A Loving Relationship with Jesus

John 14:13-15 KJV

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. [14] If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. [15] If ye love me, keep my commandments.


Jesus believed. He believed that he was going to the Father and that he would continue to help the disciples. This statement makes it plain that Jesus believed he was going to heaven, and he believed he would have the authority to answer prayers. These verses testify to the fact that Jesus knew he was divine. He assumes he will have divine authority in heaven and that he will be able to use that authority to assist the disciples.

Jesus loved his disciples. He wanted them to be safe after he ascended to the Father. More, Jesus wanted them to be obedient based on their love for him. He shared with his disciples that he was going to help them. He revealed his love and concern for the disciples in this promise. More, he goes on to ask the disciples to return his love. The way they could do this was to keep his commandments.

These verses reveal intimate details about Jesus’ relationship with his disciples. To begin, he was modeling the right behavior to the disciples. He was teaching them the meaning of the gospels which is to love all people. Here, Jesus asks them to reciprocate the love they receive from him. As he cared for the disciples, he wanted them to care for him. So, while his statements reveal he knew he was divine, they also reveal that he was human. Jesus wanted his love reciprocated.


Lord, please help me reciprocate your love. Teach me to honor and love you in a way that is proper. Reveal yourself to me from your Holy Word so that I might love you better. In Jesus’ name, amen.

The Reproach of Jesus

John 11:47-48,53-54 WEB

The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said, “What are we doing? For this man does many signs. [48] If we leave him alone like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” [53] So from that day forward they took counsel that they might put him to death. [54] Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews, but departed from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim. He stayed there with his disciples.


It is startling to think that Jesus had to hide from the authorities. Can you see Jesus and the disciples looking around corners, being careful of where they walked? It has a dramatic flair. But it also shines the light on Jesus’ humanity. Though he was God, he functioned entirely in his humanity and made himself subject to human authority.

Jesus was humble. He took his disciples and quickly departed to the edge of the wilderness to a city called Ephraim. He could have called angels to save him from the death plot (Mat 26:53). Instead, he removes himself and his followers from the danger. Jesus does not tempt God but rather takes a more difficult path (Mat 4:7). He is obedient to the Word even though he is fleeing.

Jesus was obedient to the Word and the Spirit. This caused him to receive condemnation from those in Judea. We also receive condemnation when we obey the Word of God or walk in the Spirit. For example, the Word says not to gossip. However, gossip is a very prominent sin. To refuse to engage in gossip is to put yourself at odds with people both in and out of the church. Likewise, Jesus ran the risk of heaping more reproach upon himself with every miracle he performed and every sermon he preached.


Lord, I thank you for humbling yourself to human authority on your journey to the cross. Thank you for receiving reproach just as we receive reproach today. You are honorable in all you do Jesus. Help me be more like you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Righteous and Unrighteous Judgments

John 5:28-30 WEB

Don’t marvel at this, for the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs will hear his voice, [29] and will come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment. [30] I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous; because I don’t seek my own will, but the will of my Father who sent me.


The most famous verse about judgment in the Bible is probably “Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged.” (Matthew 7:1 WEB) Jesus had the authority to judge but judgment was not his priority. In John 3:17 Jesus reveals his purpose is to save the world. And in John 3:16 Jesus reveals that the Father’s purpose is to save the world. Also, Jesus’ priority was to do the Father’s will. That is what made his judgment righteous.

The main piece of advice Jesus has for us regarding judgment is not to judge. He helps us understand the consequences are serious for the one who makes unrighteous judgments. More, we can recognize unrighteous judgments because they are not infused with the Lord’s purposes and priorities.  We can recognize unrighteous judgments by asking a couple of questions. First, is this judgment being made to help the person get saved? Second, what does this judgment do for the one making it?

It is easy to recognize unrighteous judgments such as gossip, but other situations may be more difficult. For example, some judgments are made for personal convenience. Telling someone to hurry up or slow down are judgments. They seem innocent until we recognize they do not help the one being judged.  

Judging other people can become a habit. When a person has a habit of judging they tend to lose their patience frequently. A couple of examples could be a person who often becomes angry at other drivers or at the person in front of them at checkout. Most people trace these two examples to a lack of patience. However, before the person’s patience was affected their attitude was affected and that is where the judgments are made.


Lord Jesus, please help me recognize when I am hearing or making an unrighteous judgment. Fill me with a desire to prioritize your will as my highest priority.  In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Humility and Judgment

John 5:27 WEB

He also gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man.


I’m sorry, what did that say? That Jesus can execute judgment because he is a son of man? That is amazing. If Jesus had an ability based specifically on his humanity, then perhaps we have that same ability. What an enormous thought, do modern believers have the same authority to execute judgment as Jesus?

First, what does Jesus say about his authority to judge? He says, “For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him.” (John 3:17 WEB) So, Jesus has the authority to judge but that is not his priority. His top priority is to see the world saved. Second, in the book of Matthew, we read, “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words, you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:37 WEB) Jesus has said the judgment comes from our words. It is not specifically that He is going to judge every microscopic thing, rather, how we conduct ourselves will judge us.

