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Knowing God May 26, 2010

Posted by theronwatson in Uncategorized.
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John 17:24-26
After Jesus shared His last supper with His disciples they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives. They stopped at a place called Gethsemane where Jesus invited His disciples to pray with Him. He went on a little further and poured His heart out to God. When He returned, He found the disciples sleeping but encouraged them to stay awake and pray a second time. When He came back, He again found them sleeping so He went a third time to pray alone. When He came back the third and final time, His betrayer was coming with a mob to get Him, to drag Him off for trial and execution.
This makes a very good story. But, many want to know; it is real? The place is real. A person can still go to Israel, to Jerusalem and see the walls of the Temple, see the Kidron Valley, see the Mount of Olives and even the Garden of Gethsemane. Within the garden is a very old olive tree estimated to be some two thousand years old. Could Jesus have leaned against this tree as He poured His heart out to God?
The place is real. Could Jesus be real? Well, an ancient scholar named Josephus mentions a man named Jesus who performed miracles. Josephus was real. We have his books.
The Bible is real. The authors of our Bible were real. The characters recorded in the Bible were real. Not too long ago an ossuary was found with an inscription on it that said, “James the brother of Jesus.” It is real.
Every time a scientific discovery is made or archaeological site is discovered, it reveals more truth supported by the Bible.
If the places are real, if the Bible is real, if Jesus is real, the stories must be true, and God also must be real. If God is real then He can be known as Jesus said He could be and prayed that He would be.
I get a kick out of the people who say that God cannot be known. They say nothing about God can be known. He is a mystery and we are unable to know Him, they say. They contradict themselves. To say that God cannot be known, that is to say He is “un-know-able” reveals something about Him. We “know” that we cannot know Him. Strange.
Jesus’ last prayer in the Garden was that His followers would know God. No one has ever seen God, true enough, but that is not to say that we cannot know Him. We know Him through Jesus. I believe every physical manifestation of God even in the Old Testament is Jesus. Jesus is God, but separate from God somehow. Notice Jesus’ last prayer here in these verses. Jesus is saying, the world (the people of the world) does not know You, but I know You, and they know I am here. I am making You known by being here. By My being here, I am revealing You to them. I am revealing Your love for them.
God’s love is such that He desires that no one should perish. God demonstrated His own love for us in this; while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) It is God’s intention that no one spends an eternity in hell, permanently separated from His presence for all of eternity. Our sin demands action. If we will do nothing about it, then we have chosen to accept whatever consequences are required. Where God is, sin cannot be. God is perfect, sin is the exact opposite. If we remain in our sin, then God has no other alternative but to separate us from Himself. But, if we will admit to our sin… If we will recognize our shortcomings and turn away from the world and determine to follow Him then we will receive the blessing He has waiting for us on the other side of this present reality.
Jesus’ prayer was that His disciples would be with Him wherever He is. Jesus is currently in heaven at the right hand of the Father. We who are His disciples await a glorious reunion with the Author and Perfecter of our faith. But, the invitation is available to all who would deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him.
Receive Jesus and know God personally.

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