the ultimate move of God | John 14.22-24
Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 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. 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. John 14.22-24 | ESV
“The non-Iscariot, non-betraying Judas, suddenly bursts out with an objection: “Time out, Lord! What’s happened? This isn’t how this is supposed to play out! Private revelation, private intimacies – I thought this was all about you going public on the world stage!” Jesus patiently answered him, “It’s up close and personal, Judas! Someone loves me then immerses herself in actually doing what I say to do and there’s my Abba loving her, and there we are, both of Us, showing up on her doorstep, ready to move in with her for good. But if there is no action, no life response based on what I’ve said, then there’s no love, no matter how much you insist otherwise. Why so serious? Simple. The message isn’t my device and doing, it’s all his – my Abba, the one who sent me.” MAV (Mike’s Amplified Version)
In the fall, prior to this Passover season, Jesus’ brothers had taunted him, “No one seeks fame by acting quietly in the corner. If you are legit, then show yourself to the world! Right now, on the public stage of Jerusalem.”
This is what was expected.
We always look for the overt, “did you see that” move of God that leaves everyone gobsmacked and all the bad guys in their place (hell would be nice, thank you very much). So it’s no wonder that with all this talk of Jesus manifesting himself to the disciples that those disciples would be left wondering, “Wait a minute. What about the rest of the world? Everyone knows Messiah makes a big splash on the front page, every eye seeing him, society being changed, the world being transformed. So what’s this ‘revealing yourself to us’ business?”
When they thought Messiah, they thought of a broad community context as Jesus is revealed to and impacts the entire world.
We tend to have the opposite problem.
We zero in on our personal encounter with Jesus as we “accept him into our heart” as our “personal savior and we tend to marginalize or even erase the wider community aspect, dismissing “church” as unnecessary, community life as optional, and faith as something to be held privately on the down low.
It’s another radical middle.
The ultimate move of God is “Immanuel” – his move into our hearts to make his abode with us, a move that ripples subtly and dramatically outward into the wide world. Once again, these aren’t poles to be crossed in opposition, they are to be joined.
To what extent do you see faith as a private personal decision rather than as a public confession of faith with worldwide impact? How can we help ensure that the one leads to the other in practice?
Immanuel, welcome. Make your home here. Let my life be a house of your divine love, flowing not only in me, but through me – and through me right out the doors of my life into the wide world. Through Jesus.