Rather than reading the Bible through the eyes of modern secularism, this provocative six-part course teaches you to read the Bible through its own eyes—as a record of God’s dealing with the human race. When you read it at this level, you will discover reasons to worship God in areas of life you probably never before associated with “religion.”
© Charles A. Clough 2013
Charles A. Clough
1 John Series
Lesson 2 – John’s Uniqueness and Closeness to Jesus;
Upper Room Discourse
08 Sep 2013
Fellowship Chapel, Jarrettsville, MD
Now last time we were introducing John’s way of thinking. We were on this chart to show that when you study the Bible, you want to understand that each author has his way of expressing himself. You can’t just assume by looking at a concordance that how Paul uses a word is actually how John uses that word. They have their own way and that’s part of how the Holy Spirit generated Scripture. He used priests in the Old Testament. He used shepherds in the Old Testament. He used military leaders in the Old Testament—people of different backgrounds, even people speaking different languages because the Old Testament is written in two languages, Hebrew and Aramaic. So there was that variety and out of that variety we have a unity of one message, one coherent message.
So we went through some of the points about John’s uniqueness. I think some of the significant ones - that second layer that you see on “believe” right here. It’s very significant that if you look the number of times that the verb “believe” is used in the Synoptics; it’s about 34 or 11 per gospel. When you deal with believe in the Gospel of John—look it’s 98 times this occurs. That tells you immediately the emphasis that the apostle is putting on his writings.
There are some other interesting things to notice about this. Notice the fact that under the Kingdom of God—47 times in the gospels, only 3 times in John. So John is remarkably different than the other three who wrote the gospels. So it pays attention, it benefits us to look at how he uses words.
So before we get to 1 John, his major epistle, we want to go back to find out how he used the vocabulary in the gospels. If you look here, let’s see right here “eternal life” - you notice 9 times it occurs in the gospels and it refers to the future. Sixteen times it’s used in the Gospel of John, and it refers to something available in the present time.
Then there is the other thing here. That is that John’s use of ego eimi (I AM)—24 times it occurs in his gospel, twice what happens in all the other gospels. When it’s used there John emphasizes the deity of Christ. We’ll see that.
The other thing to notice is repentance. Isn’t it remarkable that the verb “repent” occurs 16 times and never occurs in the Gospel of John? Yet the Gospel of John is the evangelistic gospel. So if repentance is so important, how come it is that the Apostle John never used the word in a gospel dedicated explicitly to evangelism?
So these are some things to notice. Now one of the things that we put on the outline is we went into the fact that John was there in the Upper Room Discourse. And in the Upper Room Discourse, Jesus speaks with a vocabulary that is very Johannine. The Upper Room Discourse is not mentioned in that much detail in any of the synoptic gospels. So John who records this Upper Room Discourse in chapters 14, 15 and 16—that is where the vocabulary of 1 John is established. So we are going to examine in detail the vocabulary and its use in the Upper Room Discourse.
But before I do that, since we’re dealing in John with truth, I want to respond to a question that came to me after the class last week. A mother who has quite a few teenagers, and has a lot of teenagers over in her house, pointed out to me that one of the features that she notices the teenagers doing and thinking is everything is relative. There is a fear on the part of many teens to express disagreement with anyone lest you are accused of hating them or you be accused of just being self-righteous or pompous. This unfortunately is very dangerous because in teenage youth and it’s always been true, as Dr. B…. said at the University Texas, “Compassion is to teenagers as catnip is to kitties.”
The problem is that they take compassion and wrench it loose from everything else. This then becomes the license to approve anything and everything. This is one of the reasons of course for the tremendous push for gay Christians that we are only being compassionate in the same sense that Jesus was compassionate.
The problem with that is that the greatest act of compassion in human history was what? The cross of Jesus Christ. Now that love that was displayed in the greatest act of compassion and love had to deal with moral absolutes; it didn’t relativize right and wrong, the cross absolutized right and wrong. So right there you have a paradigm in collision with this idea that we have to accept anything and everything. Because I ethically disagree with someone does not mean that I hate them. Every parent knows this. Parents love their children; but don’t they correct them when they see the kids doing something wrong? When you correct a child because he’s doing something wrong, does mean you hate them? It’s a silly kind of thing. This is the silliness and the superficiality of thinking today.
