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The Savior’s Love for His Own B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
February 13, 2024 3:00 am

The Savior’s Love for His Own B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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February 13, 2024 3:00 am

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Everything, all things, anything, all that belongs to God, all spiritual blessings in the world. I want you to turn in your Bible to the 13th chapter of John, John chapter 13, John 13. Just a little bit of background to kind of get you up to the point where we can actually look at that verse. This all takes place, what begins in chapter 13, all takes place on Thursday night of the final week of our Lord's life, which is called Passion Week. What He promises in chapters 13 to 16 and what He prays for in chapter 17 are realities that are the essence of what it means to be a believer and to have eternal life.

They're vast, far-reaching, infinite promises. But the question is why, why? What motivates this? What drives this?

Now you come to verse 1. Now, before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, here's the motive, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. What motivated Him?

What motivated Him? Love. Not love that arose at this moment. Having loved them, already loved them. He loved them all along. He loved them before they knew Him.

Love, love. There are more references to the Savior's love for His own here than anywhere in the Bible. A lot of things in the Bible about the love of God. You can go all the way back to the writings of Moses, Deuteronomy 6, and read about the love of God. You can go back to the prophets like Jeremiah 31 and read about the love of God. You can find the love of God in the Old Testament. Obviously you can find a lot of places in the New Testament that talk about the love of God. He loves the world, John 3. He loves His enemies, Matthew 5. But when it comes to Him loving His own, this is the high point. There is more here that is reflective of the love of the Lord for His own than anywhere in Scripture. This is what I want you to see as we go through this. These are the gifts of love that the Savior gives to undeserving sinners like us by sheer grace, and it's just amazing. And they're spread through all five chapters. Let's go back to verse 1.

A few details. Now, before the Feast of the Passover, this is critical. This is critical. This is working up to the Feast of the Passover, which happened on Thursday night. As I said, the Galilean Jews celebrate the Passover Thursday night, the Judean Jews on Friday, and so it's just before the evening to celebrate the Passover. Timing is critical.

Why is this critical? Because everything in Jesus' life was leading to the final Passover. And this, by the way, was the final legitimate Passover in the history of Israel.

But let me give you the lead-up, okay? I looked in the book One Perfect Life where I sort of harmonize all the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and this is the paragraph that would lead us up to this moment. Then came the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread when they killed the Passover lamb. And He sent out two of His disciples, this is Thursday early in the day. He sent out two of His disciples, Peter and John, saying, "'Go and prepare the Passover for us that we may eat.' So they said to Him, "'Where do You want us to go and prepare that You may eat the Passover?'

And He said to them, "'Behold, go into the city, and when you have entered the city, a certain man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him into the house which he enters. Wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, "'The teacher says to you, My time is at hand, where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with My disciples at your house?'

Then he will show you a large, furnished upper room. There make ready for us.' So the disciples did as Jesus had directed. They went out and came into the city and found it just as He had said to them, and they prepared the Passover. In the evening, when the hour had come, He," Jesus, "'came and sat down and the twelve apostles with Him. And He said to them, "'With fervent desire, I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.'"

This is the last Passover. So everything was prepared during the day. Peter and John went. They met the man.

The room was found. Later the rest of them came. Each gospel writer, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, focuses on the precise time and event at which our Lord Jesus was crucified. It was the Passover. It was the Passover.

Best calculations would be in the year 30 A.D. It was the month of Nisan. It was the 14th and the 15th day, and He would die on Friday. He would die at the Passover feast. What was the Passover feast? It was a slaughter. It was a slaughter.

Everybody came from all over the known world. All the Jews came back to the feast. It was the most well-attended feast. And they brought lambs, or bought lambs, and they slaughtered them for two days. And it was a remembrance of the slaughter of the lambs in Egypt and the blood splattering on the door so that they would be delivered from the angel of death and rescued out of Egypt. God ordained that to be remembered every year to demonstrate that God was a deliverer so that they would always look back and see that God delivered His people through the death of an innocent lamb.

It not only looked back, it looked forward to the day when God would deliver His people not from Egypt, not from a political entity or a national entity, but God would deliver His people from their sins by the death of a sacrificial lamb. The feast was a memorial to God's salvation of Israel from Egyptian slavery, a salvation that was triggered by the death of a lamb. Passover lambs all through Israel's history became the most clear symbol of salvation, clear symbol of rescue and deliverance.

