The Bible says in John 11:25-26: “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”
Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from the Bible Knowledge Commentary by Dr. John F. Walvoord and Dr. Roy B. Zuck:
This is the fifth of Jesus’ great “I am” revelations. The Resurrection and the Life of the new Age is present right now because Jesus is the Lord of life. Jesus’ words about life and death are seemingly paradoxical. A believer’s death issues in new life. In fact, the life of a believer is of such a quality that he will never die spiritually. He has eternal life, and the end of physical life is only a sleep for his body until the resurrection unto life. At death the spiritual part of a believer, his soul, goes to be with the Lord.
Today’s quote is from A.W. Pink. He said: “The nature of Christ’s salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist. He announces a Saviour from Hell rather than a Saviour from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness.”
Our topic today is titled What Does it Mean that Jesus is “Lord”? (Part 4) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.
Consider two important sayings of our Lord, spoken one after the other, as recorded in Luke 14:16-33.
The first tells the story of a banquet for which great and elaborate preparation had been made. Many had been invited by the host, and when all the preparations had been completed, a servant was sent to tell those who had been invited that they should now come. But those invited began to make excuses—a real-estate purchase that needed to be seen, oxen that needed to be proved, and a new wife that the husband needed to be with. Remember that the people had been invited ahead of time so that they had ample opportunity to take care of their personal matters during the time the banquet was being prepared.
The host became angry and told his servant to bring in those who were considered inferior. Still the banquet room was not filled, so others were invited from the roads and lanes where the poor and vagrants lived. (This latter group represents Gentiles who were offered salvation after the Jewish people rejected Christ.)
What clear and repeated displays of the host’s grace shine through this parable. He gave three distinct invitations, and a reminder to the first group of guests. So actually four invitations were issued. In spite of rejection, the host continued to invite people to his banquet. No strings were attached, except to come. No price needed to be paid. No conditions were involved, except to come. Indeed, the host told his servant to compel or persuade people to come. He wanted others to enjoy what he had prepared and to enjoy it without cost to them (though at great cost to himself).
But there was a warning that the gracious invitation would not be renewed, so that those who gave excuses would have no further opportunity.
The teaching that follows stands in sharp contrast. Whereas the story of the banquet says “come” and “free,” the next says “stop” and “costly.” What is free? The invitation to enter the Father’s kingdom. What is costly? A certain kind of discipleship.
What kind of discipleship? In this account, discipleship that involved attaching oneself to the Lord, leaving family and possessions to be with Him wherever He went. Discipleship that would involve standing against great opposition.
So the Lord warned the multitudes who were attracted to Him too hastily but halfheartedly that it cost something to be His disciple. It cost: (1) supreme loyalty to Him even above family, (2) willingness to die for Him, and (3) literally forsaking everything (not just being willing to do so) to be able to accompany Jesus from place to place. The word forsake means “to say farewell.” One would have to do that at least for the time that he left home to follow Christ. And apparently some had given up possessions and employment in order to hear and learn from our Lord as He and they traveled from place to place.
To emphasize how carefully such a decision should be made, the Lord gave two illustrations: (1) the man who began to build and could not finish because he failed to plan wisely, and (2) the king who carefully considered the strength of his enemy before deciding whether to fight or sue for peace. Likewise, the decision to follow (and this meant literally to go from place to place with the Lord) was not to be made lightly, halfheartedly, or hastily.
The contrast between these two sayings of our Lord could scarcely be more vivid.
Come to the banquet. It’s free.
Don’t rush into discipleship. It’s costly.
Today the Lord Jesus, the God-man, offers His feast of salvation freely, and He can do so because He is God who became man. The same Lord Jesus, through many New Testament writers, asks those who have believed to submit to His mastery over their lives. Some do to a great extent. Some do to a lesser extent. No one does it fully and always. But He was, is, and always will be Lord whether He is acknowledged as the God-man Savior or whether He is acknowledged as Master of the believer’s life. He is Lord.