Red Letter Part 1: Better Together
We are going to focus on the final words of Jesus. Jesus’s final focus was not on his public ministry. His focus was on his 12 disciples. Jesus knew his true ministry would live on through 12 men. Let’s begin in John 13.
John 13:1-8 (NIV) It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father . . . . Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
What didn’t Peter realize? All of us need people in our lives who knows what’s between our toes – the things no one else knows. We need more than friends, we need covenant partners. Partners allow us to do 5 things Jesus outlines in his final words. Jesus knew his earthy ministry would end if his disciples were not partners together in his work.
1. Serving one another. We need to serve. But we also need to be served from time to time. Especially in life’s harder moments.
John 13:12-15 (NIV) When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me `Teacher’ and `Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, [our relationship has gone to a different level] you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
2. Encouraging one another.
John 14:1 (NIV) “Do not let your hearts be troubled [sick]. Trust in God; trust also in me.”
Then Jesus encourages his disciples with Heaven.
Hebrews 3:13 (NIV) But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
Sin often deceives us with discouragement. But sin can’t deceive us when we are being encouraged daily.
3. Producing with one another. Together we accomplish more.
- Together we can help plant churches across America.
- Together we can hep translate the Bible into every language.
- Together we can worship God and give Him a higher praise.
John 15:4-5 (NIV) Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
The more you are connected, the more you bear fruit.
Deuteronomy 32:30 (NIV) “…one man will chase a thousand… two put ten thousand to flight…”
4. Protecting one another.
John 16:1 (NIV) “All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.”
“Astray” means “a snare in your path you can’t see.” We all have snares we can’t see, but a friend can see them.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (Message) It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps, but if there’s no one to help, tough! Two in a bed warm each other. Alone, you shiver all night. By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.
5. Praying for one another.
John 17:1, 9 (NIV) After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed… “I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me…”
James 5:16 (NIV) Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
We is always better than me.