Faithlife Sermons

Lord, I Want to Know You

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Intro:
John 15:15 NKJV
15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
The title of my message is, [Lord, I Want to Know You].
When I think of one of my best friends, I can’t help but notice how polar opposite we are.
§ His dad was a pastor and my dad was a machinist.
§ He was private schooled and I was public schooled
§ He excelled at basketball and I almost made one basket
§ He drives faster and I drive slower
§ He likes one type of music and like another.
§ He listens more and I talk more.
§ And the list of differences go on and on
However, he is the only person outside of Bekah who knows more about me than anyone else. Our sense of humor is similar, our passion for the Lord is similar, and our hunger for God’s presence is similar.
We have been friends since we were in elementary school
Friendship is a treasured commodity. Something I have wondered and never been able to find the answer is:
§ (when is the line crossed between acquaintance and friendship?)
§ (When does a friendship move into a best friend?)
I have not found anyone to answer this question because I suppose there is not a step-by-step guide to create friends, it just happens. Friendships develop when people get to know each other.
The bible provides various examples of friendship. But as with any friendship there were vast {differences} and {some similarities}:
§ Moses and Aaron,
o {Moses stuttered}
o and {Aaron was an eloquent speaker},
§ but they had a mutual desire to see God’s people free.
§ David and Jonathan,
o {David was a future king}, and
o {Jonathon was the son of the current king}
§ but they both cared about the state of Israel’s future.
§ Elijah and Elisha,
o {Elijah was an elderly prophet},
o while {Elisha was a young prophet},
§ they were both called by God to be His mouthpiece
· Naomi and Ruth,
o {Naomi was an elderly mother-in-law},
o {Ruth was her young daughter-in-law},
§ they were both widows who struggled for survival in the midst of a drought.
As with any great friendship, their mutual respect and admiration overshadowed their differences that enabled them to be an example for generations to come.
However, the friendship I want us to see is the friendship of two men who could not be more different.
§ One was very young,
o while the {other’s age could not be numbered}.
§ One had an earthly mother and father
o The other had an earthly mother and an eternal father
§ {One leaned on the other for constant} support, wisdom, and guidance.
These two friends were unequal on nearly every front; nevertheless, they provide an example of the great love of God. These two friends are Jesus and John the Apostle.
Even though Jesus had twelve disciples, He had an inner circle, He had a few close friends that He allowed to know Him more than the others.
These three in the inner circle were {Peter}, {James}, and {John.} I have often wondered (why Jesus selected these three over the other nine?)
I am certain based on scripture there was some jealously from the other disciples.
(Why did Peter, James and John get to do what they got to do?)
I would say this had as much to do with Peter, James, and John as it did
Tonight, we will look specifically at John and discover that he had an insatiable desire to know the Lord. He was not content with knowing ABOUT Jesus, He wanted to know JESUS on a personal level.
Of the four gospels, John is the only one who mentions our text. He explained Jesus’ view of His followers, we are not servants; we are His friends.
(How then do we build our friendship with Jesus?)
There should be a cry from the depths of our heart,
§ Lord I want to know you!
§ I want to know you on a personal level,
§ I want to move from acquaintance to friend.
Let’s look at John’s friendship with Jesus, [Their Close Friendship], and [Their Continued Friendship]. Let’s begin
1. Their Close Friendship
John 1:35–39 NKJV
35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).
When we read the Gospel according to John, it is important to note that he never identifies himself by name. He remains anonymous until chapter twenty-five when he explains his role in the narrative.
First, John was a follower of John the Baptist. But John the Baptist’s role was to prepare the world for Jesus. So when Jesus came from a distance, John the Baptist pointed and introduced Jesus as the Lamb of God.
Two of the disciples, one of them being John the Apostle, leave John the Baptist and they began to follow Jesus. After a while, Jesus turns around and asks, (“What do you want?”)
By this point they had followed him for some time and it was nearing the end of the day, the tenth hour, which is 4:00 pm. Embarrassed they asked, um, (where do you live?)
It reminds me of when I was a child and I would ask my friend, can I come to your house in between church, and come back to church with yall this evening?
