December 18, 2018

Are you drinking from the eternal fountain of living water, or in bondage to wells with no water?

Are you drinking from the eternal fountain of living water, or in bondage to wells with no water?

After Jesus told His disciples about the Spirit of truth that He would send to them, He told them what was about to take place – “’A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.’ Then some of His disciples said among themselves, ‘What is this that He says to us,’ ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’; and, ‘because I go to the Father’?” They said therefore, ‘What is this that He says ‘A little while’? We do not know what He is saying.’ Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, ‘Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’? ‘Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.’” (John 16: 16-22)

Not long after this, Jesus was crucified. Over 700 years before this happened, the prophet Isaiah had predicted His death – “For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked – but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.” (Isaiah 53: 8b-9)

So, as Jesus had told His disciples, after a little while they did not see Him, because He was crucified; but then they did see Him, because He was resurrected. During the forty days between Jesus’ resurrection and His ascension to His Father, He appeared to various disciples on ten different occasions. One of these appearances was on the evening of the day of His resurrection – “Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’” (John 20: 19-21) It happened just as Jesus said, though His disciples were distraught and sorrowful after Jesus died, they had joy when they saw Him alive again.

Earlier in His ministry, when speaking to the self-righteous Pharisees, Jesus warned them – “’Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.’” (John 10: 1-5) Jesus went on to identify Himself as the ‘door’ – “’Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.’” (John 10: 7-10)

Has Jesus become your ‘door’ to eternal life, or have you unknowingly followed some religious leader or teacher who does not have your best interest at heart? Could it be that you are following a self-appointed and self-righteous leader, or one who just wants your time and money? Jesus warned – “’Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.’” (Matthew 7: 15) Peter warned – “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.” (2 Peter 2: 1-3) Often false teachers will promote ideas that sound good, ideas that make them sound wise, but in reality they are trying to promote themselves. Instead of feeding their sheep true spiritual food from the Bible, they focus more on various philosophies. Peter referred to them this way – “These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.” (2 Peter 2: 17-19)

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