Links Daily Devotional

Jesus, Our God

“I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.” (John 14:30-31, ESV)

In my golf library, I have Ben Crenshaw’s Art of Putting, Tiger Woods’ How I Play Golf, Phil Mickelson’s Secrets of the Short Game, Tom Watson’s Strategic Golf, and a YouTube video of Rory McIlroy’s swing with the “double hip” impact release. I used to love to try to emulate the individual strengths of these players, in hopes to help my many weaknesses. It was inspiring to have a vision of what beautiful golf could look like in every facet of the game. I was delighted to try to imitate these professionals, and hoped for a crumb from their prowess table.

This was my way of doing things; and I usually like my way best. I have to confess that being “commanded” or “ordered” in any way just doesn’t sit right in my stomach. I never really worked well with a caddie, preferring a bag toter, so that, yes, I could call all the shots myself! My distaste for authoritative correction runs through deep wounds, which you may have too. It’s a sad fact that many of us have been mistreated by persons in authority, or been abused by those who ought to have protected us. For us, “do as I say” just doesn’t sound holy at all.

But the problem with feeling like this toward God is that it is all wrong. He is the one person we ought to trust, he is the one true authority we ought to love. Our God is holy and good and trustworthy. When he says something in his Word; they are words of life for our ears to hear. Instead, what we often hear is the same old bitter brook of disappointment in our job not-well-done. We unhappily superimpose our human experience of authority unto his character, and soon find ourselves with no safe refuge in sight.

When we read a passage like today’s Scripture, we can be tempted to think that Jesus was being commanded by some person who can’t be trusted. It also might appear as if the whole rescue mission was appointed by a cowardly Father who sent his Son to do a work he did not want to do. These charges are in direct contradiction to the great love of the Father for us (Ephesians 2:4). You see, Jesus, being without sin, always delighted in the Law and his Father, and knew the majestic beauty and goodness of God perfectly. He had a view from above before he came below.

“I and the Father are one” and “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 10:30, John 14:9). While the Father did not die on the cross (that would be heretical), Jesus was intent on reminding us of the harmony of the triune God throughout the Scriptures. God’s Law always was, always is, and always will be our Savior’s Law. And the Law was satisfied once and for all from within, not from without, and not from coercion but love.

The good news is that our Father is much more generous than we believe. We are not given small crumbs and told to jump up to the holy table. What a non-rescue that would be, as it is way too high for us! No, it is a gentle raising up of blind, wounded, and deaf dogs who can’t even spot the crumbs. All our weaknesses for all his strengths; chunks for flops, and skulls for blasts. You can’t practice enough to find the forever fairway; God has made a better way.

Isabelle Beisiegel
September 20, 2015
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