Good morning! Today we are reading in the sixteenth chapter of John. This chapter alone, could afford a months worth of daily blogs due to the richness of Jesus’ words. Today I would like to focus on the first four verses.
I love to see when God puts things together in a way that we cannot see. If you are an attender at Bluffton Baptist Church you will know that we have been in a series in Ephesians. We have just come upon chapter 6 in which we are being taught from God, through Paul how to stand firm. This past week, in the sermon, I mentioned what I call sleeper agents. These folks sit quietly, are involved in programs and are usually quite content. But when God’s people start doing Kingdom work the “sleeper” seems to be awakened. When in stagnated bliss, these folks are happy as clams; but when He begins to work, all of that seems to change. Some of these are just plain jealous of the work, as if the works of God were produced by a man. Without faith in an active God who has mad it His business to reach lost souls; this mindset makes much sense. It must be a personality, or a leader. Perhaps it is a program in which they had not thought of ans someone else beat them to it. Most times they will cause a rift in their small circle of friends that sometimes tears into the entire congregation and stops the work. Other times, the people of God just plain old “drive on” putting their trust in the one who ordained the work to begin with. After all, if God is the one working, he surely doesn’t need any specific person to do so. Usually these folks just drift into the background and slowly disappear. As one of my favorite commentators (and pastor) John Vernon McGee has said: “When the light comes out, the rats run away and the birds come out to play.”
You are probable wondering “Pastor, how does this fit today’s reading?” Well, lets get to that straight away. Notice who Jesus claims their enemy will be. He said “they will put you out of the synagogues….” then Jesus said “whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.” The people that Jesus are referencing are the people in the church! Jesus is referring to the people who are a part of corporate worship.
Many of us have seen this scenario played out before; others soon will if they stay attached to the vine. When the God of the universe begins to truly do a work in you, you will become “weird” to a lot of church folk. The obedient, called, inspired believer who is active in the Word will stand out in the crowd. The normal operation of things may begin to change and those who are drifting along will not embrace the change well. Jesus said that we are the Light of the world. When those who have not repented are exposed by the light, they are very uncomfortable. One’s sins and lifestyle and even schedule, began to look meager and wanting in the reflective light of Jesus Christ, as seen through the obedient disciple.
Sadly, Jesus is not referring to someone who differs in opinion, or perhaps has not matured in their walk yet. Jesus is referring to lost people, lost people in our pews. Jesus said “These things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor me.” These are people who are religious, in our ministries, and sometimes even, active in programs. But they are tares in the wheat. Tares look identical to wheat, but they do not produce fruit.
Friends, if people don’t think you are weird, something is wrong. If you are “weird” please don’t stop! Jesus told us in these verses that we needed to know these things in order that “we would not stumble.” We need to remember these things are a standard operating procedure in the life of the sold out, obedient servant who is doing the will of the Father. Keep on keeping on!