October 23, 2019

A few days ago, Cathi and I took some of our grandkids to an aquarium. I love seeing the handiwork of God spread out over a cloudless night sky. I can only imagine what else is out there in space after seeing the amazing variety of aquatic life that inhabits the oceans of this world. These fascinating creatures make it very clear that God is a good God, an amazing God, and a fun God. His creation reflects his splendor, which informs us that his splendor is glorious.

Even as my mind is dazzled by God's creativity, what really captures my heart is Christ. You've heard the age-old saying that "If something is too good to be true, then it isn't true." There is wisdom in that, except when it comes to God. When we take the time to consider how good God is, it is overwhelming. He sounds too good to be true. Here is an example of what I am talking about.

In John 10:11, Jesus says, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." This statement is part of the "I AM" statements that Jesus makes, identifying himself as being one with the Father. Jesus is not only God, but God is a tri-unity. Since Jesus identifies himself as the good shepherd, Jesus (and obviously God) is good! God is the greatest and ultimate good. God is the essence and standard of goodness. Everything that Jesus does is in accordance with the character of God. Therefore, everything that Jesus does is good. This is clearly demonstrated in the fact that Jesus laid down his life for the sheep. That is what a good shepherd does. He will give up his own life so that those under his care can live. But there is more.

In John 10:14, Jesus says, "I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me...." Our God is not only good and cares for us by dying for us, but his goodness, caring, and sacrifice are all personal. "I know my own and my own know me." Some of our biggest fears are not being understood and not being loved. Some of you live a lonely life. You fear that very few people really know you. You hold back in life because those who knew you best hurt you the most. You concluded that to be known is to be rejected. And yet, you want to be known. It appears that you have to make a choice. You want to be loved, but in order to be loved, you have to be someone who is lovely. You have to be someone that someone else wants to love, or is attracted to love. If someone really knows who you are, then they will probably not love you. So, you either try to be someone that someone else will love, or you suffer in silence. It doesn't have to be that way. Listen to these words again. "I KNOW my own and my own KNOW me." This knowledge is not merely information. Jesus is not saying that he has information about you like name, rank, and serial number. He knows you. He has relational experience with you. He knows the number of hairs on your head, your fears, your dreams, your sins, your scars, your weaknesses, your insecurities, your joys, your sorrows, your past, your present, and your future. He knows it all because, "I know my own." But there is more.

Jesus continues the sentence in verse 15 when he blows us away by saying that he knows us and we know him, "just as the Father knows me and I know the Father." How do the Father and the Son know each other? They are one. They love each other, trust each other, delight in each other, and have infinite joy in each other. Jesus is saying that the kind of relationship he enjoys with God the Father is the kind of relationship he enjoys with us! Really?! Are you kidding me? Is Jesus saying he delights in us, enjoys us, and wants to be with us like that? YES! That is exactly what he is saying.

This amazing, creative, and good God laid down his life for us, that he might enjoy life with us forever. Can you think of anything better than that?

I can't either.

Grace and peace,