If you’re like most people with a smartphone, you use it for texting more than anything else. And when I say “most people” I mean the 4.2 billion people who send text messages every day. You probably get daily texts from some of the people closest to you. But I’ll bet you’d be pretty surprised to get a text from Jesus. But I just did !! Stick around and I’ll tell you about it, and something even more amazing.
Whether you’re an uber-texter with flying thumbs or a hunt-and-pecker, welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — I hope my study becomes your favorite place for morning coffee.
Every day 22 billion texts get sent. If each text were written out on a piece of paper the size of a dollar bill and laid end-to-end, they’d stretch around the world. Twenty eight times ! I get a LOT of texts every day, and you probably do as well. But some of them stick out. When I looked at my phone and saw a text from Jesus I did a double take.
So let me tell you about my text from Jesus. First of all, I get up pretty early in the morning, and have to admit that I’m more awake on some days than others for the first few minutes. But my brain snapped to attention when I started scanning messages just after getting up one day and saw one from Jesus that said, “Beautiful devotional yesterday. Thank you very much.” I didn’t know He watched them!!! OK, the truth is that our Bishop in Peru is named “Jesus,” and he was the one who sent the message. It’s all quite clear now, but at 3:30 in the morning … well, it was pretty exciting.
But then I was thinking about some key things Jesus had said to His disciples. If He had come to save the world in our present day instead of 2,000 years ago, I’m sure Jesus would have used a smartphone and been a texting pro. (After all, the bible says He does all things well, right?) When I think about the messages I keep going back to, the ones I like to re-read, it’s the encouraging ones that are at the top of my list. I think an encouraging text from Jesus would make my day. In fact, it would make my century.
That got me thinking about today’s verse, which says DON’T LET YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED. BELIEVE IN GOD. BELIEVE ALSO IN ME.
Isn’t it just like Jesus to make a point of encouraging His disciples on what was sure to be the toughest night of their lives. It was Christ’s last night alive before His crucifixion. It had been a very busy night, and they hadn’t even gotten to the Last Supper yet. First of all, Jesus had made everyone uncomfortable by washing everyone’s feet. That was the job of the lowest of the low, the bottom rung servant. None of the apostles volunteered for the position because, at the time, they were busy arguing about which one of THEM was the greatest. Jesus used His washing of feet covered in dust and dung as an example of living servanthood. Then He announced that one of them was going to betray Him, and they all panicked because they weren’t sure which one He meant. (They just hoped it wasn’t THEM !!) After that Jesus commanded them to love one another just as He had loved them. Remember, these were the guys arguing about who should get the top spot.
After all this, Jesus tells them DON’T LET YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED. They can hang on because He loves them. He will remain with them through the Holy Spirit He promises to send to them. Jesus tells his closest friends that He will show them the proper way, lead them in truth and give them power to live an overcoming life – because He is the way, the truth and the life. It’s all great stuff, and very encouraging. But in the middle of dealing with the Romans, the Temple Guard, Pilate and the crucifixion – THEY FORGOT.
Just imagine if all the disciples had their smartphones and if Jesus had sent a group text that said to them DON’T LET YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED. BELIEVE IN GOD. BELIEVE ALSO IN ME. If He had, then in the middle of the trial, maybe they’d have peeked at their messages. Or after Jesus had been led to Golgotha to be crucified. Certainly after He had been killed, they’d be reviewing the messages He’d sent them.
What would your reaction be if you checked your phone and had an actual text message from Jesus? It would be amazing, to be sure. Who would you show it to first? Would you tell many people? Or just one or two trusted folks? Or maybe both, but in reverse order. But a message that Jesus intended for YOU to have would be a very big deal !! You’d cherish it, and probably read it several times. More and more you’d talk with folks about it. If you were out to lunch and the waiter asked, “How’s your day going?” you’d probably bring up your message from Jesus. If you’re a tweeter, I’m sure it would end up on Twitter. You’d probably upload a screenshot to your Facebook page, right?
So here’s the thing – Jesus DID send you a message. In fact, lots of them. If you have a bible app, they’re even on your phone!! But they are there, and waiting for you to read them and be excited by what He has to say to you. Don’t let fear and doubt hold you back, Jesus has sent you a text message. His text is on the pages of a book called the Bible. The text of His word is a message that will change your life.
Hey, I think you’ve got a message!
Jesus says, “DON’T LET YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED. BELIEVE IN GOD. BELIEVE ALSO IN ME.”