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The Heart of Jesus

Walking with Jesus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  38:52
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 Eating together, there is nothing quite so memorable in this life. Even Jesus’ own teachings when speaking about the kingdom compared it to that of a great wedding feast. Mat. 22:1-14 It is a place where the basic needs of human life are met, but more than just the physical, the spiritual, the emotional, and the mental needs of companionship, encouragement, spiritual guidance. Some of my fondest memories have been those found at the dinner table. Memories of my Great-Grandmother cooking corned beef hash, my aunt preparing Thanksgiving dinner, my wife preparing our first meals together, my little ones learning how to eat for the first time. Eating together is a reminder to me of how I want to be there someday sitting at the dinner table of God where “my cup runs over,” and “goodness and mercy,” follows me, “all the days of my life.” Psa. 23:6 Jesus is a dinner host of sorts as we peak into the days of the Last Supper that our Lord shall ever share with us while on this earth. The verdict has been announced. The Pharisees and scribes, Chief priests, and Sadducees, are all plotting His death. Jesus betrayer sits in the very midst of His presence. There is something quite chilling about the scene at the Last Supper, and yet, there is nothing quite as encouraging, comforting, and warming to the heart, then that of the Last Supper scene, where John himself will say of the Lord concerning His twelve dinner attendees, that, “Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” John 13:1 Jesus loves you also, and He will love you to the end. Even the apostle Paul, one much like us, “born out of due time,” appointed after the days when Jesus still walked this earth, could look back upon a mental portrait of the crucified Christ and say, “the son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” 1 Cor. 15:8; Gal. 2:20 And looking back upon that dying love, Paul could look forward to an undying love for times, and for seasons, and for ages to come, through the resurrected Christ, exalted and sitting at the “right hand of God.” Acts 2:33 I love Jesus, don’t you? But the love that I have for Him, will never compare to the love that He has for me. That is why I want to begin this message by looking first at the heart of Jesus toward one who did once follow Him. The Heart of Jesus Toward Those Who Did If ever there was a day you said, “I do,” let there not ever be a day you say, “I did.” If ever there was a day you said, “I do,” let there not ever be a day you say, “I did.” It is hard to be certain regarding the chronology and unfolding of the Last Supper. Some versions of John’s account say that the supper had ended, while others say these things took place during the supper. Furthermore, John’s account differentiates substantially from Matthew, Mark, and Luke. As one author put it, scholars love to delve into speculations and chronologies of the exact order of things, but it is evident that the writers were not nearly as concentrated on these things as they were with the presence and the glory of God manifested in flesh. Keep your eyes on Jesus beloved. What is certain is this, John 13:2 tells us that the heart of Judas Iscariot had been poisoned by the deceitfulness of Satan, and was now intent on betraying the Lord. What is the heart of Jesus toward those who “did”? If we were talking about any other man, our answer would probably be something like anger, hatred, even thoughts of murder. That’s like asking someone, “Hey, how would you feel if your best friend sold you out for a few measly bucks?” That’s exactly what Judas did! Judas sold out Jesus for thirty pieces of silver according to the Scriptures. Mat. 26:14-15 Just to put that into some perspective, when the citizens of Ephesus were convicted by Paul’s preaching, they brought and burned their books of magic, which tallied up to about fifty thousand pieces of silver. Acts 19:19 Jesus was the living Book of God, and Judas sold Him out for thirty pieces! Asking Jesus, “How do you feel Lord about Judas betrayal?” would be just about tantamount to asking a man about his feelings toward an adulterous mistress. John states Jesus’ feelings about the matter in this way, “He was troubled in spirit.” John 13:21 Like the stirring of the waters of the pool of Bethesda in John 5, Jesus’ heart swirling with emotion. I said before that there is something deeply chilling about the Lord’s Last Supper. There are at least three times at the Supper where you can feel something much like that out of an Edgar Allen Poe story where below the footsteps, below the rug, below the boards, and below all the noise and busyness going on at the supper, the heart of Jesus and Judas meet one another. And you can almost feel the pangs of that heartbeat growing little by little by little. First, Jesus begins by washing the feet of the disciples, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” John 13:10 Meeting number one. One can only imagine how the wheels may have begun to turn in Judas’ mind. “What did He mean by that? Does He know something?” Heartbeat begins to elevate. His fingers begin to rub themselves together from the increased temperature. Jesus continues His teaching… “If you know these things blessed are you if you do them. I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’” Judas’ heart drops again. A bead of sweat falls down his fore. “Why’s he talking about David’s psalm of betrayal? Psa. 41:9 This is the Passover meal. We’re supposed to be singing the Halel psalms, the psalms of praise and thanksgiving. Psa. 113-118 traditionally used at the Passover. See AYBD, “Hallel,” for more info. What’s going on? He can’t know, can He? After all, He just washed my feet. He can’t know! But does He?” The disciples continue their meal. After all, He is kind of a hard to understand guy? He says a lot of things we disciples don’t quite understand. So the disciples continue to eat. “Most assuredly (Amen) I say to you, one of you will betray Me.” John 13:21 The room just went quiet. Judas’ heart drops to the ground this time, and he can