“Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.
“I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.” (John 14:23-29)
Judas (yes, that Judas Iscariot) had just asked Jesus why he does not declare himself to the world – I am assuming as a conquering reigning king would. I have had heard it said that Judas “betrayed” Jesus to force Jesus to be the sword-wielding conquering king that Judas wanted. I do not know how much truth there is to that, and I would not speculate on it either way. I do find it interesting to consider, and mention it only because it prefaces these verses, which we will now look at. Not exhaustively, but highlighting three things that struck me as important when I read this passage this time.
“Those who love me will keep my word” – do you think those words were specifically for Judas . . . I mean in light of what I said above? Maybe, but Jesus goes on to say that God and Jesus will make their home in a person. That does not sound like a conquering king but a humble King who seeks his subjects good and comfort. But there is “bit” and “teeth” is this because it is not just Jesus’ words but the Almighty’s words that people are to know and keep.
The “Advocate, the Holy Spirit” that is from God has a tremendous task. But I tell you, beloved reader, I do not think that this Advocate and Holy Spirit had never been in the world before. But God sent it to the follower’s of Jesus, and all those who profess Jesus (loving him and keeping his word) in a special and very direct way. And this Spirit has been in the world ever since.
Jesus desires his followers be at peace, and not be afraid of what might come. While Jesus’ disciples may have been nervous and afraid at these words of Jesus, they were not meant to cause fear but to help them prepare. And not to be prepared by their own human strength and will but to be prepared and emboldened by God’s power. Jesus talks about God as “the Father” which is an image some appreciate more than others. But it was in the sense of a loving caring Parent watching out for and over beloved children, and not some parental tyrant.
All in all, this was to assure the disciples that Jesus cares for them, and the One who sent Jesus cares for them also. Good news as we watch the Easter season become more distant. May these words of Jesus assure your heart and spirit, beloved reader. Selah!