PLAYING WORD GAMES WITH JESUS

I’ve had people play word games with me in counseling.

“Were you in the city last night?”
Their response “No…”
(because it was in the afternoon).

Word games! 

“Did you steal $100?”
Their response , “No….”
(it was only $50 in their mind).

So because I did not ask specifically they think they are not lying by saying “no” when in actuality they know what I was asking.  It’s games.  You may be able to play games on me because I did not ask the question specifically.  But not Jesus…..

Jesus knows…
Nothing gets by Jesus…
Especially Peter…
It was ignorance vs Omniscience…
Guess Who won?

In reading this year the Weymouth translation of the NT , he does a masterful job in relating the conversation that Jesus and Peter had post resurrection of “Do you love me?”

There is a nuance in the Greek that is hard to catch
It is the interchange of “love” words…
As I was reading the Greek NT you can see the words clearly….
Jesus was asking “do you AGAPE Me?”
Simon kept answering with a different word “You know Lord that I PHILEO You.”
this exchange went back and forth twice.

And then the kicker….
Jesus asks Peter “Do you even PHILEO Me?”
And then it says, “It grieved Peter that Jesus asked him the third time ‘do you even PHILEO Me?’”

Jesus was challenging even the lower love.

The Weymouth translation catches this and gives it such clarity.  Notice the exchange of  “do you love Me?” and Peter’s response of “You are dear to me”

Nothing gets by Jesus…
He challenges us on every level…

You read it and see it for yourself

JOHN 21:15-17
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these others do?” “Yes, Master,” was his answer; “you know that you are dear to me.” “Then feed my lambs,” replied Jesus.
16 Again a second time He asked him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Master,” he said, “you know that you are dear to me.” “Then be a shepherd to my sheep,” He said.
17 A third time Jesus put the question: “Simon, son of John, am I dear to you?” It grieved Peter that Jesus asked him the third time, “Am I dear to you?”

I can’t seem to get this…

“greater works than these (you) will do”

John 14:12
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do,
he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

This is such a tough verse to wrap oneself around…
“GREATER WORKS” than Jesus?
Are you kidding me?
Jesus raised the dead…
Jesus multiplied food…
Jesus stopped nature in it’s tracks by talking to it….

So you are telling me greater than that?

I’ve heard this verse in the midst of high octane pentecostal meetings and someone will blurt out in a commissioning service “greater works you will do”….everyone would join in the “amen’s” but I have to say if you cornered any “amen-er” and simply said “what does that mean?”  I’m really not sure any one of them could tell you the answer.

I know I couldn’t.

Thanks for the great Romans expositer and Philadelphia Presbyterian Pastor, Donald Barnhouse.  His Romans commentary was what I cut my teeth on.  While reading him one day, I ran across this in his commentary that dumbed it all down for me.

Sometimes… I just need stuff dumbed down.

Donald Barnhouse explained this verse with this amazing illustration.

“Aboard a US submarine in enemy waters a sailor was stricken with an acute case of appendicitis.  The nearest surgeon was thousands of miles away.  Pharmacist Mate Wheller Lipes watched the seaman’s temperature soar to 106 degrees.  His only hope was an operation or he would die.  Said Lipes, “I have watched doctors do it, I think I could.  What do you say?”   the sailor consented; and in the wardroom, about the size of a train compartment the patient was stretched out  on a table beneath a floodlight.  The mate and assisting officers, dressed in reversed pajamas tops, masked their face with gauze.  The crew stood by  the diving planes to keep the ship steady; the cook boiled water for sterilizing.  A tea strainer served as an antiseptic cone.  A broken handled scalpel was the operating instrument.  Alcohol drained from the torpedoes was the antiseptic.  Bent tablespoons served to keep the muscles open.  After cutting through the layers of muscles the mate took twenty minutes to find the appendix.  Two hours and a half later, the last catgut stitch was sewed, just as the last drop of ether gave out, 13 days later the patient was back to work.  A successful operation.

Admittedly this was a much more magnificent feat than it had been performed by a trained surgeon in a fully equipped operating room of a modern hospital.

(Here goes his amazing explanation)

Study this analogy and you come up with  the real meaning  of Christ’s words “greater works than these shall he do because I go unto my Father….” For Christ to work directly on a soul to quicken and bring out of death into life is great…. but for Him to do the same thing through us is an even greater work.”

Now that makes sense to me.
I can wrap my puny mind around that.
The “greater work” is not that the work is greater (than NT works) but what makes it greater is the rough and unconventional instruments He is using and yet it still happens.
Jesus goes to the Father and He decides to use us to get the job done.
You and I are the unconventional instruments our Master Surgeon uses  and when the operation is all done….you don’t praise the scalpel but the One Who used the scalpel.  We have too much scalpel worship and not enough Physician praise; but that is another topic for another time.

Luke, the Beloved Physician

Colossians 4:14 Luke, the beloved physician, sends you his greetings….

A brief exhortation to my doctor and nurse friends who help the sick and who love Jesus.

I love what Paul says about Dr. Luke.
They had a very close relationship because of being travel companions throughout the book of Acts.
He calls him “the beloved physician”
That adjective is so incredible.
The word means to be the favorite, well liked, the famous one, the dearly loved.

Basically Paul was saying , “if you wanted a doctor at that time , every one wanted Luke”. Luke was the one you wanted to be your family doctor…the kids loved him and the adults loved him also.
He was everyone’s favorite

The one thing that doctors don’t get sometimes is the element of love and gentleness that needs to accompany truth. I understand the harsh realities of sickness and the need to disclose to patients those realities, but let’s also have a focus on BELOVED  and NOT JUST physician.

“Beloved” is not popularity, it’s making people a priority. It’s understanding people; and not just doing your job but going an extra step with those you treat.

Check out this research from Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Blink” that I read last year
BELOVED PHYSICIAN made me think back to this one section.

Wendy Levinson a medical researcher recorded hundreds of conversations between a doctor and their patients.
Roughly half of the doctors have been sued at least twice. There was one difference in the research…
The surgeons who never have been sued spend more than 3 minutes longer with each patient than those who had been sued. It was 18.3 min vs 15 min. The difference was in how they talked to their patients.

Psychologist Nalini Ambady took the results to another level…
She took the interviews and took out almost all but 2 ten second clips of the doctor talking.
Then she removed recognizable words and you were left with just tones.
She felt you could tell which ones spent longer with their patients just on tones.
And found out she could predict with ease which doctors got sued and the ones that did not.

Being “beloved” doesn’t mean that you don’t do your job; but you do your job loving people.

The ones that are beloved are the ones that love
That is true for anyone in any field