Ravi Zacharias put it this way. “Our generation increasingly in our society listens with their eyes and thinks with their emotions.”
I think that sums it up pretty well.
So I want to address something here. Go to the next slide here. This is what I call my 4-layer cake. I’ve shown it over and over. Up on the top level, which I’ve labeled as politics, don’t think of this as partisan politics. Think of this as cultural discourse; as social political life. Below those layers is a foundation that’s supporting that. There are 3 major areas of thinking that support social discourse and discussion. It doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter how educated you are. It doesn’t matter what country you are in. It doesn’t matter what language you speak. There are always, always 3 major areas. Although we use the technical college terms here – ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics; let me give the translation practically.
Ethics basically concerns - what should I do? Simple! What should I do? Now everybody has to deal with this question. You either have a good answer or you have a bad answer; but an answer you will have. You can’t escape it.
Down below that is epistemology. Translated into ordinary language that is - what is truth? How do I know something is true? How do I know what you’re telling me is true? How do you know what I’m telling you is true? What does truth look like?
Then below that is what we call metaphysics or the basic question - what is the nature of reality? Now all social and political discourse up on the top level already has answered those 3 questions. So when you have differences up at the top level, it probably is a signal that we’ve got differences down below. So that’s why you can’t have tweets and a two-paragraph blog to resolve political and social discourse because the political and social differences come about because of totally different ways of answering – what should I do? What’s my authority? What authority do I look to answer the question - what should I do?
At the other level where do I get truth? What does truth look like? Metaphysically as the diagram that I showed last time - what is the nature of reality? There are only two answers to that, not 105. There are only two answers to what is reality. Is there a Creator-creature difference – two kinds of reality an eternal, unchanging Creator who is personal or is it just the whole universe with gods, goddesses, man, rocks and molecules, all part of one. The Christian idea is that there are two. There is the Creator-creature distinction.
So let’s turn to John 1 to show you at the very beginning of his gospel he resolves this question. John 1 - keep in mind this is written as an evangelistic gospel. Look how deeply John in chapter 1 deals with these issues. How does it start?
NKJ John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
NKJ John 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.
So immediately he’s dealing with creation. Immediately he is dealing with the Creator-creature distinction because John refuses to discuss the questions without saying what the nature of reality is. The reality is that there is the Creator and there is the creation – period.
Furthermore he argues that:
NKJ John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Now he deals with the plurality within the Godhead.
Then he said:
NKJ John 1:3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Notice this next claim. This is an epistemological claim of - what is truth? He says:
NKJ John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Immediately he’s dealing with evil and the Fall.
Then he talks.
NKJ John 1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
Go back to verse 9 and look carefully at verse 9. It says:
NKJ John 1:9 That was the true Light
And then he describes the true light.
true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
His astounding claim - and he uses this because in the Greek he’s describing the Second Person of the Trinity as the logos. That means that he is already dealing with the very complicated issue of the Trinity. Inside the Trinity, we can speak of that - we have the Second Person (the Logos) as the manifestation of truth. Now in the slide that I can’t find, I’ve got a distinction between what truth looks like in the Bible and what truth looks like in the pagan world. In the Bible, truth ultimately is God revealing Himself.
Look at the left side. That’s the Bible’s view of truth. This is not what you get in school. The government indoctrination camps do not teach this kind of view of truth. Here we have the triune Creator revealed by the logos, the Second Person.
Notice what else the Bible is arguing. He is the interpreter of all reality. What do I mean by the “interpreter of all things?” It means that God gives meaning and directions to His design. When He designs something, He tells us why He has designed it and the functions for which it was designed. Some of that He allows us to discover. But by and large He has given us the framework within which we can discover. So He is the interpreter of created reality, and notice, He is the determiner of ethical norms. Now we’re sorry; but if you’re a Bible believing Christian that is your view of truth.
