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Follow in Jesus’ Faithfulness
Luke 22:39-46 & Acts 11:19-24
This six week series has a launching point from 1 Peter 2:21, which also provides the theme for Vacation Bible School. We will look at six characteristics that are necessary for us to follow in Jesus’ steps. Jesus demonstrated each of these, giving us an example to follow. We begin with “faithfulness” because everything we do depends on faithfully responding to God’s gracious love and His call upon our lives. Faithfulness means:
Jesus Reveals Himself in This Way
As always, John uses his language with precision as he tells this narrative. In his account, Jesus “revealed himself in this way.” It is not merely that Jesus shows up for a third time, but John wants us to see some specific things about the nature of the risen Lord. Since “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8), Jesus continues to reveal Himself to us today as:
Peace Be with You
We started the series on the Gospel of John in September 2016 with John’s purpose for writing his account of Jesus, “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (20:31) In this passage, Jesus appears twice to his disciples and repeats three times the phrase, “Peace be with you.” Jesus makes it clear His peace is available and necessary.
Why Are You Weeping?
Can you imagine the shock Mary Magdalene felt when she found Jesus’ tomb empty? Peter and John were also amazed, but returned to their homes. While tears flooded her eyes as her grief now mingled with confusion, two angels and then Jesus asked her a simple but profound question, “Why are you weeping?” Sorrow over the death of a loved one is as old as time. What we do afterward draws us into the grace and power of God. These come together in the resurrection of our Lord.
This Was to Fulfill the Scripture
John gives his purpose in describing the death of Jesus.
He who saw it has borne witness — his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth — that you also may believe. (19:35)
Beyond his eyewitness, John wants us to see the evidence of God’s redemptive design through the fulfillment of scriptures written hundreds of years earlier.
The Humiliation of the Son of God
All four gospel writers give considerable space to the torture and crucifixion of Jesus. We might think that the resurrection should have the longer narrative and include more detail, but that is not the case. We understand the importance of the cross – Jesus taking on our punishment and dying in our place, but why such a strong emphasis on the suffering and humiliation of the Son of God? While admittedly incomplete, we will focus today on these five reasons:
For This Purpose
Pilate, the Roman governor, questioned Jesus about the accusation that Jesus claimed to be the King of the Jews. Jesus replied by stating His purpose for coming into the world. In John’s Gospel Jesus described His purpose in different ways, depending on the audience and the context. Here, His emphasis is on truth, a theme that runs throughout the gospel.
And the Word [Jesus] was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Shall I Not Drink the Cup that the Father Has Given Me?
Jesus and his disciples left the upper room, where they ate the Passover meal, and crossed the Kidron Valley to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. From a human perspective, everything fell apart and they entered into crisis. But from God’s perspective, there is something far more horrendous and far more glorious than anyone could have imagined.
Sanctified in the Truth
The prayer of Jesus in John 17 (often called The High Priestly Prayer) includes the themes of joy, love and truth. John’s life is so transformed that these become the major themes in his letters many years later. Last week, we saw in the first part of the prayer how the assurance of our eternal life is grounded in God’s glory. This week we see the way God assures our salvation is by purifying us in His truth. And remember this incredible truth, Jesus is praying this – for you.
And This Is Eternal Life
John 17 is a prayer of Jesus, sometimes referred to as The High Priestly Prayer. He prays first for himself, then his disciples and then for all who will believe in him. Our focus today is on eternal life, which Jesus received authority from the Father to give. Many tend to think of eternal life as being forgiven, going to heaven, living forever and being reunited with loved ones. Jesus gives us a far deeper understanding: that you may know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he sent.