Sermon on November 20 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: John 14:15–24
Here is the most important question you could ever ask and answer. The ultimate question: What does it mean to love Jesus?
To love Jesus is to:
1. RELATE TO JESUS AS A PERSON, NOT AN IDEA! (v15-20)
- Reject entirely all we think it may be
It is not believing in God, even the devil is no atheist (Jas 2:19). It is not belonging to the right nation, race or family (Jn 1:13).
Nor is it being religious or spiritual, e.g. John Lennon: ‘I believe that what people call God is something in all of us’.
- Connect clearly with what God says we need
We are all sinners who think ‘ME 1’.
Only Jesus, not religion, or morality can reveal our sin and replace the ‘me’ with God.
- React exactly in the way Jesus commands
The first command to obey is to repent (turn around) and to believe that there is no other way, no other salvation, no-one and nothing else who can make you right with God.
Jesus is enduringly strong, entirely sincere and eternally steadfast. Death could not handle Him, the grave could not hold Him.
2. COMMIT TO JESUS PRIMARILY AND WITH ALL (v 21-24)
- Face up squarely to the love of your life
Loving anyone involves responsibility. How much more should this be with loving Jesus? (1 Cor. 6:19)
- Focus seriously on all that Jesus says
Baptism is a test of your obedience and love…
‘Is He going to help Himself to your life, or are you taken up with your conception of what you are going to do? God is responsible for our lives, and the one great keynote reckless reliance upon Him.’
- Follow Jesus willingly, whatever the cost
You can go on under the weight of your own self-rule, and end up crushed. Or you can be yoked with Jesus (Mat. 11:28)
Do YOU love Jesus, do you know Jesus and not just about Jesus? Without Jesus as the Way there is no going, without Jesus as the Truth there is no knowing, without Jesus as the Life there is no growing.
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QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
1. What do many today think of Jesus? Why is important that we encounter Jesus as a person, not an idea? Is Jesus only a person like other persons ‘the highest model of religion within human thought’ (David Strauss)? Read John 1:1 and 1:8. How do we discover who God is?
2. Why does Jesus stress several times that you cannot love Jesus without obeying Him? Can you obey someone you don’t trust? What is baptism and how does this declare love for Jesus?
3. Does loving Jesus stop with repentance, faith and then baptism? What are some of the hindrances we face in seeking to follow Jesus wholeheartedly and passionately? (Think of Peter and the disciples). If Jesus desires our love how may He test this love? Now pray for greater love for Jesus in all of life.
Photo credit FreeImages.com/Patrizio Martorana