Friday, June 20, 2014

Vine, Temple, Shepherd

Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.  John 5:19-20 

The life of Christ was never a life of independence from the Father, but a life of dependence upon the Father.  Every breath, thought and action was based upon the dependent guidance of the Father.  The relationship of the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ, we read about in the scriptures can best be described as one of "dependent intimacy." 

Jesus did nothing without the Father's approval. 

·      The judgments He spoke of were the judgments of the Father. 
·      The words of warning were the word of warning from the Father.
·      The love He showed was the Father's love.
His heart was set upon acting in accordance with the will of the Father. 
What does God desire in you and me?  The same! How are we acting - independently or interdependently?  Where is our heart - leading us a life alone or a life hidden in Christ with the Father?

Jesus' relationship with the Father was built upon intimacy.  As we walk with God He desires we have the intimacy that He had with the Son.  God shows us the intimate relationship He desires through the illustrations of the vine, temple and shepherd.

Reiterating John 15:5 says Jesus is the Vine and without Him the branches (you and me) can do nothing.  Without that intimate contact with God through Christ we are sure to die.
I noticed one day a plant alongside our house was about dead. The leaves were wilted and drooping, some of the leaves were yellow and some had fallen off.  We watered it and fed it and slowly but surely it was revived.  Some leaves had fallen off or were yellow and ready to fall off.  Separation meant certain death for these leaves just like separation from Christ is certain death for us.

In the Old Testament the Temple (like the Tabernacle) represented God's presence among His people.  Using that analogy Paul reminds us of the intimate relationship we have with the Father through Christ.  1 Corinthians 6:19 tells us Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

John 10:27 says "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
God desires to lead and guide our lives through the Good Shepherd of Christ.  The analogy of intimacy runs deep as the sheep were totally dependent upon the shepherd for care of life.
Have you ever been asked, “How do you recognize the voice of Jesus?” A good response is "You spend time with the Shepherd."  We must spend "quantity" intimate time with the Lord ... if we do He will make it "quality" time.

"The more we search the Bible, the more we realize that unbroken communion with God is the intent and not the exception." - Max Lucado

A heart like Jesus ... one that listens and acts according to the call of the Father is what God desires in your and me. Anything less is a heart that has been deceived.

Scripture to Claim

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  James 1:22

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