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An Extension of His Father’s Authority

Briefing: When a law enforcement officer shows up to a call for service, are they recognized as being husbands, wives, fathers, or the coach of a little league team?

Dispatch (Assignment): Read John 13:18-30.

On the Street: First, let me say this selection of verses are very significant. Usually, when you read this part of chapter 13, the focus is on Judas and his betrayal of Jesus. We will be looking at the first part of this story and directing our attention to another section of Jesus’ response to His disciples.

There has been a theme in the Gospel of John. It is Jesus’ authority being from God. Jesus again reminds His disciples of this in John 13:20 (NIV) when He says, “I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.” Like the question in the briefing section, when a law enforcement officer shows up on a call, they are usually a faceless representative of the law enforcement agency they are employed by. The officer is also recognized as the embodiment and personification of the authority their agency has been trusted with. When they arrive, they have the full force and authority of the department they represent behind them.

Jesus is the representative of His Father. He has all the authority and power of the Father. He and the Father are One. It is extremely important that we understand this truth.

This identification of Jesus being from the Father also extends to us. In the first part of verse 20, Jesus is talking about the people who have made Him Lord of their life. Think of it like a Sheriff’s Department. When a Sheriff is elected, or appointed, to serve as the law enforcement authority of a county or parish, he/she is entrusted with keeping the peace and enforcing the law. The deputies who work for the Sheriff are representatives of the authority entrusted to him/her.

If you serve Christ as a born again Christian, think of yourself as being a deputized member of His holy agency. Just as being a law enforcement officer comes with great responsibilities and duties, the same is true for a deputized member of God’s holy agency. Continuing this thought, are you up on God’s policies and standard operating procedures manual (the Bible)? In many ways, it is more important to know God’s manual than it is to know your manual at work.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.” Colossians 4:6 (NIV).

Investigational Resources: Here are a few of the verses from the previous chapters we have studied. These verses show Jesus explaining that He is from the Father: John 5:19-44, 6:27, 6:29, 6:35-59, 6:65, 7:17-18, 7:28-29, 8:14-30, 8:38, 8:42-51, 8:54-58, 10:14-15, 10:18, 10:25-32, 10:37-38, 12:26, and 12:44-50. When Jesus refers to the fulfilling of scripture in verse 18, He is talking about Psalm 41:9.

Officer Safety Principle: You are an agent for the Lord.

from The Gospel of John Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!