JOHN:The Book Of Heartfelt Belief
The 11Th Commandment
Jerry A. Collins
For nearly sixteen years I have been parenting my son, Chandler. When he was a baby one of the things I could say about him was that at his birth when they gave him to me, he was like a solid rock. As an infant and toddler, he complied with my wishes for the most part. Then there were the years he enjoyed dinosaurs. Then I watched him play t-ball and progress toward little league and then pony league. Now I am seeing his interest develop in basketball as he competes on his school team. We have gone thru drivers training with him for over a year until he begins driving in November on his own. I have seen him gain an interest in fishing and turtle hunting. I have seen my son come to know Christ as his personal Savior, grow in his walk with the Lord, and exemplify His own faith in Christ by the decisions he has been making these years. Lord willing, there will be many more things I will learn and appreciate about my son as the years pass by. My esteem and appreciation for my son has developed as my opportunity and ability to say more about him has increased. Our goal is to be able to express the same thing about our God. Can you esteem and honor God today more than you have ever been able to do before because you can say more about God and His work in your life than ever before? From our passage I would like to suggest:
1. WE CAN SAY MORE ABOUT OUR GOD BECAUSE OF HIS WORK IN SAVING US 31-33
With Judas departure all of the events leading toward Jesus making salvation from sin possible are set in motion vs 1. What is about to be set in motion is the glory that God will display through His work in saving us. In other words, our capacity to esteem, honor and appreciate our God is increased by the extent to which God went to save us from our sin.
(1) Jesus glory is the ultimate goal of history and he welcomes it. The ultimate purpose of God is not to make me happy. Or to make my life free from pain and trails. Putting the person of Jesus on display thru the work he accomplishes so all of creation can esteem the Son is the ultimate purpose of God.
(2) Jesus glory is realized in His suffering and exaltation. The esteem God receives comes at a very high price. The Father will sacrifice His own Son and the Son will voluntarily give His life as payment for our own sin. For Jesus, there is no glory without His suffering. While His glory begins at the cross it does not end there. He is esteemed by His death, burial, resurrection and ascension at rite hand of the Father. The OT prophets could not figure out how Messiah would be both a suffering Servant and a triumphant King. This mystery was revealed in Phil 2:5-11 where we learn that Jesus saving us was necessary to be Lord over us.
(3) Jesus glory is synonymous with the Fathers glory. Jesus does not seek to be esteemed apart from His Father but with Him. For instance, in Chp 1 Jesus intimately involved with the Father in creating. Chp 2 while cleansing the temple Jesus said He was looking after His Fathers house. Chp 5 healing the lame man He claims to be working His Fathers work too. He stresses the union of He and His Father. There is no competition or ego or conflict in the Godhead. It is what we call the unity of God. 3 Persons with intellect, emotion and will united together as One in plans, purpose, character and will.
(4) Later we learn Gods glory thru Jesus is for good of all believing 16:7. What Jesus is about to experience is for the good of the disciples even though it is not what they will prefer. Think about the good done for us by Jesus work in saving us from our sin.
(5) Jesus glory necessitates separation from disciples. He is going away for a while and they will not be able to go with him. We will see that they understand Jesus to be going somewhere else, maybe with them, where his opponents could not find Him. He meant He was returning to heaven to be with the Father. While He is gone Jesus gives them a plan to survive in His absence. That plan is still in effect for us today!
2. WE CONTINUE TO DISPLAY GODS LOVE BY OUR LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER 34-35
First this a new commandment. It is new in the sense that it is the first of the new commandments Jesus gives to the church thru the apostles. It is also new in the sense that it is the first of the series of one another commandments Jesus gives to us. Jesus is defining the traits that must distinguish His people as the people of God. Christís commands do not contradict the Law but connect us in a better way to the heart of God and thru them we are matured. Second this love is a command we are to obey. This is not just a recommendation or a good advice. Third this is something we are to do. Love is not a feeling we are to have before we can then express it toward one another. Fourth Jesus love for us is the standard which He sets for our loving one another. Loving one another as we love and care for ourselves is not the measure. The example Jesus gives us is the washing of feet. Love that is service, practically beneficial, menial, voluntary, sacrifice, to undeserving, selfless, without return. It is a lifestyle and practice. Fifth this love is the distinguishing mark to the world that we are Jesus followers. Nothing said here about church going, religious duties or tradition keeping. Isnít it interesting that we do a lot of this stuff and the world is still repelled by our faith. Love means to do the best good for the other person which always results in giving which cannot be given back. If we serve others we will be happy but disappointed. So loving others must be governed by the vertical--our love for God--not the horizontal.
3. WE CAN BE COMMITTED TO FOLLOW JESUS AND STILL NOT OBEY HIM 36-38
Just because I am determined to follow Jesus does not mean I am obeying Him. Peter just heard Jesus command to love one another. For Peter following Jesus was being committed to be wherever He was no matter the cost. Emphatic, self-reliant Peter was going to learn that one who thinks he is standing be careful that he does not fall 1 Cor 10:12. Loving one another is following Jesus. Peters cocky attitude will be sent a message when the cock crows after his denial.
(1) A disciple is measured by one who continues in Gods Word 8:31-32
(2) A disciple is measured by his love for one another 13:34-35
(3) A disciple is measured by bearing much fruit 15:8 These are the badge of discipleship.