These Three Things
Editorial by Jerry Lutz
“For I know where I came from and where I am going” (John 8:14, NKJV).
Jesus made three things about Himself clear to those who questioned His identity or the veracity of His claims: He knew Who He was, to Whom He belonged, and where He was going. These three certainties, which Jesus often found the opportunity to articulate in His many encounters with doubters and critics, comprised the firm foundation of His earthly mission and ministry.
For example, when Lucifer challenged the identity of Jesus, saying to Him in the first two of the three wilderness temptations, “If you are the Son of God” (Matt. 4:6, NKJV), both of Jesus’ responses clearly indicate there was no if in His mind about Who He was. That matter had been confirmed just days before at His baptism when His Heavenly Father audibly announced, in no uncertain terms, “This is My beloved
Son” (Matt. 3:17, NKJV). This proclamation not only confirmed that Jesus was indeed the Son of God but reaffirmed that He belonged to God—the One Who sent Him to redeem the world. Knowing with unshakable confidence Who He was and to Whom He belonged prepared Jesus for the public phase of His ministry.
The third certainty, knowing where He was going, was made plain many times throughout His earthly ministry, but perhaps most profoundly when He responded to the Pharisees when they vigorously challenged the veracity of His claim to be the “light of the world” (John 8:12, NKJV). Jesus answered with certainty: “For I know ... where I am going” (vs. 14). While that statement was likely an allusion to the cross before Him, it most certainly was a prophetic reference to His resurrection and triumphant
return to heaven. Could the Pharisees have said the same thing about their ultimate destiny with certainty?
It’s occurred to me that the same three certainties that undergirded the mission and ministry of Jesus may be the same for each of us and must be if we are to fulfill our mission and ministry. Do you know who you are (a child of God), to Whom you belong (your Heavenly Father) and where you are going (heaven)? The answer to these questions can make all the difference in the world in one’s life. For anyone living in Christ, the answer, by faith, can be yes. And so may it be for us all, especially in these uncertain times as we prepare for His return.
Jerry Lutz serves as the president of the Chesapeake Conference.