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Believing in Jesus, God With Skin
Adapted from Loving Jesus More by John Loren Sandford
The Lord is inviting you to believe a mystery—to simply believe it, even though it is hard to comprehend.
In ancient Hebrew culture, a sheliach was a special servant, one who had been given authority to buy, sell, or give away his master’s goods, within established parameters, without consulting the master.
A sheliach was to be received and honored as though he were the master himself. He was a steward of his master’s goods with full authority to act as though he was the master himself. The sheliach must do exactly as the master commanded, neither less nor more.
Jesus is His Father’s sheliach. The disciples knew that was what He was saying when He uttered the following words:
Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” (John 5:19 NASB1995)
Whenever Jesus, or anyone, said, “Truly, truly,” before pronouncing something, that was a way of saying, “Listen up! This is something very important!”
The disciples knew that Jesus was announcing that He is the Father’s sheliach. They knew that if they believed this, they had to receive Him as though He were the Father Himself.
Since this was said to Jewish people early on in the disciples’ walk with Jesus, it would have been shocking—not only to the people but to the disciples!
Jesus so wanted people to comprehend who He is—because that is essential to salvation—and He returned to say it again, this time just before He was arrested in Gethsemane:
For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me. (John 12:49–50)
It’s so important for us and our salvation to know and believe in Jesus as His Father’s Son, His sheliach. To comprehend and celebrate that everything Jesus did and said was in direct obedience to His Father as His sheliach.
Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:28–29)
Our Lord invites (no, commands) us to believe and accept a mystery beyond our comprehension, that He and the Father and the Holy Spirit are one God. It burns in my heart that we Christians simply believe this.
“Truly, truly” means it burns far more brightly in Jesus’s heart!
This article is based on Loving Jesus More by John Loren Sandford. To learn more about this intriguing book that offers an inside look into Jesus’s time and culture, so we can fall in love with Him even more, click here.