“They do not belong to the world.” (Jn 17:16)
When I desire to just “flat-out relax,” I tune into televised sports. Now that the high school and college basketball seasons are nearly over, what looms ahead is baseball—Brewers baseball (and maybe some warm weather?). Out of curiosity though, I’ll channel surf and peruse of the television sitcoms or movies but they usually remind me how out of place I am, culturally, in today’s world—like a fish out of water. This is especially true when the behaviors surrounding these stories beat its loud, anti-religious drums.
It’s natural for us to regard God as being outside of this world. After all, He created and breathed life into it and then sent Jesus into it to show that His Son had power over all the forces in the world: calming storms, healing the sick, raising the dead and multiplying bread and fish. To top it off, Jesus, Himself, showed that not even death had sway over Him. He simply rose where He had come from.
So if Jesus is outside of this world, does that mean that we aren’t? Are we meant to remain bound by the limitations of this fallen world? No, as Jesus told His Father, “They do not belong to the world anymore than I belong to the world.” This is an amazing statement because even though we’re still part of this world and need to be protected from the evil one, we’re also one with Christ.
Think about it: the lives we now live, we live by faith in Christ who died for us (Gal 2:20). That faith is the belief that our old selves DID die on the cross. It’s faith that we CAN live a new life and that He who began a good work in us will see it to completion (Phil 1:6). Faith that we’ll never lack the power or energy or resources we need to live in union with Christ. Faith that the love of the Father will always be available to fill us and flow out of us, just as it did in Jesus’ life.
So we don’t belong to this world any more than Jesus does. Though we aren’t impervious to the evils that are part of this life, you can say, “NO,” to them and not submit to their attraction. You belong to God. Declare that this is true today and look for all the opportunities God will give you to choose to live His new, resurrected life. Remember: you belong to Jesus. Have a blessed Easter everyone!
In God’s Time,