A sermon for 6th Sunday of Easter 26/5/2019.
Apparently it makes the world go around, but what kind of love? There are so many different kinds.
The love a parent has for their child.
The love the child has for its parents. The love of husband and wife,
The love of friends, family and as Jesus teaches us our enemies as well.
Then of course as Christians we have what we consider the greatest love of all, the love of God Almighty and His Son Jesus Christ.
Johns gospel concentrates on showing Jesus’ Majesty, Holiness, and His great LOVE for us and Gods message to us. In fact it’s often referred to as the Gospel of Love. You may have noticed the hymn we’ve just sung was all about love, something we try to do is use a hymn to lead into our gospel and sermon.
The Gospel this morning is about Jesus trying to answer questions that His disciples had been asking earlier. Especially Philip and Thomas, in chapter 14 Jesus is trying to explain that he has to return to the His Heavenly Father. In verses 15-31 Jesus is telling them that he won’t be leaving them alone, but with the Holy Spirit. Something they still can’t understand, even though they have been together for so long, some of them still don’t understand WHO He TRUELY IS and find the thought of being without Him frightening.
In chapter 14,19 Jesus said to them “In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live, you also will live.
Judas (another one) pressed Him for an explanation as to how he would reveal himself to them but not the world.
Jesus told him that although he will not be here, He will still be seen through His followers. By loving Him they will be keeping his word, and to keep the word of Jesus means to keep His commandments to love one another. As the disciples keep the Word of Jesus they will be in a community characterised by mutual regard love and service. By community is speaking about the church.
I spoke earlier of the Love Jesus has for us and how we can love and serve Him and use His examples.
But how did Jesus show us His love? He showed us in several ways.
SELF DENIAL, Jesus as God shared all the glory and privilege of creator and King in eternity, yet chose to deny himself that position and privilege to become human and experience all that humans experience. Pain grief humiliation and ultimately death and all this so that he could atone for our sins. (Philippians 2,4-8)
SUBMISSION. As a boy he chose to submit to his parents, not only His earthly parents, if you remember they told him off for not leaving with them after the Passover when he was twelve and finding him in the temple, but also to God His Heavenly father. (Luke 2,41-52, John 5,30)
SERVICE. Jesus’ life was to serve and give of Himself while he lived. In His death and now, He continues to serve. His love and His example calls us to live our lives, no longer for ourselves but for Him who died and rose again on our behalf. (2 Corinthians 5,14-15).
SUFFERING. Since the beginning of the Bible man has rebelled against God yet God has chosen to redeem us. God’s redemptive plan was to use suffering to show His care for us, but man wasn’t the one who would suffer. God sent Jesus to restore us to a rightful relationship with Him. God’s ultimate plan is eternal glorification. There will be joy after the suffering is over. Until then He calls us to walk in the footsteps of Jesus’ suffering as an example for us to follow as He calls us to respond by trusting God in the face of our suffering.
Jesus offered His life and chose to die as a sacrifice to God to save us all.
To some Jesus’ sacrifice is referred to as demonstrating His LANGUAGE OF LOVE.
Whether the disciples know it or not to live the life that Jesus expects they will need the constant presence of God with them.
Jesus offers that presence with three different promises.
First he says that those who love the Father and Him will have a home with them in Heaven. He also announced the advent of the Holy spirit among the believers. When he leaves, the Spirit will teach us everything and guide us, and the church. As we think back over what we have experienced of Jesus and we seek to let our love for him show up in the ways we relate to others. It helps us understand Jesus and His word, and to love Jesus by keeping his Word.
Finally he gives His Peace to those who he is about to leave, (don’t forget all this takes place on the eve of His death).
In verse 27 He says “I leave with you my Peace, I give to you not as the world gives” Jesus doesn’t elaborate but I think we can assume that he was offering comfort to those who were troubled and courage to those who were in fear.
As the world moves on and the future unfolds Jesus’ followers will be able to trust that the One who loved them enough to send His Son still loves them and still seeks to dwell in them.
I’d like to leave you with a final thought.
THE SPIRIT INSIDE YOU IS BETTER THAN JESUS BESIDE YOU, BECAUSE JESUS HAS RETURNED TO THE FATHER WE FEEL GOD PRESENT EVEN MORE POWERFULLY AS THE SPIRIT COMES TO LIVE IN US.