Aloha Friday Message – May 24, 2019 – There you go again!

1921AFC052419 – There you go again.

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    John 14:28-31 28 You heard me say to you, “I am going away, and I am coming to you.” If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way.

¡Que la bendición esté siempre con ustedes y que Dios los bendiga, Amados! (May blessing always be with you and may God bless you, Belovéd!)

Let me begin by expressing our appreciation for all the condolences and prayers offered from all y’all after my oldest surviving brother – Kenneth Dean Todd – who died earlier this week. Ken has been on our Intercessory Prayer List for quite some time. He had all four ball-and-socket joints replaced many years ago and also had severe COPD with extensive scarring in his lungs. His was a difficult life which has only just settled into everlasting Peace.

Today’s Key Verse includes another of those passages some folks delight in misquoting. We’ll touch on that, but briefly, and look more deeply into what Jesus is conveying to his Disciples (and that includes us Belovéd!) in this fascinating passage. This week I’m going to try to be a “little less technical and preachy.” We’ll try to spare you the biblical language inserts.

Let’s begin with verse 28: You heard me say to you, “I am going away, and I am coming to you.” When did Jesus say he was going away? Here is a collection of applicable verses:

John 7:33 33 Jesus then said, ‘I will be with you a little while longer, and then I am going to him who sent me.’

John 14:2 In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

John 16:28 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father.’

John 20:17 17 Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”’

So, Jesus had told them several times – and these few are just the ones that were documented – that he was “returning to the Father.” Now, logically, if one is to return – depart from one’s current location – then one must have arrived; we have arrival and return. Jesus arrived here on Earth as a human child conceived in the Power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. Now, in this passage he is telling his Disciples he is preparing to return to his Father. Once he returns to his Father, he will prepare to return for us – not just to us, but for us – so that we can go where he has gone: To be with his (and Our) Father. (See John 16:28)

In verse 29 he says I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. Jesus’ lessons were designed to help all Disciples do the main requirement of discipleship: BELIEVE. “Repent, and believe the Gospel.” Here are some examples of what Jesus said about believing HIM:

John 13:18-20 18 I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But it is to fulfill the scripture, “The one who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.” 19 I tell you this now, before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I AM He*. 20 Very truly, I tell you, whoever receives one whom I send receives me; and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.’ *(or I AM WHO I AM = Messiah)

John 8:23-24 23 He said to them, ‘You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he*.’ *(or I AM WHO I AM = Messiah)

Luke 22:67-69 67 They said, ‘If you are the Messiah, tell us.’ He replied, ‘If I tell you, you will not believe; 68 and if I question you, you will not answer. 69 But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.’

1 John 5:10 10 Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in the Son have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. (See also Isaiah 28:16, James 2:19, and 1 John 3:23)

Moving on to verse 30: I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me. We only need to look around at the sorry state of this sin-wracked World to see who is ruling – Satan, the Prince of the Power of the Air, The Accuser, Adversary, Dragon, Old Scratch, The Lord of Death, and the toothless roaring lion. Indeed he has no power over The Christ of God! Thus, in verse 31, he continues but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.

Jesus Loves The Father. The Father Loves the Son. The Father and the Son are bonded in the Holy Spirit and these three – “whom all the world cannot contain comes in our hearts to dwell.” (↔ Music Link) Only the Holy Trinity can say “I AM the same in all of each of us as I AM in each of all of us.” (It may take a few rereadings to grasp that one.)

And what of If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I in today’s Key Verse selection? Does this mean Jesus is not equal to the Father? No; in fact it is an affirmation of his statement about being God’s Son in John 5:17-19 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” 18 For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was not only breaking the Sabbath, but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God. 19 Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. Jesus has the same authority as the Father, so why does he say the Father is greater? The Father called, the Son, spoke to and through the Son, the Son heard and obeyed the Father, the Son did whatever the Father did. This makes them equal, but also reflects the order of the Trinity’s model of interaction. We can take the statement above and add action to it: “I AM doing the same in all of each of us as I AM doing in each of all of us.” Only the One who is asserting his own divine essence could state it in such a way. The Son’s role as an agent of Creation and the preservation thereof. Therefore his going to the Father is of gain to Jesus as well as to the Apostles. At the Right hand of the Father, Jesus will exercise more power to bring fruition to the Kingdom. Where Jesus goes, we too will go because he is going to return to take us there. He has come here before, he has returned to Heaven before, he will return here again, and we will return to Heaven with him. There we go because we’re on our way, and he said, ” Rise, let us be on our way.”

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

 

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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