Commanding Presence

John 15: 17

This I command you, that you love one another.

I may have mistyped today’s verse. Shouldn’t that read, “I encourage you to love one another” or “I suggest you love one another?” And yet, I looked it up in a bunch of translations and all of them say “command.” What happened to the gentle, kind Jesus or is it that we sometimes forget he is Lord?

Good things flow to us when we obey the Lord and he always has our best interests at heart. However, it seems to me that his giving us a command ought to be reason enough to do it. Where does reasoning fit in? Is there any room to question this directive?

Jesus is our big brother and our best friend. That does not negate his lordship though and I think we sometimes forget that he is Lord and king. We have been given a high status in the kingdom of God and we praise God for that but it would not hurt us to revisit Jesus as Lord. We worship him but lordship also demands obedience. Every word out of Jesus’ mouth is to be obeyed. I can tell you that his words are life and that it serves you well to obey him for that reason but I do not wish for us to lose sight of Jesus as Lord and master.

Every knee will bow before the Lord Jesus. He is to be lifted up. Yes, talk to him as your big brother. Giggle with him as your best friend but also praise him, worship him and above all obey him because he is Lord and because he is worthy. He takes his responsibility seriously and we are wise to remember that we owe him service and obedience.

Servant Master

Mark 10: 43 – 45

But it is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

Christianity is unlike any other religion. Really it is not a religion at all but rather a relationship with our Lord and God. While we do worship Him, Jesus came to earth not to be served but rather to serve. No other religious figures laid down their lives in order to redeem us. This is the good news of the gospel; that through the shed blood of Jesus, we have been redeemed and reconciled to the Father. Jesus is the greatest servant of all. By becoming least among men, he became the greatest. He came to serve our need. He came to save us. He gave even his life because of his love for us and for the Father. It was through his deep love that he became the servant of all. Now we serve the Father, not of requirement, but out of appreciation, gratitude and love for Him. We happily serve him as dear children though, not as slaves. We humble ourselves before others because he first loved us. The irony is, we humbly serve others not because we are servants nor have been made slaves but rather because Jesus set us free. He freely served us of his own volition. Now we have been set free from all the bondages that held us captive including those of ego and self-promotion. Because we are learning who we are in Christ we have been set free from having to prove something to ourselves or others in this realm. We have been redeemed from the curse and the only debt we own is to love one another.