2009-08-20 - Oceans of Ink
The Cross Series, Part 57 ~ Originally Published 1998-10-22
John 21:24-25 This is the disciple who bears witness of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his witness is true. 25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books which were written. (NAS)
Have you ever been to a really big library or bookstore? I love a good bookstore, so does my wife. If we can get a sitter, one place you might find us after dinner is sifting through isles of books. Our tastes differ, but books are a common love. Now, if you take the biggest bookstore I've ever been in (nine stories of books) and were able to wring all the ink out of the books, you would have a significant quantity of ink. It would probably take a number of those 55 gallon drums to contain it all. And if the paper were laid end to end, the line would extend for miles out of sight.
John closes his Gospel account with the disclaimer that this is not all that happened. The account John presents to us is a taste or a sampling of the teaching, miracles and travels of Jesus. The items that are presented are enough to make the mind reel at the possibilities. John is stressing a point here, that the world would not contain the books that would be written about the details of Jesus. But Jesus is the most written about person in history. I wonder if my nine story bookstore would be able to hold all those books.
Matt 28:18-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (NAS)
It might take another ocean of ink to describe the idea of total authority in heaven and earth. Jesus holds the title deed to planet earth. We see it in the seven seals that are broken from the scroll in the Revelation. Even though the enemy would have us believe that he is the authority here, it is just another lie. And we are ambassadors of that authority. That kind of total authority in human history has been devastating from the Khans to the Caesars to the Czars to Hitler. Life becomes cheap and values are crushed and twisted. Jesus authority is extended for us, not against us. If we are willing to accept that authority, it becomes are hiding place or a safe haven.
We have the commission to take this good news to anyone who will hear us. Some of us are called to far away lands at the risk of our lives. Most of us are called to our offices and homes, schools and neighborhoods to be witnesses of the freedom that is available freely to anyone who will ask. The rules and regulations of the realm are few, but far reaching. Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself. That is. To love God after all the things Jesus endured for us is simply gratitude. Love flows easily from a heart of gratitude. And just as we care for ourselves, we are instructed to care for those around us. When that happens, it flows back to us and becomes circular.
Rev 22:16-17 "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star." 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. (NAS)
The Apostle John is now a very old man. Most scholars place the book of Revelation around 90AD. Through the years he has suffered for his beloved Jesus. The apostle who loved Jesus endured great suffering on the island of Patmos as a prisoner of Rome. John could even see the hand of God moving him there to reach the men in that quarry prison. Men who were consigned there most often died there. John went in chains, but his heart was free. It had been decades since John had seen Jesus. During the vision which was the Revelation, John is able to see and hear Jesus again. As the time draws short, Jesus turns and encourages his dear friend with these words above.
The words reflect the opening verses of Isaiah 55. I will close this series with that passage. This is the promise of God to anyone who will answer His call. It is the promise we were given and now live. It is the promise we can carry to the nations and our neighbors.
Isa 55:1-3 "Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2 "Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance. 3 "Incline your ear and come to me. Listen, that you may live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, according to the faithful mercies shown to David. (NAS)
Lord Jesus - this has been a wonderful journey with You through the trip You took for us to the Cross. Even in the middle of all the pain and suffering, You were in control. Then contest was never in question from the start. Creator vs. Creation was a mismatch. But that does not dim the fact that You did suffer horribly both mentally and physically. Your motives were to restore us to fellowship with Yourself so that we could spend eternity with You. Forever the understanding of the sacrifice You endured will unfold before us. Thank you for the time we have been able to spend, knowing there is so much more to come. Amen.