May 3, 2011

The New Command, Part II

In the second part of "The New Command" I will pick up on my second thought of the intercessory prayers put forth by Jesus to the Father on behalf of the Disciples and later the believers.

Second Thought:

Jesus in His prayer for the Disciples (previous post) asks the Father to unify them and keep them as one. Jesus ask that they be protect them from the evil one (8:44). Jesus asks Him to sanctify them by His word. Since they will be sanctified by God's word, Jesus will send the disciples into the world. The disciples will testify to the world of God's love by keeping the word of Jesus Christ. They belong to God and it is evident in their love for Christ and…their love for one another. The prayer for unity of the disciples worked and works for us today. It is in this unity, Father to Son, Son to Disciples and believers alike that we fulfillment of Jesus’ New Commandment and we it is stressed by Jesus.

Jesus then goes on to pray an intercessory prayer on the behalf of all believers who were in existance in Jesus' day and all that would follow after including us now.

Prayer For All Believers:

“I do not pray for these alone , but also for those who will believe [all believers] in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them" John 17:20-26

It is here in these six verses in Jesus’ prayer for all believers that we see the heart of the New Commandment, the Greatest Commandments. It is rooted in the concept in the Shema. The unity of the body in Christ is the pattern. Why? It mimics the unity of the Trinity. It is the perfect completeness of the Godhead. The closer man can get to this in their relationship with other disciples/believers the better the probability of righteousness and avoidance of sin. The more likely believers are to stay holy and it has its roots in a communal relationship with other holy sanctified beings. To have a holy relationship with God and repentant believers that all have the mind of Christ. This is clear from Jesus’ earlier statement: “I in them, and You in Me…that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”I don’t know about you, but that sounds and awful lot like a Kingdom.

In short, Jesus prays that God's glory will be revealed in these things so…the nations may
worship Him also. So the disciples and believers including us are tied together in unity of mind and purpose to participate in Jesus’ ministry. That my friend is heavy and seriously profound stuff to contemplate.

We see this command exemplified one more time before Jesus gives up His spirit on the cross. We see it in one of Jesus’ comments from the cross. This comment comes in John 19:

“Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. John 19:25-27

Those who are closest to Jesus that are able to look upon Him on the cross are given a charge or command as He looks upon them. Jesus tells them to look upon one another and care for each another. His words put into ball into motion. Jesus’ new (old) commandment now has wheels under it. He gave to His disciples so that they could love one another. This is exactly why we should know and others should know that we are His disciples. It all ties together quite nicely. As if it was planned that way ;)

As Jesus said when referring to Himself being the true vine and the Father being the Gardener:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.John 15:5-17

I will choose to follow in Jesus’footsteps and abide in His vine.

My parting thought comes from Chapter 21 of John. Jesus makes a statement in the last chapter of John that wraps up nicely this entire concept. Earlier Jesus had said to love one another as I have loved you, By saying this He was implying that they should emulate His example. What is the last thing Jesus says to Peter in His walk on the beach with the disciples?

"Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”  Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” John 21:20-23

In other words: In following Jesus we also obey the new commandment. Love one another as I have loved He said...follow me.

I love you brothers and sisters.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...