Maybe it’s not up to you to fix what’s broken


 

“‘‘ But maybe it’s not about what you do next,’’ he continued, swallowing. ‘‘ Maybe it’s not up to you to fix what’s broken.’’”

          from “Relentless (Dominion Trilogy Book #1)” by Robin Parrish

 

Looking at all those broken eggs, I’m sure glad I don’t have to fix them.

Putting them back together?  If you thought Humpty Dumpty was bad, imagine this mess.

Even making them into scrambled eggs means getting rid of all the pieces of shells.

Poached eggs?  Not going to happen if I’m cooking.

Fortunately, as the quote says, it’s not up to us to fix what’s broken.

We need to believe and ask

“all” we need to do is to believe in Jesus, believe Jesus, and ask in His name – and Jesus will do it.

Sounds easy, right?
No – sounds hard.
That’s why the quote marks around the word all.

However – it is true.

Jesus Comforts His Disciples

Jn 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 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. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Jesus the Way to the Father

Jn 14:5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jn 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Jn 14:8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
Jn 14:9 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’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 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 miracles themselves. 12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Jesus Comforts His Disciples

We claim to believe the first part of those verses.  The part about many rooms in The Father’s house.  We lay claim to that covering pretty much everyone except the most vile people on earth – and probably the people we don’t like.  We think that what Jesus said means all the people we like, or we think are good people, are going to Heaven.

That’s why I say we “claim” to believe it.  We are claiming something that Jesus never actually said.

First of all, notice that Jesus is addressing His disciples.  Let’s see what that word means – who exactly is a disciple –

Disciple.
Someone who follows another person or another way of life and who submits himself to the discipline (teaching) of that leader or way. In the Bible the term “disciple” is found almost exclusively in the Gospels and the Book of Acts, the only exceptions being Isaiah 8:16 and less directly Isaiah 50:4 and 54:13, where the same Hebrew word is translated “learned” and “taught,” respectively. Yet clearly wherever there is a teacher and those taught, the idea of discipleship is present.

At the time of his ascension Christ commissioned the first disciples to “make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19); hence, the term “disciple” is also used in the Book of Acts to describe believers, those who confess Christ (6:1, 2, 7; 9:36; 11:26). Though they have not been directly called by Christ himself, such disciples are called by Christ’s Spirit through the message delivered by the first disciples; disciples called later are not in any sense inferior to the first disciples, even though they are less privileged.
The discipline of the Christian disciple is whatever is involved in being a follower of Christ (Mt 16:24, 25). In the case of the first disciples this involved literally going where Christ went, sharing in his privations and joys (Lk 22:28) and, beyond this, conforming minds and wills to his teaching (Phil 2:5). Such service was not a matter of following a set of abstract moral principles enunciated by a leader; much less was it a discipleship based on gaining the favor or goodwill of the master by righteous obedience. It was a discipleship of loving obedience based on gratitude for Christ’s work as the Messiah, service that was made possible by the strength and motivation that come from union with Christ in his death and resurrection secured by faith and by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. 1)Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (p. 630). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

That’s pretty specific –

Someone who follows another person or another way of life and who submits himself to the discipline (teaching) of that leader or way.

– and add more details as it goes on.

If you fit that definition of disciple, Jesus was talking to you in regards to the rooms in the Father’s house.

If someone you know fits that definition of disciple, Jesus was talking about them, in regards to the rooms in the Father’s house.

He was not talking to or about anyone else.  

There are other places where Jesus talks about believing in Him, or believing Him.  But this part – and this topic – address a smaller audience.  As such, I think it’s legitimate to say these words are for those particular people and others like them.  As we continue, you’ll see why this is true, given that understanding what the words mean is important – and one who believes in Jesus wouldn’t have the same knowledge as someone who studied and is trying to follow Him.

So, if we choose to ignore what Jesus said in those verses where He is comforting His disciples – including you, me, and anyone else claiming to be one of His disciples – what does that mean in terms of our belief about anything else Jesus said?

I don’t believe we can be picking and choosing the things we want to believe – ignoring the parts we don’t like – and declare ourselves followers of Jesus.
If we do that – are we really followers?

Here’s one part of the problem with picking and choosing –

Testimonies About Jesus

Jn 5:31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid.
Jn 5:32 There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid.
Jn 5:33 “You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth.
Jn 5:34 Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved.
Jn 5:35 John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.
Jn 5:36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me.
Jn 5:37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
Jn 5:38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.
Jn 5:39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,
Jn 5:40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
Jn 5:41 “I do not accept praise from men,
Jn 5:42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts.
Jn 5:43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.
Jn 5:44 How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God ?
Jn 5:45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set.
Jn 5:46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.
Jn 5:47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

There are many issues in there for those who would pick and choose what to believe.  Especially for those who would choose to ignore any of these verses, I dare say.  But pay special attention to verses 37 and 38 –

Jn 5:37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
Jn 5:38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.

As I said, if we choose to believe only part of what Jesus said,
do we really believe Him,
and then, can we really call ourselves His followers?

Jesus the Way to the Father

If we fail on the issue of really being a disciple of Jesus, I’d say we also fail on recognizing that Jesus is the way to the Father.

For a look into whether partial belief in what Jesus said, based on the parts we want to believe, check out verse 6 –

Jn 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Oops.  Truth.  I’m guessing that means “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”.

And if we fail there, we certainly won’t understand what Jesus meant when He said these verses –

Jn 14:13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

One may assume the question might be – what does the word “whatever” mean?  Maybe it doesn’t really mean whatever the way we think it does.  Nice thought – but it really does mean the same thing we think of today.

