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Jesus Is Supreme

1 Peter 3:21b-22
… Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand – with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him. (NIVUK)

Where is Jesus today and what is He doing?  Some people, who claim to follow Jesus, just try to follow His example and obey His teaching as recorded in the Bible.  That is, of course, a very good thing to do, but it misses the vital dimension of relationship.  Jesus is a real living person, not just a good example or wise author.  Although the Bible forbids us to try to contact the dead (Deuteronomy 18:10-12), Jesus has been raised from death - so that we might have a relationship with Him.  He is our friend and brother with us (Hebrews 2:11), but also the supreme ruler in heaven with authority over everything, everywhere.  Our relationship with Him is both intimate and awe-filled.

When we hear the gospel and respond in faith, Christ dwells in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17).  That follows Jesus’ promise, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” (John 14:23).  Colossians 2:6 describes Christians as those who have “… received Christ Jesus as Lord …” in the same way that John said, “…to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).  This confuses some because we are used to a person only being in one place at a time.  Jesus is in heaven and we see Him physically no more (John 16:28).  However, the presence of the persons of God is indivisible in the hearts of those who welcome Jesus.  Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), and “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father – the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father – he will testify about me.” (John 15:26).  

Peter now assures us that Jesus is in heaven with Father God '...at God's right hand'.  That means that He is the all-powerful chief executive of God's future purposes, in the same way that He was previously the chief executive of creation (Colossians 1:15-18).  Jesus is so powerful that every angel and other spirit beings, including demons, are inferior to Him in power and authority - they are all under His command (Luke 4:34).  So, Jesus is the sovereign ruler over everything and everybody (Hebrews 1:3).  Until we see Him when He comes again, we can be confident that Jesus is not only at work in our hearts, but ruling cosmically to establish His Kingdom, providing for His people and protecting them from evil.
These verses were written to people whose confidence may have been battered by suffering.  Peter assures the church that however black things may look, Jesus is alive and supreme over everything, everywhere!   However much you may suffer, Jesus is there to intercede (1 John 2:1-2) and act on your behalf.  No demon can tempt you without permission from Jesus, and He is there to give you the strength to overcome (1 Corinthians 10:13).  So, whatever your personal circumstances at work or home, remember that Jesus is greater (1 John 4:4).  Keep on obeying Him, but don't forget that the power to overcome does not lie in your strength alone, but in His supreme power (John 16:33).

Father God. Thank You for giving supreme power to the Lord Jesus Christ. Forgive me for doubting His presence in my heart by faith and His cosmic care and provision, and for being frightened by circumstances and people who come against me. May I not only follow His teaching but also trust His powerful and gracious presence so that I may find Your provision and protection each day. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams