Our Selfless Savior (Part 4)
~This is the fourth part of the series on John 13 by Donna Baker~
Last Thursday Donna left us with this:
Each time we fall short of God’s standard for us, all we need to do is confess those sins to Him and we are immediately washed clean.
Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” — John 13:7
The disciples seemed obtuse to us, but they didn’t have the Holy Spirit yet. We do, and we still fall so short of understanding. It is sad how little I know of His Word.
Jesus told them not all of them were clean. This is true for us as well. Not all in our midst are saved. It is like the parable of the wheat and tares.
Tares Among Wheat
24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying,
“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. 26 But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.
27 The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
28 And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’
29 But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
36 Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
37 And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.
40 So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.
41 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
— Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Tares are a weed resembling wheat.
We are not called on to pull up the tares because we don’t know who they are…just like the apostles didn’t know that Judas was a devil in their midst.
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
And that is what some of you were.
But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. —1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Here again we are told there are those among us who are not clean. The unlined verses say some of us were, but we are now washed clean.
“…in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
We are to serve others, we are to preach the Word, because it is the power of God unto salvation.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. —Romans 1:16
Dr.J. Vernon McGee defines salvation as the all-inclusive term of the gospel, and it simply means “deliverance.”
It embraces everything from justification [the act of God whereby humankind is made or accounted just, or free from guilt or penalty of sin] to glorification [the future and final work of God upon Christians, where he transforms our mortal physical bodies to the eternal physical bodies in which we will dwell forever].
Dr. McGee describes salvation as both an act and a process, and goes on to say that it is equally true that “I have been saved, I am being saved, and I shall be saved.“
I ask myself:
- Am I teaching others His Word?
- Am I modeling His Word as He did to His disciples?
- Can my children and grandchildren look at my life and see the reflection of His Word at work in my life?
- Or am I hiding in a corner shrinking back in fear or disappointment at how my life has unraveled?
Beloved, how about you?