Or maybe it’s the word anything?  Maybe Jesus restated the previous verse in different words and placed some restrictions on it the second time.  Like maybe Jesus refined the thought.  Again – nice thought – but it still means anything / whatever – just as it does today.

There is one other thing that’s repeated though – in my name.  And that is the key.  More specifically, it’s one of the Greek words that gets translated as “name” –

3686 ὄνομα [onoma /on·om·ah/] n n. From a presumed derivative of the base of 1097 (cf 3685); TDNT 5:242; TDNTA 694; GK 3950; 230 occurrences; AV translates as “name” 194 times, “named” 28 times, “called” four times, “surname + 2007” twice, “named + 2564” once, and not translated once. 1 name: univ. of proper names. 2 the name is used for everything which the name covers, everything the thought or feeling of which is aroused in the mind by mentioning, hearing, remembering, the name, i.e. for one’s rank, authority, interests, pleasure, command, excellences, deeds etc. 3 persons reckoned up by name. 4 the cause or reason named: on this account, because he suffers as a Christian, for this reason.  2)Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

So the issue comes down to what would we legitimately ask for in Jesus’ name?

To further clarify this thought, Jesus included a qualifier in verse 13 –

so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.

It’s not so we can bring glory to the Father.
It is so Jesus can bring glory to the Father.
It’s not about us.
It’s about Him.

It’s about asking for things where the Son works through us (or someone else or somehow) brings glory to the Father.

When we ask for things that accomplish this goal – Jesus will give them to us.

Sorry – that may be what you’re thinking –
but it doesn’t say that.

When we ask for things that accomplish this goal – Jesus will give them to us.

Jesus does not say He will give those things to us.
The simple truth is – Jesus doesn’t say He will give us anything at all.

Don’t believe that?  Don’t want to believe that?

Here’s what the Greek word translated as “do” means –

4160 ποιέω [poieo /poy·eh·o/] v. Apparently a prolonged form of an obsolete primary; TDNT 6:458; TDNTA 895; GK 4472; 579 occurrences; AV translates as “do” 357 times, “make” 113 times, “bring forth” 14 times, “commit” nine times, “cause” nine times, “work” eight times, “show” five times, “bear” four times, “keep” four times, “fulfil” three times, “deal” twice, “perform” twice, not translated three times, translated miscellaneously 43 times, and “vr do” three times. 1 to make. 1A with the names of things made, to produce, construct, form, fashion, etc. 1B to be the authors of, the cause. 1C to make ready, to prepare. 1D to produce, bear, shoot forth. 1E to acquire, to provide a thing for one’s self. 1F to make a thing out of something. 1G to (make i.e.) render one anything. 1G1 to (make i.e.) constitute or appoint one anything, to appoint or ordain one that. 1G2 to (make i.e.) declare one anything. 1H to put one forth, to lead him out. 1I to make one do something. 1I1 cause one to. 1J to be the authors of a thing (to cause, bring about). 2 to do. 2A to act rightly, do well. 2A1 to carry out, to execute. 2B to do a thing unto one. 2B1 to do to one. 2C with designation of time: to pass, spend. 2D to celebrate, keep. 2D1 to make ready, and so at the same time to institute, the celebration of the passover. 2E to perform: to a promise. Additional Information: For synonyms see entry 4238, prasso.See entry 5871 for comparison of synonyms.  3)Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

I ask you – do you see the word “give” anywhere in that definition?

How about the word “you”?

Nope – neither is there.

I think we tend to rephrase that verse to something along the lines of Jesus will give us whatever we ask.

Maybe we’re a bit better and lay claim to Jesus giving whatever we ask, as long as we ask in His name.

But – do we include the thought that it brings glory to the Father?  That’s part of what we need.

Do we include the thought that it allows Jesus to bring glory to the Father?  That’s more of what we need.

Finally – we do we include that Jesus brings glory to the Father and we very well may not get anything at all out of it?  That’s what we need.

Conclusion

You see, regarding the quote at the top –

it’s really not up to us to fix it.

It’s not up to us to actually “do” anything ourselves.

It’s up to us to believe Jesus.  That’s not an action – it’s a belief.

It’s up to us to ask for things that will let Jesus do things and that those things will bring glory to the Father.  (again, not necessarily an action on our part)

It’s up to us, if Jesus so chooses, to allow ourselves to be used by Him in the process of bringing glory to the Father.  (our action, yes.  But guided by Him, strengthened by Him, and credit to Him).

I, for one, am glad I don’t have to fix all those eggs.
I’m really happy that I don’t have to fix the world’s problems.
That I don’t have to fight Satan myself in the process of bringing glory to the Father.
Jesus can do all those things.
Jesus can be in charge.  That’s fine for me.
Jesus can provide the strength.  That works for me as well.
If Jesus wants to choose me, guide me, strengthen me and thereby enable me to be involved while He takes care of things, that works too,
Jesus can have the credit as well.  I didn’t really do much, other than believe Him and allow Him to work through me.
The Father can have the glory.  Again – who am I in all of this?

And – for my little piece of the action – look what I get –

Jn 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 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. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

How cool is that?

Do you believe?  All of it?  Everything Jesus said?

 


quote and book info at amazon.com — http://amzn.to/2aeaGcv

References   [ + ]

1. Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (p. 630). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
2, 3. Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

Please leave a comment - it's nice to hear from you