Read John 14:15-31
15"If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."
22Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?"
23Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
25"All this I have spoken while still with you. 26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27Peace 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.
28"You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, 31but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
"Come now; let us leave. (NIV)
When we read this section of Jesus’ dialogue with his disciples that last night, we get the sense that Jesus is bringing together love and obedience. We cannot do one without the other. Love for John is not some emotional feeling, but as CK Barrett said once, “it’s expression is always moral and is revealed in obedience.” Scripture tells us over and over that we must die to self and live for Christ. This is our expression of love.
But Jesus adds that we will be given help in being obedient – the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit in the one source of power that enables us to know the truth and to be obedient to Christ. It is the Holy Spirit that is the presence of God in our lives each day. It is the reminder that we are not alone (orphans) in this world.
In verse 25, we get a great lesson. We need to find that assurance while times are ok. If we wait till the storms of life roll in, then it is hard to find that anchor. Christ is saying that we need to be prepared before the bad happens. We need to learn to trust Christ when things are good and we have the capacity to understand his love. It is then that obedience leads to assurance which gives us the strength to get through the storms of life.
Jesus finishes this section with 5 points. In verse 26, he again reminds them of the Holy Spirit will come to them to be a help to them. In verse 27, he speaks of the gift he is leaving them – His peace. In verse 28, he tells them where he is going – his destination. He is going to be with the Father. Next, he speaks to his struggle. In the cross, we see the final battle being played out between good and evil. He says the prince of this world is coming, but will have no hold on him. And he closes with what some would call his vindication. He is demonstrating to the world who he is and that he was and is always obedient to the Father.
The question for us is what does obedience look like in our life? How am I being obedient to God’s word and his love? Do my actions reflect my love of Christ? These are questions we should reflect on every now and then. They help us to know if we are on the right path or just acting like it.
Blessings and Peace