All Things New in Love
May 14, 2022
The Table Is Widened
The table of love and acceptance is a big table. Human divisions of culture, background, and religious affiliation are made null and void in Christ.
At that very moment three men … arrived at the house where we were. The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. - Acts 11:11ac, 12a
Glory Is Announced
What Jesus is about to say must be understood in view of his sacrifice of love and his commandment to love. Love is of the deepest concern to Jesus because it is the very disposition of the heart of God toward humanity.
“Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. ” - John 13:31
You have to take it all as a package or there is no glory. Jesus understood that these final days were one great redemptive event – from mingling with the crowds and teaching them, to provoking the Sanhedrin with His very presence, to the upper room, the washing of feet, the prayers in the garden, and on to the cross. It was the process of God glorifying Himself in His Son. It was all part of the package: His life, death, and resurrection were one magnificent demonstration of the power of God.
Jesus had spoken similar words when some gentiles had come looking for Him. He responded that the coming of these men was an indication that He was soon to be lifted up from the earth and to draw all men unto Him. Lifting up could mean exaltation or crucifixion. In this case, it meant both. He moves from tragedy to triumph in a split second intersection of time and eternity.
This time he speaks of being glorified as He confronts the one who will betray Him. This is strange to our warped thinking. But this is Jesus who donned the apron and wiped His disciple’s feet. This is the one who taught that the path to greatness is servanthood. This is the Master of great reversals.
Our Lord never lost sight of the big picture. He didn’t stop with cross in His panoramic view of His mission. He didn’t even end the story with rising from the dead. He taught His friends that He was going to the Father through this path of glory and that He would come to them in a new way to indwell them, that they might do even greater works. He promised further that He would come again visibly to introduce a grand new eternal day. It was about glory. It is still about glory.
Take a walk in the garden this morning where there is an empty hole in a rock, a barren place where death once dwelt. What do you notice but emptiness? He is not there. He is risen! The work of redemption is done. It was worth it all. The pain and the suffering have accomplished their ends. He is alive and we can live also. What name do you give to your pain of the moment, your struggle of this hour? Call it suffering or call it glory. It all depends upon whether you view it from the present or from the resurrection.
Now is the Son of man glorified
A Call to Action
In light of God's glory and the glory of the Jesus event of death-resurrection-ascension, we are left with a new command to love with big table and big hearted visible love.
"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” - John 13:34
The Results Are Predicted
Love is the chief indicator of a community's commitment to be disciples of Jesus. This love is seen by others in the world who can associate it with the characteristic of fellowship among followers of Jesus. In turn, they are drawn to the fellowship because the love is so compelling,
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." - John 13:35
Pastor Tom's Message
The Fulfillment Is Previewed
This is accomplished in the Alpha-Omega God who merges Heaven and Earth in absolute newness and removes all barriers to fellowship with mortals. God comes to live among humanity for whom God has the deepest love and affection.
"… the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them …” - Revelation 21:3b