Reading John chapter 5 this morning and I'm seeing grace all through this chapter. God is revealing Himself and yet mankind is blinded and needs to have a way to see God. Jesus becomes the way that mankind can be saved.
We all naturally look in the wrong places.
"The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, 'My Father is working until now, and I am working.'
This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. So Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
'Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. 'I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true.
You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.
But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.
And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent.
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?' " John 5:15-47 ESV
As I read this I hear something amazing. It is not people talking to me or me devising or discovering something using intellect. If we are quiet we can listen and become aware of something.
Naturally we look at people and search for qualities and listen for words hoping to find something that can only be found in God. Just as Jesus never sinned He also never presented glory as a man presents it. He lived in ultimate humility... He always glorified the Father. It is because of that reason that we as blind people now have an opportunity to see and hear God.
Let's not be fooled by goodness or by skillful communication. Only God is good and it is only by seeing Christ that we see God. Without Christ the Father is inaccessible. The Father has made Christ accessible so that 'whosoever will' would have access.
I sit musing about the life of Christ. Like a mental picture book I flip through the pages of miracles and picture Jesus' kind face as he walks and talks. I see His life and His death... His words on a cross... His last exhaled breath... now He Is risen and appearing to men and women... He shows His hands to Thomas and meets Peter and the others fishing by the lake... then up, up, up He goes... through sky and past stars to have a reunion in Heaven... what melodies must have proceeded from the mouths of angels as He made His entrance into Heaven... what Joy unspeakable as He sat down at the right hand of the Father... my imagination stretches to imagine the unimaginable...
"So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God." Mark 16:19 ESV
"Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing." Acts 2:33 ESV
We would never see God if Christ had not poured out what He did.
Even now there is vision if we let Him open our eyes. We can hear if we keenly listen to hear what Jesus says. We will hear grace in His voice and no other voice will give off that sound. A kind voice alone can not impart hope... I powerful voice alone still only has the authority of the power it can muster itself.
By Jesus we hear the Father. By the Spirit we hear Jesus. We listen today God. Let our hearts be quiet... we turn our eyes to the author and finisher of our faith. We value Your Words above all naturally necessary things.
When Grace has been revealed we picture a smile as You look at us God. That smile lets us face the day.