Things Jesus Owns Jn. 14:23 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Our lesson today deals with some things Jesus owns. He refers to my words, my harvest, my sheep, my disciples and my kingdom. It is very important that you and I remember what things Jesus owns so that we don’t attempt to take ownership of these things that are not ours. Furthermore, we need to respect the owner and his things. Things Jesus owns he calls:
My words – Jn 12:47-48; Jn 14:23 – the words of God belong to Jesus. He is the Word of God. How dare a man come along and say, “These are not the words of God.” The Lord promised that he would preserve them in Ps 12:6-7. And preserve them he has. Men have no right to corrupt them [2 Cor 2:17], or destroy them [Jer 36:23]. We are supposed to read them, study them, believe them and publish them [Ps 68:11]. To hear some professors, authors and preachers talk about these words today, you would think they were dealing with something a mere man wrote. Just consider that they would never question and add to and subtract from and change and lie about another man’s work to the degree they do to the Bible. Isn’t that strange. Who do they think they are? These are God’s words; not theirs.
My harvest – Matt 13:30; Matt 9:38 – the harvest is one of the things Jesus owns. When you enter the harvest to labor, God doesn’t want you harvesting by your clever methods. He doesn’t want you trampling down the harvest as you go through it just trying to see how many sheaves you can harvest. When you get to thinking that harvest is yours, you are liable to try to keep the heir out [Matt 21:37-39]. You are going to employ means of which God doesn’t approve in order to keep the harvest big. You are going to lose sight of the fact that he sent you; you didn’t send him. You’re working for him; he’s not working for you.
My sheep – Jn 21:15-17; Jn 10:27 – those folks under your care in the ministry are not yours. They are among things Jesus owns. You are merely helping him with his sheep. Those sheep are not yours. Some men in the ministry put God’s sheep on display so that other people will think that they are really doing something for God. They talk about how big their church is and compare numbers just like corporations do. If you considered that those are the Lord’s sheep you might take better care of them. Like Peter, you’d feed them rather than feed off of them [Rom 16:17-18].
My disciples – Jn 13:35; Jn 15:8 – your object in the ministry is to get folks to follow Jesus. I know that Paul told some men to follow him. However, Paul was following Jesus so closely that for these disciples to follow him was to keep them from following ravenous wolves who were leading them astray from the Lord. You are not cloning yourself. Jesus’s disciples are to be conformed to his image, not yours. I heard a preacher talk about one of “his” men that God called to the mission field. He said, “That’s a feather in my cap.” You know what that preacher didn’t realize? That missionary was not his disciple; that missionary was the Lord’s disciple. That preacher was taking credit for something that God had done [1 Cor 1:31, 3:21a].
My kingdom – Jn 18:36; Lk 22:30 – watch out trying to build a kingdom of your own. It doesn’t have to be a very big kingdom for you to believe it’s yours. A Sunday school teacher can look at his class or her class like it’s theirs. “This is my class,” they’ll say. And what they have is a little kingdom over which they rule. I have watched this happen in ministries. The children’s ministry or a youth ministry suddenly becomes the property of the minister. That’s wrong. The kingdom is the Lords. You just happen to be a servant who has been given an opportunity to do something for the Lord. Keep your hands off of the Lord’s kingdom. Mega churches seem to have a problem with this today. It’s like their principle ministers have built a small empire over which they rule. Jesus is the king. We are just the children, we are just the servants.
Conclusion: When we say that these things Jesus owns are mine, we behave badly. When we say these are ours, we’re at least cooperating with each other instead of claiming them all for ourselves. But we’re still wrong. When we say these things Jesus owns are his, then we behave well. Keep your hands off of Jesus’ things.