Farewell My Friends
The text for this week is John 14: 23-29. This is a continuation of the so-called farewell discourses that Jesus has with the disciples before he goes to the cross. In this text Jesus is saying goodbye, pointing to the end of his earthly ministry and answering questions from an anxious group of followers. This text starts with the answer to the question that Judas (not that one) asked in verse 22 “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus gives his farewell as well as answering this anxious, and important question.
The How of Revealing
Jesus answers by saying “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine but is from the Father who sent me.” What I think this means is that Jesus reveals himself to us. We accept this by love of Jesus (our belief), then God (Jesus) will dwell within us. We respond to that by keeping his word; love radiating outward. In so doing, we reveal God via Jesus to the world. God changes us by grace through faith in Christ as Risen Lord and we change the world.
No Need to Do it Alone
Jesus nears the end of his earthly ministry and states that he is going to the father, a thing to rejoice, “because the Father is greater than I” (verse28). Jesus knows that this will produce fear in his followers. So, Jesus promises an advocate or helper that will be with us. This is, of course the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will be with us and teach us and help us to remember who we are and whom we serve. As Jesus also has offered us his peace, but not the peace that the world gives. No, the peace that Jesus offers is deeper and more permanent than what the world defines as peace. It is not a peace free of human, earthly suffering. It is a peace free of fear, for with Jesus dwelling in us and the Holy Spirit guiding us, an eternal relationship with our Father in heaven is already ours. It is the peace produced from the certainty of knowing that God will bring his people home. All we need to reveal this peace to the world is to believe and obey.
Praise Be to God