barely pick it back up this time. The disciples try hard to swallow their spoonful. Eyes grow wide among the disciples. John says they look at one another perplexed. John 13:22 But there’s one in the room who’s not perplexed. Judas’ heart and Jesus meet one last time. O’ Judas, won’t you break? Won’t you come clean? Won’t you just say it, “It’s me Lord. Yes, its me. Wretched and miserable man I am. Yes, I did it.” But as Jesus’ words begin to fade, and the disciples soon begin to ask according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke, “Lord, is it I?” Judas slowly slips into the background again. He even goes the extra mile and asks the Lord, “Rabbi, is it I?” And once more the Lord leaves His answer a mystery to the rest, “You have said it.” At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter does it, what everybody else thinks of you or how everybody else perceives you? The only thing that matters is what God sees in you. Some try to hide behind the cloak of formalities and beautiful garments. Others simply try to justify their behaviors and cloak them in a garment of humility or love. But God sees what is in you. And what He sees in some is a heart that has turned itself away from Him. A heart that has grown cold for God and warm for the things of this world. “You cannot serve two masters,” says the Lord, “for (you) will either hate the one and love the other, or you will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money,” Judas! Mat. 6:24 Why don’t you make up your mind? If you’re going to serve Him, then serve Him. If you’re going to turn away from Him, then turn away! Because where you’re standing now is a worst of a kind. Where you’re standing now is a place of hypocrisy. Where you’re standing now is a place where the Lord Himself says, “it would have been good for that man to have not been born”! Mat. 26:24 O’ what a terrible place to be found! Better to be a hot pot of coffee or even ice cold, but in between?! I’ll spit that out of My mouth, thank you very much! Even Jesus Himself told Judas, “What you do, do quickly,” and those were the last words our Lord spoke to Judas at the table. The last time Jesus would actually speak to Judas was at the betrayal, and you know what He called Judas? “Friend.” Mat. 26:50 That’s the message I’m trying to get across to you right now. He doesn’t want you in this state that you’re living in, but know that He still loves you, right up to the end! Won’t you turn? Won’t you turn again and say, “I do love You.” The Heart of Jesus Toward Those Who Do But having spent some time looking at the heart of Jesus toward those who did, what of the heart of Jesus toward those who do? Listen, if you love Jesus today, know that He will be with you all of the way. He will never pull a Judas. He will never redirect His heart toward something greater or more important to Him. No, the heart of Jesus will remain content upon His chosen. “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.” Jn. 13:36 “I will come again and receive you to Myself.” Jn. 14:3 “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18 Let all the beloved of the Lord say, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” Rev. 22:20 Even if You are coming quickly, come now! That is the mood of the saints, all those who love Him. “Come,” says the beloved of the Lord. “I will,” says the Lord of the beloved. Nevertheless, the Sower has not finished His plow. Today we see Jesus’ love for us through the word of God eternal, His everlasting kingdom, and His promise to answer our prayers. John 15:26, “…the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” Yes, the testimony. The defense of Jesus, as seen in the human courts of the 1st century. Here it is today, the New Testament as it is also referred to as. Further verified by prophets of old who prophesied of His coming. Jesus is the perfect match, the only match, like the strand of DNA, His life is a perfect fit. And what of John 15:12, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”? What a perfect description of the church of Jesus Christ. Those who love one another like Jesus. Jesus love still with us today through His one church. John 14:13, “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do… If you ask anything in My name, I will do.” Jesus love still with us through His answer to prayer, providential, spiritual, and beyond anything we can even understand. And because of these things we can live in the joy that Jesus would have for us. As Jesus says in John 16:20, “you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy… Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full,” John 16:24. That is the heart of Jesus for His people who love Him, that they may live in this world joyfully, though He is away for now, until He comes again. We ought not live in mourning. We ought not to live sullen, and walk about with faces withdrawn. Jesus wants us to be a glad people. He wants to rejoice in our joys, and be glad in our excitements. He wants to smile at our newbirth. He wants to sing with us in our praises. Heb. 4:12 He wants to stand by your side in your temptations, and praise God in your overcoming. For He says, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Jn. 16:33 The Heart of Jesus Toward Those Who Will So then finally, we arrive at Jesus prayer. I like how our Lord prays at the end of the meal, don’t you? Amid those words, Jesus makes this statement in verse twenty, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word.” The heart of Jesus toward those who will, is just as those who did, and those who do, He loves them to the very end. He is thinking of them, and He is praying for them. Maybe that’s you today? Maybe it is you who will believe today? Jesus says, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” Mark 16:16 But just as important as that, Jesus says that he who believes will be “one in Us,” i.e. the Father and the Son divine. They will be brought into the family of God. Thus, they will also share in the inheritance of the Father and the Son, life eternal, a heavenly home. “In My Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2 The promise is to all and for all, “that all may be one.”
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