Jesus would say to any one who is sleeping – wake up! It means to get into the scriptures and understand what he is saying. It also means to be alert to his message and put it into practice, and to be aware of his warning. Mathew 6:13 He goes on to say, choose the narrow road..and pray that you don’t fall into temptation. He advises us about what it means to be baptised in water, and how to worship God in truth. (Acts 2:38) Babtism is an indvidual decision before God, which requires us to examine ourselves and to fully understand what it means. According to scriptures it means to bury the old self (which had gone astray from God) into the water and come out as new person/creation. (means a person is in the light, understands the will of God and are willing to obey, therefore they’re on the narrow road- on God side)
I was baptised as a young teenager when a priest sprinkled water on my head. I thought I did the right thing. I didn’t even change inwardly, for I kept on living a life of sin, as I totally ignored the Bible. But God was on my case, when years later, something kept on nagging me; you didn’t do it the right way. I remember thinking; I want to do it the biblical way as Jesus did, for he set an example for us, when he was baptised as an adult in the big water, Math. 3:15-16, even though he didn’t have to because he had no sin, it was part of God’s plan. So what did I do? After studying the Bible, I was baptised by being fully immersed in a pool. It was something I’ll never forget, and so special that I cried.
Some people may ask, is it right to baptise babies? My question is how does Jesus see it? He wasn’t babtised as a baby, and there is no where in the Bible that it should be done so. God will judge according to what you have done. From Jesus point of view a baby has done nothing wrong apart from being born with Adam’s sin. And the scripture says God exercises absolute justice.
Most of the questions Jesus used are intended to get us think. For the believers, he asks, ‘Do you really love me?’ and he goes on to say, ‘obey my teachings’. So that means obeying God and loving Him go together. If you want God to love you, obey Jesus’ teachings. John 14:23. Jesus wants us to understand what it means to love God, which he explains in the scriptures.
Do what pleases him. He says; Love him with all your heart, in thinking, and obedience. He also knows we will never be perfect, but wants us to do our best and take his words seriously; to have a heart of obedience and focus on the scriptures; that’s why the scripture says confess your sins, 1 John 1:9. (Confessing a sin requires obedience and humility). It softens a heart, when we acknowledge our sins and feel deeply remorseful before God and then ask him for forgiveness through Jesus. And when we sin against someone, we go to the person and apologise and ask forgiveness. James 4:16 But when we confess, we have to set our hearts on loving God by being obedient to his word; for Jesus advises us to be humble before God, to repent and do the right thing. Luke 24:47
‘Are you still sleeping?’ is also directed at someone who goes to church but still doesn’t understand. For God to open our minds, we must be willing to take in his words and guidance. Jesus said, ‘the word is food’. Food nourishes our physical being, which is synonymous with the word of God to nourish our spiritual being. This is crucial because it means we take his words in our hearts and set our mind on obedience by living our lives accordingly. We have to remember God’s guidance is for our own good, for it keeps us from getting into trouble, and gives us peace to enjoy life in abundance. John 10:10
When He asks, is that your idea or did others talk about me? John 18:34 – is directed at someone who is misinformed, distorts the truth about him, and has another theology. Another question he asks, why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? – This gets us to examine our hearts and thoughts.
To be continued..