which the Father had sent Him to do. Perhaps one of the greatest questions I can’t help but think about and consider when reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture is whether or not Jesus was already aware of the work which He was sent to do before He ever even set aside and set apart the glory which He had with the Father in heaven. We know that Jesus came into the earth not seeking His own glory but seeking the glory of the eternal Father who was in heaven. If you read each of the four gospel narratives you will find that Jesus had absolutely no interest nor any desire in doing His own will in the midst of the earth and sought to do only that which the Father had sent and ordained Him to do. Oh we must needs recognize and understand this for when looking at and examining the life of Jesus we must needs understand that His life was a powerful example of the truth that He did not come seeking His own agenda nor even His own will but rather the will, the agenda, the plan and the purpose of the living God.

 

            THE SON CAN DO NOTHING OF HIMSELF! Pause for a moment and think about how absolutely incredible those words truly are for they were spoken by Jesus who was not only one hundred percent God in the flesh but was also the Word which was made flesh and dwelt among men. Jesus came to the earth not seeking His own glory nor even seeking to do His own will but rather to do the will of His Father who was in heaven. Nowhere in any of the four gospels will you find Jesus ever seeking His own glory nor even seeking to do His own will. Perhaps one of the greatest truths surrounding the Lord Jesus Christ was that his life in the flesh was not His own and that He was intrinsically bound to the divine will and timing of the eternal Father who was in heaven. What’s more is that Jesus never sought to move outside and beyond the borders and boundaries of the will and timing of the eternal Father in heaven. Jesus was fully aware that his entire life and everything he did and spoke was intrinsically linked and connected to the Father and His will. It is absolutely tremendous to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and think about the fact that almost from the beginning Jesus declared unto His brethren that His time had not yet come and that His time had not yet fully come. We must needs recognize and understand just how significant these words truly are for they call and draw our attention to the fact that Jesus’ entire life and His movement within and upon the earth was directly linked and bound to that which had been ordained and appointed by the Father.

 

            As you read the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you must needs recognize and understand that when Jesus came unto the earth having taken upon Himself flesh and blood He also took upon Himself something so much greater—something which we must not only learn and recognize but must also incorporate within our own lives. The more you read the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John the more you will come face to face with the truth that Jesus’ time in the flesh was spent being entirely and altogether bound to the will of the Father. It is absolutely undeniable and unmistakable when reading this New Testament gospel that Jesus was indeed and was in fact entirely and altogether bound to the divine will of the Father and that He could indeed do nothing of His own accord nor speak anything of His own accord. Everything Jesus said and everything He did was ordained and appointed by the eternal Father and He would never seek to sidestep or go around that which the divine and eternal Father had ordained and appointed. There is absolutely no mistaking the fact that Jesus recognized and understood the divine will of the Father and that His life was entirely and altogether bound to and by that will. Nowhere in any of the four gospels will you find any place where Jesus would act independent and separate from the divine will of the Father. You can search within and throughout each of the four gospels and you will not find a single place where Jesus would ever move and operate outside of the divine will of the Father for Jesus recognized and understood that He was indeed and was in fact bound to that which the Father had ordained and appointed for Him within the earth.

 

            Time and time again within this New Testament gospel you will find Jesus emphatically declaring unto the Jews and unto His brethren that His life was not His own and that He was sent by the eternal Father to accomplish and fulfill His work in the midst of the earth. Oh I fully recognize and understand that this might seem like something far fetched and out in left field—the thought that even Jesus who was the eternal and only begotten Son of the Father—was not His own and that He was entirely and altogether bound by the will of the Father. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand it’s that the Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated and modeled for us what it truly looks like and means to live our lives for something other than ourselves, independent of our own glory, and not seeking our will. There is not a doubt in my mind when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture that when the Lord Jesus Christ came to this world He did not come for Himself nor seeking His own glory and His own will. Jesus would move entirely and altogether within the boundaries and borders of the will of the Father and I would even dare say that while He was in the flesh He was bound by the limitations of flesh and blood—namely, being in one place at one time—so also was He bound by and bound within the will of the Father. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular truth for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding Jesus and that even though He was the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God—when He came in the flesh He came deliberately and intentionally choosing to operate within the borders and boundaries of the will of the Father. There was never a single time when Jesus would do anything of His own accord nor anything of his own will and desire. Jesus’ entire public ministry was spent knowing and doing the divine will of the Father.