Jesus invited them to see and the rest was history. John was one of the first disciples to follow Jesus.
At some point after Jesus called all twelve disciples, John was set apart from the others. As I mentioned in my introduction, this could have had more to do with John than it did with Jesus.
 If someone
§ {prays more},
§ {studies more},
§ {fasts more},
§ {worships more},
§ and {seeks more},
it is natural that they will be closer to the Lord than the person who only thinks about God on Sundays.
There is no partiality when it comes to Jesus, He is no respecter of persons, so John must have lived with an attitude, [Lord I want to know you], and Jesus answered this request.
As John’s friendship with Jesus unfolds during His three and a half years of ministry on earth, there are three instances where we see John’s closeness with Jesus.
One yearafter John followed Jesus, the disciples were in Galilee when a nobleman named Jairusbegged Jesus to come heal his daughter. As they are en route, his daughter dies. Jesus declares that she is only sleeping.
Everyone ridicules Jesus, so when Jesus arrives at the home of the Jairus, he excuses everyone except those who are closest to Him, both Mark 5:37 and Luke 8:51 tell us that John was included in the close group who were there for this resurrection.
One year later, Jesus took John, along with Peter and James to a mountain. When they got to the top and they were alone, something supernatural happened that gave John a glimpse of Jesus in all His glory.
Matthew 17:1–2 NKJV
1 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.
Matthew 17:9 NKJV
9 Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.”
Imagine being John, having been one of the first to follow Jesus, but this point they were close friends. John had a desire to know Jesus, and he saw Jesus transfigured.
Literally, the face of Jesus began to shine with the glory of God and He looked like a heavenly figure, very different from the Jesus they had known thus far.
(How do we know that Jesus and John were close?)
Jesus instructed them to keep this a secret. He did this because He knew He could trust them, they had a close friendship.
One year later, in Jesus’ final days on earth, we read of the famous prayer Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane where He submitted to the will of the Father.
But
Matthew 26:37 NKJV
37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.
, 37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.”He called three disciples close, Peter, James and John. They were closest to Him during His most trying time. But the story continues.
When Jesus was on the cross,
§ the disciples are MIA
§ Judas has betrayed Jesus
§ Peter has denied Jesus
§ the rest are hiding in fear worried that they could be next.
(But where is John?)
John 19:26–27 NKJV
26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.
, 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.
Right until the end, (where was John?) He was with his friend Jesus. He wanted to know the Lord, through
§ the {times of celebration},
§ the {times of difficulty},
§ and this {times of sorrow}.
Imagine the sadness of John when Jesus died. But thankfully the story is not over.
John 20:1–4 NKJV
1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” 3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first.
This touches my heart,
§ the first one to follow Him,
§ the one who stayed with Him to the end,
§ was the first one to see the empty tomb.
John had a close friendship with Jesus that was built on John’s deep desire to know the Lord.
2. Their Continued Friendship
John 21:24–25 NKJV
24 This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. 25 And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.
Finally, we have written evidence that John was the author of this gospel; he was the one who had this close relationship with the Lord. But I wonder, (how did John feel after Jesus rose from the dead?)
Of course, he celebrated Jesus’ triumph over {death}, {hell}, and {the grave.}
But (what about the sadness of knowing that he could not see Jesus on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis?)
We have to remember people of Scripture were real. They had emotions and feelings. John knew it was Jesus’s role to die and rise again, but he missed his friend.
Well, we know that John continued his friendship with Jesus. Even though Jesus was in heaven, I am convinced that John continued to communicate with his friend.
§ He served his friend the rest of his life.
§ He was there on the day of Pentecost where the leadership void was filled as God sent His power.
§ He was part of the first recorded healing in Acts 3.
§ He was one of the first to stand trial for his commitment to his friend in Acts 4.
§ He was a leader in the early church.
§ History dictates that he became the pastor of the church at Ephesus.
Though his friend Jesus was in heaven and John was on earth, he never lost the love he had for his friend Jesus.
Something unique about John, because he was the youngest of Jesus’ disciples, he outlived his contemporaries, and did not write until nearly sixty years after Jesus ascended to heaven.
