This morning we again ask the question of motives, only this time we step back and look at the motives of John, the author of the Gospel, as he wrote. What was John’s motive in writing this Gospel account? What did John want to see happen in the lives of those who hear and read this story?
Motives are a tricky thing. And they are almost everything. Everybody is motivated by something. None of us truly knows our all of our motives for all the things we do from work to play to ministry. Our motives for following Jesus may be many, but Jesus whittles away at them to get us down…
In John chapter 21, Jesus shows up when the disciples were not expecting him. He reminds them of who they are, and whose they are. Jesus doesn’t give them an “assignment”. He gives them himself. And he demonstrates the truth that apart from Him, they – and we – can do nothing.
Some saw and believed. Some saw and weren’t sure what they were seeing. Some didn’t see and didn’t believe. Some didn’t see and believed. 2,000 years later we believe because of those who saw. And believing we have life in Jesus’ name.
Both Pilate and the religious power-holders are declaring allegiance to Caesar as king. In doing so, the one true King is laying down His life to complete the work His Father has given him. He is the Lamb King, the Passover Lamb who dies to set his people free.
The old hymn says, “In my place condemned He stood”. That’s the gospel in a nutshell, and it is the King of Kings, whose kingdom has no end, who was condemned in our place.
Power and the feeling of the freedom to choose are two sides of the same coin. Both point to the desire for control. Everybody wants it. Everybody craves it. Does anyone really have it?
The real power we need is in the fruit of the Spirit of self-control. Power is in surrender.
As we near the end of Jesus’ prayer in John 17, we find that He turns the focus of His prayer from these 11 disciples and begins to prays for us. Yes, us! He prays for those who will believe through their word!
Jesus prayed that the world would come to know and believe that He is who He is because of what the world sees in the church. If Jesus prayed it, then we can live it!
In the request, we see Jesus in a very tender moment of love for the disciples praying that God would guard and keep them after He leaves them. And the goal of the keeping is unity. Oneness. Such a crucial need for the disciples in the early days of the church and in the church today.