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What if?

Jul 13, 2007 at 15:39

By: Steve Hill

Friends, what if John 15 read like this? Jesus looked at the disciples, sighed deeply and said,  "I can hardly wait for my marriage supper when we will be united as bride and groom!  I can hardly wait to behold you in your beautiful wedding dress and call you my beloved!  From now on I am not calling you servants but 'My Bride' because my Father is uniting us in marriage'"?

I think Peter and John would have begun to look for an exit strategy!  Time to go back to fishing!  Things are getting weird around here!

NO!  Jesus looked at his men and said to them,  "You are my friends if you do whatever I command you."  No obedience, no friendship! 

The dominant relational metaphor of John 15 is father/son and friends- the band of brothers.  Love is demonstrated by doing, not by singing love songs!

Why does the metaphor of the bride (which we also need but which has much more to do with the future!)  have so much more air time in some parts of the  church than the metaphor of a band of brothers fulfilling a mission?  Why the bridal imagery so much more than that of the army on white horses?

Maybe we love the bridal stuff of Jesus the lover because it is romantic, pretty and indoors  rather than the messy, challenging and outdoor life of Jesus the servant?

Maybe that is why worship conferences sell out but few of us have little evidence to accuse us of being friends of sinners?

Paul (II Timothy 2) did not tell Timothy to work on his new romantic worship CD!  He told him to fight like a soldier, compete like an athlete, work like a farmer and suffer like a prisoner. 

Nothing romantic or nice there.  Nothing you can sing your way through.  You either do it or you do not.

Jesus did not promise to make His disciples romantic lovers.  He promised to make them "fishers of men"; and promised them persecution and suffering as they did it.

When does private "seeking His face" become an obedience avoidance mechanism?
He has placed His face on the least and said that to serve them is to serve Him!

The friends who were funding our prison ministry this past six months are now unable to do so!   Check out the picture report of our visit to four prisons (go to "resources" and then click on "projects" and pray about helping our friends in Central Asia serve the least!  The prison and rehabilitation ministries need our help!

Harvest Now!
Steve and Marilyn

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