During the last few days of Jesus’ life here on earth, the entire universe, all creation and all the angels in heaven eagerly watched every moment. They didn’t want to miss a second! He was the Lamb of God Who was slain before the foundation of the world.
Thirty-three years ago, they had witnessed in amazement as Jesus stepped out of eternity into time, becoming a human being in order to redeem mankind. Now He was about to wrap up His mission—but it looked as if He were running out of time, with most of his future strategy still to be set up.
1 Peter 1:12 tells us that angels actually long to know the details about our salvation. I suppose they had a thousand questions as they watched Jesus walk toward Calvary. Imagine with me that one of these curious angels was interviewing Jesus:
|Angel:||“Jesus, could You tell me why You came to earth?”|
|Jesus:||“To save the world.”|
|Angel:||“Fine; and how are You going to do this?”|
|Jesus:||“I am going to die on a cross.”|
|Jesus:||“I am going to rise from the dead and return to heaven.”|
|Angel:||“But how will people know what You did for them?”|
|Jesus:||“Well, I have 12 disciples whom I chose out of thousands. These men are going to be My agents of reconciliation.”|
|Angel:||“Watching them for the last three years hasn’t really impressed any of us angels. Are you going to give them Your master plan?”|
|Jesus:||“I don’t have a plan like that.”|
|Angel:||“What are You going to do then?”|
|Jesus:||“I will talk to them about relationship, and what it means to abide in My love as I abide in My Father’s love.”|
Jesus’ Focus: Our Relationships with God and with Others
I am so amazed to read what Jesus actually shared with His disciples just hours before He went to the cross to die. He discussed no master plan, tricks, fund-raising methods, building projects, spiritual laws or even Bible verses to memorize.
The entire chapter of John 15 is all about relationship—man’s greatest problem since the garden of Eden. It was there that our relationship with God was broken; and ever since, all our human relationships have been in total confusion as well. These were the two things Jesus talked about with His followers.
He told them,
“He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit …” (John 15:5).
What Jesus is actually referring to in this chapter are their lives. He is showing them how they will be able to produce the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23:
“…love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
What Jesus is concentrating on here is not at all the kingdom work that you and I do, nor the work the disciples were going to do later on in the Book of Acts. The fruit we will bear if we abide in Him is the fruit of a transformed life. All we do is simply the result of what we have become.
A transformed life will impact everything around it and produce eternal results, without a single struggle to make it happen.
As We Abide in Christ, His Life Will Flow Through Us
Henry Stanley, a worldly reporter, was sent to the jungles of Africa in search of David Livingstone. The last time the old missionary had been seen was seven years before when he returned to Africa in 1865. Finally, when Stanley found him in the middle of nowhere, the encounter changed him completely.
Stanley lived with Livingstone for four months, sharing the same hut and every part of his life as well. He watched him closely and listened to his words. To his amazement he could find no fault in the old man.
Up to that point, Stanley had been very critical of religion, and even described himself as the worst infidel in London. But there in the jungle he encountered a man who simply lived out the words of Jesus: “Leave all and follow me.” Seeing Livingstone’s love, his zeal and his commitment, Stanley’s heart toward Christ completely changed.
With all the frantic activities of modern-day Christianity, it is time for us to learn that it is not the plans we make or the programs that matter most, but the simple truth of letting His life flow through us.
If you’re a single adult between 18 and 27 years old, you can spend a year with Gospel for Asia, drawing closer to Christ, experiencing the fruit of a transformed life being conformed into His nature.
To read more posts on Christian Living by Dr. KP Yohannan Metropolitan, go here.
Dr. KP Yohannan, founder and director of the nonprofit organization Gospel for Asia, has written more than 200 books, including Revolution in World Missions, an international bestseller with more than 4 million copies in print. He and his wife, Gisela, have two grown children, Daniel and Sarah, who both serve the Lord with their families.
Gospel for Asia is a nonprofit organization serving the “least of these” in Asia since its beginning in 1979, often in places where no one else is serving. Gospel for Asia supports national workers who are serving as the hands and feet of Christ by ministering to people’s needs so they can understand the love of God for them for the first time. Gospel for Asia is engaged in dozens of projects, such as caring for poor children, slum dwellers and widows and orphans; providing clean water by funding wells; supporting medical missions; and meeting the needs of those in leprosy colonies. Through Gospel for Asia’s Bridge of Hope Program, tens of thousands of children are being rescued from the generational curses of poverty and hopelessness.