The monk hammers on the old wooden door, waking the abbot. Blustering and stammering, he says, “There’s a man downstairs who says he is Jesus and has returned! What should we do?” “Look busy!”
Old joke, but it raises a good question. If Jesus returned and came up to you, what would your reaction be? If you knew that you were face to face with the Son of Almighty God, the Savior, what would you feel? Fear? Regret? Shame? Embarrassment? Any of those strike a chord? Quite probably so. But what if you could be sure it was appropriate to run to meet Him with complete confidence and joy, without a trace of sheepishness or shame? Turns out, that is what is intended for us, who have placed our trust in Jesus:
And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. (1 John 2:28)
You have seen the videos: a child is in school, going through her daily activities, when suddenly Dad appears, home from his service in Afghanistan. How does she respond? She runs to him, embraces him with joyful tears. That’s the idea for our response when Jesus returns!
But how? How can that be possible? I mean, … the Son of God…? John shows us how. First, our relationship to Jesus is that of a “dear child.” By faith in Christ, we have been given the right to become a child of God.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God... (John 1:12)
[Jesus said,] “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:15)
As a child of God, when you see “Papa,” run to Him! He will be so glad to see you coming.
Secondly, John says “continue in Him.” The word translated “continue” is the same word previously translated “remain.” It means to make your permanent home in Him. Abide in Him. There’s more on this word in “Stay Home.” You make your home in Jesus and He will make His home in you. When you see Him coming toward you, it will be like coming home!
Chew on that… The more you do, the more you will taste of its deep truths. You are meant to sing this song as your own: “Joy to the world! The Lord is come!”