Tag Archives: Resurrection

You Must Follow Me

John 21
18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”)
21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”

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One of the most important lessons the “heroes” of the Bible teach us is that Jesus loves, and puts His trust in, people who aren’t perfect.  Those Biblical giants also show us the effects of human nature on our relationship with Jesus by example.  My next sentence changed after an early morning review of a question asked last Sunday; “What would it take for you to believe in Jesus Christ as the King? a  

I was going to write “I think it’s pretty safe to assume Peter’s recognition of his need resulted in growth and faith.”  Instead it’s become the far more complex option “I think it’s pretty safe to assume Peter’s recognition of Jesus resulted in his need for growth and faith.” 

The first option infers that Peter’s recent vows were all it took to overcome his human nature and result in growth and faith.  The second version is God’s truth that Jesus’s choice for Peter was a relationship with Him that would overcome human nature and make Peter’s vows a reality of growth and faith.  Salvation is the Lords, but human nature is a challenge that lasts a lifetime.

It only took a few verses between Peter’s vows and Jesus’s responses for Peter’s human nature to kick back in with his defensive response in verse 21; “Lord, what about him?”  My mind is blown by how easily human nature can become our baseline of growth and faith.   But my heart is relieved to remember by the Grace of God we recognize that what it would take to believe in Jesus Christ as the King – is a resurrection!

a Pastor David Camera, River Oaks Presbyterian, Lake Mary, FL

The Firsts: I Corinthians 1 – Polar Opposites

I Corinthians 1:18 I know very well how foolish it sounds to those who are lost, when they hear that Jesus died to save them. But we who are saved recognize this message as the very power of God.  19 For God says, “I will destroy all human plans of salvation no matter how wise they seem to be, and ignore the best ideas of men, even the most brilliant of them.”  20 So what about these wise men, these scholars, these brilliant debaters of this world’s great affairs? God has made them all look foolish and shown their wisdom to be useless nonsense. 21 For God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never find God through human brilliance, and then he stepped in and saved* all those who believed his message, which the world calls foolish and silly. [TLB]

The Jewish mindset was confidence in the law.  Jesus couldn’t be the Messiah because his death on a cross marked him as a law-breaker cursed by God [see Deuteronomy 21:23].  The cross was “useless nonsense” to them.

The Greek’s idea of God was a just and impartial ruler that remained detached from the emotions and influence of his creation.  Therefore the idea that “God the Son” would suffer on a cross to save so many seemed “foolish and silly” to them.  

Isn’t it interesting that the cross was the stumbling block to salvation for each of those polar opposite ideas?  “God in his wisdom saw to it that” the cross could become a bridge. “When they hear that Jesus died to save them” they each have the same opportunity to “recognize this message as the very power of God.”  Even polar opposites can be united through the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ because God *loves them all enough to save them.