But time never caused him to lose the love for his friend. He continued to develop his friendship with Jesus.
1 John 4:19 NKJV
19 We love Him because He first loved us.
, “We love Him because He first loved us.”
He lived a life of service and love for his friend, one that never waivered. Tradition tells us that he was the final apostle to die, and they claim it was of natural causes.
However, he was sentenced to the Island of Patmos, a ten-mile long rocky island with no trees to a life of hard labor after being boiled in hot oil. Doesn’t sound like natural causes to me.
And something happened to him there.
Revelation 1:9–11 NKJV
9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
Think about this, this happened sixty years after Jesus ascended to heaven. Time had changed, John was now in his nineties, praying and the Holy Spirit consumed him.
For six decades God’s presence helped him remember what it was like to walk on earth with Jesus. But as he is praying, he hears a voice. I have to believe this was a familiar voice; it was the voice of his friend.
Then he turned and he saw someone, it was his friend, but this time He looked different:
§ His hair was white
§ His eyes were like fire
§ His feet were like fine brass
§ His voice was the sound of many waters
o Perhaps reminiscent of what he witnessed on the Mount of Transfiguration
Revelation 1:17–18 NKJV
17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
When John saw his friend, His presence was so overwhelming, John fell out and then His friend reached out and touched Him. Think about this,
§ this was the same Jesus who invited John and his brother to follow Him
§ This was the same Jesus who raised Jairus’ daughter,
§ Same Jesus who was transfigured on the mountain,
§ Same Jesus who entrusted John with His mother Mary, who ascended to heaven.
Now after six decades of not seeing each other, John was advanced in age, but the moment he heard the voiceas the sound of many waters, something told him, this is my old friend.
I know Him, I have not seen Him in sixty years, but I would know Him anywhere,
§ He is my Lord},
§ He is my God},
§ He is my Savior,
o because{He is my Friend},
And Jesus reached out and touched John and visited with His friend one more time on earth before He took John home to heaven.
Close:
No longer do I call you servants, but I call you my friends. These are the words of our Savior. He wants us to know Him, He wants us to walk close with Him, He wants us to know Him more.
My question is, (how well do we know Him?) Sure we know the stats,
{His birthday}, {hometown}, {parent’s names}, and {some of his resume}.
(But do we know the Man we read about on paper?)
§ (Is Jesus a mystical figure who once walked the earth 2000 years ago?)
o (Or is Jesus a religious figure who promotes good moral qualities?)
§ (Is Jesus someone we know about and revere,
o or is Jesus our friend?)
§ (Do we confide in Him? Do we celebrate with Him?)
§ (Do we communicate with Him on a daily basis?)
§ (Is our friendship mutual?)
§ (Or is it a friendship based on convenience?)
§ (Is He a friend that sticks closer than a brother?)
o (Or is He a friend we only call when we need something?)
He knows everything about us, but (how much do we know about Him?)
A while back I was with a friend at dinner. We started discussing scripture, and somehow got on the topic of Revelation.
As I sat there, it hit me, John never stopped loving and wanting to spend time with His friend. And even though time and space separated them, the minute Jesus visited John on the Lord’s Day, even though Jesus looked different, John knew Him.
John knew, that is my Jesus.
And I can declare, this is my desire, I want to know Jesus like that. Should Jesus delay His coming and I live another sixty years, I will be 90.
If the Lord blesses me to live that long, I want to know Him more and more. I want our friendship to be a close and continued friendship.
§ I want to know what pleases Him
§ What he likes
§ What He dislikes
§ What He desires
§ What He wants from me
§ I want to know His voice
§ I want to know His heart
§ I want to know Him
§ I want Him to be there in the
o {times of celebration},
o {the times of difficulty},
o {the times of sorrow},
o and {the times of victory}.
§ I want to know Him so well that the minute I hear Him say my name, no matter where I am or what I am doing, I can turn like John and see
o {my Savior},
o {my Lord},
o and {my Friend}.
(Who would like to know the Lord like this?) [Lord I Want to Know you]
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