“For my friends… That you’d not only be great at the garden for all, but you’d be great at the flower for one… “ Bob Hartley
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Did you see Him, when He said it? by Bob Hartley
HOPE CENTER OF HOPING IN PEOPLE
Each of you has a fortress and house within you called a Hope Center. It’s not just this word that has this notation. We put definitions to words, and they have meanings to us; but we don’t really get past that to this real reality of what those words can open up.
We are called to look beyond the words to the depth and understanding of the Person of God.
We get to have Hebrews 3:13 houses of hope where everybody will be filled with encouragement while it is still today. As Christians, we are to have happy hopeful hearts even in the midst of challenging circumstances.
We get invited to go from general worship into the upper room where we see His face and His eyes. We can’t understand anything in general worship. We get freedom from disturbing emotions. We get a little bit of celebration. But, until we see His eyes, we aren’t there. We have to see His eyes. 70 percent of communication is nonverbal.
Job 42:5 says, “I’m used to hearing Him with the hearing of the ear but not seeing Him with the seeing of the eye.”This is when we go to a place where He was distant to a place where now we can look at His eyes, from principles into presence.
DID YOU SEE HIM WHEN HE SAID IT?
Jesus said,“Troubles are coming, my children.” Were you there when He said it? We might be hearing Him right, but did we see Him when He said it? We heard Him in Matthew 24 when He said, “There’s going to be wars and rumors of wars..” But, did we see Him? Did we see Him say, “But, I’ve overcome the world”? (Jn. 16:33). He’s greater than all of it. Did we get the feeling of His heart? That He’s confident, that He’s radiant? Did we see the loving fire in His eyes? He sees the challenge as an opportunity, not as an obstacle.
He says, “It’s your greatest hour, my children.” We can get into pain and perplexity in our challenges; but there’s a prosperity in Him. He’s a good Shepherd. He says, “I’ll hide you under the shadow of My wing. I’ll care for your heart” (Ps. 17:8). Were we there? Did we see Him? We can’t stop until we see Him.
We have to see His eyes. Everything will change in the way we love. Everything will change in the way we hope. Everything will change in the way we do life.
We are called to look into His eyes and see His hope for people.
JESUS & HOPING IN PEOPLE
Jesus was the greatest Hoper in the redemptive power of His Father in human beings. The substance of Jesus is abiding in human beings. There’s a fallen nature, but there’s a power of God that’s greater to redeem a person than the enemy’s ability to deceive a person.
Who is this Jesus? How did He hope in human beings? We have to go there, and we have to see His eyes.
Jesus speaks love to a woman with five husbands (Jn. 4). He hopes in an adulterous woman (Jn. 8). He goes to Zacchaeus, a fallen, greedy business man who stole from and cheated people (Lk. 19). Jesus considered these people His friends (Mt. 11:19; Lk. 7:34).
About the very ones who put Him on the cross, He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Lk. 23:34). To the very one that kissed Him on the cheek, He turned him over and called him “Friend.” He said, “You betray me with a kiss, friend” (Mt. 26:50; Lk. 22:48).
JESUS HOPES IN HIS APOSTLES
Jesus takes these ones in John 13 and kneels down and washes their feet. He says, “I am a loving Leader, and I am going to hope in you. I will hope in your calling and your destiny” (Jn. 13:34 paraphrased). Jesus knew many of them would betray Him. Not one, but all of them. It didn’t change a thing. He hoped in the reality of who they were to become. They all betray Him. Then, they don’t believe He shows up at the tomb because they can’t believe the testimony (Mk. 16:11).
Then, He shows up in the upper room (Acts 2). He goes to His uneducated, inexperienced betrayers, and turns them into world changers. Because those who have been forgiven much, love much (Lk. 7:47). Those who have been hoped in and believed in, who had been greatly hopeless and then acted out of that hopelessness in earlier years, will be some of the greatest nation changers and have been. History tells us that.
JESUS AND THE FLOWER FOR ONE
John 11 tells the miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead; but not only is it a miracle, it’s a mystery.
The commentaries on John 11 are all about the miracle of raising Lazarus, a dead person, back to life. That had happened before. Elisha raised a dead child (2 Kgs 4:32-35). But, there was a mystery that Jesus revealed to them. It seems really small, but it’s not. It’s everything.
He says, “I’m going to go through Judea” (Jn. 11:7). There is a mystery that’s going to be revealed in Judea (Jn. 11:9-10). Jesus says, He’s going to go through Judea because, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up” (Jn. 11:11).
So, they all rise up against Him and tell him not to go through Judea because in Judea they had threatened to stone Him (Jn. 11:8). So, they basically say, “You have a great calling and a great commission. You’re going to change the earth, and You’re going to go through an area where they can kill You?” Jesus says, “Lazarus is my friend. The one that I love is sick. I go to him.” The apostles said, “If he’s sick, he’ll get better” (Jn. 11:12). He says, “No, he’s dying” (Jn. 11:14). [paraphrased]
Then, Thomas responds and says, “Let us go and die with Him also” (Jn. 11:16). Everybody calls him “Doubting Thomas.” I believe it is the exact opposite. Thomas turned out to be the apostle of love; he went to India and had amazing love. There are times when he doubted. But, in regards to loving and hoping in others, I believe something had been sealed in that man’s heart.
All the apostles were concerned with the greatness of the call, and the garden for all. They considered Lazarus to be a no-name and didn’t care so much because he wasn’t going to help them build anything. Jesus not only saw the garden for all, but He saw the flower for one. He unveiled to us a mystery, a beauty, and understanding called the value of the one. Jesus believed this one was created in His Father’s image. This one man was formed intricately by Jesus and His Father, and Jesus was willing to risk His life for that one.
The beauty and the worth of a human being in His eye sight… How much of it has been diminished on the earth? When we get to heaven, He’ll ask us, “How did you treat one another? How did you love one another? How did you stop your busy-ness to care for another’s heart?” He values human beings. He wants us to cultivate hoping in people and honoring them because He calls them the greatest treasure on the earth (Deut. 7:6).
So, Thomas looks and says, “Let us go die with Him.” I believe that Thomas looked at the eyes of Jesus and saw the way He loved this one. He saw Jesus look over that region of Judea that He was going to walk across and possibly get stoned; and Thomas said, “I could die for that. I could lay down my life for that kind of love, the love that I see in His eyes.”
Did You see Him when He said it? He’s far more hopeful, loving, kind that what we can ever dare imagine.
That our hearts would be fresh and alive for human beings, their thoughts, their feelings, their worth, their value, that we would be ready to launch them greater than ourselves.. God so loved the world that He gave His whole life for us, and we get to do the same.