The Gospel of John – Jesus’ My Teaching
Jesus and his gospel come to us saying: the ultimate reality is a spiritual (nonphysical), personal being, who is independent of all else, completely self-sufficing, completely in charge, and who is unlimited in power and goodness. And he tells us we are unceasing spiritual beings with eternal destinies in God’s great universe. Moreover, this ultimate personal reality has planned on you from the beginning of creation. He has prepared a kingdom for you from the beginning. He has made a place for you in history, along with every provision for your ultimate safety and well-being. As you place your confidence in Jesus Christ, and through him in God, even this present world becomes a perfectly safe place for you to be.
Those who would lead and teach the nations for Christ must be under the teaching of Christ, and must bring others under that teaching. They must, in other words, be disciples who make disciples. So must be those who teach the teachers. By the “teaching of Christ” we here mean not just what he taught, to be passed on through the ages—of course that, too, and that centrally—but we mean the ongoing engagement of individuals with the living Lord who now stands in personal interactive relationships to them. They are to be constantly taught in the Trinitarian community by the members of the Trinity.
If there is a body of Christian knowledge and practice, we can become students of it and learn it, just a is the case in other areas where there is knowledge.
Dallas Willard (ed. Gary Black Jr.), Renewing The Christian Mind, p. 434, 469
All these things show Jesus’ cognitive and practical mastery of every phase of reality: physical, moral, and spiritual. He is Master only because he is Maestro. “Jesus is Lord” can mean little in practice for anyone who has to hesitate before saying, “Jesus is smart.”
He is not just nice, he is brilliant. He is the smartest man who ever lived. He is now supervising the entire course of world history while simultaneously preparing the rest of the universe for our future role in it. He always has the best information on everything and certainly also on the things that matte most in human life. Let us now hear his teachings on who has the good life, on who is among the truly blessed.
Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy, p. 95 (1998)
Among those who had never made it into the pool was a man who had been in this place for thirty-eight years. It is heartbreaking to think about this tragic situation. One thousand seventy-six weeks—or almost fourteen thousand days. A life wasted away! There were so many things this man had never been able to enjoy because his whole life had been spent waiting for a miracle that had never come.
This pitiable man is symbolic of thousands whose lives go by without the least sign of hope, people who are born an who die in extreme poverty or who live under cruel oppression and know nothing of the multitudinous blessings and benefits we enjoy each day. It is so sad, therefore, that those of us who possess much are not overflowing with gratitude to the God who has been so generous to us. Nothing of what we enjoy has been earned by us; rather, it is purely and exclusively the result of His goodness to us. Let us commit to practicing daily the discipline of gratitude, never forgetting even one of His blessings.
The man did not understand what Jesus was offering him, but the Lord healed him anyway. Once again we see that the Kingdom does not belong to those who understand but tot hose who through grace alone receive an entirely undeserved gift from above. In an instant the thirty-eight years had come to a close, and the man began to walk.
Christ’s wonderful submission to God means that He followed His Father closely in all that He did. The day of rest had been instituted as a day of restoration and renewal. Jesus’ decision to work restoration and renewal into a person’s life on this particular day was simply the outworking of the principle that upholds the commandment.
The Jews could not consider Jesus’ argument, because their perspective did not allow for the possibility that they were wrong. Their attitude of certainty in the judgements they made had become an impenetrable wall preventing them from receiving new revelation from God. Could it be that we too stand stubbornly by certain concepts that make it impossible for us to consider other ways of looking at things?
When we are immersed in a relationship of profound love, the Father Himself will joyfully reveal His works to us. However, we mustn’t allow our love of the work to steal from us the opportunity of spending time with the God of the work.
Christopher Shaw, God In Sandals, p. 138f, 142f
This is about Jesus… and I am now convinced that going back to Jesus is the best way forward for Christians in our bitterly divided country…. Christians in other historical eras have often gone back to their discipleship to Jesus Christ – both personal and public – In times of crisis…. Encouragement and hope… That’s what a focus on Jesus can do for us, even in the direst of times.
Jim Wallis, “Going Back To Jesus,” Sojourners, p. 10, February 2020