September 20, 2016

Today you should read: John 19:19-27

King of the Jews (19–22)

Crucifixion is the epitome of public execution. The purpose of crucifixion was to proclaim to the whole world the offenses of the enemies of the Empire. Rome (like other nations before them) had a simple idea—make punishment so severe that crime is never committed. Thus, crucifixions were done in places to be witnessed by passersby. They were like ancient billboards.

It was customary for the offense of the criminal to be written on a sign that was hung above the head of the dying man. Jesus was crucified for treason against Rome. A great irony is that Pilate hit the nail on the head when, in an attempt to make the Jewish leadership angry, he wrote on Jesus’ sign, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” While he could have simply written “Treason,” Pilate made a great messianic proclamation (2 Sam 7:12). Also, as one commentator writes, “John indicates that the entitlement was written in Hebrew or Aramaic (the language of the general populace), Latin (the language of the army and the presiding government), and Greek (the universal language of commerce in that time).” (New American Commentary)

The Great Contrast (23–27)

John’s Gospel records two scenes back to back that illustrate a stark contrast. First, after Jesus was hung on the cross, John informs us of the soldiers division of the spoils. At the foot of the cross, we see the greed of Jesus’ crucifiers. Of particular interest, Jesus’ tunic was seamless and a good prize for the soldiers. Instead of tearing it, they played a game to see who would win, fulfilling what was writing in Psalm 22:18. Just feet away, men hung on crosses gasping for air, friends and families of the crucified weep for their loved ones, and these men laugh and jeer while stealing from the condemned.

This scene is in juxtaposition to the next scene John records. Along with the soldiers at the foot of the cross, John tells us of four women (Jesus’ mother, his aunt, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene) and at least one disciple, the one whom he loved, John. They were there weeping and mourning for Jesus. Yet, when Jesus saw them, his concern was for them, and especially his mother.

The soldiers played games in their greed, while a dying man pours out compassion for others. Without Jesus fulfilling the responsibility of the eldest son for his mother, another man had to take his place. John was there and he got the job. Jesus hung on the cross, making an eternal sacrifice, yet he still had compassion for his mother and her needs. The selfishness of the soldiers stands in incredible contrast to the selflessness of Jesus.

As I think about application, I think Jesus provides an amazing example of compassion. Not that we are even capable of having compassion like Jesus, but we see how Jesus provides opportunities to increase our capacity for compassion. While the soldiers were looking out for themselves, Jesus asked John to look out for someone else. In the same way, the New Testament challenges the Church to look out for one another in repeated passages. With traits like patients, generosity, and in this case, compassion, I find that God rarely supplies me with those gifts; instead, he gives me opportunities to increase my capacity through opportunities to practice those gifts. Take a look at the 59 “One Anothers” of scripture below and ask God to provide you an opportunity to practice one or two that your capacity may increase.

The 59 “One Anothers” of the New Testament

1. “…Be at peace with each other.” (Mark 9:50)

2. “…Wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14)

3. “…Love one another…” (John 13:34)

4. “…Love one another…” (John 13:34)

5. “…Love one another…” (John 13:35)

6. “…Love one another…” (John 15:12)

7. “…Love one another” (John 15:17)

8. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…” (Romans 12:10)

9. “…Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)

10. “Live in harmony with one another…” (Romans 12:16)

11. “…Love one another…” (Romans 13:8)

12. “…Stop passing judgment on one another.” (Romans 14:13)

13. “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you…” (Romans 15:7)

14. “…Instruct one another.” (Romans 15:14)

15. “Greet one another with a holy kiss…” (Romans 16:16)

16. “…When you come together to eat, wait for each other.” (I Cor. 11:33)

17. “…Have equal concern for each other.” (I Corinthians 12:25)

18. “…Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (I Corinthians 16:20)

19. “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (II Corinthians 13:12)

20. “…Serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13)

21. “If you keep on biting and devouring each other…you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:15)

22. “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:26)

23. “Carry each other’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2)

24. “…Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)

25. “Be kind and compassionate to one another…” (Ephesians 4:32)

26. “…Forgiving each other…” (Ephesians 4:32)

27. “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” (Ephesians 5:19)

28. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)

29. “…In humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)

30. “Do not lie to each other…” (Colossians 3:9)

31. “Bear with each other…” (Colossians 3:13)

32. “…Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.” (Colossians 3:13)

33. “Teach…[one another]” (Colossians 3:16)

34. “…Admonish one another (Colossians 3:16)

35. “…Make your love increase and overflow for each other.” (I Thessalonians 3:12)

36. “…Love each other.” (I Thessalonians 4:9)

37. “…Encourage each other…”(I Thessalonians 4:18)

38. “…Encourage each other…” I Thessalonians 5:11)

39. “…Build each other up…” (I Thessalonians 5:11)

40. “Encourage one another daily…” Hebrews 3:13)

41. “…Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)

42. “…Encourage one another.” (Hebrews 10:25)

43. “…Do not slander one another.” (James 4:11)

44. “Don’t grumble against each other…” (James 5:9)

45. “Confess your sins to each other…” (James 5:16)

46. “…Pray for each other.” (James 5:16)

47. “…Love one another deeply, from the heart.” (I Peter 3:8)

48. “…Live in harmony with one another…” (I Peter 3:8)

49. “…Love each other deeply…” (I Peter 4:8)

50. “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (I Peter 4:9)

51. “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others…” (I Peter 4:10)

52. “…Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…”(I Peter 5:5)

53. “Greet one another with a kiss of love.” (I Peter 5:14)

54. “…Love one another.” (I John 3:11)

55. “…Love one another.” (I John 3:23)

56. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:7)

57. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:11)

58. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:12)

59. “…Love one another.” (II John 5)

* From Carl F. George, Prepare Your Church for the Future (Tarrytown: Revell, 1991), 129-131.

By: Tyler Short

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Author: cpclexington

Lexington & Richmond KY

3 thoughts on “September 20, 2016”

  1. The concept of looking after one another is one of my favorites. Not only does it build community, but it builds each individual up, as well, in Christ if we’re loving and admonishing each other.

  2. Man, the “One Anothers” are so convicting, but they’re also helpful. We don’t have to guess too often at what God wants us to do. He makes it clear. Sometimes, there’s not much mystery in what the will of God is. Love is a good starting point.

    Thanks Tyler — good stuff today.

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