And as such were pictures and types of the Lamb of God whose sacrifice would take away the sins of the world, as John the Baptist said it. The purpose of every Passover lamb that was ever slain was calculated to communicate God's redemption of His people, not only in the past from Egypt, but in the future from their sins. So while the Passover looked back, it also looked forward to the time when the true lamb would come because no one could be justified by the blood of bulls and goats. Furthermore, Passover drew the largest number of Jewish pilgrims who were scattered, came back, which meant that the marvelous reality of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His resurrection would be in the mouth of the most people going back to the most places to herald the gospel. It had to happen at Passover because He was the fulfillment of Passover. In the New Testament, He's called Christ our Passover. And to have it happen at this feast also guaranteed that the most people would be talking about it when they went back to their homes. And Jesus knew this, says in verse 1, Jesus knowing that His hour had come.

In fact, in John 18, 4 it says, He knew all that would happen to Him. Think about that. Think about that. I know people are fascinated with knowing the future.

Let me tell you something. I have never had any interest in knowing the future. Sufficient unto the day is the suffering thereof. I don't need to know what's coming.

It's enough to try to deal with what is. It is a gift from God that you don't know the future. Ignorance of future pain, ignorance of future suffering is a blessing.

So you only suffer when you suffer. Look, it's enough anticipation just living in a world where you know something is going to go wrong, you just don't know what it is. Far worse if you knew every single thing that was coming. But that was true of Christ. He must have died a million times. He must have been crucified in His mind a million times. He must have been agonizing for His whole conscious life knowing what was coming. He knew exactly, specifically, precisely, perfectly everything that was going to happen to Him. No wonder His body broke down, His capillaries burst, and He started to have blood pouring through His pores in the agony of accumulated anticipation. It wasn't just the anticipation of that late Thursday in the garden, it was the anticipation of a whole life of knowing what was coming. And in the midst of that, He said, nevertheless, not My will, but Yours be done willingly.

Why? Why would He do that? Why would He come and go through that? As Hebrews 12, 2 says, He endured despising the shame for the joy that was set before Him, for the joy that was set before Him. And what was that joy? That joy was to be seated at the right hand of God's throne and to have gathered around Him all the redeemed to worship and praise Him forever.

Having done the Father's will at the cross, He secured the eternal salvation of all those upon whom His divine love had been fixed. He knew what was coming. He knew every detail.

He even spoke of the details. He knew everything perfectly. Might wonder why there was a sadness about His life if you didn't know that. Then it says in verse 1, He knew that His hour had come, but He knew that He would depart out of this world to the Father. In chapter 17, He starts His prayer by saying, Father, restore to Me the glory I had with You before the world began. He knew exactly where He was going. He knew it was death, resurrection, ascension, exaltation.

By the way, that's the plan for us, for every believer, death, resurrection, ascension, exaltation. We say, well, why would He do all of this if He's going to end up where He started? He came from the Father's throne.

He's going back to the Father's throne. Why would He do this? The difference is He goes back and gathers around Him all on whom God has fixed His eternal everlasting saving love. He redeemed humanity to worship and praise Him forever.

Why does He do this? Why does He come to save us? He loves us. He has set His love on us. That's the end of the verse, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. It's an unbreakable love. If He started loving, He will love to the end.

It has no deviation. To the end is eis telos, eis telos. It means completely, perfectly, fully, utterly, to the max, to the end, both in terms of capacity and eternity. He loves as much as He can love, as much as God can love. That's how much He loves, and for as long as God loves, that's how long He loves, which is to say He loves infinitely both in capacity and in time. We're introduced then at this point in verse 1 to this dominant theme, and the dominant theme of all these chapters is this astounding love that He has for His own. Having already, it says, having already loved His own, implied He already. Having loved His own already. He's been loving His own since before they even knew Him. While we were enemies, He loved us. Having already loved His own, nothing can change that.

He loves them to the max, to the end, infinitely, utterly, completely, perfectly. How is that love measured? Well, the Bible is full of statements about the love of God, but you don't even need to go beyond these chapters that are in front of us right now. God's love for His own, mentioned there in verse 1, is then explained in the next five chapters.

