The Great Call
“As the Father hath loved me,
so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.”
Jesus continues in John 15 by presenting the disciples with the way for them to enter the Great Call and to remain in His empowering love and grace.
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love”
There can be no misinterpretation of the enormity of His call. Discipleship is not a comfortable teaching. It is not a popular invitation, nor an aspiration for those who seek a life of ease and respectability. It is a call of full surrender to the Will and purposes of God, a life of subservience to His Ways. A true disciple obeys His commandments to abide in the power of His Love. Love is the only motive able to transform a selfish, egotistical, and lost soul through the workings of the Cross. In dying to self, we discover the pure wonder of a Love so encompassing, so vast and so freeing that the cost is considered nothing in comparison to the “weight of glory” we will know.
“And he that taketh not his cross,
and followeth after me, is not worthy of me”
There is something radical, even unnerving in His Call. Accepting the offer of Christ is not a trendy and popular decision. It is a Call to selfless living and selfless giving. Obedience is not optional to the disciple. But the Love we hold, or more correctly which holds us to His Way, culminates in pure joy. The context of John 15 leaves little doubt as to His Call or His purpose. Let us see through the eyes of the Spirit the power of all Jesus is implying.
John 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”
John 15:10 “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”
John 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
In verse 9 Jesus presents to us the all-encompassing love of God; a Love of heavenly origin. It is a Love that knows our condition, that feels the agony and the lostness of humanity. It was a Love that sent Jesus into this world to walk as a man, to feel the oppression of mankind’s sorrow, to experience the corrupt and self-serving religious and political systems of the day. He spoke the truths of love in the parables of everyday life. The common man, the addicted, the afflicted, and the wounded were His focus. He exposed the religious elite who walked in the pride and arrogancy of hypocrisy. The Parable of the Good Samaritan revealed the beauty of a selfless life, caring for others more than ourselves. He called out to the poor and the needy to come and find the solace of heaven. He took notice of the offerings of the poor widow and saw the value of her mite; He was unimpressed with the rich who flaunted their offering. He was God in the flesh. His compassion, His uncompromising and unflinching walk was a source of anger and hate for the religious but a source of inspiration for the common man. He was the breath of heaven clothed in human form. He was and is the image of God’s purpose for all humanity.
Mat 20:25 “But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.”
Mat 20:26 “It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,”
Mat 20:27 “and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,”
Mat 20:28 “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The nature of man apart from Christ is one of self-seeking, self-pleasing, and self-gratification. This focus on ourselves is the source of our own misery. Ask the addicted, the abused, and consider the countless stories of human sorrow which we have all known. It is to this crisis of human nature that the Cross is presented. In its deep work, we find rest, freedom, and the Divine enablement to love as He loved. We are free to forgive injustices and the tyranny of the human condition; to offer to all who would hear the wonder of freedom found in the Love of God!
Feel the depth of the Great Call of God in Christ:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
The Call goes forth to all who would hear and respond. The “yoke” of Christ is His invitation to enter a rest for our weary souls. The “yoke” of Christ is His Cross whereby we are freed from the poison of self to know His Joy in our hearts. This life of joy cannot be known by sitting in a pew, believing in a teaching, or adherence to a doctrine. It can only be known through the intimacy of a relationship, walking in the yoke of His grace and love.
Jesus spoke of His true intention for us being captured by His Love to a growing obedience:
“…that my joy may be in you,
and that your joy may be full”