Message for Sixth Sunday of Easter May 5, 2024

Brothers and Sisters:

I share with you from William Barclay’s Commentary on THE LIFE OF JESUS’ CHOSEN PEOPLE

The central words of this passage from John’s Gospel this morning are those in which Jesus says that his disciples have not chosen him, but he has chosen them. It was not we who chose God, but God who, in his grace, approached us with a call and an offer made out of his love.

Out of this passage we can compile a list of things for which we are chosen and to which we are called.

(i) We are chosen for joy. However hard the Christian way is, it is, both in the travelling and in the goal, that we find joy. There is always joy in doing the right thing. How can anybody fail to be happy when they walk in the ways of life with Jesus?

(ii) We are chosen for love. We are sent out into the world to love one another. Sometimes we live as if we were sent into the world to compete with one another, or to dispute with one another, or even to quarrel with one another. But  Christians are to live in such a way that they show what is meant by loving their fellow men and women. Jesus gave us a commandment which he had himself first fulfilled.

(iii) Jesus called us to be his friends. He tells his people that he does not call them slaves anymore; he calls them friends. Now that is a saying which would be even greater to those who heard it for the first time than it is to us.

Jesus called us to be his friends and the friends of God. That is a tremendous offer. It means that no longer do we need to gaze longingly at God from afar off; we are not like slaves who have no right whatever to enter into the presence of the master; we are not like a crowd whose only glimpse of the king is in the passing on some state occasion. Jesus gave us this intimacy with God, so that he is no longer a distant stranger, but our close friend.

Think on these things!