Read John 14:15-31
I don’t know about you, but there are times when I read a passage and just have to stop and let it sink in. This is one of those times. It’s like a scene in a movie when you know the plot is about to take a hard twist and the characters are going to be under incredible stress. The weight of the moment is captured by John as the conversation continues. For those with a red-letter Bible, take note of the fact that this chapter through chapter 17 are almost exclusively words from Jesus.
This section extends the comfort that Jesus offers with a completely new concept: the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, is about to be given to the disciples and in turn to us–forever!
If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. John 14:15-17
All we have to do is love Jesus and keep His commands. It is simple, but that doesn’t make it easy. The world is not going to accept that which it cannot see, much less join in loving Jesus as the ultimate Savior. We need to understand this dilemma and lean on each other when the world spits in our face, tempts us beyond our strength and leaves us feeling worthless. Hear the words of Jesus:
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18
We are no longer fatherless, rejected, unwanted, or lost. We are part of the royal family! Jesus promises to be with us always, even though we can’t see Him with our eyes, we can be assured He is in our hearts. Wow! That is beyond awesome!
One of the eleven, probably Thaddeus according to the NIVAC, chimes in and asks an important question:
Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” John 14:22
I’m amazed at the humility of the disciples. The first response to this incredible announcement is to think about others, not just their own small group. How about the rest of the world? Jesus assures them that He is available to everyone. This is significant.
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. John 14:23
Anyone will be welcome. Everyone has the opportunity to be part of the family with Christ. Read those words again and again. My Father will love them. Jesus then slips in a phrase that helps support the concept of the Trinity, “we will come…” This is a great promise that is so profound that I just want to linger.
As Jesus looks around the room, I get the impression He sees some concern on the faces of His disciples. They don’t doubt anything He’s said, they’re way beyond that, but it’s as if they all have the expression that asks the question, “how are you going to do this?” It’s a reasonable thought. This is all new information and Jesus’ demeanor is making them a bit nervous. I don’t think He’s had a conversation so deep with them before. They know something is up and it makes them nervous. He keeps on saying things like, “I am going away” and “I will be with you.”
Again, Jesus picks up on their unspoken thoughts and assures them:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
Even though Jesus is about to walk a path that they cannot walk and go to a place they cannot go, He will be with them. The trouble they sense is real. The prince of the world will continue to cause problems. But he has no hold on Jesus and he should have no hold on us.
I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. John 14:30-31
Some might think the words in chapters 15 through 17 are a lot of words, but really, all things considered, these are not many words. He did not say much more, but these are powerful words and thoughts we get the privilege of enjoying.
Come now; let us leave. John 14:31
They couldn’t move, so Jesus has to prompt them, let’s take a walk.
Lord, Your words are wonderful and your promise is true. Let us not be troubled when this world tries to hold us down. Remind us to remind each other that we are Yours and we are in this together. The promise is greater than any words can describe. Amen.