Monday, March 6, 2017

THIS KIND OF PERSON

John 14:21

"The person who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and whoever loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him."


This verse declares relationship. Christians have the privilege of a relationship with the Savior that covers ambassadorship, friendship, and family. Here the relationship is centered around an exchange of "love", but not any kind of love. A displayed, public, social love is communicated here. And this transaction of affection and care all begins with having, knowing and living The Word of God.  

Seeing a Bible on a coffee table in someone's home is one thing. Seeing it operative in the people who live in that home is another thing. To like a person is one thing and to love that same individual is another thing. So, without further delay, allow me to break down this verse in order to encourage you to be the kind of person who has God's commandments and keeps them

"The person who has My commandments"
The original Greek word for "has" in this segment is Echo. This word means one who has physical possession or hold of. In this case, a person possesses a physical copy of God's "commandments"

The Greek word for "commandments" is Entole meaning authoritative instructions. These are not the kind of instructions that point a finger at us, but instead empower the Christian with God's authority to do His Will. So, when combined we have - The person who physically possesses My authority-giving instructions.

"and keeps them is the one who loves Me;"
Continuing on with the second part of owning a copy of God's authority-giving instructions is showing you can follow them. The second half reads - "and keeps them is the one who loves Me;". The word "keeps" in the original Greek is Tereo, meaning a fortified or protected effort to fulfill a command. A determined resolution while in the midst of obeying God that nothing will derail you is meant here. 

The word that Jesus chose to use for "love" here is the word Agapao which is love in a more social or moral sense. So, meshing these together one might say - and the effort protecting the attempt to fulfill my instructions is the one who displays their care for me in front of others;

We find this Agapao love mentioned in another part of Scripture also. In John 21:15-17, Jesus asks Peter three times if Peter "loves" Him. The first two times Jesus uses the word agapao which carries this social meaning of love. Peter responds with a more intimate word both times, phileo, which means to be a friend of or to have affection for. The third time Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, Jesus switched to the word Peter had been using - phileo. Peter's reply was "Lord, you know all things. You know I phileo you." I believe because of this truthful exchange between hearts, Jesus then revealed a major part of Peter's future - the manner in which he would die for his Lord. Revelation is a result of truthful, heartfelt exchanges in this verse also - Jesus promises to reveal Himself to him/her.

"and whoever loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him."
Jesus continues to praise the one who chooses to live and operate this way by involving His Father's love and revelations of Himself.  

The first part of this, "and whoever loves Me will be loved by My Father," has the same tone and impression Jesus gave in John 3:16 when He stated "whosoever will believe in me". The whosoever/whoever says it all. These words break down categories, labels, biases and prejudices of people. "Whosoever" allows for any person from any walk of life to approach God, through Christ Jesus.

Again, "love" here is the social kind of love, so in essence God is supporting His Word in Matthew 10:32-33 when He said, "Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven." And not only will Father God and Jesus publicly make their love known to you, but Jesus will reveal or manifest Himself to you throughout your life.

So, this passage could be translated - 

The person who physically owns a copy of my instructions (to read and know) and makes a protected effort in fulfilling them is the one who is not afraid to display his/her care for me in public; and whoever socially expresses their devotion to Me will be cared for openly by My Father and I too will candidly show my favor and manifest Myself to him/her.

This exchange of "love" or public expression of affection and allegiance between believer, Father God and God the Son begins with having His Word in our home.  Then we cannot not allow His Word to just sit on a coffee table and collect dust - but read it! Finally, we need to apply His Word to our lives. In loving God this way we will find Jesus revealing Himself to us all-the-more as we publicly showcase Him, becoming one who has God's commandments and keeps them - becoming This Kind Of Person.