Day 17: It's All About Who You Know

John 16: 25-28
“Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” 

It’s no secret: we love important people. We follow their Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook accounts. We buy magazines, watch interviews, or read articles that give us a little glimpse of their lives and successes. But whether it be a celebrity, the mayor, or the CEO of a corporation, a lot of effort goes into protecting their intimate personal lives from constant interruption by people who may need or want something from them. Whether it means having bodyguards, an assistant receptionist, or some measure of anonymity, people of notoriety will do whatever it takes in order to maintain some semblance of a “normal life” and privacy. And the more well-known they are, the more these measures need to be in place. However, there is one other way to connect with important people, and most of the time, it’s all about who you know.

Enter our passage for today: Jesus is talking about His Father - the holy and perfect Creator of the Universe. Because of God’s perfect nature (and our lack thereof, due to sin), we have no right in ourselves to approach a holy and blameless God without proper atonement.  

When Jesus talks to His disciples, He clarifies that He is not the Father’s receptionist. We don’t have to schedule a meeting weeks in advance to approach the throne of God. This may sound silly or farfetched, but this is actually not far off from what the disciples were accustomed to. The disciples were used to needing animal sacrifices made on their behalf and appointed times in order to connect with God. But when Jesus enters the scene speaking about His Father, it sounds like He’s replacing the old barrier with a new one; and that new barrier is Him.

Most important people with high positions create barriers--layers of protection in order to avoid interruption. But God, the holy and perfect Creator of the Universe sought to break down the wall between Himself and humanity by sending His Son to pay the penalty we could not because of His own love and desire for us. He did this because He himself wants to be nearer and more accessible to us--not less.

So today, boldly approach the throne of God because of your connection through Jesus that allows you to do so. You don’t have to go through traditions or hoops, bodyguards or appointed moments in the year. The Father Himself loves us so much that He’d sacrifice anything and everything to give you the chance to meet and know Him.

Prayer Prompts:
  1. Reflect on what has God done or does to actively pursue you. As we read today, Jesus tore down the ultimate barrier between us and God the Father. Take time to ask the Holy Spirit if you’ve allowed anything in your life that creates or maintains barriers between you and Him. This can include distractions, sin, time management (not making time to be in His Presence) - anything that acts as a blockage in your relationship with Him. 
  2. As we read, prior to Jesus’ death on the cross, the disciples had to go through certain steps to get to God. Take time today in prayer to approach the throne of grace with thanksgiving, joy, and confidence. If you find yourself anxiously trying to earn your “place” with God, pause now and reject that mindset. Then just receive the peace that comes in knowing you’re already accepted by Him! 
  3. Ask God for what you want or need in Jesus’ name, but with the audacious assumption of God’s love and acceptance for you. Don’t feel the need to bargain with God. Come to Him as a son or daughter and just ask.
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