Tuesday, April 24, 2018

"The Key Man"

John 14.12 GNT

“I am telling you the truth: 

those who believe in me will do what I doyes, they will do even greater things, because I am going to the Father.”

Excellent leaders eventually quit, leave, or die, but somehow their work carries on. No one thought it would. They worried about the anticipated departure. They invested in key man insurance[1] but forgot the key man principle… no one is indispensable, not even (by His own admission) Jesus. Jesus had to go so the Holy Spirit could come and the Church of Jesus Christ would rise to “do even greater things.”

“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away,
the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”
Jesus, John 16.7 NASU

I need Jesus. He is the creator of the planet I inhabit. He breathed the world into being. My temporal and eternal existence depends solely upon Him. Without the living, risen Christ, I am nothing.

My dependence on Jesus must be defined by Jesus. I have Jesus, but not in the way I would choose to have Him. I would like Jesus to be with me as He was with the first disciples; that is, physically present. We would spend time together and I would know exactly what to do. Obedience would be easy with Jesus looking over my shoulder. I could avoid all responsibility for prayer, discernment, decision-making, and personal growth. When a question of significance arose, I would tug on His tunic for a divine auto-response. No wisdom or critical thinking required. I could relax and let Jesus do my thinking and make all decisions for me.

For reasons I cannot fully understand, the historical, flesh-and-blood Jesus is no longer here. Jesus had to go. It was part of His plan. Would the original disciples step up to the plate as long as Jesus was swinging the bat? Apparently, not. 

When Moses was buried, his sidekick Joshua made things happen in the land of Canaan. After Elijah, Elisha and a new prophetic voice prevailed in Israel. When my dad died, my mom learned to carry on. Vacuums are filled. Holes get plugged. Occasions are risen to. No one, not even Jesus in the flesh, is indispensable. It’s all part of His plan. 

Jesus promised the Father would send a Helper, a Counselor, an Advocate called the Holy Spirit who would “teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that [Jesus] said to you” (John 14.26). In the absence of Jesus, the Holy Spirit is your “Helper”. He is not the Doer. You are the doer of the words of Jesus, but you can trust the spirit of Jesus to assist you.

But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”
James 1.22 NASU

The Holy Spirit will bring Christ’s words to mind, but you and I must perform them. Jesus left. He made a physical departure when He ascended to heaven. Now it’s our turn to do the works of Christ, just as Jesus promised:

“I am telling you the truth: those who believe in me will do what I do —
yes, they will do even greater things, because I am going to the Father.”

You are the new key man or woman. So am I. Incredibly, Jesus is calling us “do even greater things” than He did. 

[1] Keyman insurance is a policy compensating a business for financial losses that would arise from the death or incapacitation of a key leader in the organization.

The photograph of the guy holding a key is by Abel Pau at http://www.flickr.com/photos/square_eye/
and used by permission. 

The bottom right image is a key vendor's shop in Lajpat Nagar, South Delhi, India and also used by permission of photographer Arti Sandhu. Go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/artisandhu/ to find her photos.

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