Now to contrast that so we understand the Bible’s view of truth, let’s go over to the right side of the diagram. The two views, if you break it down into its essence - the two views if you’re not a Christian and you do not believe in the Bible; you have got to have some view of truth. You usually pick one of these two views. One is reality is composed of a physical part and a non-physical mental part - dualism. Plato was the dualist.
Today you can push an unbeliever into his dualism because here’s how you do it. You talk about suffering and love. When you deal with matter, and our bodies are just mass in motion; we are just material collections of atoms that are accidentally evolving; we’re basically bags of evolving protoplasm.
Now once you take that position, it’s hard for someone to argue that love is important. So what they will do is they will view the concept of love. They will talk about love as a great concept.
Maybe another illustration of we mean here - what’s going on. Imagine you’re in math class and the teacher writes on an old fashioned blackboard: 2 + 2 = 4. Then the teacher takes the eraser to the blackboard and he erases the 2 + 2 and the 4. So there are two 2’s on the board and there is a 4. Now after the teacher has erased the 2 and the 2 and the 4, does two-ness still exist or is the idea of two-ness dependent on the existence of the number “2” written on the board?
Well, people will say, “No, no. You erase 2, but I can still mentally think of 2.”
So two-ness becomes a category. So it is that love, two-ness, three-ness, life - all of these categories are thought to be on a non-Christian basis some sort of ideals up here, some mental thing going on. But that in turn is a projection out from finite man. Two-ness is an idea you have; and you’ve made this idea up; and it’s convenient apparently from a non-Christian point of view. I know this may sound all too academic and theoretical for some of you, but let me assure you that this is what is at base going on between Christianity and anti-Christianity at this time. You fall in one of those two camps. You can’t teach in a secular university, you can’t get educated in a government indoctrination camp and come out with the idea of Christian truth because it’s not taught there. It can’t be taught there by law according to the so-called “separation of church and state”. The problem is that that means you have no concept of truth other than these two stupid concepts—dualism, left over from Plato 400 BC, who never was able to successfully defend it, or in more modern times reality is composed of an infinite number of physical pieces.
So with our little brains, with our neurological networks and our biochemistry, we are generating ideas, and in a society of say a million people we just simply go with the statistical average. Is that your view of truth? It’s got to be one or the other. Which one are you going to take? You’re stuck. You have to go with one or you have to go with the other.
But as a Christian, you don’t have to go. You can reject the whole right side of the diagram. On the left side of the diagram, truth comes from God’s nature as He reveals it to us. That’s why John is using the Greek noun, logos. Logos here means that which is coherent; that which can be thought through; that which is rationally consistent.
So John is addressing this issue of truth. It’s sad. The reason why teenagers today think in terms of feeling is because they can’t think in terms mentally of categories because they haven’t been taught to do that. The latest common core curriculum that is now coming out of the Department of Education is filled with fuzzy math I’m told. In fuzzy math if Johnny comes out with 3 + 5 = 10, you congratulate him for his efforts.
As someone said, “Tell that to the IRS when you’re doing your income taxes.”
So this is what’s happening. The chaos is built into the system and then we wonder why we have chaos. It’s only the Christian remnant in a society that is holding this country together. Only people who are solid in the Word of God and in their faith, we are the pivot that holds society together.
With all that in mind, let’s go back to the outline because I think I’ve covered this issue of truth in some depth. On page 2 you’ll see that we’re looking at terms that will occur in 1 John; but we’re going to learn how John uses it by what happened in the Upper Room but to even understand what happened in the Upper Room, we’ve got to go to John 13 because John 13 occurred before this Upper Room Discourse started.
Something significant happened in John 13 before the Upper Room Discourse. In John 13 we have the foot washing. In that foot washing - notice before it starts, verse 2.
NKJ John 13:2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him,
3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,
4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments…
Here He goes to each disciple and washes their feet. Of course you have that passage where He comes to Peter and Peter says, “You are not going to wash my feet.”
There are two Greek words, different here. One is superficial washing of hands and feet and the other is taking a bath. So you go through that.
Then you come down to verse 21.
NKJ John 13:21 When Jesus had said these things,
Before that he says:
NKJ John 13:20 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me."
There’s an identity there that we’ll pick up.
21 When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me."
22 Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke.
23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.
