May 10, 2020 (Saturday) - Powering Up - A Reflection on John 14:1-12

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 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.

Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do. In fact, will do greater works that these.” Yesterday, we saw how the apostles did exactly that. They worked many signs and wonders, but not just them; others who followed Jesus did some pretty amazing things too. And we posed the question: why are we not doing the same things? The question is especially relevant to us today because God is rebuilding his church, and is looking for REAL believers to rebuild it.

What’s a REAL believer? Somebody who knows Jesus well enough to love him, and then loves him enough to obey him! This love comes only by knowing him personally; not by reading about him in a textbook, or googling him, or even going to seminary school. You gotta know him yourself. And when you become a REAL believer, signs will follow you. Our Lord says such believers will drive out demons; will speak in new tongues; will heal sick people; and do other awesome stuff” (see Mark 16:17-18).

Now, some of you listening to this might say, “But I do believe.” Ok. How about we look at some of the things the apostles did as a matter of routine and see if we do the same. Yeah? Following Pentecost, this is what the early church did. They sold property and possessions and gave the proceeds to anyone who had need. They met together daily in the temple courts, presumably to pray. They had meals together, which basically means they were pretty united. And they praised God constantly. You’ll find this described in Acts 2:42-47. And, oh, yes, they evangelized! All the time. Do we do these things? Or, did we, before the lockdown?

There are other points of difference between them and us, but really the one, huge, big, main difference is that they were FULL of the Holy Spirit. They didn’t have anything of the “self” in them anymore — or not much anyway. They had emptied themselves of everything to do with the “world” and had filled themselves up with the things of “heaven”. Only God and his will mattered. Nothing else. Why? Because they loved him. They loved him so much, they were willing to die for him, and all of them — with the exception of John — ended up martyred. Are we willing to die for him?

If the answer is “yes” then let us begin by dying to ourselves. The more we crucify the flesh, the more powerfully the Spirit moves. A talk of mine on the subject of being full of the Holy Spirit went up on YouTube yesterday and if you want some additional insights on how to be full of the Holy Spirit, please do watch it. Here is the link: https://youtu.be/q_O-zhe4aa8 If we are able to be full of the Holy Spirit, I am pretty sure that we will walk in the power of the Spirit just as the apostles did.

And why is this important? Because we are called to be the apostles of today.