Hi folks! I’ve been telling Joan that I was going to write an article on the most amazing verse in the Bible. I surely must qualify that with what “I believe” to be the most amazing verse in the Bible. Though I didn’t say it was necessarily my favorite verse, how could one claim that it’s the most amazing? Well, you can be the judge of that when I’m through; but, I will say that if each of us were to have a revelation in our spirit of what it says and what Jesus meant, it would drastically change our lives… I mean it! I also believe it is, given the power of it’s meaning, the most grossly ignored and casually read verse in the Bible. Now don’t jump ahead and go see which verse I’m referring to quite yet. Maybe I should keep it a secret and start a contest by sending you on a snipe hunt of sorts… LOL. That would be fun, wouldn’t it, Joan?
Let me begin by starting with the absurd to make the point of this article. I have never met any of you. Some of us came to respect each other due to our mutual support of a presidential candidate in 2007. But that’s quite different from what I’m about to speak of. As many of you know, I have two sons who, I would hope, I would be willing to die for. What if I were to say to you, whom I have not even met, that I love you as much as I love my sons! Pause…. Ok, I’m imagining that you are all thinking that is an absurd statement. If we were in a room together right now and I said that, and saw the various startled looks on your faces, and then proceeded to try and assure you that it was true, you would begin to truly think I was crazy. At some point in my efforts to convince you, I might even lose your respect as I lose my credibility. I believe I know how I would feel if any of you suggested you love me as much as you love your son or daughter or spouse. I might even pity you at some point! LOL. Let us all let the absurdity of that sink in for a moment. Now you are probably thinking, “Well, he means he “agapes” me or something like that.” Nope, folks, I can’t think how that could be a reasonable statement on any level, honestly.
The reason is very simple… We humans love on an experiential level. In order for our love to become genuine and intense, it depends very greatly on the amount of time we spend together and the experiences we have together. We can have some level of affinity towards one another at the one dimensional level… email, texting or snail mail. We can acquire more at the two dimensional level of speaking together on the phone or skyping. But, genuine love that lasts a lifetime and involves bonding of hearts best happens at the three dimensional level… doing things together, hugging, enduring trauma… in other words, experiencing life together regularly. That’s just the way we are made by God. So, we are back to the absurdity of my statement… I love you as much as I love my sons. I hope I haven’t offended anyone.
But I hope my little exercise will help you appreciate the impact of a statement Jesus made apparently in the presence of His disciples. First, let’s understand that every word that came out of Jesus’ mouth was eternal truth… He was Truth! In this case, what He said was totally genuine, eternally so. So, we must be very careful that we don’t casually dismiss His words as simply “waxing eloquent.” Let’s go there, now.
You will find the statement in John 17. I will give you time to get your Bible. In context, it was a prayer to the Father, but go back to the beginning of the chapter. Remember, there are no chapter divisions in the original text. Jesus had been speaking to his disciples during the privacy of His last meal with them. Chapter 17 begins with, “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, Father…” So, what follows is a prayer, but the disciples were seemingly allowed to hear. Now, are you ready? He finishes verse 23 with, “and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” WOW!! I wonder what the disciples thought when they heard that… for those who were paying attention! They had never met this “Father;” nor, had He “met” them! What in the world is Jesus talking about, they must have wondered! I have read about ten different versions and they all say things such as “even as you have loved me” and “as much as you have loved me.” To top it off, Jesus says in verse 24 that the Father had loved Him before the foundation of the world!
Now, folks, it doesn’t matter much what I say from this point on, I can’t give you the revelation you need of that eternal truth. But I implore you to seek the Holy Spirit to give it to you. Allow me to finish with a few thoughts. On the face of it, it just sounds too incredulous to be true, almost like my original statement about my sons. The Father and the Son had spent eternity together and were One! Secondly, as I think of it from my human perspective, Jesus wanted them to know that! How incredibly secure Jesus was in His humanity. He wasn’t selfish or jealous enough to want to hold back that truth. He loved that truth! He was about to die because of that truth! You and I know how we prefer to be someone’s favorite, but not Jesus! He made the disciples equals in terms of the Father’s love! How glorious is that! Meditate on that. I want all of my being to know this truth! Lest any of us think Jesus might have just meant the disciples, in verse 20 He speaks of all of those who would come to believe… He may as well have called out each of our names!
Lastly, how is this to affect us in a practical way? Simply put, it should make us the most secure people on this planet and that should have all kinds of practical effects! Jesus could go to the cross because He knew that truth and knew “from whence he came.” He knew as He trembled in the garden that the Father’s mission impossible had to be done. Whatever our missions of impossibilities are, we can be secure in His unfathomable love, as well! God Bless!
“I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity,
so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them,
even as You have loved Me.”
John 17:23 (NASB)
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