Books of the Book: John

The Vine and the Branches

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Deyvy Rodriguez & Jon Paulien


Series Code: JBOTB

Program Code: JBOTB00020B

00:01 And welcome back,
00:02 we are studying the 15 Chapter
00:04 of the Gospel of John with Dr. Jon Pauline.
00:06 And Dr. Pauline, so Jesus talks about love
00:11 and now the following three verses
00:12 He is talking about friends
00:14 and why don't I go ahead and read that,
00:16 and we are in starting verse 14.
00:19 "You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you.
00:22 No longer do I call you servants,
00:24 for a servant does not know what his master is doing,
00:27 but I have called you friends,
00:28 for all things that I have heard from My Father
00:31 I have made known to you."
00:33 So let me ask you a question, do you have friends?
00:38 I guess it depends on what you mean by friends.
00:41 You know, you ask a lot of people that question,
00:42 oh yeah, I got 428 friends.
00:44 You know, how do you know that you have 428--
00:47 Well, Facebook, you know.
00:48 Facebook friends. Oh, okay.
00:50 So that's sort of virtual friends.
00:53 You know, when I was younger
00:54 we would call that imaginary friends.
00:56 But the interesting think about it,
00:59 is that these technologies actually do give us
01:04 opportunities that we would not have otherwise
01:07 and let me turn it in another way.
01:09 Because you know,
01:11 we don't have a physical relationship with Jesus.
01:15 We don't see, hear or touch Him.
01:17 So in a real sense, He comes through us in a virtual way.
01:22 And I think people who do work with Facebook,
01:25 you make fun of it and so on, especially those oldsters
01:28 who don't know how to use it that much can joke about it.
01:31 But the interesting thing is I look at the younger generation
01:34 it's real for them.
01:36 They take this very seriously, they love Facebook.
01:38 They love the way they can connect with people
01:40 and stay connected even though
01:42 they are thousands of miles apart, you see.
01:44 And they would say to you that relationship is as real
01:48 as the one's they have with faces nearby.
01:52 I'm glad Jesus didn't say, you are my Facebook friends.
01:56 But you know, it's a great analogy for today. Yeah.
01:59 Because I think--for example you and I have become friends.
02:04 You know, we didn't know each other
02:05 until fairly recently and I like that, face to face.
02:08 That's right. And fist to fist contact.
02:10 You know, that's really, really good.
02:12 But it could well be that
02:16 after we're done with the series of programs,
02:18 we may not see each other again or we may be separated
02:21 most of our lives by thousands of miles.
02:24 And the wonderful thing about Facebook is
02:26 it enables people to stay in touch.
02:29 And some people say, I don't believe in prayer
02:32 because it's like talking to the ceiling.
02:35 Yeah, but if you believe in Facebook
02:37 you better believe in prayer
02:40 because prayer is simply heaven's Facebook.
02:43 It's staying in connection with God, you see.
02:46 And so I think it's kind of given us an interesting analogy
02:51 for understanding the spiritual side that John is talking about.
02:55 That John is saying relationship can be real
02:58 even though you don't see each other,
03:00 touch each other, hear each other.
03:02 You are--that relationship is mediated through the connections
03:07 of the Bible through prayer and so on.
03:10 And that's our Facebook with God.
03:13 I never really thought about it that way but--
03:16 Neither did I, you drew it out from me.
03:19 Well, that's good.
03:20 So what else does Jesus have to say
03:22 about social networks here?
03:23 Well, I think this is very important here in verses 13-15,
03:28 because He says here, "I no longer call you servants."
03:34 Now many people see that word servants
03:38 and they think of "Driving Miss Daisy"
03:41 or some other thing where there's a person
03:42 who's paid to be with a rich person and take care of them.
03:46 It doesn't-- yeah, it doesn't sound like a bad thing.
03:49 Most people would rather be a servant
03:51 in a rich person's house than live on the street, you know.
03:55 But that's not really the term here.
