by Claude Thomas

John 13:1,34,35; 15:12,13

Introduction: We are approaching a season of proclamation, pageant, and celebration. We give especial attention to the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord. For the past weeks, we have been encouraged by the study of the public ministry of Christ. We reveled in the proclamation of the King of Glory. We responded with the first followers by following Him. We rejoiced in the demonstration of Christ's power over demons, diseases, nature, and sin. We have been helped by studying the period of His public ministry.

For the next few weeks, we will look in on private moments of the Master prior to His public humiliation.

I. Definition of Love, 13:1,34

Explanation: In the closing hours of Jesus' life, we see they are filled with purpose and passion. We are taken into the innermost intimacy between Jesus, His followers, and His Father.

Note this marvelous observation of John 13:1 ... He loved them through their failures and His sufferings. Then He told them, 13:34 ... as He loved them they were to love each other. What is this love? In the Greek language, several words and translated "love." One used by John and Jesus was not commonly used by Greeks.

1) When the Greeks used it, it meant: to be favored by a god ... or to favor another, especially a parent of an only child.

2) The New Testament usage of it meant the love that God has for man: God's activity lifting man from judgment and death to forgiveness and life.

Illustration: The poet captured this meaning in the old song,
"I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore.
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
When the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.

Love lifted me, Love lifted me.
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me."

3) The New Testament usage of it also meant love of man for man -- "love one another as I have loved you.", ...

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