Jump Start # 2270
John 6:38 “For I have come down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
I have a great friend named Steve. He’s a concrete guy. Big as a bear but the heart of child. Kind, generous, friendly and he sure adores me as a preacher. We both love sports. We don’t like any of the same teams. In baseball, he’s a St. Louis fan. I’m Dodger blue. In basketball, he’s IU. I’m Purdue. But we both have a love of the game and we enjoy going to games. Every basketball season we go to one IU game together. I have two preacher friends from out of state who come in just for this. We have a tradition. We love it. We start by going to a steak house in Bloomington. We eat like there is no tomorrow. Sirloin for two is one of the menu items and me and one of my preacher friends inhale that until there’s nothing left but to lick the plate. Then on to the campus bookstore to look for shirts and gear. On to the game and on the way home we hit a small all night donut shop in Salem. Steaks, basketball and donuts—and we are like little kids on Christmas morning. Just the four of us and it’s one of our greatest highlights of the year.
Big Steve knows the IU arena. We have followed him through the depths of that place, me, not having a clue where we are going. We’ll walk up to closed doors, and Steve will just open them up and in we go. There have been times when security men are blocking the way, and Steve walks right past them. One time he said, “I’ve got my preachers with me,” as he pointed to us. On one of our first trips with Steve, we walked down a hallway, past security guards, turned a corner, and there we were on the basketball floor. We were standing on the floor as the teams were warming up. I thought, “we are getting kicked out of this place so fast,” but never did. There is no way I could have found the way down there and there is definitely no way I could have gotten through the crowd of people to make it to the floor. Steve did. He knows people. He knows the way. And, he just goes. I follow Steve very closely.
Now all of this takes us to our verse today. Jesus said, “For I have come down from Heaven.” Do you see that? That alone is one reason why we ought to follow Christ. He knows the way. He’s from there. Heaven is His home. And, that alone should put an end to all the stuff people claim about going to Heaven. They’ve never been there. They are not from there. They are not sure which way to go. They very well may be leading us down dead-end roads. Jesus knows. Heaven is His home. He’s from there.
So when it comes to purity, righteousness and holiness, who better understands these things than Jesus. We ought to listen to Him. This helps us to understand better why the Bible pleads for us to be like Jesus.
- Be Holy as He is (1 Pet 1:16)
- Be conformed to His image (Rom 8:29)
- Forgive as He forgives (Eph 4:32)
- Love just as Christ loved you (Eph 5:2)
- Imitate Christ (1 Cor 11:1)
- Have the mind of Christ in you (Phil 2:5)
- Suffer righteously as Christ did (1 Pet 2:21)
Jesus knows. He’s from Heaven.
We start walking down hallways of life that we have never been before and we think we have all this figured out. Be good. Be kind. Once in a while volunteer somewhere. Give a few dollars to the less fortunate. All in all, you’ll be fine. Don’t gossip very much. Stay away from drugs. Love your kids. And, we think, such a good person ought to have his ticket punched for Heaven. That’s the kind of folks that will be in Heaven, we believe. Good people. No one is perfect, but we are all pretty good. It’s the child molesters, the monsters, the terrorists, they are the ones who aren’t going to make it. But the rest of us, we’d be surprised if we are not there.
Now, that’s how most folks see things. They walk down this hallway and then that hallway, not really knowing where they are going and just believing that sooner or later they will find the basketball court of Heaven. But truth be told, they don’t know where they are going, and worse, they don’t have a clue what they are doing. They have accepted the premise that good people go to Heaven. That’s the first wrong turn that they made. The second is that they are not following Jesus. They are trying to find their way on their own. You can’t do that with Heaven. Given enough time, you might find the basketball court at IU, but Heaven’s not like that. You’ll never make it on your own.
It’s not good people, but forgiven believers who make it to Heaven. Those that have given up on trying to find their own way and they simply keep close to Jesus. That’s the only hope that they have. Without Jesus, they know that they are lost and don’t know which way to turn. Jesus is from Heaven. That’s why we follow Him.
So, who are we going to listen to when it comes to defining success? Someone who describes it by the square footage of your house, the size of your 401, the brands and labels you wear, the places you vacation, or by the Jesus, who defines it by faith, obedience and good deeds?
Jesus is from Heaven. We want to go to Heaven. It makes sense that we ought to stay close to the Lord and follow Him. And one day, we’ll turn the corner and there we will be, in Heaven. We won’t say, “I knew I’d find it sooner or later.” Nope. What we’ll say is, “I couldn’t have made it without Jesus.”
We will be in Heaven because of Jesus.