2018-04-05 - The Relationship of Disciples
John 15:16-17 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another.
A little before Jesus suffered trial and crucifixion He started laying out different things to His Disciples. Some things might appear obvious in hindsight. But some things are better not left unsaid just for clarity. The Disciples knew that Jesus chose them. For anyone who thinks they sought Jesus on their own is missing the call on their heart and lives that drew them into their search for the Lord. The Disciples were appointed and told to bear fruit - to reach out to others with the Good News that God loves them and has made a way for them to live forever with Him.
The piece that ties these points, and many more, together is this final instruction that they would love one another. During the three years they traveled with Christ there were squabbles and disagreements. Jesus would step in and calm those storms and bring them back together. In a short time after these discussions Jesus would have to restore Peter who promised to die with Jesus if it came to that. He faltered and denied that he even knew Christ. Then he ran into the night and wept over his denial. Shortly after His resurrection Jesus would gently restore Peter to fellowship and to his place with the Disciples.
Love one another. Jesus forgave a terrible failure on the part of one of His closest friends. And church families split over things far more trivial. Brothers and sisters in the faith stop speaking to each other. If we can not discuss things and maybe even agree to disagree how do we expect things to be resolved and fellowship to be restored? More than one person has said that their problem with Christianity is the behavior of Christians! That is so sad that we who should be a light on a hill are the stone blocking the way for others to see the love of Christ and His shed blood for their salvation.
John Lennon's song Imagine asks the listener to imagine there is no Heaven or Hell. Jesus let us know that both are very very real. The one to be sought and the other to be avoided at all costs. To deny they exist is to court eternal disaster. If we are the lamp on a lamp stand that we are supposed to be the love of Christ will shine from our words, works and lives. People will want to know what we know.
Selah! Think about that.
John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Grace & Peace,
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.