"He has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases Him." (John 8:28-29)

"When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The One who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases Him." (John 8:28-29)

 

What does 'when you have lifted up the Son of Man' mean?

Is Jesus saying that we have to grab Jesus and lift him up over our heads or something? Or a bunch of us have to hold him up and toss him up in the air?

The phrase, "When you have lifted up" is extremely confusing. It has little meaning in the practical sense. Yet "lifted up" comes from the Greek word, ὑψόω (hypsoō) can have a literal and a metaphorical meaning, according to Strong's lexicon. It can mean to "elevate," but also to "exalt" or to "honor."

But Jesus was not looking to be exalted. He was not seeking a legion of followers or fans. This is why he used "Son of Man" in the third person. He didn't say, "when you have exalted me ..."

Rather, he was speaking of the Son of Man (better translated to Servant of Humanity) as a role: Someone who has come to serve humanity by introducing us to God.

In other words, Jesus is saying that when we honor or exalt the Servant of Humanity, then we will know that Jesus is who he claims to be.

That is, that Jesus is God's messenger - sent by God to teach us about Him. How do we know that?

Who is 'the One who sent me' according to Jesus?

Jesus is referring to the Supreme Being when he says, "The One who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases Him." 

This may be confusing due to the fact that the NIV (and other) translators do not capitalize "one," "he" and the "him" in Jesus' statement (added in quotes above).

Could Jesus be any clearer in this statement about who he is, his purpose, and his intentions? “I do nothing on my own....”

This means that Jesus is not acting on his own behalf and he is not acting alone. He is not teaching in order to become famous or achieve the respect of others. He is not teaching to gain authority. He is also not teaching others in order to get paid or be rewarded in any other fashion.

Jesus’ intention is to do what pleases the Supreme Being. He speaks what the Supreme Being has taught him, and he does what pleases the Supreme Being.

This means, clearly, that Jesus is God's loving servant. A person who voluntarily does what pleases another is a loving servant of the other. Someone who is focused on serving another person is a servant. Someone who does this out of a relationship of love is a loving servant.

How is Jesus describing himself?

This is how Jesus is describing himself: A loving servant of the Supreme Being. He makes no lofty statements about being the Supreme Being. He doesn’t even say he is God-like. Jesus merely gives all praise and all credit for everything he says and does to the Supreme Being. He is only doing what God wants him to do.

This also means that there are two individuals involved: Jesus and the Supreme Being. Because Jesus is doing what pleases the Supreme Being (someone else), there must be two individuals.

How could anyone, let alone so many popes, bishops, priests and ministers that have followed through the centuries of sectarianism, all miss this simple understanding about Jesus - as spoken by Jesus himself? How could they have created this complicated "God became man to die for our sins" speculative philosophy when Jesus says quite simply who he was?

Others, because they simply could not believe such a complicated theory of Jesus, have proclaimed that he was just an ordinary man: So they have speculated upon whether he married Mary and so many other things that also have nothing to do with how Jesus defined himself.

Jesus is and was, as he says himself, God's loving servant and representative. He loves the Supreme Being, so he worked to please the Supreme Being. Therein lies Jesus' glory. Therein lies Jesus' greatness.

What pleases God?

We can tell what pleases the Supreme Being by what Jesus did. Jesus gave up any semblance of a normal life to teach people. He traveled from town to town, stood in courtyards, on hilltops and where ever people would listen, and spoke of God. And what did he teach?
“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matt. 22:37-38)
This was also the teaching of Moses:
"Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (Deut. 6:5)
And what do we know about Moses? We also know that he communicated directly with the Supreme Being and did what pleased the Supreme Being. So Moses, too, was God's loving servant and representative.

This was also Joshua's teaching. Joshua was Moses' student. Consider what Joshua taught:
"But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to obey His commands, to hold fast to Him and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul." (Jos 22:5)
Joshua says clearly that Moses was God's servant. This means that Jesus, Moses, and Joshua are teaching the same thing - along with so many other Prophets and teachers in the Bible. 

Now since Moses is God's servant, and Joshua is God's servant, and Jesus - as he states above - is God's servant, and since these servants of God are teaching us to love God, what does this mean about the Supreme Being?

This means the Supreme Being wants us to love Him. Why? God doesn't need our love. He is fine without us. But God knows that we will be happy if we return to our loving relationship with Him. And God wants us to be happy. 

What does this say about us?

It means we were created by the Supreme Being to exchange a loving relationship with Him.

Isn't this what we all truly desire? Virtually everyone is scrambling around looking for someone to love. We go from relationship to relationship, looking for the perfect person to love and serve.

Occasionally we might find that person who seems to fit the bill. But once we get to know them, we realize they are not the perfect person we thought they were. They were not the perfect beloved. So we keep looking.

Why are we always looking for love?

Despite all the love songs, the love stories, the tear-jerkers, and all the romance of this world, worldly-love simply does not satisfy us. 

This is why so many of us struggle to get more love from others. This is why so many of us seek name and fame: Seeking followers on social media or our 15 minutes of fame elsewhere - all in an attempt to get others to love us.

Yet we can easily see that even those with millions of followers or millions of fans are not satisfied. All that attention does not bring any fulfillment. How can we tell? Because they continue to seek more followers and fans. This means this type of adoration from others does not satisfy us.

The seeking of fans and followers is the seeking of love. An attempt to fill an emptiness within.

This doesn't mean we cannot have loving relationships in this world. Truly, we can have meaningful loving relationships with those around us. 

But real love comes from a deeper place. It comes from the Supreme Being. The real love that comes from the Supreme Being is completely satisfying. It is fulfilling. Yet we can still share this type of love with others.

Love is part of our character: It is built-in. It is hard-wired. This is because God created us this way.

But we remain unfulfilled if we put our love in the wrong places. Or expect love from the wrong places.

Love doesn't come from followers on the internet or fans on TV. Love comes from God. And love is given to others from God.

These temporary physical bodies do not give love - in the same way that an internet computer or a TV set can give love.

Love comes from the spirit within each of us - ultimately originating from the Great Spirit that created us.

It is only when we exchange love with the Supreme Being do we become fulfilled. This is because this is our natural position. 

This is why Jesus, Moses, Joshua, John the Baptist, Job, Abraham, Jeremiah, Zechariah, David, Solomon, Samuel, Eli and all the other servants of God worked so hard to give us this message: Because they were representing God's wishes, and God wants us back.

Jesus is trying to tell those around him that he is simply working on God's behalf. Jesus is also showing us that once we begin to love and serve God, we also begin to truly love others as they are.

So we do not need to speculate about Jesus. We don't need to debate whether he went to India or married Mary. We simply can know from his own words that he was God's loving servant and he did God's will by teaching us to love the Supreme Being. The next step for us is simply to put those teachings into practice.


*Here is the translation of these statements according to the Lost Gospels of Jesus:

“When you honor the Servant of Humanity you will know who I am and I do nothing for myself, but I speak only what the Creator taught me. And He who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases Him.” (John 8:28-29)