“But Why Can’t I Come Now, Lord?”

37 “But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.” – John 13:37 NLT

John 13:36-38 NLT

Jesus knew Peter’s weakness, just as He knows each of ours. He knew that Peter would deny Him even though Peter was so sure that He would not. It is easy to criticize Peter. But we seem to forget that the other disciples left as well. How many times have we failed Jesus?

42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’–Matt. 25:4​​2-4​3​​ NIV

​But the great thing is that He always forgives us when we fail, just as He forgave Peter. When the women went to the tomb where Jesus had been, the angel sitting there told them this:

6 but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth,​ ​who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. 7 Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”–Mark 16:6-7 (NLT)

Jesus made sure that Peter was specifically included in the invitation. Jesus will always be waiting with open arms to receive us no matter how many times we fail.

God’s Love

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

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“I Have Given You An Example To Follow”

15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. – John 13:15 NLT

John 13:10-15 NLT

Jesus was referring to their custom of bathing in the nearest stream and then walking home on a dusty road. The physical body was still clean except for the feet, The rich of that day kept jars of water inside the home that were used only by the servants to wash the master’s feet after the walk home. That is why Jesus said, you are clean except for your feet and you need only to wash them to be totally clean on the outside. But, as usual, I believe that Jesus was using a well-known custom to convey a deeper message. Notice that Jesus said, “”And you men are clean, but not all of you” referring to Judas who He knew would turn against Him and betray Him to the religious leaders. I believe that Jesus was telling the disciples that once they were washed by the blood of Jesus that they were completely clean on the inside. Since we still have to live in the flesh in this world, there are times that we will need to come back to the stream of living waters, not to be saved again, but to repent of the times we fail and come up short of the mark.

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. –1 John 1:8-9 (NCV)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“He Had Loved His Disciples”

He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. – John 13:1b NLT

John 13:1-3 NLT

Jesus never had any question about what His purpose was here on earth. This was decided before the beginning, He had laid aside all of His royalty in heaven and come to earth as Love incarnate. He lived a simple life doing what He saw the Father do and saying what the Father said. Now, the time for Him to return to His glory in Heaven was quickly approaching. He loved people with a love that our human minds cannot fully embrace. Even knowing that Judas would betray Him, He allowed Judas to be one of His disciples. The Father had given Him all authority over all things and He could have used it at any time. Yet, He stayed the course and died a cruel death for our redemption. He was love clothed in human flesh for our benefit. Through the blood of Jesus, we have access to that same love. Jesus was perfect and could love perfectly, we are imperfect and so we love imperfectly. But one day, we will love as He loves. Then we will know fully just as God knows us now. We need to practice showing love to others every day so they will be attracted to Jesus. Love will never fail.

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.​ – 1 Cor 13:13​

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“But Go, Tell His Disciples”

7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” — Mark 16:7 NKJV

Peter had boasted to Jesus that he would never deny Him. He was adamant that he would stand by Jesus no matter the situation or the cost.

35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.”  And all the other disciples said the same. — Matt. 26:35 NIV

 We sometimes overlook the fact that they all ran away that night in the garden. Where the others went, we aren’t told, but John was with Jesus and Peter followed at a distance.  We. like Peter, often think that we are stronger in our faith than we really are. If we tell Jesus we will do this or that, He will most often give us the opportunity to do exactly that.  And, if we try to accomplish whatever “that” is in our own power, we, too, will fail.  Peter denied Christ with his actions and his words. Most of the time, we deny Christ with our inaction and lack of words.  Whether we deny Him passively or actively, it is still denial.  When I fail to speak to someone about their eternal destiny when the Holy Spirit urges me to do so, I have denied Jesus.  And when the Spirit brings conviction, my heart is broken and I repent with remorse and bitter tears.  But the conviction is not punishment or isolation from God, it is discipline and an invitation to come back to God.  When those times come that I fail to speak out and I feel like Peter must have felt that night, I read this verse and put my name there instead of Peter’s.  I make it personal and read it ; “go tell His people –and Wally– that He is still going before us and we will see Him”.   Then I know that I am forgiven and Jesus wants to hold me and comfort me.  My tears of remorse become tears of joy!  My sadness becomes praise to the One who will never exclude me.  Such wonderful, glorious, amazing grace and love encourages me to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power”.  I am still on the team,  Jesus has chosen me and I want to shout “Me, too!”  He has chosen “Me, too”! 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“He Was Testing Philip”

 6 He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do. – John 6:6 NLT

How?

Philip and the other disciples had been following Jesus for a while now. They had seen Jesus perform miracle after miracle. Even now, a huge crowd was approaching Jesus because they knew about His miraculous work. Jesus sees this as an opportunity to test Philip. He asks Philip, “Where will we buy bread to feed these people?” Philip doesn’t answer the question Jesus asks, instead, he makes a statement about their lack. It doesn’t seem to enter his mind that the Bread of Life is sitting right in front of him. When Jesus asks us to do something for Him, what do we see? What is our answer? Don’t we do basically what Philip did? “Even if we_______, we wouldn’t have enough! (fill in the blank with whatever you think you would have to do to accomplish the mission). Most of us, like Philip, avoid the question and look at what we don’t have. Jesus will never ask us to do a work for Him without providing everything we need to accomplish the task. All he wants is our availability and all we need to finish the work is Jesus. If we do what Jesus asks us to do, the oil and the flour will not run out.

