Belgian Christadelphians

Knowing Rabboni

by JB 

Exhort – Knowing Rabboni (Reading 1 John 5)

 1  Everyone who believes that  Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. 2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
 6 This is he who came by water and blood-Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God a has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
 16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life-to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.
 18 We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.
 19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
 20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

It is sometimes amusing to witness the look on someone’s face when something unusual happens. In Scripture there must be many examples – we will consider just three…

  • When Aaron first stepped from the tabernacle on the first Day of Atonement.

  • When Solomon dedicated the new Temple in Jerusalem.

  • When Christ greeted Mary after his resurrection.

There are many other good examples but we choose these three because they stand out as occasions on which people were the first to witness the dawning of a new age.

In the case of the tabernacle in the wilderness, the people saw at that time a person, just as they were, who had made mistakes and failed – but was nonetheless raised to a position where he could officiate on their behalf.

Not just for the exercise of what the first High Priest was required to do but because they saw in him all the efforts of the tabernacle’s assembly focussed and simply reduced to that one man in that one time… the one who could intercede for them.

And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and wash them with water.

And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.

Imagine the realisation that swept through that nation. We can estimate that there were about two million people. It is inspiring to think that at one time that many people said with one voice, thought with one mind – ‘here is our priest.’

When Solomon dedicated the temple, again based on the pattern of the tabernacle and gathered all the people to him at the dedication, the die was again cast for a new era. These people saw again the glories of God, the culmination of a great work and a man that represented their work, as one, before God.

The Temple of Solomon was a marvel of its age, in size only the wonders of Egypt could compare – but for richness, extravagance and beauty, this construction stood alone, it was the eighth wonder of the world.

The nation had seen the rise and fall of King Saul. They had known and had loved King David. Both had brought them from merely dwelling in a land to being part of the heritage that they were promised.

2 Chronicles 6:41-42

let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness.

O LORD God, turn not away the face of thine anointed: remember the mercies of David thy servant.

In King Solomon that heritage was personified. He stood there as the first heir and the visual impact of what Solomon and those who had preceded him had achieved was foremost in their minds and we venture, evident on their faces. They had seen it.

So then, at the dedication of the Temple, there he stood and there they said – ‘here is our king.’

On a morning some years after, before it was fully light, a young lady went into a garden not far from where King Solomon had stood.

In the quiet of the dawn she was looking for something that would give her the peace she sought. A peace that could ease the ache of someone lost. Perhaps she did not understand it and in her own mind it was not clear as to what should be said or done or satisfied – but there she went and there she stood.

John 20:14-16

she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni.

Few faces in Scripture can conjure this ‘dawning realisation’ so vividly as Mary’s when she exclaimed, ‘Rabboni’!

She was a special person, one of very few; where in the two previous examples there had been many to witness the most brilliant of dawns, she was but one on the most radiant of eras; that of lasting salvation. To say as she did on this occasion was to say twice as much as those before Aaron and Solomon had, for she declared for us all – ‘Master’ – my Priest and my King!

The vision presented then is for those that exist as a ‘doing-being’, not one or the other but like those who assembled the Tabernacle or the Temple, reaching a point of finality that they were ‘involved’ in – and who look forward to its representation.

Are involved in this ‘vision’ of salvation. There is a glorious hope of a man, a Son, it is he who is both King and Priest and who alone we can reverently address in this ‘new era’ as ‘Master’.

<1 John 5:11-13

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

Jesus Christ said, “With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

And when we first face him in the light of the glorious new dawn to come…

And when he asks, ‘why weepest thou?’…

You will know, that you can respond, ‘For joy, Rabboni, for joy’.