Of course, that’s the author, John. But what you have here is the separation. Continuing to read that:
26 Jesus answered, "It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it." And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
27 Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly."
28 But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him.
29 For some thought, because Judas had the moneybox.
Interestingly, Judas was the treasurer of the disciples.
29 … that Jesus had said to him, "Buy those things we need for the feast," or that he should give something to the poor.
30 Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately.
And then one of the shortest sentences in the New Testament:
And it was night.
John writes very picturesquely. At this point before the Upper Room Discourse, all people who are listening are born again believers. So the vocabulary from chapters 14, 15, and 16 refers to believers. It is not addressed to a mixed multitude. It is addressed to believers.
In addressing this, let’s turn to John 14. We have the first exchange where the verb “to know” Jesus is mentioned. This occurs in the first epistle so we need to get a feel for what did Jesus mean when He says “those who know Me.” What does that mean?
All right, in verse 6 Jesus said:
NKJ John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
By the way, that is one of the verses that led me to Christ. I was offended for years in college and high school by that claim of the exclusive claim of Jesus. See I was a teenager. Teenagers don’t like separation because peer pressure is very important socially to teenagers so to separate yourself from the other kids is a hard act for a teenager to do. It’s uncomfortable; but that’s what verse 6 says. Verse 6 says that Jesus is the only way to God. Sorry, but it’s either Jesus or us - one or the other in authority.
Well now verse 7, He then says this; and it’s a conditional statement.
NKJ John 14:7 " If you…
And he’s talking to believers.
If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him."
NKJ John 14:8 Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us."
He’s kind of insulted because he’s a born again believer. Why would Jesus say to a believer, “If you had known Me,” implying that maybe you don’t know Me?
NKJ John 14:9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
How does Jesus use the term “know Me?” Just the same way you and I use the term for close friends. Haven’t you heard people say when they’re maybe surprised what someone does?
They’ll say, “Well, I didn’t know that about the person. I didn’t really know the person.”
Yes, you did. You were physically talking to the person. You know the person. But what do you mean when you say, “I know him more deeply now. I know him. I really know him.”
You’re saying you know him better. It’s a term of relative increase in knowledge. Here’s how it’s used. Now Jesus goes on to say something else here. He says:
He who has seen Me has seen the Father
Now here we enter the Trinity issue. So let me go on to the Trinity.
In this diagram, all I’ve tried to do is borrow from the President of Gordon College back in the 1930’s. Nathan R. Wood wrote this book called the “Threeness of God” or something like that, the Trinity. Anyway, it’s one of the most eloquent books that I’ve seen in church history. It’s often said that there are no analogues inside creation that we can use to illustrate the Trinity. That the Trinity - this is why the cults come to your door, knocking on the door and say that the church introduced the idea of the Trinity and it’s just kind of made up. Christians kind of messed around and came up with this doctrine, as though it’s not present. Muslims do the same thing. They say that the Trinity is a logical absurdity. Well, I want to show you that if it’s a logical absurdity then existence is a logical absurdity also.
Let’s look at this carefully. Here are the 7 isolated aspects of the Doctrine of the Trinity and any illustration of the Trinity has to engage at least some of these characteristics or it is not an illustration of the Trinity. This helps us think through the Trinity; and it also shows you that in our view of truth - what did we say our view of truth was? Was it the objective dualism of Plato that the Jehovah’s Witnesses use?
“Oh, you can’t have God is one and God is three. That’s a logical contradiction.”
That’s the trouble you get into when you use dualism. But our definition of truth is what God reveals about Himself and what He reveals about Himself we know is logically consistent. The apparent problems with these elements are because in our finitude we have a problem in comprehending the very essence of God. Within the limits of our creaturehood, here are some characteristics.
First, absolute threeness. There can’t be any more or any less. None exist without the other two. So you always have 3. Now I know there are some politicians who think they’re running for the 4th member of the Trinity; but there are only 3 members of the Trinity – always has been and always will be.
So the next one is absolute oneness. Here’s where it gets tricky. Each one of the 3 is the whole. You say that that sounds like a logical problem. No it isn’t. I’ll show you an illustration of it that you all accept. Every member of the Trinity of all three are also God in the entirety. So when we talk about Jesus as the Second Person, as the Second Person He is all that God is.
