Saturday, April 23, 2016

wrapping it up

Jesus knows He's going in be dead the next day, after an arrest, beatings, a humiliating trial, & then death by crucifixion.

In John 14, we find all kinds of incredible things that Jesus said to His disciples before the Passover meal broke up & the went to the Garden of Gethsemane.

Jesus isn't mincing words here. He knows He's got a short time to tell them a whole lot of stuff, & hopefully they will remember it over the next 3 days.

Here's some verses that really stick out for me in John 14, the account of the after dinner conversation Jesus had with His disciples in the upper room where they'd observed the Passover...

John 14

1 "Don't let your hearts be troubled.

Trust in God,

and trust also in me.

2 There is more than enough room in my Father's home.

If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?

3 When everything is ready,

I will come and get you,

so that you will always be with me where I am.

(dan note: we usually only hear these verses at funerals, but they work for everyday life!)

  6 Jesus told (Thomas),

"I am the way, the truth, and the life.

No one can come to the Father except through me.

(dan note: well, so much for the thinking that says “all paths lead to God” &/or “Jesus isn't the only way we can connect to God”.)

7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is.

From now on, you do know him and have seen him!"

  9b Jesus replied... “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!

10b The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.

11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.

Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.

12 "I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done,

and even greater works,

because I am going to be with the Father.

(dan note: now if we REALLY believe what Jesus says in verse 12, our hair should be on fire RIGHT NOW!!! Jesus said we'd not only do the stuff He did, but even more stupendous & miraculous stuff! Think about THAT!!! Zowds!!!)

13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it,

so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.

14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name,

and I will do it!

(dan note: I don't think this means God is some sort of heavenly vending machine. At the same time, I think we underestimate what a willing resource our Father is, especially if what we are asking we ask He be & do not for our puny, prissy little selves, but for His Son, Jesus!)

15 "If you love me, obey my commandments.

(dan note: ok, so there you have it – Jesus plainly says if we claim to have this up front, intimate, strong connection with Him – a relation ship built on love – then we need to be do what He says to do & be what He says we ought to be.
Be careful before we buy into this thinking, because be & doing what Jesus told us to be & do is a pretty tall order!))

16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,

who will never leave you.

17a He is the Holy Spirit,

who leads into all truth.

(dan note: Jesus tells his disciples they are getting an eternally present personage that will not only connect with them forever, but will also show them the reality of what is right & good.)

18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.

21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me.

And because they love me, my Father will love them.

And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them."

(dan note: no way to get around it – a connection with the Father & with Jesus is first & foremost of all a relationship built on LOVE.)

  23 Jesus replied, "All who love me will do what I say.

(dan note: there you have it again – if we really do love & care about Jesus & who He is, we'll be & do the things he said to be & do.)

My Father will love them,

and we will come and make our home with each of them.

(dan note: here's an incredible thought, both for that time, & for now: the Father & Jesus will “make themselves to home” in us – something no other religion promises.)

24 Anyone who doesn't love me will not obey me.

(There's that obedience thing again – this time expressed in the negative – if we don't obey Jesus, then we just don't love Him!)

And remember, my words are not my own.

What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me.

25 I am telling you these things now while I am still with you.

26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative;

that is, the Holy Spirit;

he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
(dan note: here Jesus promises the Holy Spirit will show us what everything means & what Jesus said in many ways & in many different circumstances all shakes out to be.)

27 "I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart.

And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.

So don't be troubled or afraid.

(dan note: and then Jesus drops a truth bomb on them – in a world that is SUCH a crazy insane precarious place, Jesus leaves us with a connection & a surety that is so complete that it brings us peace in mind & heart.
And He says that as we live in that peace, we don't need to be stressed out, scared, or overwhelmed by the immense craziness of life here on earth.)

Like I said,

Jesus had some BIG stuff to unload on the disciples that night,

for not only their benefit in those next devastating 3 days that encompassed SO MUCH,

but also for our lives in the 2nd half of the 2nd decade of the 21st century since His death & resurrection.

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