Jesus speaks to you today, saying,
“18 So they were saying, ‘What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.’”
There is a very popular myth that is perpetuated among you and it appeals to your very nature. So much so, that you tend to let it shape your entire worldview, even without thinking.
That myth is that the human will is free. The myth is that, in the cosmic battle for the universe, you have a duty to pick a side and God really wants you to pick the right one, so if you just let Him, He will help you and in turn, save you. Maybe.
Where this myth stems from is the fact that you can, as a human, control things close to you. You can speak certain words to certain people to get things done. You can choose what you will have for lunch. You can determine your own itinerary for the day. You can even choose who you will be around and who you will keep around you.
In our modern day of marvels, you can also control your environment. You are no longer bound to suffer under the biting, below-zero wind chills. Neither must you bear the intense heat of the August day. You can sit in a car, or building, or house and condition the air to your liking.
Not satisfied with just the environment, you are able to determine your own health. You can exercise, eat right, and thereby alleviate many ailments and even old age. Much more, with modern knowledge of genetics, we can even weed out the crippling diseases from society, even before a person is born.
In fact, modern possibilities seem so endless, that we must sit down in wonder and declare, “Is there no end to what we can accomplish?”
Thus, you and the world conclude together, that the human will can accomplish great things, maybe even things that last for eternity. Such as determining destiny, changing the outcome of the future, or even aligning oneself with the universe, simply by willing it to be so.
Although I’m sure the intention is well meaning, the practicality of such things just do not turn up. There is no evidence that positive or negative thinking changes the world, Much less make us healthy or prevent aging or death. There is no evidence of karma or harmonizing with the universe and there is no truth behind being able to will anything to your desire.
It is all in your head and there it remains. Maybe you come across a happy coincidence, but more often than not, we find the human will is bound, not just by flesh and blood, but in sin.
Repent. In choosing the good or the bad in life, you believe you are on neutral ground and can either choose to be saved or choose the devil’s side. You believe that your right or wrong choices directly affect God’s kingdom and your own salvation.
The truth of the matter is that your will is bound in sin and bound to death. You can not choose to live eternally any more than you can choose to be saved. Those who commit sin are slaves to sin, no matter what (Jn.8:34). No matter how much the disciples will to do good, they do not understand Jesus.
Jesus tells us we are dead in our sins and a dead man can not will himself to life, much less to new life in Christ. Sin leads only to eternal death and because all have sinned and no one is without sin, ever, the will is also sinful, even if it wills to do good.
Dear Christians, your salvation; your freedom; your goodness is with Christ alone. In the Bible you will hear of this Christ, but you will not find a salvation you can work out, work towards, or will to be. Instead you will find that Jesus has willed and worked it out for you.
By grace you have been saved, not by works. How do you know what a work is? It is something you think you do for God. It is something that takes the glory away from Christ. It is something you think God has commanded you to do and, if you were to stop, you would no longer be saved.
Hear how Jesus says that in a little while you will see HIM. Not you, not your works, and not a guide or directions to heaven, but Him, Himself. You will see Jesus with marks on His hands, feet, and side. You will see Jesus Who was grieved because of your sin, but now rejoices that He has reconciled you to the Father.
By virtue of baptism, the merits of Jesus’ work are yours and Jesus’ will is your will. Jesus frees the will to act in the manner it was created to act: hearing God. In Baptism, you are assumed into the Body of Christ and are now free to believe the Gospel. You are free to love your neighbor as yourself and you are free to love God fully.
It is only in Faith that your will is free. Not free to do what it wants, but free to remember that you have been saved. Free to hear the Word of God. Free to believe and free to handle God’s means of Grace, even in your mouth.
In Faith, your hands, life, and will do work towards redemption. The disciples do not understand Jesus, because they will to follow Jesus and yet Jesus is going to the cross and that is something, they and we can not endure.
At one point, there were two wills in heaven. One was cast down like lightning and a third of the angels with him. There is only room for one will: the will that declares the whole world saved by the sacrifice of Jesus; the will that proclaims that Jesus is the end of the Law and of works; the will that reveals forgiveness in the breaking of the bread.