Then I Go To Him Who Sent Me
John 7:31-36 MKJV And many of the crowd believed on Him, and said, When the Christ comes, will He do more miracles than these which this One has done? (32) The Pharisees heard that the crowd murmured such things concerning Him. And the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to seize Him. (33) Then Jesus said to them, Yet a little while I am with you, and then I go to Him who sent Me. (34) You shall seek Me and shall not find Me. And where I am, you cannot come. (35) Then the Jews said among themselves, Where is he about to go that we shall not find him? Is he about to go to the Dispersion of the Greeks, and to teach the Greeks? (36) What saying is this that He said, You shall seek Me and shall not find Me, and where I am, you cannot come?
It is interesting that the crowd saw Jesus mainly as a miracle-working spiritual teacher. Their two comments about Jesus are:
Given the many characterizations of Jesus as: politician, revolutionary, mystic, entrepreneur, hippie, tragic example, and Ascended Master it is the simple title “Rabbi” or Teacher that is the most used and the most characteristic of Him. Jesus came to teach us, and to make disciples, who in turn would teach others and make disciples.
Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and teach (disciple) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you. And, behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the world. Amen.
Discipling, teaching and baptizing – that is what Jesus did and what we also are to do.
Jesus was God’s Messenger to humanity teaching us the way of grace and truth by word and by deed and incarnating that Message in His own self as a perfect example of the fullness of deity in human form. (Colossians 2:9, Philippians 2:5-11, John 1:1-18)
Jesus was God’s Messenger on God’s journey and one day He would return back to God and the chance to hear the Message would be lost. “You shall seek Me and shall not find Me.”
There is a time when the door to grace is firmly shut:
Amos 8:11-12 MKJV Behold, the days come, says the Lord Jehovah, that I will send a famine in the land; not a famine of bread nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the Words of Jehovah. (12) And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek the Word of Jehovah, and shall not find it.
Luke 13:23-25 MKJV And one said to Him, Lord, are the ones being saved few? And He said to them, (24) strive to enter in at the narrow gate. For I say to you, many will seek to enter in and shall not be able. (25) And once the Master of the house has risen up and has shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us, and He shall answer and say to you, I do not know you; from where are you?
Because of this it is exceedingly dangerous to carp and quibble in the presence of manifest signs of grace. Indeed many Jews squabbled away their chance at salvation with silly technical questions.
When grace appears in our midst the right thing to do is to grab it with both hands, to enter in and to go through the narrow door - leaving intellectual doubts and minor questions of interpretation outside.
Grace is never around long enough to satisfy every question of every person. For instance - by the time you check out every theological detail of a given revival it is over and you have missed the blessing!
“Yet a little while I am with you” – it is never a long while. It is always imperative to hear God, you drift and dream and the Sunday sermon is over and you have not heard it. Let the years roll by and you never get to Bible College or to the mission field. Grace in relationships demands alertness as well, friends move, and even our parents pass away and leave us with words unsaid. Many are the opportunities, but how few are ever taken!
“Is he about to go to the Dispersion of the Greeks, and to teach the Greeks?” – this cynical comment was eventually fulfilled as grace passed from the Jews, who did not listen, to the Gentiles, who did! John wrote this in 90 AD, twenty years after the destruction of the Temple. The day of the Jews and their nation was over and the gospel was going to the Greeks and John himself dwelt among them in Ephesus.
“You shall seek Me and shall not find Me. And where I am, you cannot come”. Unbelievers cannot enter Heaven, it is not for all, there is no universal salvation. For those who refuse the grace and truth that are in Christ, the door will be shut against then and it will be said: “you cannot come”.
“and then I go to Him who sent Me.” Jesus came forth from God and returned to God. We were just a stop on His journey. Yes, He came for us, yes He died for us, but we are not the center of Jesus’ journey – rather God was always the center of all that Jesus did. The gospel is not about us, and our needs, it is about God and His offer of salvation.