Earlier in the Gospel of John, we learn what an incredible privilege is is to become a friend of Jesus rather than a servant.. With that privilege comes immense responsibility. Today, continuing in the Gospel According to John, we will explore that responsibility.
23He that hateth me hateth my Father also.24If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.22If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.
25But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. – John 15:22-25
Here, Jesus is addressing His disciples, primarily speaking about the Pharisees. The Pharisees felt that they were being obedient to God, following Mosaic Law. They not only rejected Jesus as the Messiah, they hated Him for even making this claim. Yet, they had seen the miracles Jesus performed. Still they had rejected Him.
Jesus stated as clearly as He could. Before He became incarnate, the Pharisees had an excuse, they did not know Him and would not be guilty of sin. Now they had no excuses. For many reasons the Pharisees could not accept this: their strong religious beliefs and maintenance of their status and wealth being primary. Jesus knew this would happen, that it was a fulfillment of prophesy. Jesus provoked the Pharisees with full knowledge of what the consequences would be. The Son was fulfilling the plan of the Father.
Let’s explore these passages in greater depth.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. – Romans 6:23
We have all sinned. When we sin, we separate ourselves from God. Between earth and heaven there is a great chasm, the abyss. This chasm is sin. By sinning, we find ourselves on one side of a chasm we can not cross on our own. Once we are there we are stuck there, awaiting death. Sin, any sin, places on the wrong side of the chasm. Obviously, this is not a chasm we can cross in small leaps and we can’t do it on our own. This is the very reason Jesus shed His blood on the cross. He can carry us across. He has stated this clearly:
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. – John 14:6
“I am the Way…”
When God became incarnate in the Son, He crossed the chasm. Jesus had already been with the Father. (John 1:1) Jesus also says He is returning to the Father. One does not return to a place they have not been before.
“No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) He is the bridge, the only bridge across the chasm. We can cross that bridge only if we follow Him. It is our choice. It is the essence of free will.
With privilege comes great responsibility.
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