Let me help you with just a little summary. It isn't romantic love. It isn't sentimental love. It isn't emotional love. It isn't fickle love. It is fixed, eternal love that provides eternal salvation, eternal blessing, and eternal glory. What we're going to learn in these chapters is this.

Give you a list. It is gracious love. We don't deserve it. It is sovereign love. He loved us first. We love Him because He first loved us. It is redeeming love. It is love that reached out and sought us and bought us. It is unconditional love.

It is not predicated on anything we have done and in full awareness of our wretchedness. It is faithful love. To the very end, nothing can separate us from this love, nothing, Romans 8. It is intercessory love. He loves us so much that He intercedes for us at all times, ever living to intercede for us before the throne of God so that everything He pledged and promised to us is delivered. It is sacrificial love. Greater love hath no man than this, John 15, 13, that a man lay down his life for his friends. It is a love that demanded the greatest sacrifice. It is generous love. He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus. It is this lavish, incomprehensible love.

So let me say it again. It is gracious love, sovereign love, redeeming love, unconditional love, faithful love, intercessory love, sacrificial love, and generous love. How much does He love us?

Look how generous He is. This eternal, everlasting, infinite love is behind all that He promises in this section. Now I don't have time to show you specific verses, but here's what we're going to look at. How much does He love us? What does He give us? First thing He gives us right out of the gate in chapter 13 is an example of humility, an example of humility when He washes the disciples' feet.

Why is that important? Because we need to know what humility is, because humility is the path to grace, because God gives grace to the humble. God gives grace to the humble. God exalts those who abase themselves. So the greatest spiritual virtue is humility.

Here is a treasure. We have an example of humility, the purest virtue and the path to effective evangelism. Yes, yes, humility is the path to evangelism, because humility is behind love, and they will know us by our love. He not only gives us an example of humility, He gives us a new commandment to love and then gives us the capacity to love. He gives us the capacity to love in a way that we can't love before we come to Christ, a new commandment to love, to love as I have loved you, and a new capacity to do that. Chapter 14, He gives us a home in heaven, and then a promise to come and get us and take us there. In chapter 14 and 15, He gives us a promise to supply everything we need, everything He knows we need.

He will supply and hold nothing back. He promises to give us and has the Holy Spirit as our Helper, our Comforter, and our truth teacher. In chapter 15, He promises to give us peace, a perfect peace. He promises to give us spiritual productivity, to give us life pouring through us so that we bear much fruit for His glory.

He promises to make us intimate family, not just slaves, friends, sons. He promises to give us joy, endless, boundless joy. He promises in chapter 15 and 16 to give us triumph in the face of persecution. In chapter 15, He pledges to give us power to proclaim the gospel, and then promises that He will grant to us the power of the Holy Spirit to do the convicting of the sinner so that the sinner can respond to the gospel.

Chapter 16, so what are we saying? He gives us the path of humility, which is the path to effective evangelism, love, and grace. He gives us a capacity to love, a home in heaven, a promise to take us there, a pledge to supply everything we need, the Helper, the Holy Spirit, who is also the truth teacher. He promises us a resurrection, perfect peace, spiritual fruit, joy, triumph and persecution, power to proclaim the gospel, and divine help to convict the sinner.

And then, as if that's not enough, I will ask you to look at chapter 16, verse 15. "'All things that the Father has are Mine.'" All things that the Father has are Mine.

Just think about that. "'All that the Father has are Mine.' Therefore I said, He takes of Mine and will give it to you." Gives you everything. Whatever might have been left out up to this point, all things that belong to God, all things that belong to Christ, He gives to us.

It's just amazing. Verse 23, 16, 23, "'In that day, you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.'"

Anything in My name. Verse 24, "'Until now you have asked for nothing in My name. Ask you'll receive so that your joy may be made full.'" Everything, all things, anything, all that belongs to God, all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies, to borrow Paul's language, are available and granted to us. This is the lavish nature of the love of the Lord for His own royal priesthood. And oh, by the way, by the way, all along, He keeps giving us more and more and more love. Chapter 14, verse 21, "'He who has My commandments keeps them.'"

