|A scene from "Jesus of Nazareth"|
How are we able to "judge with righteous judgement"? As several of my young friends said whenever we engaged in a playful insult match, "consider the source".
One of the ways I can judge whether something is worth my money and attention is knowing where it is from. A butterscotch pie from my late grandmother was always worth more than one from the supermarket. A computer custom built at Navada in Perth has served me far better and longer than computers mass-assembled and placed on the shelves of Best Buy.
You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.
Jesus is the original "short-term" missionary. None of us have seen God. None of us have seen heaven. For those who are interested in God and Heaven, how can we determine what to do or where to go if we haven't seen anything about it or know where it is? It's like telling a person in the middle of Mongolia who has never known anything outside his family and doesn't have a map to travel to Spain.
This is the miracle of Jesus. Yes, they knew where he was from. (Although as we read in this account, they really didn't know that since they assumed he was born in Nazareth instead of investigating for themselves with knowledge they could have easily acquired that he was born in Bethlehem.) He was from Nazareth. They knew Nazareth. A few of them had been to Nazareth. A few of them were from Nazareth. Jesus was a man. He lived with them. He ate with them. He did all kinds of things with them and around them.
And, yet unlike any other person that has ever lived. Jesus had seen God. Jesus had seen heaven. Why? Because that is where Jesus is from. This is why Jesus is hope. This is why Jesus is the way. To a "rational" person who can hardly fathom that an infinite God can love insignificant people, this is certainly hard to wrap our heads around.
But, this is why Jesus did all the miracles and all the signs around the people that he did. What is crazier is that he did the bulk of these around people judged to be insignificant and worthless by their fellow man. "When the Christ comes, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He?”
We really are arrogant creatures, aren't we? We have never seen God. We don't know God. And yet, we make assumptions on how such a God should act, right? We have never seen heaven. A number of us have a hard time making our most basic relationships of husband-wife, parent-child, brother-sister work. Yet, we presume what heaven looks like and how the creatures of heaven relate to one another.
He who sent Jesus is "True". Our Creator is the only thing that is real. God is reality. Everything that is apart from God is false. It is not real. Everything that is apart from God is a lie and a fraud. Worse. Because we have rejected what is true, we accept what is false. We have exchanged the truth of God for a lie. We do not know God. We do not know what is true.
As we begin our walk with Jesus, we cheer for Him when He does things we think He should. We follow Him readily when He asks us to do things that we long to do. But, when He does things that make us confused, or when he asks us to things that we do not want to do, we do not want to walk with Him anymore. We think that we are better off walking our life's journey with someone else or all alone.
For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me. You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.
Jesus knew that very soon, his time as a man living on earth would end. He would go back to where He came from. Then what? This is the era we live in now. Thousands of years later, we are a people who have never seen Jesus face to face. How can we come to know what we do not know? How can we go without knowing where to go?
If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'
We start with Jesus. This is why He came. He came so that we can know what is true. He came so that we can know how to live and where to walk. We humble ourselves and we follow the feet of the Master whereever that leads. As John says, he doesn't leave us alone.
Because Jesus is given divine significance (or is "glorified"), He is able to give those who trust Him with their lives, another gift whose source is Heaven. And through the Spirit of God, we are able to find our way to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Does this sound crazy to you? Is this another flight of fancy or another false religion? All this talk of God, Holy Spirit and a man who is God?
Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.