Relating To Jesus – II

October 30, 2015

John 12:1-3

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)

The scripture we are examining is John 12:1 through 3.  In these three verses there is encapsulated three aspects of the Christian life – covering all of that life as we live it out before our Lord, Relating To Jesus.

      Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus, came to Bethany, where
      Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. 
      There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was
      one of those who sat at the table with Him.  Then took Mary a pound
      of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped
      His feet with her hair.  And the house was filled with the fragrance of
      the oil.

We saw in the last blog Martha, who served Jesus and His disciples as they partook of a meal at her house.  In attendance also were her brother Lazarus and her sister Mary.

•      Now we will look at John 12:2 – “…Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with [Jesus].”  This is fellowship! And fellowship must be an important part of the Christian life – as important as serving!

Lazarus served the Lord also, just as did his sister Martha.  After all, in the male-dominated Jewish society of two millennia ago, he was the head of this wealthy family who called the little town of Bethany home.  Although the Bible portrays his two sisters as possessing strong personalities, it was Lazarus who most likely made the ultimate family decisions.  One of these decisions was to open their spacious home to the itinerant band of 13 – Jesus and His 12 disciples on past occasions.  It would involve extensive preparation for a large company of guests, and significant resources expended to properly care for their needs.  This was service to Jesus and the kingdom! And Lazarus, along with his sisters, served the Lord on a large scale!

But this evening, Lazarus, Martha and Mary were also guests – as was Jesus and His disciples. And Lazarus was fellowshipping with Jesus!  The idea of him as “…one of those who sat at the table with Him…” implies Relating To Jesus as an equal!  If that sounds sacrilegious – Relating To Jesus as an equal – consider what it says in Hebrews 2:11:  “For both He who sanctifies and those who are bing sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren….”  We are one with Jesus Christ, made so by the Holy Spirit!  He humbled Himself to come all the way to earth so we might be raise up all the way to heaven with Him! (See II Corinthians 8:9; Ephesians 2:6; Philippians 2:6-8).  We are called brethren by Him!  Yes, He has preeminence, being the Elder Brother, but we are still His brothers and sisters! (See John 1:12).  And this implies an equality – counted as being equal with the Son of God!  Also, didn’t Jesus call His disciples friends in John 15:15?  “No longer do I call you servants…but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”  Lazarus was sitting with Jesus as His friend, as His brother, as an equal – in fellowship with the Lord!

Sometimes Jesus wants to interact with you as His brother or sister, to sit down with Him, and share as you would with a close friend!  This is just as important as serving Him!

But, remember, we are to have fellowship with one another as Christians.  Jesus is not physically on the earth as this time.  We are!  And we are His Body – the only physical representation of Jesus Christ now upon this earth!  So, in a sense, as we fellowship with one another, we are in fellowship with Jesus Christ!  Of the early Jerusalem Christians it is written in Acts 2:42, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”  This is not just their record.  It is the standard for us!  John later wrote in I John 1:7, “…if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

What is to happen as we fellowship together?  We are told in Hebrews 10:24 and 25:

      And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
      not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of
      some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the
      day approaching.

We are to stir up love and good works in each other.  The idea is to prod one another in an affectionate way, exhorting one another.  “Hey Joe, hey Susan, how are you doing with your Bible reading?  Are you still praying every night with your wife/husband?  Don’t forget next Sunday we have that missionary speaker.”  You get the idea.

Fellowship with the Lord and with one another is an important part of the Christian life!  In all of your service to God and His kingdom, don’t forget to sit down with Jesus as your Brother and Friend!  And don’t neglect fellowship with your other brothers and sisters!  It is a vital part of Relating To Jesus!

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