Then we come to the third one. They are modes of being, not of revelation. In other words it’s not that God appears here as the Father and then He comes over here and reveals Himself as the Son and then He comes over here and He reveals Himself as the Spirit. That’s modalism; and that we don’t believe in. When God reveals Himself as the Son, He is the Son. When He reveals Himself as the Father, He is the Father. It’s not a trick of revelation that He’s doing with us.
Then we come to a logical order. There is a logical order—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Not degrees of deity, but the Son is said to be begotten of the Father and the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son. There’s a logical movement here.
Now where this idea is terribly important is with feminism. In the 1970s when evangelical feminists first wrote, their idea was that if a woman was subordinate to a man in a relationship that it meant the woman was inferior in her essence to the male. But if that kind of logic is true, then the Son must be inferior to the Father in essence. But the Son is subordinate to the Father. Subordination in relationship does not signify a decrease in one’s essence and here is where evangelical feminism was basically denying the Trinity. If fact they say so. In somebody’s book, she says about half way through it she says, “We have to rethink the Trinity.”
She is absolutely right. If you start with that kind of attitude, that subordination means a diminution of essence, the yes you do. You have a very serious problem with the Trinity. So you see these ideas aren’t abstract theological things. They carry over into some very fundamental issues of life.
There is a derivative order. There’s a revelational order. We might look at it like this. The Father is unseen but the revealed by the Son. The Son acts in history. The Holy Spirit is unseen but reveals the Son. The Second Person is the one who is seen. The Father is unseen and the Holy Spirit is unseen. But they act. They’re real, but they focus on Christ.
So now let’s get back to the text.
NKJ John 14:9 Jesus said to him…He who has seen Me
Me, Second person.
has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
Okay when we talk about prayer in Jesus’ name, another aspect of the Trinity – when we talk about praying in Jesus name, of course we’re praying not just to the Second Person name but the Second Person is incarnate. Jesus is the Second Person incarnate. But, He was also the Lord of the Old Testament.
This is what’s amusing to me when I hear people demean the Old Testament.
“I believe in the God of Jesus because the God of Jesus is a loving God.”
Who do you think wrote the Old Testament pal? The same one. It was Jesus incarnate who is the God of the Old Testament. So you’ve got a problem if you’re demeaning the Old Testament. You’re a montanist. Montanism is the heresy that the Old Testament has been abrogated by the New Testament.
So we have then this tight stuff going on here. So when Jesus talks about “know Me” He’s not using that word in a strange situation.
“Haven’t you been with Me so long Phillip that you don’t know me - who I really am?”
That’s the meaning of “know.” It’s addressed to believers. It’s a challenge to walk more closely with the Lord so that you really do know Him.
The other one in your outline is “keep My commandments.”
Look at John 14:21. This is one that occurs again and again in 1 John. Again it’s an Upper Room Discourse statement. It says:
NKJ John 14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."
He’s not talking about the initial act of salvation here. He’s talking about an advance in the Christian life to Christian maturity. So keeping His commandments, the Greek word tereo means to watch over and guard. For example in Revelation John uses it, “I will keep you from the evil day.” It’s the idea of holding fast to something.
The next word is, “loving Christ.” The vocabulary here for John 14:21 again - loving Christ is not primarily an emotional thing although it involves emotions; but it’s focused upon keeping His commandments. See there is an ethical content to this. To love Christ in a sentimental way may be fine or not fine; but that’s not what John’s talking about. When John uses loving Christ, he can’t separate that from adhering to His commandments because the love has an ethical content.
Today society is pushing us as Christians to deny all ethical content to l-o-v-e. That’s the push and we have to push back. We don’t have to be ashamed about it; we don’t have to be nasty; we don’t have to be hateful. But we have to calmly say that love has an ethical content to it.
Then the word “truth” that he talks about… His vocabulary - look at John 15:25. Earlier we talked about the nature of truth.
In 25 it says:
NKJ John 15:25 "But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, 'They hated Me without a cause.'
