Summary: This sermon is about the transition of Christians from servants of God to friends of Christ.
John 15: 15
Perhaps today you may have a better chance of guessing my age as I share with you the Word of God. Today’s topic consists of one word “Ditto”. I know I’m dealing with a congregation where seventy five percent of the members are under the age of 35 and perhaps your thinking what does “Ditto” mean.
I need for you to travel back in time and try to visualize when typewriters had keys that stuck and the only way to correct a mistake was with liquid white out. Maybe this might be a bit easier for you to imagine a pencil and paper. With today’s technology the need for pencils and paper have rapidly declined. However, believe it or not there existed a time when students used pencils. The luxury of a cell phone and texting was not available during my days of youth. If I wanted to converse with my friend we would have to pass notes in class (and sometimes risk the chance of getting caught by the teacher…not a good memory). If my friend passed a note that simply stated “I’ll be glad when the class ends”… I would simply write “Ditto”.
Ditto means the same as stated before or above; a duplicate or copy and with that being said let’s take a look at today’s text.
St John 15: 15 “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”
First let’s focus on the word “henceforth”…Jesus is letting his disciples know from this day forth, from this time forth, from now on I will not call you servants. The Disciples of Christ reaches a very important time in their journey. They reach a time of transition. The disciples were transiting from servants to friends.
We should be able to remember at least one occasion when we transition from an acquaintance to a friend.
Because of our human nature when we first befriend someone:
• We’re careful with our words and behavior. Notice how Jesus called them servants at first.
• It’s a natural behavior to be reluctant to show ourselves fully to an acquaintance. Jesus explained to his disciples that the servant doesn’t know what his lord does.
We have to earn trust and friendship. We have a place deep within us that doesn’t take kindly to betrayal. There is a place within us, whether we realize it or not, where we attempt to protect ourselves from hurt.
The word of God tells us in Proverbs 18:19 “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.” This passage doesn’t say the brother cannot be won but it will take some fortitude to win back the one who was offended and it also doesn’t state who offended the brother. You may not be the one who offended the brother but because of previous betrayal it is hard for you to befriend that brother.
The wisdom of Jesus knew that the time has come for a closeness that goes deeper than loyalty and faithfulness. The time to be loved was present.
Just visualize the multitude of people that followed Jesus. Matthew chapter 14 tells of the five thousand men, beside women and children that Jesus miraculously fed. When you flip over to the next chapter in Matthew and take a look at verse 38 you’ll find that Jesus fed four thousand men, beside women and children. Okay for all you skeptics saying to yourselves this sounds like a rerun. Listen at this brief testimony… I had a rerun in my life in the year 2008. I had a grandson that was born on Sunday around 11:00 am and the following Monday I had another grandson that was born around 4:30 pm. (two sisters in the same hospital, on the same hall, and one room apart) So yes, you can turn one chapter over and have a similar miracle. Enough of the side bar let’s get back to visualizing the multitude.
Sometimes when we see a person surrounded by a lot of people we assume they have a lot of friends. Jesus was pressed by people on every hand. He healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out evil spirits, distributed empathy, taught multitudes, and the fame of Jesus went abroad in all the land.
(You know brothers and sisters some people envy public celebrities, those who are in the eyes of the media. We need to keep them lifted in prayer. We need to pray not only for those who don’t know Jesus to know Him, but praying also that they will be blessed with true friends.)