15 The widow went and did as Elijah had told her, and all of them had enough food for many days. 16 As the Lord had promised through Elijah, the bowl did not run out of flour nor did the jar run out of oil.—1 Kings 17:15-16 (GNT)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“He Speaks God’s Words”

34 For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit. – John 3:34 NLT

John 3:31-36

​John continues to explain to his disciples who Jesus is and why he must decrease as Jesus increases. John’s understanding of all of this is beyond human knowledge. He tells us that Jesus speaks God’s words because God gives Him “the Spirit without limit”. Jesus agrees with this statement:

So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the​ ​Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.–John 5:19 (NLT)

John continues to explain that God has put everything into the hands of Jesus. Jesus also agrees with this statement:

18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.—Matt. 28:18 (NLT)

This is why Jesus could say “your sins are forgiven” and “this day, you will be with me in paradise”. When we accept this truth about Jesus, we are forgiven of our sins and on our way to heaven for eternity. But on the journey, we have a purpose and a work to do, just as John and Jesus did. The work could never get us to heaven, but it does get us rewarded when we get there. When God calls each of us to do a work, He enables us to do that work by the Holy Spirit. We have access to “the Spirit without limit”. How much of that we receive is up to us. Just as we could not be saved without asking for and reaching out to accept the forgiveness, we cannot access the power of the Holy Spirit without asking for it and reaching out to accept it. Can we do the works that John and Jesus did? Jesus says we can:

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.—John 14:12 (NLT)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“Should We Look for Someone Else?”

20 The men came to Jesus and said, “John the Baptizer sent us to ask you, ‘Are you the one who is coming, or should we look for someone else?’”–Luke 7:20 (GW)

Luke 7:18-22 NLT

John the baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River and saw with his own eyes God’s Holy Spirit come down in bodily form like a dove and He heard the voice from heaven confirming that Jesus was the Son of God. We would think that nothing could make him doubt who Jesus was. Yet, when John was in prison, we can see that he began to have doubts about Jesus being the Messiah and sent two of his disciples to inquire if Jesus was, in fact, the Messiah. Notice that Jesus did not criticize or condemn John but rather paid him a great compliment. At that time, the time before Jesus had been crucified and resurrected, Jesus said that John was the greatest man to have ever lived. But he qualified His statement saying that “the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than he” Although, John baptized with water, there was no salvation or baptism in the Spirit until after Jesus was resurrected and ascended. Since Jesus did not condemn John or any of the disciples for having doubt and “little faith”, neither does He condemn us when doubts enter our minds. He draws us to Himself and gives us peace in the middle of the storms

Matt. 8:23-27 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“He Is Not Here”

He is not here, but is risen! — Luke 24: 6a NKJV

Luke 24:1-9 NKJV

The swaddling cloths are gone! The burial cloths are laid aside! Now, we see the real gift, unwrapped and resurrected! Now, we can understand the reason for the celebration of His birth. A birth that would have gone unnoticed if not for His death and Resurrection. Unto us a Son is given, a Son who was obedient unto death on a cross that you and I might have eternal life. He was born in a lowly station of life, but now He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords with total authority over all creation. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord! 

Rejoice!  for He is risen!

9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.  — Matt 28:9 NKJV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Therefore, go…”

19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. — Matt. 28:19 NLT

 Matthew 28:18-20 NLT

Jesus commissioned us to go and make disciples starting at home and working our way out to the rest of the world. Making disciples requires more than just the plan of salvation. We are to spend time with new converts teaching them the discipline of the Word of God. We must show them by example that we have to spend time with the Word and talking with God on a daily basis. We also must show them that it is necessary for us to spend time together as Christians. We are told not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. We need the encouragement and help of those around us to endure in our walk with God. There is the old example of removing a red hot ember from the fireplace and setting it out by itself. It is soon black and cold. You can put it back in the fireplace and it is soon red hot and giving off warmth again. Our spirits are the same way, we need that “togetherness” to keep our passion and compassion flowing for Jesus. Learn all you can and take the time to teach what you have learned to those around you. That is the way each of us can fulfill the commission that Jesus gave to the disciples and to us.

2 Timothy 2:1-7 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“… Make Disciples…”

19 Go [c]therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [d]Amen. – Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV

Matthew 28:18-20 ​

Notice the words, “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…”, Jesus didn’t say, once they have accepted Me as their Savior, leave them and go on. No, He said “make disciples”, this is a process sometimes referred to as sanctification. It is teaching them by word and deed to follow the example set by Jesus, to live a life totally sold out to Jesus and doing whatever it takes to build up His Kingdom here on earth.  Remember the model prayer that Jesus taught His disciples, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Now, don’t get me wrong here and please pay attention to this. No, I am not adding anything to salvation. That message is simple and straightforward.  
Romans 10:8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 

Once you have done that, you are saved, your ticket to heaven is paid in full by the blood of Jesus and nothing else is required. But if you want to please God and really enjoy your journey, you need to learn to participate in activities that build up the Kingdom here on earth.  There is nothing on earth to compare to the joy and peace you can have when you are walking arm in arm with Jesus.