 

            One of the greatest questions I can’t help but ask myself and you who might read the words contained within this writing is whether or not we are those who seek our own glory and seek to do our own will or whether or not we choose to operate within the boundaries and borders of the divine will and timing of the eternal Father. As you read the words present within this passage you will find that Jesus recognized and understood that there was an ordained and appointed time for His public life and ministry and that He needed to operate within that timing. Jesus was never willing to operate of His own accord and get ahead of God and ahead of His perfect timing which had been ordained and appointed by the Father. Even as early as the second chapter of this New Testament gospel we find Jesus speaking of His time and His hour when He would declare unto Mary His mother that His hour had not yet come. You cannot read this gospel narrative and not encounter the tremendous truth that Jesus recognized there was a divine pattern and order which had been ordained and appointed by the eternal Father and he was never willing to get ahead of the timing of the Father. Oh that we would truly recognize and understand this incredible and tremendous truth within our own hearts and lives for there is a great need for us to be conscious and cognizant of the divine order which has been ordained and appointed by the Father within our hearts and lives. There is a great need within our hearts and lives to be mindful of that which has been ordained and appointed by the living God and that we would never seek to sidestep or step outside of that prescribed timing.

 

            If there is one thing the life and ministry of Jesus demonstrates and reveals it’s that He was one who recognized that the will of the Father and the timing and hour of the Father were intrinsically linked together and that He could not operate outside the confines and boundaries of those realities. Jesus did not come seeking to do His own will and as a direct result of this He would submit Himself to the prescribed time(s) which had been ordained and appointed by the living and eternal Father. Jesus would never seek to chart His own course and/or even determine His own path within the earth and would only do that which the eternal Father had ordained and appointed for Him. Oh we must needs recognize and understand this for it calls and draws our attention to the truth that when Jesus came in the flesh He came not only bound by the confines, the limitations and restrictions of flesh and blood but also the confines and boundaries of the divine will of the Father. Jesus’ life and that which He spoke and did was not of his own accord and was never about His own agenda or His own will. Jesus knew there was a divine pattern which had been orchestrated and ordained by the eternal Father in heaven and He was perfectly willing to submit Himself to that order. How absolutely incredible and challenging this is within our own hearts and lives as we are forced to come face to face with whether or not we are willing to submit ourselves in the flesh to the divine will of the Father. Are we those who seek to do our own will and those who have our own agenda and plan for our lives or are we those who realize and recognize that so long as we are in this earthly tent of flesh and blood we must needs operate within the confines and borders of the divine will of the Father? Are we those who recognize and understand that the eternal and living God does in fact have a prescribed plan and pattern for our lives and that we must needs align ourselves with what He has for us? Are we those who truly recognize and understand that our lives are not our own and that our lives are intrinsically bound and wrapped up in the divine will of the Father?

 