These are just two things that Jesus taught about his authority to judge. Jesus’ top priority is salvation, and he lets us judge ourselves with our words. It is ironic that the Father gives Jesus the right to judge because Jesus is humble and does not seem to want to judge anyone.  Instead, Jesus stays focused on God’s will and does not rejoice over the authority he has.

Therefore, it seems like Jesus’ current judgment is based on human attributes shared by modern believers. We all have priorities, and those priorities are reflected in our words and actions. Also, we all look at people’s behavior and make judgments. Thus, if like Jesus, we have God’s will as our top priority, we will not be that interested in judgment. However, if the time comes and a judgment must be made, we can look to the example that Jesus left us in the Bible.  


Lord Jesus, please help me love people and do all I legitimately can to see them saved. Help me have humility so that I stop judging people based on the world’s standards. And Lord, when I do have to make a judgment, let me keep your priorities so that I make righteous judgments. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Fruit and Authority

John 5:9-17 WEB

Immediately, the man was made well, and took up his mat and walked. Now it was the Sabbath on that day. [10] So the Jews said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath. It is not lawful for you to carry the mat.” [11] He answered them, “He who made me well, the same said to me, ‘Take up your mat, and walk.’ ” [12] Then they asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your mat, and walk’?” [13] But he who was healed didn’t know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a crowd being in the place. [14] Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “Behold, you are made well. Sin no more, so that nothing worse happens to you.” [15] The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. [16] For this cause the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill him, because he did these things on the Sabbath. [17] But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, so I am working, too.”


The works of Jesus are good fruit. As Christians, we are often told that we should evaluate the fruit of a person’s life. In the above passage, Jesus has just healed, delivered, and restored a man. Jesus’ works bore good fruit. It is understandable that the healed man felt gratitude and loyalty to Jesus. Still, the man was under Jewish law.

The healed man had honor for the authority of the religious leaders. So, in accordance with the law, he went to the leaders to be declared healed. Here is where something interesting happens, the man who was healed followed the fruit. That is, he judged the fruit and showed loyalty to Jesus. Also, just a few lines later the man is telling the Jewish leaders what they want to know. The man did not dishonor the legitimate authority of the religious leaders.

Jesus was a man under authority. He watched and prayed and did what the Father showed him. When the Father showed him healing on the Sabbath, he obeyed. It did not matter doing a healing on the Sabbath was the best way to get into trouble with the religious leaders. Accordingly, it was not long until Jesus was challenged by religious hypocrisy.

The Jewish leaders persecuted Jesus for working on the Sabbath. Jesus answers them boldly when he says he is under the authority of the Father. In the same way believers are to name Jesus, Jesus named the Father. He truly did suffer as we do today. He faced challenges on behalf of the Father to serve His glory. He trusted the Father enough to obey him. He trusted the Father enough to bear good fruit.


Lord Jesus, please help me trust you enough to obey your word. Help me see what you are doing so that I may join in the work. Please forgive my love for the approval of others. Help me trust, obey, and bear good fruit. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

The Cost of Worship

John 2:13-15 WEB

The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. [14] He found in the temple those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, and the changers of money sitting. [15] He made a whip of cords, and threw all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew their tables.

What is the cost of worship in the House of God? Is it the tithes and offerings? No, those are ordinances. Is it subjection to human authority? Is it having merchandise regularly presented by guest speakers? For Jesus, the cost of worship included going to Jerusalem at the appointed times. The text scripture above says Jesus went to Jerusalem because it was an appointed time. He honored the ordinances of Judaism. However, he did not honor the human authority over the temple. And He clearly did not like merchandising in the temple. So, I ask again, what is the cost of worshipping in the House of God? If that cost includes dishonoring God, then the price is too high. If that cost includes constant bombardment of merchandise, again I would say, the price is too high. It makes sense to offer God’s people material to advance their faith. But it does not make sense to sell merchandise in the House of the Lord. This behavior comes with a scourging by the Lord. The Lord is zealous for the temple according to scripture. It seems many churches would do well to keep that fixed in their minds.

Lord Jesus, please forgive me for participating in merchandising in your house. Heal my compromise and set my feet more completely on the narrow path of obedience to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Law vs. Spirit

John 1:22-25 WEB

They said therefore to him, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” [23] He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.” [24] The ones who had been sent were from the Pharisees. [25] They asked him, “Why then do you baptize, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?”


Pharisees are concerned with the rules. They are legalists. Pharisees went to John the Baptist and asked him who he was. They could recognize that he was anointed, but they could not discern his purpose. The Pharisees were more focused on being in control of John’s authority to act than they were interested in knowing what God was doing.

Pharisees had religious control of the region. John must have seemed like a threat to them. You can see in the passage how rude the Pharisees were to him. They demand he answer for himself. But, they had asked John a question only God could answer. Since Pharisees only got revelation from scriptures they walked away from John. They did not value that he was bringing people to repentance.  


Lord Jesus, please help me know the Bible and practice its teaching while I keep my inner ear tuned towards your voice. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen