Making peace in relationships

Note:- These are the outline notes of the sermon Making peace in relationships delivered at City Revival Ministries, Kuala Lumpur on 14/02/2016 7PM. You can contact me here for any clarifications, doubts or corrections. This is subject to change anytime and will be updated if needed. You may share this link to others. Praying that this will minister to you and may these notes be a blessing to many. In Christ, Donny

Bible Portion for Meditation

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. John 13:1

Introduction

We are going to meditate on this portion, and see how Jesus valued relationships. There are many interesting lessons to learn from the life of Jesus on how he treated people. Before we proceed further, let us see the various kinds of relationships which God created.

4 kinds of relationships

There are basically four kinds of relationships we are interested in. That is, when God created mankind, the first kind of relationship was born. That is, God-man relationship.

When God created Eve, the next relationship, that is, Husband-Wife relationship came into existence.

When God gave them children, Parents-Children relationship came into existence.

When Cain got a brother, the next relationship, that is, brothers-sisters relationship came into existence.

God values relationships

If we go through the entire Bible, God takes a lot of initiative to restore relationships. God values relationships very much. Hence we also need to value relationships. When mankind sinned, the first relationship got broken, and as a result, all the other relationships got affected. This is the greatest problem of the humanity, that is, the broken relationships. If we can solve this problem, all the other things will be in place.

Christians value God-man relationships but…

We are so devoted, faithful and religious many times. We attend church, pray to God and do many things to please God. But, many times we fail to give the value the relationships with our fellow beings. Once Jesus was asked of the greatest commandment. He answered, Love your God with all your heart (that is, God-man relationship), next one is Love your neighbour as you love yourselves. (that is, the other 3 relationships). We love ourselves a lot, but we fail to love others. This is the greatest challenge we face. We are unable to love others as we love God and ourselves. Let us have a close look at this problem, and the solution which Jesus offers!

Jesus wants us to restore relationships before we offer him sacrifices

Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Mat 5: 23, 24 NKJV

We honor God with our gifts and sacrifices. But God commands us to restore the relationships, before offering Him the gifts. God tells, “First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift”. Oh what a wonderful God! Here, we see the heart of Jesus, wanting to see the restored relationships! What a great God who vales relationships more than anything else.

Let us look at Christ Jesus

Let us look at the context of the portion for meditation.

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end

Before, we get into the life of Jesus, I would like to draw your attention to the context of this portion. The scene is the last supper, the day before crucification. All are in great sorrow and sadness. The disciples’ heart are troubled. Jesus tells them, not to be troubled in heart but to believe in God (John 14:1, Check out the sermon on this, in this link)

Before the feast of the Passover

Even thought, much details about the context are not given directly in John 13, the details chronology is mentioned in Matthew 26. Read below

17 Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” 18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover. 20 When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve.

Here, Jesus and his disciples are now seated in a room, where they had their last supper. Only 13 people in total. Jesus already told them, that He was going to be arrested and crucified. The pain of separation, the terror feeling of the leader being executed, the betrayal by Judas, the plotting of Jews to kill Jesus, the denial of Peter, the disciples leaving Jesus alone, during the arrest, etc are the thoughts in the mind of Jesus. If you can imagine, you will understand how painful it is, to be in that state. The Bible says,

22 And they were exceedingly sorrowful

This is the context. Now let’s go a little deep into the portion.

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end

Jesus loved His own who were in the world

Who were those? Indeed His disciples. His own people means, His disciples, for whom He was going to die. The Bible clearly says, Jesus loved them all, which includes all of the 12 disciples.

Here, we need to ask a question.

Did Jesus love Judas?

The answer is Yes.

Let me know ask a series of questions for you to ponder!

  1. Did Jesus Judas like the others? Yes
  2. Did Jesus know that Judas was going to betray Jesus? Yes
  3. Having known this, did Jesus still love Judas? Yes
  4. When Judas was selected as the disciples, did Jesus knew that Judas would betray him later? Yes
  5. Even after, betrayal and arrest, did Jesus still love Judas? Yes
  6. During the arrest, what did Jesus call Judas? Friend!
  7. Did the love of Jesus decrease after the arrest? No

Here are the references. You can find the above answers in the below verse.

For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. John 6: 64

48 Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.” 49 Immediately Judas went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 50 But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?” Matt 26

Still Jesus loved Judas. Now, let us ponder on our attitude!

