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Jesus' Agenda

Posted on May 30, 2021

Jesus’ Agenda

Isaiah 6:1-8

Psalm 29

Romans 8:12-17

John 3:1-17

To have an agenda is to have one’s own motives or reasons for why they do the things that they do. Generally, a person’s agenda is self-seeking a self-serving. We make our decisions based on how things can best serve ourselves and or our desires. Believe it or not Jesus too had an agenda while he was here on earth and he still has and agenda for us today. However, despite having his word before us I believe we often misunderstand and misinterpret what exactly Jesus’ agenda really is and was.

Nicodemus was a curious Pharisee who rather than fill himself with anger as the others did when it came to Jesus, he sought more information and understanding. He was willing to accept that just maybe Jesus really was from God for how else could he do the things that he was doing. This is then where Jesus gives Nicodemus the most shocking and confusing news that he has ever heard. “No one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” Nicodemus has a presupposition about Jesus in who he is and what he has come to do. He has his own presupposition of why and how the Messiah will come as well. In this case here he also is thinking with a mind set on earthly and physical things and not on the things of what God is thinking about or focusing on. Nicodemus takes this statement to mean literally to be born again out of his mother’s womb. However, Jesus’ agenda is not about earthly things but it is about that of the desire of the Spirit. Jesus is talking about being born again of the Spirit. For he says, flesh gives birth to flesh and Spirit gives birth to the Spirit. What is most important though is to be born of the Spirit. This is what Jesus has come to testify to and this is his agenda. That we might be born again of the Spirit.

Paul also explains this as well in Romans 8 starting at verse 12. Paul says that we have an obligation. This means that this is absolutely necessary. However, this obligation is not to earthly or fleshly things but it is to the Spirit. We are not to live our lives according to the desires of the flesh as this brings death but we are to live according to the desires of the spirit as this brings us eternal life. The flesh will make us slaves to the flesh while the spirit gives us freedom by bringing us into an adoption of sonship. If this is the case then why is it that when we pray, we so often pray with an agenda that concerns the flesh instead of the Spirit?

When we read the prayers of Jesus and the prayers of Paul, we are hard pressed to read anything that has anything to do with our physical needs or with healing to the body or of any sort. This doesn’t mean that we cannot ask for these things but they do not seem so important as it is for things of the Spirit. Our agenda is not always God’s agenda. Therefore, when we pray, we should be more focused on God’s agenda. Jesus came with an agenda and was sent with an agenda. We read about this in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” It doesn’t say that whoever believes in him shall never be sick again. It doesn’t say that whoever believes in him will never be poor again. It doesn’t say that whoever believes in him shall never experience loss again or pain. For these things are of the flesh but eternal life which is the agenda of God and most important of all, these are the things of the spirit. Job is probably the greatest example of this for his faith was not based upon earthly and fleshly things but based on spiritual things. Just because he was suffering in the flesh did not mean that he would lose his faith. His faith was based on a love and fear of the Lord. His faith became more important than his suffering.

No one can see the father unless they have been purified, for we have all sinned. This is why Isaiah was so upset when he saw the glory of God. He knew that he was impure and that he needed to be cleansed or else he would not survive. Therefore, when the coal touched his lips, he was then made pure and holy and then could look upon the glory of God and live. When we are born again of the Spirit this is like being touched by the hot coals and being purified. This is the agenda of Jesus. That we might be purified so that we can see the father. He did not come to take away all of the pain and suffering in the world. He did not come to make all of the poor rich and wealthy. It doesn’t mean that either of those things are bad. It is neither bad or good to be poor or wealthy. What matters is the heart and the spirit. You can be wealthy in the flesh and yet poor in the spirit and therefore perish for eternity. You can even be poor in both flesh and spirit and still suffer for eternity. Whether you are poor or wealthy does not matter. Everyone must be born again of the spirit. Getting sick or getting cancer does not mean that you are poor in Spirit. For illness and cancers come upon the believers and the non-believers. However, where the flesh becomes weak the Spirit can become stronger.

It is my hope and prayer that from now on when we pray and before we give our petitions before the Lord that are focused on our own agenda and of our flesh, that we focus first on Jesus’ agenda and focus on the things that he desires that are of the Spirit. When we can focus our prayers on Jesus’ agenda before our own, I believe that we will see lives transformed and people truly healed and set free. When we pray for our country and for our veterans may be pray Jesus’ agenda. When we pray for our loved ones who are sick and for those who are suffering may we pray Jesus’ agenda. When we pray for our enemies may we pray Jesus’ agenda. May they be transformed by the Spirit and live by the Spirit. If they are already living by the Spirit, may they be strengthened even more and be given the power to endure through the sufferings of this world. When we first pray Jesus’ agenda then we can ask for our own.

Jesus gave us the example of how we should pray. First to the Father’s agenda. “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This is the agenda of the Lord and for the Lord’s will the be done. We are aligning our wills with his will. Only after that then do we pray for our own petitions. “Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.” Again, this is the will and agenda of the father that our sins be forgiven and that we too forgive those who mean harm to us. “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one” Again our desire is then aligned with the desire of the Father that we would not fall for the tempter’s snares. “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, Amen.” This is a finish acknowledge credit where credit is due. All ownership and power belong to the Father. From this day forward may Jesus’ agenda come before our own agenda. May he have all of the glory. May he become more and we ourselves become less.