John 12 has several talking points. The bit about the poor always being among us could be a worthy topic. The kerenel of wheat that falls to the ground and must die to have life is worthy as well.
But I’m thinking about one verse: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death whe was going to die.” 12:32-33
He said this, I believe also, to reveal the true role of preachers of the Gospel. A wonderful reminder is that my sole job on Sunday mornings is to lift Jesus up. He was speaking of his death, but I’m speaking of his glory. When HE is lifted up, HE draws all the world to him.
Jesus is at work in the sermon, Jesus draws people to him, it isn’t a fancy sermon, a catchy music tune, a well developed worship set, a great drama – it is all of those tools, used by God, that when they DO lift Jesus Up – HE DRAWS THE WORLD. It is my role within all of this to be the faithful to the task of lifting up Christ.
I’m excited for my message this weekend and the worship, because I believe we will be doing just that, lifting Christ up.
Godliness is a matter of lifting Jesus up, in all we do as Christians.
Here is my prayer: God may we be useful tools in the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. May my sermons lift Jesus up, may my words, always lift Jesus up, may my actions and deeds lift Jesus up that through your power, people would be drawn to Christ, to conviction and repentance. In Jesus name, Amen.
I love this chapter, we are given the command to love others and shown practical application when Jesus washes his disciples feet. He teaches – “Go and do likewise.”
Godliness is a matter of serving others. Whenever I read John 13 I am reminded of a missionary trip to Cuba I went on a few years ago. As we were traveling in the mountains of Cuba, it began to rain. The dirt turned to a cake-like mud. As we traveled to get to a house of a believer a mile or two through a winding muddy road, our shoes turned into cinder blocks of mud, collecting more mud with every step. When we finally got to our destination, our missionary leader cleaned off our shoes, dirtying himself throughout the process.
He served us as we were there to serve him. I’ll never forget that. We will be known, Jesus says, as his disciples if we “love one another.” (35)
Jesus commissions his disciples to service and love for others. Yeah he’s about to be betrayed, and as he tells the well-intentioned Peter, he’s about to be denied too. But that doesn’t stop Jesus from serving and loving. The love and patience of Christ encourages me greatly. To be identified as one of Jesus’ many disciples, I am called to love and serve.
I can grow weary in this, so I must pray:
“Father in Heaven, Almighty Son of God, despite the depravity of man, you went to the cross. Despite our denial and betrayal, you give us your grace and go to the cross. You love and serve others despite our disobedience. May my heart be molded and formed to be like the Son and filled with your Holy Spirit. Allow me to be so fortunate and blessed to be considered a disciple of Jesus Christ in recognition of my love others. I pray for your help and strength, in Jesus name, Amen.”
Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.