03:57 In the Greek, the term here doulos really means slave.
04:01 A person who is not willing it
04:04 and Jesus is contrasting two types of relationship with God.
04:09 There's the slave relationship with God,
04:11 where you do what you're told, because you have to
04:14 and God is this tyrant who rules over your life
04:18 and makes you do things you don't want to do.
04:20 Jesus says, that's not the kind of relationship I want with you.
04:24 I don't want you to be servants.
04:26 I call you friends. And friends are like equals.
04:31 He is honoring us by raising us up to His level.
04:34 Friendship happens when people are at the same level.
04:38 This is an incredible honor that He is giving.
04:41 And more than this, notice what it says here that,
04:45 "I have called you friends,
04:47 for everything that I learned from my Father
04:51 I have made known to you."
04:52 You see, Jesus is friends with His Father
04:56 and now He's calling us to be friends with Him.
05:00 And that means that we are friends with the Father.
05:05 I've met so many Christians that believe
05:07 they can be friends with Jesus
05:08 but the Father is kind of this Judge, you know,
05:11 who's scary and out there somewhere
05:14 and you can't really have a relationship with.
05:16 Jesus is trying to get us to completely rearrange
05:20 our understanding of God
05:22 and He says here, God is your friend.
05:24 The Father wants to be your friend
05:27 not to have you as a slave.
05:29 Now verse 14, speaking of friends,
05:31 does have a condition though, Jesus says,
05:34 "You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you."
05:38 So there is that condition of friendship
05:40 is what I understand what Jesus is saying.
05:43 You're my friends if you do what I say.
05:45 Well, as friends of course,
05:47 we're going to do the things that please each other.
05:50 We gonna get along, right? Yeah.
05:51 I'm gonna try to please you otherwise.
05:52 You see absolutely. And it isn't hard.
05:55 See, that's the difference.
05:57 Yes, there are commands in the Bible.
05:59 Of course, just like the owner of a car commands you
06:03 to change the oil every so often.
06:05 I mean, that's important
06:06 if you want the car to survive, you see.
06:09 And yes, there are rules to relationship
06:13 but the rules are not there to make a relationship miserable.
06:16 The rules are there to set boundaries,
06:19 so we know where we stand within a relationship.
06:21 And as we love each other as friends,
06:23 we do the things that please the other
06:25 because we love the relationship we wanted to continue.
06:29 So the commands of God become joys.
06:33 They become delights.
06:34 He's letting us know how we can please Him
06:37 and that's the beautiful side of this.
06:39 So it's not like Jesus saying, now you want to be my friends
06:42 here, take all these, you know, commands,
06:44 follow them and then you'll be my friends.
06:45 Yeah, be slave to these commands.
06:47 It's not that way. No, no, no.
06:49 It's more of we take pleasure and enjoy
06:51 that we're actually following the commands of Jesus.
06:54 That's our pleasure to serve Him and then we become His friends.
06:57 So we always been His friends I suppose.
07:00 Some people say, commands are bad, freedom is good.
07:04 You know, they bridle at this.
07:06 But that's the key here is not commands or no commands,
07:09 the key is the attitude with which we come at it.
07:12 If we obey God as slaves,
07:16 then we're not affecting His character at all.
07:21 If we obey God as friends,
07:23 it's totally different kind of relationship.
07:25 And that brings us to the last part of the chapter
07:29 which our time is getting short, let's move quickly there.
07:33 Verses 18 to 21, this elaborates and explains this.
07:37 "If the world hates you,
07:39 you know that it hated Me before it hated you.
07:42 If you were of the world, the world would love its own.
07:46 Yet because you are not of the world,
07:48 but I chose you out of the world therefore the world hates you.
07:52 Remember the word that I said to you,
07:54 'A servant is not greater than his master.'
07:56 If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.
08:00 If they have kept My word, they will keep yours also.
08:04 But all these things they will do to you for My name sake,