  1. Will we select someone as our team-mate or colleague on knowing that he would cheat us?
  2. Will we still love someone who betrayed us?
  3. Will we call someone who cheated us as a friend?

This is called ‘unconditional love’. Bible Says, Jesus loved his own who were in this world. Yes, He loves us! He loves YOU, no matter how worse you are! No matter, how worst a sinner you are! Jesus still loves you. This is how God demonstrated His love towards us!

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5

Our aim and goal is to love like Jesus loved! Is it possible?

23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matt 19

Yes, with God’s help, this is possible! We can indeed love like Jesus! That is why, Holy Spirit is being given to us.

He loved them to the end

The next phrase is He loved them to the end, which means He loved them all till his last breath. That is, even though His disciples left him alone at His arrest, He didn’t curse them, nor do any harm to his disciples. He loved them till the end. When man is unfaithful, God is still faithful. He cannot deny His character! What an amazing moral standard He has set for us!

Bible says in Matt 26: 56

Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.

There may be some similar situations in your life, where people whom you cared for, loved, would betray you, deny you and leave you alone. But remember, Jesus also went through the same situation, and He is our brother who knows our feeling, and He is the One who can help in similar situations. Would you stay close to Jesus and do the same thing He did, that is, to love those who wronged you?

Love from the beginning till the end was same as always! 100% unconditional LOVE! This is our goal.

Can you pray, right now, Father help me also to do the same! 

How to practice this? Here are some practical tips

Here is the secret!

47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Luke 7

The one who is forgiven more will love more. That is, if your sins are many, and you know that God has completely forgiven you, then your love towards God will be more. And he who is forgiven more, will eventually forgive others.

This is a fair deal! Isn’t it?

We were not worthy to be forgiven! Our sins are many! But God in His mercy, has forgiven us and made us clean. So, do we also need to forgive others freely?

Imagine, we have done 1000 sins, against God. We repented, and He forgave us all 1000 sins, and He remembers it no more as per Heb 8: 12

 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.

Therefore, we got 1000 sins forgiven FREELY. So, if our brother or sister has done 10 sins, naturally we should also forgive them FREELY right? Isn’t is injustice if don’t do so? God requests us to be fair! He asks us to give only what He has given us. He has given us forgiveness, He asks us to give others forgiveness.

Freely you have received, freely give. Matt 10:8

Nothing more He expects from us. He gave us 100% freely, we should atleast give a tithe of that to others? Kidding! Hope you got the point.

Jesus showed an example

12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. John 13

What was the reaction of Jesus when He was beaten by people? Do you think that He was powerless when He was beaten? He is God! But still He chose to remain silent. Why? To show us an example on how we should behave in such situations.

67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?” Matt 26

He was spat upon, He was struck on his face, He was mocked, but His attitude was this, as prophesied in Isaiah

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth. Isaiah 53:7

If we can keep our mouth shut, we will bring peace in many relationships. This is a secret.

Finally take to the Lord in prayer

Whenever you are in a situation, where someone hurt you badly, take it to the Lord in prayer, and deal every hurt in the presence of Jesus. Only Jesus can heal you completely. Because He too was badly hurt. He can empathize with us. This is the PERFECT REMEDY to any emotional hurts.

Fall in love with Jesus

As the sinful woman came to Jesus and she showed her gratitude towards Jesus. Jesus was much pleased.

Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wipedthem with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” 48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

Jesus forgave her sins, hence she showed her love towards Jesus. Yes, when we know the value of the forgiveness which we received, we will have the courage to forgive others also. This is a powerful truth.

God will not forgive you, if you don’t forgive others.

This is a scary truth!

14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matt 6

The one who has received the forgiveness refuses to give others, then God will also refuse to forgive us.

So how to make peace in relationships?

  1. Observe the life of Jesus carefully
  2. Fall in love with Jesus
  3. Enjoy the forgiveness of Jesus (This will enable you to forgive others)
  4. Earn forgiveness and Give forgiveness
  5. Request the help of Jesus who had gone through more worst situations
  6. Practice this in all your relationships

May God help you and restore your relationship with your dad, mom, brothers, sisters, husband, wife, colleagues, neighbours, church members, etc.

Let us pray

Father Lord, please help us to experience the forgiveness You offer. Help us to forgive others as You did to us. Help us to bring peace in all the relationships in our life. Thank you Jesus. Amen