do you love what you do ?

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)

How far would you go for a friend? For Jesus it was His destiny for die for friends and foe and He did it in love.

Let’s consider all that was written in the Prophets about Jesus, about His birth, earthly life and ministry.

From the time Jesus was born to Mary, there was so much expectations placed on Him. When Jesus was 12, He was at the temple having “serious” discussion with “teachers”.

Apparently these were “teachers of the law”, experts of Mosaic Law. Imagine how much Jesus studied to be able to do that. PHD scholars were amazed a kid aged 12 could raise questions that made them go back to their libraries searching for answers.

Sometime is it easy for Christian to take for granted that Jesus being Jesus, He should have known all things. Nevertheless as a child Jesus was subjected to human ordinances and He did studied well and was in favor with God and man.

When Mary and Joseph went looking for Jesus at the temple –

And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49)

For a child to say such a thing you know He is serious. Jesus had that sense of purpose in life and he showed it loud and clear.

 

In trying to understand human life and work, especially if you have an obligation to fulfill, things can get complicated when you factor in issues like emotions, will-power, love and friendship and family.

 “Do you love your work?” – One of those questions most people hate to response.

In our real life situations, there always seems never ending work to be done. On the two extreme ends, there are those who literally worked themselves to death, and there are those who believe in being faithfully lazy.

People work for various reasons. Apart from the need for income, there are those who work under obligation to family relations and friends.

It certainly looks like Jesus was “working hard” to please His Father.

 

From a distance, you may see Jesus as the destined Messiah, and so He had to fulfill what was prophesied about Him. Seems like He had to get it done and over with. For people who look to God as authoritative – that seems all to it. Had to do it and let’s get it done and over with.

 

When you draw near to Jesus as a believer, you were thankful He sacrificed to make atonement for your sin. Jesus died for my sins that I may live – and the life that I live I should live for Jesus.

 

After taking another bold step of faith in following and serving Jesus, in trying to do His ministry, you experience the burden Jesus went through for us. You can feel the pain and the burden He went through. It wasn’t just death on the cross – the humiliation, the pain, the betrayal, the agony.

Modern day human analogy – you did something good, who cares? You did something bad; the whole world is staring at you. But Jesus did everything right for the Father.

 

For those who went further with Jesus, enduring friendship with Christ, you understood Jesus had the will power to choose. This became a moment of truth – Jesus could actually walk away from the cross if He wanted, that’s why He prayed –

 

saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)

 

Till then what appeared to be obligations to fulfill all prophecy – Jesus actually have the freedom of choice like everybody else.

 

Now for those in regular fellowship with God, you have walked with the Father – you may well realized by now God Almighty had been one of the most misunderstood personality in the whole universe. Why is that so?

People looked at the Old Testament God Almighty as awesome and authoritative. It seems so easy to conclude Jesus was made, pressured and destined to be that sacrificial lamb for our sins. There was no escape for Jesus.

How could the Father do that? – When people think of God as absolute authoritative, yes.

So if Jesus had the choice to walk away from the cross – why continued?

Imagine what went through the mind of Jesus while He was praying at the garden of Gethsemane?

Imagine what went through the mind of Jesus while He was bearing the pain, hanging on the cross, bleeding to death?

 

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)

 

The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (John 10:17-18)

 

Jesus went to the cross because of love and friendship.

The same God Almighty we read about in the Old Testament is the same Father Jesus was referring to.

We understand this phrase “like Father like Son” – guess where and from whom Jesus learns to love? God Almighty had been one of the most misunderstood personality in the whole universe – who could have understood phrases like “God loves you” in the Old Testament? Nobody understood such thing without Jesus.

It was though Jesus people witnessed and experienced the love of God.

First and foremost Jesus did what He did because He loved God the Father.

Next while Jesus submitted His life on the cross, it was something more than just loving God.

Jesus was thinking about all the people He cared about, in particular those who trusted God for salvation. From as far back as Adam, to Noah, to Abraham, to Moses, to King David, to the prophets, to Peter, James and John who were present with Him, even to Paul who was yet to be appointed, and forward to the future generations of today – not just you and me, us, and everyone who believes.

For each and every individual who will believe in Him, Jesus endured the humiliation and pain of the cross.

That is how great the love of Christ is, not just for God, but also for people. Such love from the Lord Jesus Christ was tested beyond measures which any living person could have endured.

 

In our modern culture of “popular support”, those vast rejections could have dampened Jesus moral. Remember the gatherings of people who eat of the fish and bread, and the Palm Sunday event which attracted national attention. The majority of those who came to Jesus had their fills and left. A handful remains faithful followers. To a certain extend Jesus could have felt abused, nevertheless His love and passion for God and those who believed, motivated Him to carry on.

There were those of high position in society who supported Jesus in the beginning of His public ministry. We see Jesus being invited to social meetings of the Pharisees, lawyers, and given the privilege to speak at synagogues. Knowing that Jesus would not heed their concept of social-political policy, eventually betrayed Him to the Romans. While Jesus was put on trial, familiar faces who dine with Him made accusation that Jesus was inciting a revolt against Caesar (Luke 23:1).

Betrayal, rejections, false accusations and physical attacks will do anything to destroy a person’s moral, forcing Him into obscurity and shame.

 

Jesus’ love for God and those who believed preserved Him through.

Jesus went further and overcame darkness and hatred, in extending love and forgiveness to people who rejected Him while He bled on the cross –

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing “And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. (Luke 23:34).

Can anyone forgive people who rob from a dying man, and if that dying man was you? Jesus did.

 

Jesus died on the cross. It was darkness. All the happenings died down. Things went quiet.

On the 3rd day, being brought back to life, Jesus appeared to His disciples, as proof and confirmation of His promises. For those He loved, in particular those who trusted God for salvation and were waiting for the Messiah, Jesus endured the cross.

Since childhood when Jesus confessed His obligation to the Father, He was prepared.

For all the trials and extremely difficult circumstances Jesus went through, He was thinking of all the people who ever trusted God for salvation, plus the future generations.

From the time when Jesus was put on trial before Pilate, till He died on the cross, those were intense moments intended to break His spirit and moral. By then people showed no mercy, no favor, no grace, but Jesus endured and it was His love for us that carried Him through.

 

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)

 

When Jesus made that statement to His disciples at the Last Supper, He requested them to do the same for each other. They could have the choice to do it as a commandment, or they could do it the way Jesus had done, with love.

But why would Jesus request such a burdensome thing? It was so that this great love of God, which was manifested through the life example of Jesus, can continue to flow in many generations to come, spreading forth the blessing of Christ to all nations.

When you do things because of love more than obligations – you become overcomes and more than conquerors.

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