Monday, November 10, 2014

John 13:31-38

Judas hurried out of the room into the darkness of the night. Jesus sat with the other eleven disciples in the upper room. He had many things that He wanted to teach them in this last night together before His crucifixion. As soon as Judas disappeared, Jesus began teaching what would eventually be John 13-16.
“Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.” To be glorified simply means that all of the realities and attributes of a person are revealed or demonstrated. In this instance, Jesus is referencing the fact that momentarily, He will die on the cross and He and God will be glorified. In other words, the attributes and character of God and Jesus are about to be carried out on the cross. But which attributes?
In the crucifixion we see clearly the Holiness of God. God hates sin. Sin is antithetical to His very nature. Because of His Holiness, He pours out His unbridled wrath on all sin. When Jesus offered Himself on the cross, He became the propitiation for our sins. 

“The doctrine of the propitiation is precisely this that God loved the objects of His wrath so much that He gave His own Son to the end that He by His blood should make provision for the removal of this wrath…” - John Murray, The Atonement
In propitiation, God’s wrath was diverted from believers and to the crucified Christ on behalf of those who were formerly at enmity with God. In God’s execution of wrath on sin, even at the expense of His own son, His Holiness was glorified or demonstrated. Also, by executing His wrath on Jesus, He demonstrated His Justice in forgiving us of the sins for which Christ had paid. In Christ on the cross, God would be glorified as Holy and Just.
And on the cross, Jesus would be glorified as a loving Savior. His love had been demonstrated in the countless interactions He had with the social misfits and rejects of Judea, but now, He would act out the greatest demonstration of love. On the cross, He would be glorified as He demonstrated His love by substituting Himself for all those who would believe in Him. The cost to Him, the unbridled wrath of God, was worth the glory for Him in the end. His love would be undeniably demonstrated for all to see.
This vociferous love would become the defining characteristic of Jesus. It is no wonder then, that He would explain that any who would follow Him must have this same self-sacrificial lifestyle. “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” 

"God gave the world the right to judge us on our love." - Francis Schaeffer, The Mark of a Christian
If you claim to be a believer and a disciple of Jesus, there will be a great amount of evidence. Your lifestyle will demonstrate whether or not you are a true disciple of Jesus by the love you have for those around you. Inspect your own life, realize that you are not judged by how well you love the few closest to you, but rather by the way you love everyone else, especially those who do not often love you in return. Believers are loving and kind even in the face of being defrauded, mistreated, and maligned.

Food for thought: Who is someone who seriously bothers you? If you were given a letter grade for how well you are demonstrating your love to them, what would that grade be? What should you do about it?