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Everything on the Line

Everything on the Line

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Category: Two Minute Meditations
What would you do if you knew you had the power and money to do anything you want & your time was short? Would you ...
  • Buy a professional sports team like Mark Cuban or Jerry Jones?
  • Have your own TV show to flash your power, money, riches, family, business, and ego like Donald Trump?
  • Try to become (or remain) president and rule the free world like Barak Obama and Mitt Romney?
  • Have huge business success and then set up a foundation to help the world's impoverished like Bill and Melinda Gates?
  • Play quarterback for your self-selected NFL team like Peyton Manning?
  • Keep the world safe for democracy and kids like "The Hunger Games" Katniss Everdeen?

How about this as interesting answer to question:

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him
(John 13:1-5).

This is Jesus: the one who orders out demons, cures diseases, walks on the water, calms the storm, feeds the 5000, cures the lepers, makes the blind to see, restores the limbs of the paralyzed, and raises the dead. So what he does, he does out of complete love and unlimited power! So, Jesus takes these crucial moments before his betrayal, trial, death, and burial to share what is most important to his heart with those closest to him — his disciples, his "friends."

But, Satan is in the room and in the hearts of some of his followers. In the room with him are men who will betray, deny, and abandon him. Yet he stoops down to wash their feet and share his last words before dying!

That's why Jesus reminds them:
"I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them" (John 13:15-17).

Jesus is going away and will no longer be with those he loves to protect them. They are about to go through the wringer. Darkness is about to descend upon them like an evil, suffocating blanket. Sadness, sorrow, grief, disillusionment will reign over their hearts. So Jesus repeatedly reminds them of two great gifts he is leaving them to help them have victory even when their hearts are troubled, broken, and overwhelmed with grief:

  • The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom he will send to them.
  • Prayer in His name in his name that will help them do even more than their Master has done.

So Jesus promises them:

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

"If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever ..."
(John 14:12-16). ... "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

Jesus not only shows us how God would live among us, but also of how we should live with each other. Our priorities are based on what Jesus does with his last words before the Cross and for his closest followers. As we remain connected to him, we become like him. We live to serve those Jesus loves with what Jesus calls "no greater love":

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you" (John 15:12-15).

So much of what happens at this point in Jesus' ministry is about bringing God, the Father, glory. Yet this is not the glory of a palace, a throne, a thronging crowd shouting "Long live the king!" It's about the glory of the cross and obedience in the face of an angry crowd crying, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" And with that kind of glory, his followers are drawn closer together in unity to honor him as they follow his example and people of all nations are drawn to him as Savior. That's why Jesus prays:

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one (John 17:15). ... "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one — I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me
(John 17:20-23).

Jesus takes his last crucial hours, minutes, and seconds before the Passion to demonstrate and teach what is most important to his closest friends.* And as we watch Jesus, and listen to his words, we must realize:

  • Who Jesus was to his disciples in that upper room, we are to be for each other in God's family. Unified through the Spirit, our service and love for each other, and prayer.
  • Who Jesus is to the world when he leaves that upper room, we are to be for lost outside the walls of our churches, our homes, and our nice little Christian circles. We are to be so united with the heart of the Savior, and our Father in Heaven, and each other, that the world will know Jesus.


* This can be found in John chapters 13-17.  

About the Author

Phil Ware
Phil Ware works with churches in transition with Interim Ministry Partners and For the past 17+ years, he has also been editor of HEARTLIGHT Magazine, author of VerseoftheDay.com and aYearwithJesus.com. For more details, click here.

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