Peter and the disciples had spent 3 years of their lives following Jesus. Then, Jesus died. They didn’t know what to do. So, they went back to doing what they were comfortable doing- they went fishing. Jesus, however, had much greater plans for them. The resurrected Jesus shows up and asks Peter, “do you truly love me more than these?”
What are the these? More than the other disciples love Jesus? More than he loves fishing? Essentially, I think Jesus is asking Peter: Am I the most important thing in your life? If so, show it. If so, live it.
If we asked the same thing of ourselves, what would the answer be?
“He has Risen!” John 20
When Mary, Peter, and John arrived at the tomb it was empty. Jesus was no where to be found. They assumed that somebody had taken his body. However, Jesus was not taken. He had risen from the dead. He had conquered death. He appeared to the disciples and told them, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
As the great hymn declares,
“Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives”
“It is Finished”
On the cross, just before he breath his last breath, Jesus declared, “It is finished.” Most of his followers and those who witnessed this day certainly thought this was the end of Jesus. It’s over. It’s finished.
Turns out there was much more to the story…
“Three Denials” John 18
Peter was Jesus’ closest friend and disciple. As Jesus was arrested and accused of a crime that he didn’t commit, Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. The temptation we have is to criticize Peter and say something like, “If I was him, I would never have denied Jesus.” Maybe that’s true. Maybe its not. But how many times in our lives have not stood up for Jesus in our schools, in our neighborhoods, and amongst our friends? For me, it’s many. I’m guessing you would answer the same. This week, let’s stand up for Jesus. Let’s represent him with our lives, our actions, and in our attitudes.
“The Time has Come”
Jesus had completed the work that he came to accomplish. He says to God, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.” Then, he goes on to once again describe eternal life, “Now this eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
My prayer is that you know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he sent!
“The Spirit” John 16
Jesus tells his disciples that the time has now come for him to go back to his Father. It’s interesting that Jesus did not simply leave the world by itself. He promises that the Holy Spirit will come and “he will guide you into all truth.” We have the Holy Spirit to guide, direct, and lead us every step of the way.
“You” John 15
Jesus proclaims, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit- fruit that will last.” He chose you! He absolutely has a plan for you and for your life. One part of that plan, Jesus says is to, “love each other as I have loved you.” He chose you. He loves you. And we ought to go and love others as a result of the amazing love he continually shows us.
“Trust” John 14
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” -Jesus
While eating their final meeting meal together, Jesus abruptly gets up from the table and begins to wash his disciples feet. It is almost unimaginable that Jesus, the Son of God, would get down on his knees to wash the grimy, disgusting feet of the disciples. It’s such a beautiful picture of humility, service, and love.
When he is finished, he tells them, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” We should wash one another’s feet!
Whose feet have you washed today?
“For this Very Reason” John 12
I’ve been asked, “If Jesus was God, why couldn’t he have just saved himself from the cross?” It is a good question, and certainly one which is worthy of being asked. In this chapter, Jesus clearly responds to this question, he says, “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!”
Jesus had a very specific purpose on this earth. It wasn’t to avoid pain, confrontation, and difficulty. In fact, he often welcomed those things, because they were the result of fulfilling his purpose of saving the world from their sin. He had a plan and the amazing thing about that plan is that it included YOU.
Sometimes we might think of Jesus as this emotionless, robot-like figure, but this is certainly not true. When Jesus’ friend Lazarus dies, it says “Jesus wept.” He cried, he mourned, he grieved the loss of his friend. He displayed all of the emotions that you and I would in this sort of situation. He is certainly God. But he is God who became flesh. He became like one of us and he knows what it is to go what we go through, because he went through it.
In this chapter he certainly shows his humanity. Jesus, however, also shows his deity (God-side) by what he does for his friend Lazarus after he dies. Make sure you go read John 11 and find out what happens…
“Have it to the Full”
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” -Jesus
Following Jesus isn’t about rules, regulations, or rituals. He came. He lived. He died. He conquered death. So that you could have life- and have it to the full. He offers each of us the best life possible!