            It is with this in mind I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the apostle John spoke unto his disciples when they came unto him speaking of how Jesus baptized more disciples than they did and how all men came unto Him. The disciples of John could not understand and recognize that the sole purpose for the life of John the Baptist was to be a witness that bore record of the Lord Jesus Christ and pointed men and women to Him. Oh if there is one thing I find absolutely astonishing within this New Testament gospel it’s that in both the lives of John the Baptist as well as the Lord Jesus Himself we have men who were not willing to move and operate outside of that which had been ordained and appointed for them by the eternal and living Father. Both of these men recognized and understood that which had been ordained and appointed for them and both of these men operated within the confines and boundaries of the divine will of the Father which had been ordained and appointed by Him. Neither one of these men were willing to move and operate outside of that will and that boundary and sought to remain within it throughout the time ordained and appointed unto them by the eternal Father. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this as it calls and invites us into a place where we are those who not only understand and discern what is that good and perfect and acceptable will of the Father but also move and operate within it. There is a great and tremendous need within our hearts and our lives to be those who are truly willing to operate and remain within the borders and boundaries of the will of the Father for our lives and not seek to sidestep of overstep those borders. Oh there is a great amount of damage and harm that is done when men and women attempt to get ahead of God and His ordained timing and when men and women attempt to overstep the divine will of the Father which has been ordained and appointed for their lives. In light of this I invite you to consider the words which are found in the third chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John in the final portion of the chapter:

 

            “John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by mreasure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:27-36).

 

            As I prepare to bring this writing to a close it is absolutely necessary that we call and draw our attention to the fact that when Jesus came unto the earth as the Word which was made flesh and dwelt among us He came not seeking His own glory nor seeking His own will but sought to do only that which He saw and heard the Father speak and do. Jesus emphatically declared that His glory was not His own, that His doctrine was not His own, that His will not His own, and even that His timing was not His own. There was not a single part of the life and ministry of Jesus that was controlled by He Himself but everything was entirely and altogether submitted and surrendered to the divine will of the Father. Oh it is absolutely necessary that we recognize and pay close attention to this as there is a truly wonderful and powerful invitation given unto us within our own hearts and lives to be those who recognize that we are not our own and that we have been bought with a price. So long as we dwell and abide in this earthly tent and live with this flesh and blood we are indeed and are in fact called to live every area and every part of our lives for the divine purpose and plan of the eternal Father. There cannot and must not be a single area or place within our hearts and lives that is not fully surrendered and submitted to the divine will of the Father and His will must control and be at the core of everything we say and everything we do. Oh permit me to ask you if your life is entirely and altogether governed by the will of the Father and whether or not you are willing to truly operate within the confines of His will knowing that your life is not your own and knowing that it is not about what you want or even about what you desire? Are you willing to truly trust God with control in your life and over your life or are you one who seeks to maintain that control within yourself?

 

I am absolutely and completely convinced that if we are such who seek to exercise control over the course of our own lives it is nothing more than a demonstration and manifestation of a lack of trust in the Father and in His will for our lives. Those who are unwilling to surrender control of their lives completely and totally unto the living and eternal Father are those who truly do not trust Him and are unwilling to place their faith and their confidence in Him knowing that His will is far greater and far better than what they could even think or imagine. Even if His will requires suffering, persecution, and even death the divine will of the Father is perfectly ordained and appointed for our lives. When Jesus was in the garden He wrestled with the cup which was before Him and asked the Father if it was possible for the cup to pass from Him. Despite His wrestling in the flesh with the cup which He was ordained to drink He would emphatically and ultimately declare that it was not His will but the divine will of the Father which ought to be and which would be done. I am absolutely and completely convinced that we are invited and being challenged by the Holy Spirit to not only submit and surrender our lives to the Father and to His will but also to completely and entirely trust Him knowing and believing that his will is ultimately what’s best for our lives. Oh there is a great danger when we fail to and perhaps even refuse to trust in the goodness of the living God and trust that His will is perfect for our lives. Oh that we would be men and women who are truly willing to submit and surrender our lives to the divine will of the Father and that we would effectively take our hands off of our lives and by doing so taking our hands off His will for our lives. Oh that we would be people who would not place our hands upon the divine will of the Father and would be those who are entirely and altogether willing to surrender and submit ourselves to it knowing that His will is good and perfect for our lives. Oh that we would be men and women who so long as we operate within the confines of flesh and blood would be those who would move according to and within the divine will of the Father. Let us purpose and resolve within our hearts to be men and women who do not seek our own glory and who do not seek our own will but who seek the glory, the will, the honor, the delight and the pleasure of the eternal Father who is in heaven.

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