Wednesday, April 29, 2015

God in Residence (John 14:21-24)

“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.” (John 14:21–24, ESV)

In verse 11 Jesus said, “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.” (John 14:11, ESV) Jesus was speaking to His disciples and telling them to believe that He and the Father are one, but if they could not grasp it, wrap their minds around it, or settle it in their own minds then at least look to the works and believe on account of the works. He had said before that the works were to proof of Him being sent by the Father. The works testified to His words affirming that He truly was who He said He was. And now He tells them that just as He did what the Father wanted because of His love for the Father, so were they to keep His words because of their love for Him.

John records for us several statements of the Father’s love for Jesus. In John 3:35 it is John the Baptist testifying to the Father’s love with these words, “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.” (John 3:35, ESV) In chapter 5 Jesus spoke of the Father’s love for Him personally and in this said, “For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.” (John 5:20, ESV) Because of the love which the Father has for the Son the Father showed Him all that He was doing and was even going to demonstrate greater things through Him. And then in chapter 10 Jesus spoke of the ultimate or greatest act that the Son was sent to do, which was to lay down His life and then take it back up again so that man might be given his. “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.” (John 10:17, ESV)

Clearly Jesus established that people who love do for those they love. And just as the Father loved the Son, so would He love anyone who loves the Son. And beyond that the Son would also love them and even manifest Himself to them. Those who do not believe will not see the Son after His death and burial, but those who love Him He would show Himself to them. One of the remaining disciples who also was named Judas, but not the Judas who had already left, spoke up and asked Jesus how could it be that He would be able to show Himself to some and keep others from seeing Him.

In His response Jesus paralleled what He had already about the relationship He had with the Father. Jesus had said that He demonstrated His love for the Father by doing what the Father willed and that the Father loved Him and was with Him. In a unique way Jesus is one with God. The Father in Him and He in the Father. When it came to His followers Jesus said that those who loved Him as demonstrated by their obedience the Father would also love and “We”—Father, Son, and Spirit would come to them and make Their home with them. In the next verses we will read again about the coming of the Spirit, and particularly Jesus saying that through the coming of the Spirit that God—Father, Son, and Spirt—“WE” would indeed come and dwell in believers. In contrast to this Jesus also said that those who do not love Him will also prove it by their actions—their lack of obedience.

And just as Jesus had said all along these words were not His own, they were the words of the Father and they were totally trustworthy. “and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5, ESV)

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