Heavenly Words

I was reading the first verse of the gospel of John today and a thought hit me.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – John 1:1

I’ve actually been mulling around the edges of it for a week since I read about Paul’s visit to heaven in 2 Corinthians 12.

There are lots of books out there these days about “my visit to heaven.” Some folks see mansions, some climb up in Jesus’ lap. Honestly, I don’t really know what folks have seen or heard in heaven, and I’m not sure what to do with any of that, if you get my drift.

So I had a heart attack a few weeks back on the 4th of July. I was dead for a minute or so. I got nothing–no visit to heavenno don’t bring me back mama–no white light. In fact, I don’t remember anything at all until the next day.

Back to Paul’s visit. He spent some time in heaven, but what overwhelmed Him?

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago–whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows–such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man–whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows– – 2 Corinthians 12:2-3

Wait for it–what blew Paul away about heaven? It wasn’t streets of gold or angelic choirs. It was the words!

…was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. – 2 Corinthians 12:4

Words fill heaven! Revelations so great, so amazing, it would break the mortal world to speak them here on this terrestrial plane.

We get tired of words. We wish the preacher would shut up. We take it as a chore to read a chapter or two in the Bible as though it was a price to pay for being a Christian. The fact is we just don’t get it.

In the beginning, the very beginning the Word is all that there was. Let me say it again – only the Word existed. The Word was God!

Remember what Jesus said about His words?

“the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. – John 6:63

He also told us this about God.

“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:24

We know Jesus is the Word made flesh. He is God, in flesh. He is the Word of God. He is the Revelation of God. He is the Words that are so glorious–so beyond–that it’s not lawful to speak in their fullness here and now.

Sometimes I think I know Jesus. Then He shows me how little I know of Him. There is so much more of Him. His glory covers the earth, but that’s small potatoes.

The great wonder of heaven is not a big house with a yard where we can play football. The great wonder of heaven is the full revelation of Jesus.

And it’s going to take us all eternity to discover Him in His fullness.

John tells us one more thing.

… we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. – 1 John 3:2

Throughout eternity we will discover Him, and as we discover Him we will be conformed further and further into His image.

It’s really not about the stuff.

Just like all of life, it’s about Him–Jesus!

cropped-BenHeadshotThanks for reading,

See you again soon,

Ben

Enter Jesus

in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. – Hebrews 1:2 NASB

In His consummate wisdom, and as part of His eternal plan, the Lord decided to dress His Word–His Will–in flesh.

Let’s break it down:

These last days

I hear it said a lot of late, we are in the last days. Jesus must be returning soon.

That’s what they said during the cold war.
When I was in High School we used to sing, The King is Coming.
That’s what they said during WWII.
Hey, they called the war before that one, the war to end all wars.
What about when China closed it’s doors and started killing Christians?
It goes all the way back to Nero using Christians as lampposts.

That’s right! These are the last days and Jesus is coming soon. This truth endures and demonstrates what a long-suffering Father we have. (2 Peter 3:9)

In this sentence-fragment-verse, He tells us three things about this “last days” expression of His Word.

1 – His Word is His Son. This tells us (and we will elaborate on this more tomorrow) His Word is the expression of His nature.

2 – His Son stands as the designated heir to all that God is and has. Nothing has been held back from the Son.

Remember the story of the father who had two sons. One son demanded his half of his father’s wealth right away. We know he went and squandered it. When he returned the party was on. But the other son, we are told, asked his father, why no fatted calf, why no robes and rings. What did the father answer?

And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.Luke 15:31

Back to Hebrews: That’s what the Father has told His only begotten Son.

Ponder that for a second. “Heir of all things” can get lost in the fog of religious jargon. But just think for a second about this phrase–“all that is mine is yours.”


Scene-

black and white production scene take tool
Photo by Obregonia D. Toretto on Pexels.com

You’re standing in front of a grand palace. The king comes and stands beside you. He puts his right hand on your shoulder and says, “all that is mine is yours.” You begin to protest, but he takes the signate ring off his finger and places it on yours. As you struggle to take it off and give it back, he’s wrapping his royal robe around your shoulders.

Then he takes all the badges of his military honors–a dozen or more pins, stars, ribbons, and the like and pins them to your chest. Again you protest. “I didn’t earn a single one of these,” you say, trying to resist.

He says again, “all that is mine is yours.”

Cut–end scene


Ok – I know we’re talking about Jesus and I put you in the hot seat. I wanted you to feel the honor bestowed upon Jesus. I wanted you to understand that it’s not just what God owns that He passes on to Jesus, but it is everything He is. All the glory, all the holiness, all the righteousness, all the honor, all the worth, all belong to Jesus.

But then, right on the other hand, do we belong in the scene? Isn’t that what Paul’s talking about in Romans 8?

and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. – Romans 8:17

It’s staggering.

But again, today we’re talking about Jesus, so let’s not get all up in His glory.

3 – His Son is eternal. The Word God spoke in creation was Jesus. It’s really amazing when you start thinking about it.

God spoke all things into being. And those words were Jesus.

I love this verse from Jerimiah:

Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it.” – Jeremiah 1:12

When God sends His Word–Jesus is that word. Jesus is the performance of the will of God. God’s will made flesh.

He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions. – Psalm 107:20

And who was that word? Jesus.

God spoke to us in His Son.

There’s one more thing we need to notice today.

The Contrast

For all those centuries God spoke through prophets, but NOW He spoke through Jesus.

Why change tactics after centuries? The writer will get to that. He’s going to prove that without a doubt Jesus is superior to the word spoken through the prophets.

But–but–isn’t it all God’s word? Isn’t it all equal? Isn’t it all Jesus?

Well–yes and no. Let’s not get lost in the weeds yet.

Our next installment is going to be awesome! It’s basically my favorite verse in the whole book (most days.)

cropped-BenHeadshotDon’t miss it.

Shine on.

Ben

If you’ve missed anything – check out the Hebrews page to get caught up.