An Extension of God

by Lester Young

Let’s rattle a few ‘religious’ cages today.

Remember when Jesus said, “I and My Father are one”; to which the Jewish leaders who typically followed Him around responded by getting bent out of shape and picking up rocks to throw at Him? It’s recorded in John 10:30-31. (Sidebar: Maybe it’s just me, but… why would you continually follow somebody around who irritated and without fail made you look decidedly silly whenever you opened your mouth? ……… just sayin’.) Why’d they get mad?? Of course, we can now look back on that episode (and others like it) and explain their ‘misunderstanding’ away with, “Well, they didn’t know Who Jesus was.” Actually, many of them did know (John 3:2); but humor me here for a few moments.

Today, we know exactly Who Jesus was (and, of course, still is), as Simon Peter boldly declared: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). And yet, if I were a betting man, I’d wager that if I said today what Jesus said back then, just as many folks and more – ‘religious’ and non-religious, Christian and non-Christian alike – would get their backs up just as far as those Jewish leaders did when they heard it.

Now, if we’re going to be Jesus’ disciples, shouldn’t we be trained to do things right along the same lines that He did them? Isn’t that what being a “disciple” means, to be an adherent or follower of the doctrines of the teacher? Indeed it does: it means to be disciplined in the exact same ways and means as one’s mentor (John 8:31). The Lord clearly tells us as much in Matthew 16:24 (Amplified): “If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also]. And the Apostle Paul goes on to say, “Think the same way that Christ Jesus thought” (Philippians 2:5, Contemporary English Version).

How did Christ Jesus ‘think,’ then? Well, He understood Who He was and the relationship He had with His Father. He never denied Their relationship, and He wasn’t afraid to speak the truth about it either. But the most wondrous part of His mindset down here was that He didn’t do any of the things He did simply because He just happened to be the only begotten Son of God; He did them as a purely flesh-and-blood human being, just like you and me – the only difference being that He was anointed with the Spirit of His Father from Heaven (Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 2:14; Matthew 3:16; Acts 10:38).

Think about it: it’s not that Jesus wouldn’t do anything in His own innate power. No, He couldn’t do anything in His own innate power, because He didn’t have any (John 5:19, 30). He’d set those perks aside before He got here; it was part of the bargain He agreed to in order to come and buy us back (Philippians 2:6-8; Hebrews 2:14-16). Not only did He come as our Savior; while He was here He also served as our Example of how anyone – any flesh-and-blood person – can live in total victory right here on earth. How? They same way He did: in vital union with God by the Holy Spirit living on the inside of Him. By listening, and doing only what He heard or saw His Father say and do, and then letting the Holy Spirit take care of the actual bringing about of results (John 5:19, 30; 14:10).

Here’s the bottom line: the Lord Jesus simply did exactly what His Father God told Him to – nothing more, nothing less – and God took responsibility for the results of the situation. In other words, Jesus was God’s Extension here on earth. He thought, acted and talked just like His Father. God said, “Go over there and say ‘this’.” Jesus went over there and said it, and… Boom! God did the resultant work! (John 14:10) As God was in Heaven, so was Jesus down here (1 John 4:17; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3).

Okay, here’s the bottomer line: Jesus has told us to just do the same thing. We’ve been given His Spirit as well as His mind so we can adopt His attitudes, know His thoughts and follow His example to the letter (Romans 8:9-10; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5; Matthew 16:24). Furthermore, we’ve been given the same instructions He was given: “As the Father has sent me, even so I’m sending you” (John 20:21). Therefore, just like our Lord, we should be God’s extensions here on the earth, for “as He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).

One last thing (as if all that giving weren’t enough): Jesus also gave us His glory. Now what would our Lord consider to be ‘His glory,’ the weightiest and most important thing about Himself? Well, John 17:22 tells us: “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them; that they [each of them] may be one [with You] even as We [You and I] are One.”

Know what that means? It means that “I and my Father are one.” And if you’re born again, it means that you and He are one, too. If Jesus prayed it, then it must be both true (John 1:14, 17:17) and the Father’s will (John 8:29). And regardless of how many cages it rattles, I wouldn’t dare disesteem such a glorious grace by saying anything that didn’t agree with it!

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2 Comments to “An Extension of God”

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