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July 31st, 2022: The Word Brings Peace- John 14:15-29

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 14:6

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

In the verses ahead of this passage, Jesus revealed that one of the twelve who were present would betray Him. He told His disciples that He was going to Jerusalem and He would die. John 14 begins a long passage in which Jesus lovingly prepares His disciples for what will shortly come to pass; His arrest and crucifixion. “A little while, and I will no longer be with you.” You can’t come. You will all scatter.

This is a conditional phrase. If the beginning proposition is fulfilled, the following conclusion inevitably follows. If we love Him, then we will keep His commandments. I know what you’re thinking. Even the most devoted follower of God does not perfectly keep the commandments of God. God is not foolish, the Bible makes plain that “There is none good, no not one.” and “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Does that mean that we don’t love Him? It definitely means that our love for God is not to be compared with His love for us. We love him as we can, but we are selfish, we are flawed, and we are often lazy. I’d like you to consider a slightly different application of these words. It is impossible to keep the commandments of God, even imperfectly, unless you love the Lord. If you focus on the commandments, hoping to earn the favor of God, you will be fruitless and frustrated. If you focus on your love and adoration of Jesus Christ, it is natural that you will want to obey and serve the one that you love. Jesus has given us the key to living a Christian lifestyle. Love Him.

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:14-15)

Love, the honest and sincere kind, is a rarity in our world. The way His disciples were to treat one another would be so radical and so unfamiliar to the people watching that it would draw men to recognize that it would be impossible without the supernatural power of God. This goes far beyond saying, “I love you.” This is living “I love you” in the pattern that Christ set before us. Again, utterly impossible without devotion to and focus on Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Another Comforter? Jesus himself is the first Comforter. This is what Isaiah said of Him:

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.

Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins.

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. Isaiah 40:1-5.

Jesus Christ is the glory of the Lord revealed.

The Greek word in verse 17 is Paraclete. It is said to be difficult to translate because there is no equal and exact word in English. The word means one who is called alongside, supporter, and helper. Jesus Himself has been a comforter, advocate, and instructor to the disciples. Furthermore, He has revealed to them the fact that He is the Son of God.

As He prepares them for the horrors of the Cross and the persecution they will face afterward, He is asking the eleven faithful not to be afraid and to remember what they have seen and heard over the last 3 ½ years. He has spoken the truth, yet it is obvious and understandable that they still do not comprehend all that is going on and all that is about to take place. He is going to leave them physically, but He is sending another Comforter from the Father to guide, direct, and dwell within them. Jesus is Emmanuel, “God with us.” The Holy Spirit and Jesus are one with the Father, Christ is saying that the Holy Spirit will live within them and will give them the power to accomplish the will of God. “He will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

It has been said that the most gracious words ever recorded were Jesus saying, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:1-3). He is not leaving them at all, He is changing the manner in which He will interact with them. In loving compassion, Jesus reassures them. He is saying, I will not expect you to navigate all that is to come alone, and I will come to you. He came to Stephen when He was being stoned. He came to Saul of Tarsus and called Him out of His error. He came to John the Revelator on the Isle of Patmos. Jesus Christ is faithful. Whether through the leading of the Holy Spirit, through the power of His word, or in a personal encounter, He will make Himself known to His children. He needs us to obey Him and follow His lead.

Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

His death would be devastating for His disciples, they will all be scattered in fear, but His resurrection will be the proof that He has granted us access to God because He is one with the father. Manifest means to make clear or obvious through demonstration. When the disciples saw the resurrected Christ, doubt and fear were cast aside through the demonstration of His ability to conquer death and Hell. It was made obvious that anything brought about in this life to hurt or stop them was temporal, unworthy of their worry. Again, we love Christ, therefore, the Father loves us, and that love powered in us by the Holy Spirit makes living for Christ possible and living eternally inevitable.

And because He lives - I can face tomorrow

Because He lives - All fear is gone

Because I know - He holds the future

And life is worth the living - Just because He lives.

When God the Father sees a believing saint, He will see the Blood of Jesus shed at Calvary. Because the Father loves the Son, He loves us.

Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

How is it that we will understand this, but the world will not? Have you wondered the same as a believer? Why is it that the world rejects the only hope that has been offered to it? Why would anyone, who can comprehend the love of Christ, be unwilling to bow their knee to him and call him Lord?

Well, the unbeliever is allowed the privilege of denying Christ. They are permitted by God to disobey the commands of God for a while. Ultimately, they will stand in judgment to answer for those things that they have chosen to believe and do. Ultimately, “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father.” For the unbeliever, standing in judgment, Christ will be revealed, but the grace and mercy that He brings will no longer be available. Jesus is not understood, or made clear, to the nonbeliever. Their sin blinds them to the truth. Our best witness to them is a life lived in fellowship with God so that they can see Jesus in us.

At every Passover prior to this last one, God had required the blood of a male lamb, of the first year, without blemish as a picture of remission of sin. We see the bread, we see the wine, but the lamb is in the midst of them.