devotion 3-18-14, John 14:15 – 31

Good Morning!

John 14:15-31

15 ‘If you love me, you will keep* my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,* to be with you for ever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in* you.

18 ‘I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.’ 22Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, ‘Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?’ 23Jesus answered him, ‘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. 24Whoever 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.

25 ‘I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate,* the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. 28You heard me say to you, “I am going away, and I am coming to you.” If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. 30I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; 31but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way.

Continuing what is called his farewell discourse, or speech, Jesus says that those who love him keep his commandments. Remember what the commandment was that he had just given them (13:3)? “Love one another.” So, Jesus is not talking about keeping all the rules, like new Pharisees; Jesus is talking about love. If they love him, they will love one another; if we love him, we will love one another. And, through love, through their loving relationship with God, Jesus will return to them, as the Spirit. The world cannot receive the Spirit, because they do not know him. But Jesus opens the way to the Spirit, and he abides in them / us.

Jesus tells these, his beloved disciples, “I will not leave you orphaned”. He is coming to them – in a little while the world will no longer see him – he is referring to his crucifixion, death, and placement in the tomb – but they will see him – now referring to the resurrection. And then to the presence of the Spirit with them after that. Those who love him, love the Father – and the Father, Son, and Spirit will come to them, and make their home with them. The word “Trinity” is never used in the New Testament; the word itself was invented to describe this relationship a bit later. But here, in John, Jesus describes for his disciples the relationship of Father, Son, and Spirit.

In the next paragraph, Jesus calls the Spirit “The Advocate”, one who stands beside someone, and tells them that He will teach them everything. He leaves them with his peace – not something given then taken away, as humans might do, but given freely. And repeats the words that began the discourse, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” He is going to the Father and they should rejoice for him.

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