As a father of four children, things can become pretty hectic at times. Especially as the teenage years of rebellion begin. It seems as recent, it is more so, even at an earlier age. Many of us may have friends, family, neighbors, and political leaders that we may not always see eye to eye with. Or, we may call them flat out blasphemers. Although, as a Christian, what calling should be upon our lives? What is it that Jesus commanded us?
He gave us many commandments. Although, only two hang the Law and the Prophets. We are to love the Lord with all our heart and love our neighbor as ourselves. After they had eaten the Passover, or the chief principal meal, Jesus gave them all an example to follow.
“Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”
“I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Let’s now look at John 13:34-35 in greater detail. The first word that we will look at in the original language is “commandment.” We will walk it back through the root meanings to gain a full understanding of what is being said.
As we begin with the first definition, we are told that we are given an authoritative prescription, a precept. As we walk the definition further back we are told that we are given a charge, to enjoin, (to set out for a definite point or goal); properly the point aimed at as a limit, that is, (by implication) the conclusion of an act or state, result; specifically an impost or levy (as paid). This lesson is a continuation of the previous one. And if you haven’t read it, considered it, and watched the video, do so before continuing, I Am The Bread Of Life. It will help in adding a further understanding to the final definition, all highlighted in green.
The final word that we will be looking at is “love.”
After we, as disciples of Jesus Christ have received the chief principal meal, that is to say the Passover, after being sanctified by the Spirit of Grace (being converted), we are told to love the world as Jesus did. Are we giving a love feast to those that are without? Are we feeding those who hunger and thirst after righteousness? Are we taking the Word that we have been blessed to understand, break it, and give it to others? Are we giving a feast of charity to the 5000 that are gathered, expecting to be fed?
How many times within the Bible are the disciples of Jesus Christ called servants? The two words go hand in hand. You truly are not His disciple, if you are not sharing His Word. “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” – Matthew 25:30. As we consider Peter and his betrayal, I suppose it also parallels our own walk with the Lord. How many times have we had an opportunity that we let slip by? How many more times will we allow it to happen? When will we stand in the Truth and walk in His Way? When will we take our lives and give them to the Lord, as is our reasonable service? Consider, the Parable of the Poor Widow.
“And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” – John 14:15. “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” – John 14:21. Now is a good time to take a teaching in the New Testament, and share it with a modern twist.
Jesus tells us, “Follow me… (insert your name here).” One response or excuse that we may have is, “Lord, my family member just died. I can’t help right now. Life is just too painful. Everything right now really sucks. Once I am over this, I will defiantly help you.” Jesus reminds us, “Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” And he speaks to us again, “follow me.” Our response could be as such, “I will follow you Lord, but things at home really suck, work sucks. Let me get to the point where things have calmed down a little.” “Father, I can’t help right now, my kids are driving me nuts, my spouse just lost their mind.” “Father, I have so many other things that I need to do first.” “My friends and family don’t care to know the truth, some don’t even believe in you.” And the Lord tells us, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:59-62. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” – Matthew 6:33-34.
“For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:6-11. “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” – John 20:21.
“Lovest thou me, more than these? Feed my sheep…”
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” – John 15:10-15.
When we are able to grasp the full understanding of the Gospel, and know that our war is not against flesh and blood, it makes letting go of our anger, resentment, fear, and whatever else may be our hinderance, much easier to do. As I began speaking upon being a parent with rebellious kids, I liken it to the truth of who we all are, and what we are all doing here in the first place. Imagine a loving Heavenly Father, fully aware of everything. Yet, His mission while He was here on the earth was to save us, even from ourselves. Now, as a follower of His, even amidst persecution, we are to do the same. “Father forgive them, They really have no idea.”
Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner