The Rev. Dr. John Guest was the featured speaker the first week I spent at Maranatha. I missed a couple of his sessions when I had my root canal (you can read about how I ended up getting a root canal on vacation here). And that was unfortunate because Dr. Guest, a native Brit, was highly entertaining and his love for the Lord inspiring. Dr. Guest came to know Jesus when Billy Graham was speaking in London for the first time, and has never lost his heart for those who do not know the Lord Jesus. One night in the tabernacle he played his guitar and sang, “Hey Jude,” and I’m not sure those lyrics have ever sounded so good. It was so fun, and somehow worshipful too.
Plus, the British are just plain funnier than Americans. So needless to say I very much enjoyed Dr. Guest. I mean it’s pretty hard to top the superfecta of British wit, a tender heart, love for Jesus and biblical wisdom!
One of the points that Dr. Guest emphasized was that Jesus wanted his disciples to be rooted and grounded in the authority of Scripture. Jesus, of course, knew that over time the disciples would begin to doubt their physical and emotional experiences (as we all d0!). They needed a firm foundation to lean on, so Jesus was constantly pointing them to Scripture. The disciples needed to learn to trust Scripture — even when they may not have been close to the Lord physically or emotionally. The same lesson applies to us. If we are rooted and grounded in the authority of Scripture then we can weather the storms of life, but if we are dependent on emotional or physical experiences, we will live in defeat. Maybe not all of the time, but enough of the time to make our spiritual life a roller coaster ride it need not be.
Dr. Guest also pointed out that Jesus’ coming and going post-resurrection (of which I had never given much thought) had a specific purpose. His coming and going was intended to teach the disciples that whether they see Him or not Jesus is there! I loved this reminder, because it’s such a comfort. I also wrote about this very point in my book, Sharp Sticks: Essays of Embarrassment and Reflections on Redemption which is now available on Amazon in a print edition. If you’d like to take a look that particular essay it is called “Jesus in a Chair.”
It is always edifying to hear the fundamentals, isn’t it? We need to be rooted and established in Scripture (looking forward to getting back to CBS this week); and we are never where Jesus is not. Thank you, John Guest, for these needful reminders!