26 " But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father…
Notice in this sentence—who sends Holy Spirit? The Son does. Now that’s the significance of Pentecost because when the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost what did that tell the disciples? If the disciples listened to Jesus in the Upper Room Discourse and He said, “I’m going to send the Holy Spirit to you,” and the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost, if you were there, what would you have concluded? Jesus sent the Holy Spirit. Wait a minute. If Jesus sent the Holy Spirit that means He somehow has authority inside the Trinity. Oh! Jesus is in the Trinity. He’s ascended to heaven, sits at the Father’s right hand and He sends the Spirit, meaning that Jesus Christ has an intra-Trinity authority, and that is what we mean and what John means in 1 John when he talks about praying in Jesus’ name. It’s our identification with Christ who has an intra-Trinity authority.
That’s why when somebody tells you to pray but don’t use Jesus’ name, I would be very strongly tempted to say, “Then well I can’t pray; I don’t have any other authority to pray other than praying in the authority of Jesus Christ.”
“Well, you can just pray to a generic deity.”
“I don’t pray to generic deities. I pray to the Trinity of biblical revelation.”
“Well, then you can’t pray here.”
“Fine. Get someone else to pray to a generic deity…see if he answers.”
So the point here is that these are fundamental truths of the Christian faith. We shouldn’t be ashamed of it. We’ve got the truth. God has given it – not because we’re fat headed, not because we’re proud. God has given us the truth and we’re just trying to follow it and not following it doesn’t make sense. It winds up in contradictions and fallacies.
Okay we’re not going to deal today with “abiding” because that involves a whole other thing. That is a tremendously important word in the epistle of John.
In the minute or two here, are there any questions so far that we haven’t dealt with?
You mean the 4-layer chart? When I showed about what the nature of truth is? Yes, because in essence if you really want to understand dualism; don’t listen to the sidewalk people or the classroom people. They don’t know what they’re talking about half the time. Read Plato, because there you have the most eloquent depiction of dualism. Ask yourself how does Plato defend his dualism. You’ll see in the end all he does is refer to Greek plays, Greek drama. He doesn’t answer the question. How do you preserve two-ness when you erase 2 from the blackboard? It’s a hard problem because it’s not residing in your brains. If it is, then everybody is locked into the same idea. How does that happen?
Yes, that is a view that man has tried to come up with order to live. We have to have objective truth to live. If we’re not going to listen to God’s Word that provides objective truth, then we have to come up with our own objective truth. That’s dualism. It’s a form of it – not the only one.
Then you have the relativism of everybody is for himself. Yes, we’re saying that when we discuss these surface issues up here - why it is so hard to talk to people on an adult level is because all the way down here we deal all this stuff that’s so radically different. That’s why you can go round and round with people and say, “What’s going on here?” It’s because all this other stuff underneath – as our society becomes further and further away from the Christian faith, it’s more and more screwed up down here at basic levels. It makes it much more difficult to talk about the gospel as truth - not religious experience but as truth. That’s hard to do and it’s getting much harder to do as Sandy said last week as she does working with the teenagers coming through her home. She had to sit there for an hour and a half with one teenage girl who couldn’t get it through her mind that religions are different in the world. And if they’re different in the world, the conclusion is they can’t all be right.
“Well, I don’t like that. I like to think everybody is part of the same club.”
Sorry honey, everybody isn’t part of the same club.
“I think that’s unfair.”
“Where is your concept of fairness from?”
They went around and around for an hour and a half. That’s where people are. All I can say is it requires a lot of prayful thinking to engage in a loving fashion because these people are lost. So how do you reach them?
The Father is sending it in My name in response to Me – My authority.
Elsewhere Jesus will say that – we don’t have time to go into all that but you’ll see places where He says, “I will send the Spirit.”
It’s clear. Yeah. That’s why that’s important is because we’re told to pray in His name. It’s not just putting a little “Jesus said” on the end of the prayer. It means that’s the only way we can pray.
Our time is way over. Next week, if you’ll look at “abiding.” That’s going to be a whole discussion. Those Old Testament passages I’ve listed there are passages that exegetes have used in the past to deal with the vine imagery, the idea that vineyard… It comes up again and again and can be somewhat confusing.