08:09 because they do not know Him who sent Me."
08:12 So Jesus says, the world hates you.
08:15 So the question is, what does it mean by the world here.
08:18 There's a number of options. It can be the planet.
08:22 Does the planet hate us? Probably not.
08:24 It can be people, the people we engage very day.
08:28 Most of the time they don't hate us
08:29 so we wouldn't spent a lot of time with them.
08:31 Is it the systems, human systems,
08:35 that can be the world in the Bible.
08:37 Governmental systems, religious systems,
08:40 that persecute and so on.
08:42 The fourth option is the temptations of Satan.
08:45 That is the world and the things that draws away from God.
08:49 I think, when you look at the context,
08:50 world here is the systems, human systems
08:53 that persecute people of God.
08:57 Human systems are there for political gain.
08:59 Jesus is not political
09:01 and yet His faith has political implications.
09:05 When you follow Jesus,
09:06 it threatens the systems of the world
09:09 and just as they hated Him they turn to hate us as well.
09:13 So those who follow Jesus,
09:16 who take this cruciform way of life,
09:19 they end up out of step with the systems of the world.
09:22 Let's go on to the last verses, verses 22-25
09:26 because that will bring things together
09:28 I think in a powerful way.
09:30 "He who hates Me hates My Father also.
09:33 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did,
09:37 they would have no sin, but now they have seen
09:41 and have also hated both Me and My Father.
09:44 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled
09:47 which is written in their law, 'They hated Me without a cause."
09:52 Who hated Jesus? Did Pilate hate Jesus?
09:56 No. Did Herod hate Jesus?
09:59 Not the current one,
10:01 the previous one perhaps a little bit.
10:03 But really the people
10:06 that He's talking about here are religious people.
10:09 They are people who are following God.
10:12 They are hating Jesus because of his picture of God.
10:18 They would end up putting Him on a cross.
10:22 And imagine this, these are people who keep the Sabbath.
10:26 These are people who keep the commandments of God.
10:29 These are people who go to worship every week.
10:33 And God comes down to them and shows them what God is like
10:39 and they hate that picture of God and they destroy Him.
10:44 They put Him up on the cross
10:45 and they can't wait for Him to die,
10:49 so they can go home and keep the Sabbath.
10:51 That's hard to imagine
10:52 for someone who follows God yet hates His son.
10:57 But it's the picture of God that you have.
10:59 If you believe that God is eventual and judgmental
11:03 and kills and destroys everything that gets in His way,
11:07 then you will be that way as religious person.
11:10 And there have been so many religions,
11:12 we know of some even today.
11:14 There are so many religions through history
11:16 that have killed thousands,
11:19 millions of people in the name of God.
11:22 You see, you become like the God,
11:26 you worship and if your God is angry, hateful, judgmental,
11:34 if that's the view you have of God.
11:35 You will be that way to other people.
11:38 And when they came with this view of God,
11:41 they did all the right things.
11:43 They kept all the rules but when God showed up
11:46 they killed Him because He offered a picture
11:51 that didn't fit with their picture of God.
11:54 They felt perfectly justified in destroying Jesus
11:57 because that's what God would do if he were.
12:01 I'm just acting out for God
12:03 and when some of these terrorists are blowing people up
12:06 they're doing what their God would do in their place.
12:11 You become like the God you worship.
12:14 And that is why it is so important
12:16 to capture this idea of a God who wants to be our friend.
12:20 Because if we think of God as friendly and kind
12:23 and warm toward us,
12:25 we would be more likely to treat other people
12:27 in His name in the same way.
12:30 Well, Dr. Pauline, now that you and I are friends,
12:33 can I call you John? You can, you can.
12:37 Well friends, we thank you for being with us in this program,
12:40 Jesus is your true friend.
12:43 God bless you till next time.


Revised 2014-12-17