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Location: Horsham, Pennsylvania, United States

John is a PA/NJ Architect with his own practice in its 41st year working on a wide variety of projects. He works on churches, convenience stores, residences, and academies as well as industrial projects. He has helped in numerous property acquisitions and worked with real estate investors. Acutely interested in politics since a teenager with many articles published over the last 55 years, he served as a guest on a Talk Radio show discussing race relations and on "It's Your Call" TV show with Lynn Doyle dealing with the subject of interethnic marriage. John is a "Tentmaking Evangelist" (Architect). An Evangelist with the Anchor Bay Evangelistic Association (non-denominational). Co-Founder of Kingdom Gospel Ministries, a ministry now in its 35th year with a mission to reconcile people of different racial, ethnic, and economic situations, and the producer of three weekly radio programs - a Sunday morning verse-by-verse Bible Study on Radio Delaware Valley, a weekly message from current events in California, and a weekly radio drama on the Wilkins Radio network. He also has archived many, many radio programs and written articles on the Internet.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

OBEYING JESUS' LAST WORDS

Date: Fri Apr 2 22:58:08 2010

(this message was delivered at the Good Friday Service at St. David Roman Catholic Church in Willow Grove, PA)

Lord, open our hearts as we meditate on your Sacred Words. We are in The Gospel of St. John, chapter 19, verses 25 through 27.

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His motherís sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

Let's consider this.
Women at the cross. It is recorded in both Matthew and Mark that MANY WOMEN were at the cross. Certainly a lot of men were there as well as they mocked and ridiculed him mercilessly. But if it were only Matthew and Mark's accounts that we had, we might get the wrong idea. I am so thankful for Dr. Luke who writes, But ALL those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things. ALL THOSE. That means ALL the disciples. ALL THOSE who were close to Jesus. This is so critical as we consider one of the last words of Jesus on the Cross.

26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, 'Woman, behold your son!' 27 Then He said to the disciple, 'Behold your mother''.

There is so much in these few words that inspire AND teach us.

First, Jesus thought of practical matters even while in excruciating pain. This was not just a thought as we was dying. Jesus was very practical throughout his life. After all, he spent many years up until he was about thirty living with his family and helping support them. By the age of 12, he already had surpassed the religious elites in knowledge and understanding. Yet he humbled himself for many years and by the time he began his public ministry, no one could remotely hope to trip him up though they tried for quite some time.

Jesus was always outward-directed, not fixated on himself. That is the sign of a true leader ñ unlike the ruling elites then and now, he sought not to be served and accommodated, but to serve, and to give his life for the sheep. Jesus cared about his family. Mary followed Jesus herself. She knew that Jesus practiced what he preached.

So many do not care about their families. There is a hot new book out now called THE CHRISTIAN ATHEIST. It is about people who claim to know God, but who do not really fear him or do just about anything he says. The Holy Spirit wrote through the Apostle Paul that believers are to take care of their families. The church should only have to care for widows who do not have family. When we were visiting my uncle in a nursing home, so many were eager to talk to us ñ their families were not visiting them. If your parents have passed on, consider spreading the Love of Christ in a practical way by going to places where Seniors live and befriend them, pray for them, and bring them delight. Now the very same Holy Spirit that prompted Paul to write those words was in Christ, and though his mission was unique in all of history, he did not fail to show care for his own mother.

Mary is often mentioned in concert with other women, so she was not alone, and others could have provided a roof over her head and food and fellowship, but Jesus wanted her to have something very special. He was dying, he was leaving, and he wanted to fill that unimaginable void that would pierce her soul prophesied by Simeon well over thirty years prior. He chose his closest friend and confidant, the Apostle of Love. My friends, Christian Duty is not enough, LOVE is that essential main ingredient.

The Apostle John is well known for most accurately communicating the heart of Christís message, and he had a special relationship with Christ. Our text notes THE DISCIPLE HE LOVED WAS STANDING BY. Now Jesus had 10 other disciples to chose from as well as other followers, but he chose John. John was quick to respond. He didnít object. John already had a living mother, as other scriptures mention the mother of the sons of Zebedee was there. John put aside his own personal comfort and his own budget to care for another person, even a non-relative. He didnít count his privacy or his funds his own, but for the use of the Kingdom.

And from that HOUR that disciple took her to his own home.

John did not let grass grow under his feet. He did not think it over. He obeyed his Lord right away.

Mary was also quick to respond. She went without protest. She was losing the best son in the world. Jesus wanted her to have John with her, the one who best understood his message. She was gaining a son who was a soul-mate of Jesus Christ.

John would remind her of the messages of Jesus and doubtless share many secrets that Jesus and John had shared in all those times when Jesus was alone with his disciples.

Today as we consider these words, let us be sure to follow the last will and testament of our Lord that he gave to US after his resurrection in Matthew 28 and in Acts 1:8 - "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you AND You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses first in Jerusalem, and in Judea, in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth."

Will we in the year of our Lord 2010 obey our Lord as quickly and as completely as John and Mary did? I truly trust that we will.

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