Wednesday, June 11, 2014

John 10:22-42, Conclusion

Today we will finish our study of this passage. There has been a lot for us to learn here. This last one could be titled "Escape."

[39] Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands. [40] He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. [41] And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” [42] And many believed in him there.

Once again, Jesus is "untouchable." These misguided people have been so frustrated, and so full of unbelief and fury, but now instead of using the stones in their hands, they try to arrest Him.
He once again eludes them.

Sometimes we have trouble believing that the hand of the devil is the weaker one. That we don't have to fear him. That the hand of the Father is the one that is mighty, and ready to protect us.
There are times when our flesh is in control, and we forget these truths. We should remember this passage . . .God's protection of His Son is visible here.

We should remember, too, that this was not a retreat in humiliation, but a safe retreat to regroup, to recuperate, to rejuvenate before the final weeks of His ministry. There is nothing shameful in a wise move, a step back. It is to prepare Himself for the return to Jerusalem that He retreats.

There is work to be done before what we term "The triumphal entry" into the city. And there are those who had heard and absorbed what John the Baptist said, who are ready to receive the Messiah now. They believe! And He makes Himself available to them.

Jesus has not lost control here; He is not retreating because He has been overpowered. Far from it!

No one overrules Jesus' will, nor will anyone be able to overpower Him. No one can erase what He has achieved, and no one can take away those He has bought.

Even if life isn't always easy, we can know with certainty that Jesus will keep us safe and secure. Whatever is set before us, whatever God calls us to accomplish, our safety has nothing to do with our immature, weak, tiny grip on Him. It has everything to do with His grip on us.
And He has us!
His grip is permanent, and He holds us tightly!
Have we thanked God for the power of Jesus lately?
We may look at our lives and see scars from our past. We might think to ourselves that those scars, though they may not be outwardly visible, are real reminders of times that the devil (or perhaps our circumstances) clawed at us, harmed us, caused us pain. Like the man in the poem, who noted that at the dark times of his life, he saw only one set of footprints, and wondered where Jesus had been? He was gently reminded that at those times he was carried in Jesus' arms -- hence one set of footprints.

Similarly, our scars are not only reminders of dark and painful times when Satan beset us, but they are also reminders that Jesus would not let us go. If He had allowed us to slip from His hands, there would be no scars. It is because He refused to let go, that He held on so tightly, that the scars are there and we have survived to tell the tale and to live for Him.
I hope this is making sense, because it is very real to me, and very moving. I hope that your heart is touched by the knowledge that He holds you, and will not let you go.

The Bible teaches us that God loves us. If we have Christ in our lives, we are children of God. He wants to protect us and provide for us in every way. But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That’s when the tug-o-war begins - and if you have the scars of His love on your arms, be very, very grateful.

He did not - and will not - ever - let you go.

1 comment:

Belinda said...

This reminded me of something a very beloved pastor once said to those of us in the congregation....

If you tired, or need a break, take it. Take some time to go away by yourself and rest. But don't stay there! Don't give up or quit. Very wise words.

It's a good thing Jesus never lets me go, because goodness knows I have a hard time holding on to Him a lot of the time!