Series Conclusion: Always Relevant: God Is…Concluding Remarks before the crucifixion.
John 14:1-7 ESV
John 14:8-11 (Philip questioned Jesus)
John 14:12-14 ESV
John 14:15-17 ESV
John 13:34–35 ESV
Peroration: I Prepare a Place for You
The Peroration is the concluding part of a speech intended to inspire enthusiasm. In this case it’s referred to as Jesus’ final discourse.
What is Jesus’ final discourse? Jesus’ last words to His disciples after the Last Supper.
The crowds are not with Jesus for His final discourse.
It was just Jesus and His disciples.
Jesus clearly told His disciples, I am the way. In John 14:1-7 we learn, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
It’s somewhat difficult for us to read scripture from the perspective of the disciples when Jesus first spoke the words in John 14. They did not know what was about to happen. They gave up everything they’d known to follow Jesus. They knew He was different…special. But they didn’t completely understand how or why until everything unfolded.
They were living the story day by day and learning a new way to believe. It would have been a lot to take in.
I am not the kind of person who processes changes immediately. I consider all of the possibilities. I look for the big picture and how everything fits together. They really couldn’t do that. They didn’t have the benefit of the big picture at that time.
Centuries later, we know the whole story. We know how the story played out. In addition to that, we have the benefit of many gifted men and women who have read those words and commented on what Jesus said.
I am the way. When we choose to follow the way of Jesus, we are choosing to be open to how and where the Spirit of God is leading us. We pray and we wait for God to lead us. As we wait our faith grows because we can actually see where God is at work in our lives.
I am the truth. Jesus is real and His Word, His truth is reliable. We can depend on Jesus.
I am the life. Jesus is the way to eternal life that will never end. This life is eternal. Eternal peace and comfort await us in heaven.
In John 14:8-11 the disciple Philip questioned Jesus and asked to see the Father so Jesus reminded him that He is one with the Father. In other words he said by seeing Him they saw the Father.
When we try to put ourselves in the disciple’s shoes, we can perhaps understand why it was difficult for them to understand the concept of perfect unity between Father, Son, and Spirit. Jesus wanted them to understand that the Father, Son, and Spirit cannot be at odds. It isn’t possible. They are completely unified in thought, word, and action. Once again, that isn’t a human concept. Realizing that Father, Son, and Spirit are in perfect unity and harmony at all times is difficult for us to comprehend even today.
In John 14:12-14 Jesus challenged the disciples (that includes us) when He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask meanything in my name, I will do it.”
Folks, I believe that Jesus literally meant it when He said we can do what Jesus did. When we rely on Jesus we can heal the sick in the name of Jesus. We can be instrumental in changing lives. We can connect to God’s power source.
Day by day we can connect. We can open our hands and receive the power that God has for us.
Then Jesus said: I AM going away but I will send The Spirit. John 14:15-17, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
I can just imaging if I would have been there when Jesus told them to keep His commandments, I would have wondered exactly what He was referring to…
In John 13:34-35 we know that Jesus told the disciples, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Jesus commanded them to love one another. he even went so far as to say people would recognize them as His disciples by their love. Jesus wanted them to remember how much he had loved them and He wanted them to love others in the same way. Jesus gave them examples of love. Now he was telling them when other people saw their love for each other they would whisper to their neighbor, ‘that’s one of Jesus’ disciples.’
I sometimes wonder if we DO that today. Do we unconditionally love one another to the point where that love is noticed?
Do others notice and say, ‘that’s one of Jesus’ disciples?’
I’m hopeful that they do. I can’t imagine a higher compliment than to have someone say, ‘oh, how he/she loves others.’
Spiritual Practice: Love
Love…really love someone today in the name of Jesus. Pass Jesus’ love on to them.
In God, Deborah