Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #309 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading John 16 today and our focus is on What Causes “Christian” Extremism? + Why Did Jesus Tell Us What He Told Us?? We are a daily 10ish minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
The Word of God is living and active, and one implication of that active life is that you can read and reread a text and still find amazing truths in that text after dozens of times of reading it. Such a thing happened to me today, TWICE, as I was reading John 16 to the family tonight during our Bible time. The first thing that hit me was vss 2-3:
2 They will ban you from the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3 They will do these things because they haven’t known the Father or me. John 16:2-3
What Jesus is saying here is pretty fascinating – people are going to persecute AND EVEN KILL the disciples – who were handpicked and sent out by the Son of God on the Mission of God to Share the Word of God – and these people are going to these unspeakably evil acts and be so deluded that they will think they are pleasing God with their abominable actions. Imagine – Jesus, the Son of God and God Himself, sends His disciples out to share His teachings and His story, and those disciples are persecuted, arrested, whipped, imprisoned, opposed and even killed by the Jewish authorities and other very religious people, and those people somehow, someway think they are pleasing God by their actions. This is the ultimate irony, and I really do think that is not an exaggeration – quite possibly the most ironic thing in history is for some of the first century irreligious zealots to have persecuted the followers of Jesus thinking they were doing so as some sort of pleasing act of worship that was helping out God. WHY do these extremists do these foul deeds? Jesus tells us in verse 3: They haven’t known God the Father OR God the Son. And yet they are doing these acts of persecution and murder in God’s name. And, my friends, this very same thing is happening still today. So many people do extreme things – demonstrate extreme anger, show extreme violence, post extreme words of hatred, and do other such things thinking they are “doing the Lord’s work.” but they are doing NO such thing – they neither know God the Father or God the Son. The thing is, my friend – somebody can claim to be a follower of Jesus all they want and claim that what they are doing is following Him, but these people are either self-deluded or Satan-deluded, and they are going to hear an awful pronouncement on the day of Judgment from the lips of the Jesus they claim to follow, but know Him not. They will hear Him say, “I never knew you…depart.” Very often when we quote that passage we stop at vs. 23, but we should actually continue to vs 24 at least:
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness. 24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Matthew 7:21-24
These people call Jesus Lord, but He does NOT know them. Why does He not know them? Quite probably because of what is said in vs. 24- they don’t hear the Words of Jesus and OBEY THEM. Almost every “Christian” and religious extremist person and group I know of claims to operate in the name of God or Jesus, but their actions and words demonstrate a flagrant disregard for understanding, living and obeying those actions and Words. By their fruit you will know them, says Jesus, and those who are angry, violent, harsh, attacking and so on are not those who are demonstrating good fruit. Far too many have co-opted the name of Jesus or God’s name to justify their own anger, hatred and vitriol – don’t be fooled by the label they call themselves – look at their fruit and their following of the Words of Jesus.
Second topic. I’ve never noticed this before, but John 16 begins and ends with the exact same phrase: ““I have told you these things.” In fact, several times in the book of John, Jesus explains to His disciples WHY He is teaching them what He is teaching them – let’s hear His explanation, beginning with the first and last verse of our chapter.
- John 16:1 “I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling.
- John 16:33, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. “
- John 16:4, “But I have told you these things so that when their time comes you will remember I told them to you.”
- John 14:29, “I have told you now before it happens so that when it does happen you may believe.”
- John 15:11, ““I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”
So- why does Jesus teach His disciples what He taught them – and, why does He teach us these things also? There are several reasons, and I treasure all of them. The Words and teachings of Jesus, when we follow them, will keep us from stumbling says John 16:1. The Words of Jesus, when we treasure them and remember them will bring us supernatural peace says John 16:33! The Words of Jesus, when we remind ourselves of them and think about them in the context of our lives, will inform us how to behave and act in different situations, says John 16:4. The words of Jesus, when we see how they are fulfilled will build faith in us, says John 14:29 and the Words of Jesus, when we hide them in our hearts and display them in our actions will cause us to have full and complete joy says John 15:11. I can’t think of five better reasons for us to listen to, seek to understand and follow the Words of Jesus – may we treasure them like the pure spiritual gold that they are!
Bible Memory passage for the month of November: John 14:6 “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
The Bible 2021 Podcast Is a ministry of Valley Baptist Church A Christian Church in North Salinas, California.
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