That's a believer. "'Is the one who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.'"

More love. Verse 23, "'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our abode with him.'" Chapter 15, verse 9, "'Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Abide in My love.'" Verse 10, "'If you keep My commandments, you'll abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.'" Verse 12, "'This is My commandment, love one another just as I have loved you.'" Verse 13, "'Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.'"

Verse 17, "'This I command you, that you love one another.'" Love, love, love, love. More love from the Father, more love from the Son, more love from those around us and to those around us. Love, love, love.

Really, the dominant reality in the Christian experience is what? Love. Why all this?

Why all this? Verse 27, chapter 16, "'For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me.'" We're all caught up in a crazy, amazing, incomprehensible love relationship.

After all those promises that run through the end of 16, Jesus then goes into the Holy of Holies in 17 and prays to the Father to fulfill everything He's promised, and that's what He does. These aren't things that we're waiting for. These are realities that we possess. These aren't things you need to pray for.

These are things you have. Father, we are grateful beyond comprehension for Your love to us. We could never repay You for this kind of lavish love, but we can humbly offer the best we have and give You back a loving, obedient heart. That's Grace to You with John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University and Seminary.

The title of his current series, Love No Matter What. You know, John, when we talk about love, my mind goes to a place where love is both easiest to express but also very challenging to express, a proving ground of sorts for showing love to others, and that is the home. Talk about that for a minute.

Yeah. The family and the home is always going to be the most difficult place to live your Christian life and to demonstrate sanctification and to demonstrate love and virtue and holiness because there's really no time when you're not exposed. So if there are things wrong in your life, the people that you live with are going to be basically the victims of the expression of those things more than anyone else. We can do pretty well to fix ourselves up when we go into public. We can set aside the things that might offend people, but in the home, we don't do that. In the home, we are who we are.

And I think that's a positive as well as a negative. I've always looked at it as a positive in dealing with families and parents and said, look, the greatest thing you can ever give to your children is to show them what a Christian really looks like because that intimate view of your Christian faith is the most powerful, confident evidence that Christianity is real. If you're expecting your kids to believe something that doesn't transform you or isn't manifest in your life, that's expecting them to embrace hypocrisy.

They're not going to do that. So the nuclear family with the father as a servant leader, the mother whose priorities are in the home has always been the best place for Christianity to be lived out and also the most difficult place for it to be lived out. And along that line, I want to mention a book, a very important book, The Fulfilled Family. It shows you how the architect of the family, God himself, defines the role of husband, wife, parents, and children. And this book, which has been so popular through the years, has sections on the submission of the husband and the wife, the wife's submission, what it's like, the husband's overarching duty, the children's responsibility, sections on how to nurture your children according to God's perfect design. The Fulfilled Family distills into about 125 pages what the Bible says your family should be and can be. Make a practical biblical investment in your family. Pick up a copy of The Fulfilled Family book today. You can order it from us reasonably priced. That's right, friend. This book has proven over the years to have a dynamic, practical effect on those who read it and apply its biblical truth in their families.

And it can have that kind of impact in your home as well. To order a copy of The Fulfilled Family, contact us today. You can call us at 800-55-GRACE or visit our website, gty.org.

The Fulfilled Family costs $8 and shipping is free. And friend, if you're benefiting from broadcasts like today's, know that we're able to produce these programs and take verse-by-verse Bible teaching to the spiritually hungry all over the world because people like you support us. These daily broadcasts even have a strong ministry in prisons, penetrating the walls and penetrating minds and hearts with life-changing truth.

We frequently hear stories like that. To partner with us and to minister to individuals and families and churches across the globe, mail your tax-deductible gift to Grace To You, P.O. Box 4000, Panorama City, CA 91412. You can also make a donation when you call 800-55-GRACE or go to our website, gty.org. And thank you especially for your prayers. We are grateful for every time you bring us before the throne of grace. Now for John MacArthur and the entire Grace To You staff, I'm Phil Johnson. Be here tomorrow when John shows you the biblical definition of love and how stunningly different it is from the world's definition. It's another half hour of unleashing God's truth, one verse at a time, on Grace To You.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-13 05:19:31 / 2024-02-13 05:29:43 / 10

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