If Jesus sat down with us for some one-on-one time, what would we ask Him? More importantly, how would we respond to His questions?
Knowing He is omniscient God, the Living Word of God [John 1:1-3] who knows the “thoughts and intents of the heart” [Hebrews 4:12], compels us to answer honestly and fully. No hiding, deflecting, or excusing. Just honest answers.
John’s Gospel records several questions Jesus asked in His earthly ministry. By personally considering each of His questions, we face His same probing truth. By responding truthfully, may we be drawn into a more intimate walk with Him.
15th Question – Will You Lay Down Your Life for My Sake?
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life…” [John 15:13].
The greatest sacrifice is to willingly die for another person or righteous cause. Military personnel face this on the battlefield. Family members (sometimes even perfect strangers) come close by offering organs or blood transfusions for those in need.
We can understand giving our lives to our country, families, or others in need. However, Jesus referred to sacrificing our lives for Him, His cause, and His kingdom. He opened the door to a new dimension—sacrificing ourselves for unseen things of faith.
Peter, ever the boaster, learned this lesson from Jesus Himself.
I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you. Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.” Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.” Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake?” [John 13:33, 36-38, bold text added].
Jesus’ question probed the courage and devotion of Peter’s heart.
This same question challenges us today. In a rapidly devolving world, immorality is championed while Biblical morals, ethics, and values are mocked. Tolerance of perversity is protected by legislation under the guise of “fair treatment.” Exposing or preaching against sin is increasingly referred to as “hate speech.” Should the Lord delay His return, Christians may very well face the reality of “laying down their lives” for the cause of Christ.
Yet, this question should come as no surprise. Jesus warned that His followers would “have tribulation” [John 16:33]. He also said self-denial, cross-carrying, and obedience are expectations for His followers [Luke 9:23]. Additionally, Jesus clarified this world would hate us [John 17:14] and James confirmed that friendship with the world was enmity with God [James 4:4]. To finalize the point, John said there can be no “fellowship”—compromise, negotiation, friendly relationship—with this sinful world [1 John 1:5-7].
The question remains: “Will you lay down your life for My sake?” The time is coming when such “greater love” will test our resolve, commitment, and devotion to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May we be steadfast and faithful to Him.