meditations

Two ways to speak

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Jesus speaks in two different ways. Sometimes, he tells you what to do. We call these commandments. There are some really famous commandments. You get the Ten Commandments from Moses. Those are big ones. But then, when Jesus comes in-the-flesh, he speaks of commandments, too. He says in John 15:12: “This is my commandment.” So he’ll sometimes tell you what to do.

Here’s where he’s commanding you, telling you to do something: “Love one another as I have loved you.”

Easier said than done, right? Yes, we have commandments like this. But they’re hard, impossible, to actually carry out.

Commands will find some way to say, “you cannot do this.” It’s what they do. Christ means for commands to act like this. They’re not given so that you can gain the glory. They’re given so that you’re drained of all the glory. So that you turn to Jesus Christ.

Jesus is not giving you the commands so that you’ll do them well, then he can reward you with heaven. He’s giving them to you so you mess them up. And then he swoops in and says, “I see you didn’t do very well. I told you to do something. It could have gone much better. But now, let me tell you what I’m up to.”

He changes his way of speaking. He goes from telling you what to do to telling you what he has done. And he does it really fast.

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) – there he’s telling you what he’s up to. He is laying his life down for his friends.

He doesn’t just stop there, either. He pushes one step further. What is the very next thing he says? — “You are my friends.” Jesus applies his actions to his disciples. What a wonderful God!

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