“It’s a shortcut!”
I wish I’d trusted GPS and not this well-intentioned person. GPS gave me a route that would’ve put me at my destination in about thirty minutes. The person who gave me a different route had lived there most of his life and said his way was a shortcut.
I took his advice and went his way.
I arrived nearly forty-five minutes later. Again, GPS would’ve put me there in thirty. Not really a shortcut.
But we make bad decisions to follow bad routes on a regular basis: on roads and in life. More often than not, we want to go the way we know and not the way we don’t—on roads and in life.
We’re still at the Last Supper, the final meal Jesus would have with His disciples before the Crucifixion (and where we’ve been for several weeks). Jesus continued speaking as we enter John 14:12-14:
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.John 14:12-14
New International Version
Following Jesus is not a journey for the sake of doing it. That would be exhausting and pointless. There is a point. The end of our journey results in the ultimate reward: an eternity with Jesus in Heaven.
And along the journey, there are blessings.
Jesus says those believing Him “will do the works I have been doing, and THEY WILL DO EVEN GREATER THINGS THAN THESE…” (verse 12, emphasis added). In John’s Gospel, the Holy Spirit’s power was associated with Jesus. Now, Jesus states this power would soon be transferred to the apostles and to all who confess the name of Christ.
The reward of honoring the Lord is conquering new ground for the Kingdom! What a blessing!
We’re not just crawling through life but marching in Kingdom-power to claim new ground and plant the flag of freedom in Jesus on this territory.
What we can observe throughout the history of Western civilization can largely be explained by Jesus’ prophetic utterance in this upper room. Orphanages, hospitals, abolition, protection of rights—all of these mark where Christians have gone.
And Jesus told us these things would happen (and continue) “because I am going to the Father” (verse 12).
Indeed, it was better for the Kingdom expansion that Jesus left. Jesus wasn’t disappearing into the background texture. Instead, in shedding His humanity as He returned to the Father, Jesus ensured the Church would be empowered for these great works.
Because of this new phase of ministry Jesus would enter, we understand what Jesus said in verses 13 and 14: “I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
Dear Christian, this is not a “blank check” God is writing you for whatever you want to do. When we ask, we ask with a Christ-honoring attitude and in line with His purposes. And these things will be done, so the Father is glorified through this far-reaching ministry of the Son.
We ask for those things bringing glory to God, not glory to ourselves. This is the reward of honoring our Lord and Master: power accompanying our journey! Praise the Lord!
When we honor Jesus, we may “ask…anything in” His “name, and” He “will do it.” So in the words of Matthew 6:33: “…seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
But these rewards are bound exclusively to honoring the Lord by following His ways. So we must go His way to gain His heaven, holiness, and reward.
Look at your life…relationships (friendships, marriage, work relationships…), work, school, money, attitudes…
Are you going your way or His way?
Are you trying to gain heaven’s rewards and blessing by doing it your way?
I think we both know where that’s gonna end up.
The (attributed) C.S. Lewis quote comes to mind: “There are two kinds of people: those who say to God: “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, “All right then, have it your way.”
Which one are you?
Are you going your way or His way?
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