The One Whom Jesus Loved
Abiding With Christ: Mary & Martha
Who was the one whom Jesus loved? What does it mean to be with Jesus? Can we actually get more of Jesus like the lyrics of many songs suggest? Are there different degrees of being with Jesus? Some people say we can’t grow any closer to Jesus.
Some seats in a stadium are better than others.
Luke 10:38-42 – Mary & Martha
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
This is a picture-perfect example of how people that follow Jesus can get more focused on important tasks, rather then on being with Jesus. It seems Mary got consumed with Jesus, while Martha got distracted by the work at hand!
Mary knew the importance of being with Jesus at that moment, Martha was waiting until all the work was done. Martha’s work was very important. She was serving the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Our work is very important, but we cannot put it before being with Jesus.
Perhaps Martha’s biggest mistake was that she thought that her service took precedence over being with Jesus & she even thought she had the right to distract someone else from being with Jesus.
Jesus himself said that being with Him is the “good part.” It is good to take the opportunities to be with Jesus and be refreshed. To be uplinked to our source of life, love, & care. Even if we said our prayers that morning, even if we just came out of Church, even if we just got back from a mission trip.
I like Smith Wigglesworth’s devotional practice. It was said that he never prayed for more than 15 minutes, but he never went 15 minutes without praying. As ministers we need to step back from our work and get consumed in Jesus, get excited about who he is, & what he has done.
John, The one whom Jesus loved.
John wrote this Gospel in the latter part of the first century. He wrote it as an older man. In the Gospel of John, at least four times John referred to himself as “One whom Jesus loved.” These statements should not be misunderstood as Jesus having “favorites” or as John being arrogant and bragging in his special status that he had in Jesus, In compared to others.
These statements were made by a humble man that wanted no recognition for himself but wanted all the attention to be put on the fact of Jesus’ great love.
These statements were made by a man who knew that apart from Jesus he could do nothing. He knew his significance, his whole being, his whole identity was wrapped up in the fact that Jesus loved him, & that he had been close to Jesus.
When John wrote his Gospel it is important to see that John was an original apostle, one who had seen and experienced all the great moments of Jesus’ life, He had experienced Pentecost, he had major position in the Church. Yet, he did not mention his name or position or title! He simply stated the fact that Jesus loved him and that he had been close to Jesus!
He just wanted to be known as one whom Jesus loved. Of all the things he could have said, could have bragged, he chose to brag in the fact of Jesus’ love for him.
This man who had been persecuted, given up everything for his faith, scattered to lands that were not his homeland counted it all as nothing, and counted the fact of Jesus’ love for him as the only thing that really mattered.
John was one of the disciples who pressed into Jesus the most. Even to the point of reclining on Jesus’ chest. With this in mind, let’s take a look at what the Gospel of John says about abiding in Jesus.
John 15:1-7 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
Jesus Must Be Our Source Of Life
Jesus is the Vine, Jesus is our life giving source, our sustenance, our power, & our nourishment! Without Jesus it is impossible for us to grow, impossible for us to bear fruit, impossible for us to live!
Fruitless branches get cut off by The Father. Branches that bear fruit get pruned by the Father so that they can bear even more fruit. This is the key to living a fruitful life! It is that simple! Keep heeding ourselves to His pruning and we will continue to bear more and more fruit. We must be willing to go through the pruning because pruning can be painful, it can hurt, but it is worth it because of the fruit!
There is no other way to bear fruit other then abiding in Jesus. No peace & harmony philosophy, no harmony & balance philosophy, no ying & yang philosophy can produce fruit. Attempts to bear the fruit of the spirit without the Spirit of God are futile. We need to be in Jesus to bear fruit.
Jesus promises that if we remain in him, we will bear much fruit! Again, apart from Jesus we can do nothing! No degree, no position, no status, no amount of money can make us fruitful. Only abiding in Jesus can do that!
The doom of the fruitless is bad! If you do not bear fruit your end result is fire!
Here is the benefit of effective abiding and fruit bearing- We can ask whatever we wish and it will be done for us. This is the effective prayer of the righteous man that avails much!
If we want to glorify God in the true sense we must bear fruit. Glorifying God with our lips only is not glorifying Him in the fullest sense. To show ourselves as his Disciples and show that our hearts are really in this thing, we need to bear fruit.
What does it mean to “Abide”? – In the Greek the word abide means to remain, to live to dwell. In this sense it means to be & remain united with Him, to be one with Him in heart, mind, and will!
What are the results of Abiding in Jesus? Fruit is born, God is glorified, & because our mind, our heart, our will is one with Jesus, we can ask whatever we wish, and it will be done for us.
What are the results of not abiding in Jesus? You get cut off!
The one whom Jesus loved: How do we abide in Jesus?
John 15:4 “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
We abide in Jesus Through worship, through prayer, & through being with him. Worship is simply humbling ourselves and exalting God. It is important to see the physical act of worship as seen demonstrated by Mary who humbled herself and sat at Jesus feet, and by John who humbled himself and leaned on Jesus’ chest.
John 15:7 “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
We allow Jesus’ word to remain in us. This includes regular study of the Word of God. Every fruitful disciple needs to know what the Word of God Teaches, what is sound doctrine, and how we ought to run our lives. But another meaning here in “allowing Jesus’ word to abide in us, is abiding in the things that he has spoken to us about us. Verse 3 tells us that we are clean by the word he spoke to us! Jesus tells us here that he has loved us & that we are his friends. We need to believe the word Jesus has spoken about us. That we are complete in Him, that we are secure and significant in Him, that we are called by him. Called by Him to bear fruit!
We abide in His love. John 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.”
We remain in His love by being obedient to his commands. We realize, know, & accept his love for us, & we obey him as a demonstration of our love back to Him! His command is this: to love one another. We abide in his love by loving one another! We can’t abide in His love if we hate our brothers and sisters!
Now my final question is this. What is the fruit that we are supposed to bear? Some commentators say that this passage of scripture refers only to the fruit of the spirit. We can see that in John 15:9-13 The passage is speaking of bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
John 15:9-13 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
But, this scripture is not just speaking of bearing the fruit of the spirit, but also the fruit of souls! In Vs. 15 & 16 clearly tell us that he has changed our position from servants to friends, co-workers, associates & has chosen us to go and bear lasting fruit. This clearly speaks of bearing fruit born from preaching the Gospel. Bearing the fruit of souls. It would not say go and bear fruit if it was just talking about the fruit of the spirit. You don’t have to go anywhere to bear the fruit of the spirit, but you do have to “go” to bear the fruit of souls!
The scripture here promises us that if we Abide in Jesus, if we Abide in his love and love one another, if we abide in his word, if we go and bear fruit, that whatever we ask in Jesus name God the Father will do for us.
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