Show Me the Real!

Mark 16:14 NIV  Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

A short verse, quite easy to follow.  Why did it catch my attention this time?  These disciples stubbornly refused to believe what they hadn’t seen for themselves, and Jesus rebuked them, plain and simple.  Or is it?  If we “hear” Him rebuke as we have known rebuke ourselves, it is.  But, let’s “listen” more carefully to Jesus in His rebuke.

Jesus had already conquered death, hell, and the grave with His victory on the cross.  Satan no longer had the ability even to tempt Him to function with man’s mindset or attitude.  He couldn’t be tempted to be angry or sarcastic with them, despite their stubbornness.  In no way was He arrogant towards them, or judgmental.

Those things Jesus didn’t do in rebuke seem to be part and parcel of most rebukes today – even among Christians.  What are we missing?  Could it be as simple as motive?  Jesus’ motive was to bring the disciples up higher – out of the already dead old man and into the new man in Christ.  His motive was love, pure and simple.  He not only rebuked because of love, He also rebuked in love.  In this very love, He rebuked the disciples for choosing their old ways, then showed them His better and higher way in the next verses.

Mark 16:15-18 NIV He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.  And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;  they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

A longing arose from my spirit man as I cried out, “Show me what this looks like, Jesus!  I’ve never seen it Your way, and I’ve certainly never done it Your way.  Show me.  Let me hear it Your way from others.  Even when You’ve rebuked me in the past, I’ve heard a mixture of Your loving rebuke and the enemy’s taunting condemnation.  Help me hear only You in rebuke, Lord, that I will go forth in the greater and higher call to shine Your Light for others to find their way, too.  Show me the real, Lord!”

In Jesus’ Own Words

“If I am not doing the works [performing the deeds] of My Father, then do not believe Me [do not adhere to Me and trust Me and rely on Me].  But if I do them, even though you do not believe Me or have faith in Me, [at least] believe the works and have faith in what I do, in order that you may know and understand [clearly] that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father [One with Him].”  John 10:37-38

Jesus spoke these words with the confidence of a man totally yielded to the Holy Spirit of God in and through His life, not with arrogance or self-assurance because He was God.  He did the Father’s works and reflected His nature so others could know the Father and He are One.

At the prompting of the Holy Spirit, Jesus spoke in a way designed to cause His accusers to consider not only His motives, but theirs.  Anything He did was to show the Father in Him and through Him.  It was more than just the miracles that upset them.  Was it also His observance of the Sabbaths?  His following of the Law of Moses and the law of the land?  Maybe they were upset by the extended times of prayer He observed – out of their view.  The problem with Jesus doing all these things was not that He was following religion’s requirements, but that change was happening in people with whom He came in contact.  Unfortunately, the religious leaders weren’t interested in being changed themselves, or helping others change for the better, so they failed to examine their hearts to discover what was lacking.

The contents of Jesus’ heart reflected the Father through the works of every area of life.  It was a life of God’s love – inside – that made the difference outside; improving hearts and lives in those who would receive, and increasing rejection and persecution by those who would not.  He truly loved His neighbor, wherever He was and whoever it might be.  He truly loved even his detractors, with the desire to shine forth God’s love for them even when He confronted in boldness and authority.  He required love to govern even His thoughts toward all people – the good and not-so-good – which overflowed in His words and actions.  (Matt. 12:34)

Jesus is my example – not of how God lived on this earth, but how a completely humble Man could live on this earth in total reliance on His heavenly Father’s Spirit to walk in love.  Since that is the case, my aim is to be able to say, with the same humility and boldness, that you can believe the works and have faith in what I do, for I am revealing in all actions and words that I and the Father are One, through Christ.  I want to be there – so dead to myself and so yielded to Holy Spirit that I know, without doubt, I’m doing exactly what He wants in His way and timing and with His amazing heart of love.  Since Jesus prayed that very thing for me, you, and all who will believe and follow Him, I know His Word is at work in me right now to bring this to pass.  His Word never fails!

John 17:21 “That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me.”