Theme: Lovestory #3 Jesus and Us (Sunday 30 August, 2020)
Series: Lovestory (2020)
Bible Reading: John 15:9-17
Preacher: Rev Phil Swain
We’ve been talking about love…
- Love stories so far … Song of Songs … two people who were truly, madly, deeply in love.
- Hosea and Gomer … a complex relationship where there was doubt and hurt but also unconditional love.
Today we are jumping into the gospel to see a lovestory involving Jesus! Scripture doesn’t talk about any romantic relationships but Jesus did have significant and deep friendships and I want to look at three groups of people that Jesus had significant relationships with.
In our bible reading Jesus gave us the challenge to love one another as he loved us. So how did Jesus love and how does that help us understand how we are called to love one another.
1) Mary, Martha and Lazarus
- Genuinely enjoyed their company = John 11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
- Would stay at their home whenever he was in or near Jerusalem
- I think that there was a connection through passion for ministry and helping others
- Love was shown as being part of their lives
- Key passage – John 11 … when Lazarus dies. Jesus genuinely grieves (John 11:35 Jesus wept). Even though he was going to raise him from the dead. The grief is genuine because he sees the grief in Mary and Martha and his heart breaks for them. John 11:36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
- Jesus showed love by being with them in the ups and downs of life.
- Jesus calls us to love one another as he loves us.
2) Relationship with the teachers of the law and religious leaders
- We assume that because Jesus said some bad things about the teachers of the law and religious leaders that there was no relationship there, but that is not the case.
- In the gospel of Luke, who is the first people that Jesus has significant religious conversations with? Luke 2:42-50, Jesus as a 12 year old spent 3 days talking with the teachers in the temple, talking theology with them. Jesus even expressed that this is where it makes sense that he should be – in his Father’s house with the teachers and the priests.
- In the gospel of John, in the first three chapters, Jesus has a significant connection with – John the Baptist, the disciples at the wedding of Cana and the religious leaders and teachers.
- Actually in the beginning of John there are two stories that pick up the complex relationship that Jesus had with the religious teachers and leaders.
- The first is from John chapter 2 where Jesus comes to the temple … a place where he was been before – but this time instead of talking theology with the teachers, Jesus has a different reaction. Jesus gets angry at the way the temple is more like a market than a place of prayer and starts turning tables and driving out animals. Remember that Jesus already has a friendship with these people and yet he is angry and confrontational with them.
- Then in the very next chapter, we have the amazing conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus – one of the key religious teachers and leaders on the rooftop. John 3:16 … For God so loved the world
- This seems to be the pattern for Jesus relationship with the Pharisees … it would swing between calling them snakes and white washed tombs to having dinner with them and talking about God. It is a complex friendship.
- Where as Jesus seemed to genuinely loved the company of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, I am not sure that I can say the same about Jesus relationship with the teachers of the law or religious leaders … but Jesus does not give up on that friendship. This connection continues right through to the end of each gospel. Who buries Jesus in the tomb? Joseph of Arimathea – a religious leader and … Nicodemus.
- Jesus did not just have friendship with people he got on with or had lots in common with … but he also had friendships with people who he disagreed with, that got under his skin.
- Some of Jesus best teaching was about loving our enemies, Luke 6:32 … If you only love those who love you, what credit is that?
- Story … how do you hug a porcupine? Sometimes loving means getting pricked or hurt …
- Jesus was showing what it means to love those who are hard to love.
- Jesus calls us to love one another as he loves us.
3) Disciples & Key followers & Us
- You just have to read the gospels to see just how much Jesus loves his disciples. He was compassionate & caring, laughed and had fun, he taught and helped them. He loved them.
- Mark 10:21, Rich young ruler – “Jesus looked at him and loved him”
- BR John 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
- Summed up the law … love God, love others
- John 13:35 … people will know that you are my disciples if you love
- John 13:1 – Washing the feet “having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” Setting the example. We love because God first loved us.
Challenge … Romantic Love … Complex Love … Love of friends we genuinely love to be with … love of people whom drive us bananas … love of those who are close to us…
Love is about being there in the ups and downs of life – “I will laugh when you are laughing”
Love is about being able to hug the porcupines, even when it hurts sometimes
Love is about genuinely caring and journeying with those around you
Love is the core of our faith … love is how people will know we are followers of Jesus.
We love because god first loved us.
Love is our calling … Jesus calls us to love one another as he loves us.