“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
For my inaugural post for Just 1 Voice, I chose a passage that’s been the focus of my meditation for at least two years: the inescapable reality that Jesus Christ is the source of all life and all that should result from living. Boiled down, this is the same message proclaimed by John the Baptist over two millennia ago, whom the prophet Isaiah called, “the voice of one crying out in the wilderness” (40:3).
What is striking is that so many in the West still experience a wilderness in their souls despite the advancement of human reason, the progress of science and technology, political freedom, easy access to education and various sources of knowledge, material affluence, and the wide availability of all sorts of pleasures unknown or unavailable in John’s time. I’ve met and talked with too many people, inside and outside the church, over the years to know that these things are not enough to create the oasis they seek. I’ve seen their struggles, heard their hurts, disappointments, anger, and lingering questions. On occasion, I’ve even been on the receiving end of their anger that masked a resentment not necessarily aimed at me or a fear they couldn’t otherwise express. Much of the objective data widely available tells us a similar story. Many, many people are searching for something seemingly beyond their grasp.
I’m speaking to this because I feel compelled to speak to it, albeit, I’m just one voice, one among many. I suppose that’s the preacher in me. Some voices are saying similar things; others are vehement in saying much the opposite. When has it ever been different? It hasn’t. And so, in the days ahead, I will be adding my one voice to an already crowded landscape because I not only believe in Jesus, that is, Jesus as a living reality, I also believe what He said. I want to bear good fruit; and if I can encourage just one person to see Jesus in a light that helps them bear good fruit, then I’m going to let the ink flow.
Here’s a final thought. This is a quote from Charles Spurgeon, the great 19th century preacher and evangelist: “Unbelief is an evil thing in itself…Think how you would feel if others disbelieved you.”
“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
(John the Baptist in John 1:29)
© Byron L. Hannon, 2018. All rights reserved for textual content.