Growing up in the 1950s and 60s was something else! We had wild imaginations back then that sometimes got us in big trouble with the parents. For example, we as children made telephones that were unlike the phones connected to a telephone pole. You could hold the phone in your hand, which were made of simple cans with a string tied between each phone. Kind of a cell phone, but the thought was there to be different. They worked, for a short distance.
Or, how about trying to build a set of wings so you could wear them on your back and glide off the garage roof as was planned to test them. Problem was getting them built and assembled before Dad found out and squelched the plan with, “That is impossible.” (Look at the hang gliders of today though.)
The imagination of the mind is limitless. “Where there is a will, there is a way.” (An old English proverb)
Fast forward to our modern technology … who would have ever thought back in the 1950s we would be walking around with cell phones in our hand or pocket today, capable of calling, texting, emailing, photographing,etc. Knowledge has definitely increased since those days.
Rewind two thousand and some years ago to Jesus explaining to his disciples who had followed him for the past three years, hanging on every word he spoke, getting to know Jesus like a brother, that he had to, “leave them.” In the Gospel of John, chapter 14, verses 1 through 4, Jesus said that he would leave to go prepare a place for them, and then, “return to get them so that they would be with him always.” Then Thomas questioned, “We have no idea where you are going nor the way?” Vs 5.
Jesus then exclaimed, “ I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” vs 6
The disciples were miffed. They seemed confused at what Jesus was saying. Jesus then gave in to their curiosity and said, “If you had known who I am, then you would have known who my Father is. From now on, you know him and have seen him.” Vs 7.
Then Phillip stepped up for the rest and said, “Lord, show us the Father and we will be satisfied.” Vs 8.
Jesus then explained how he and the Father were One. A beautiful explanation, so read it, but keep in mind, here is where modern technology, modern thinking, fall completely through the cracks. Jesus’ explanation of who he and the Father are, goes right out the door of this world’s thinking.
After Jesus’ explanation, Jesus then says (in my words), “Look, just believe in me because of what you have seen me do throughout these past three years, OK? And, if you believe in me and what I have taught you up to now, truth is you will do even greater works than I have done because you have believed in me. I am going to be with my Father.” Vs 12
The disciples were people just like you and me. They were educated in the things of the world, they basically knew how to survive, had jobs, had families and had dreams and goals just like we do. They had difficulties like we do today in everyday life, but they knew Jesus more intimately than most of us, so they had hope for the things Jesus talked about, like heaven and how sweet eternal life would be for eternity. But, the disciples had something we didn’t have, or at least we couldn’t see Jesus as they saw him. They were motivated by Jesus’ presence and his demeanor as a supernatural man. They knew that Jesus was more than a man from what they saw and heard Jesus say and do.
Now, Jesus was telling them He was God, that He and the Father were the same person. This did not make sense to the brain. But, when you think about it, neither did Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead make much sense to normal thinking, or restoring sight to the blind, casting out demons from people, and especially, that Jesus would be tortured and crucified to death, then rise from the dead three days later.
So, when Jesus shared that he was going to go and prepare a place for each one and come back to get them, that didn’t make much sense either.
Jesus and the Father had had a plan since before the world was created, according to the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1. Verses 6 through 14 encourage us in God’s plan, not only because God’s plan was to adopt us as His very own children through believing in Jesus, but to provide us redemption from the penalty our sins, putting the penalty of our sins on Jesus instead, who died for our sins, and then God gave us a promise that they would also send to us, after we believed in Jesus as the redemptor for our sins, the Holy Spirit to help us with living in the world for God until we were ready for God’s final plan to unfold into eternal life with God and all the saints in Heaven. Now that’s a lot to take in, but get a bible and read for yourselves the letters of Paul to the Ephesians that spell out such a wonderful gift plan God has already given those who believe in Jesus Christ as the way, the truth and the life.
Finally, Jesus said, “What does a man profit if he gain the whole world but lose his soul?” Mark 8:36
I think what Jesus meant by saying this was, if we put our own plan into effect for our life and leave God’s plan out, we leave God out of our lives. We may be doing what Jesus said with our lives when he said, “gaining the whole world and losing our eternal life with Jesus by leaving Him out.” God has a great eternal plan for all of us that is “Out of this World!” What’s your plan now?
Mark Conway is a Christian evangelist living with his wife Maryna in Sterling, Alaska. He can be reached through their website: endtimedays.org.