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Sermons about Passion
I used to think I knew love, but I didn't. Love eludes and deludes us. We grope for romantic love and end with infatuation. We long for marriage and settle for cohabitation. We forget God as the source of love and pursue lesser lovers. But John brings love back into focus. God is love. And to love well, we must accept the terms of His love. It is prior, personal, passionate, and perfecting. When we embrace His love, we can love our brethren well. In fact, John makes it clear that God perpetuates His love through the actions of Christians. We love because He first loved us.
A couple of weeks ago, we considered Peter’s three denials of Jesus. We remember his anguish upon the hearing of the rooster crowing, because Jesus had prophesied of these denials. Today, we return to that story, but see the renewal of commitment. In Peter’s story we are reminded that God loves to give a second chance.
We have spent a great deal of time this year in the Gospel of John. Most of our attention has been wrapped around two topics—the miracles of Jesus and the 7 “I am” Statements from Jesus. To give some conclusion to our survey of John’s Gospel, we are isolating a few other texts. Today, I want us to consider the whole scene of Peter’s denials of Jesus. You will be reminded that Peter is one of Jesus’ 12 disciples. Of this 12, there seems to even be an inner circle of 3, of which Peter is a part. But, even this one, so close to Jesus, has a period of betrayal and denial of his relationship with Jesus.
The people of Jerusalem were so excited when Christ entered the city, but this excitement soon turned to anger as they shouted "crucify him." They were only fans for a moment, far from followers. Even the disciples scattered for fear of what might happen to them. Are you a fan or follower of Christ?
Christ invites us to three meals in this passage: the Passover, the meal of His body and His blood, and the heavenly feast to come. And our lives are called to live in response and in anticipation through our lives of service.