If you've read the Weekly Journey for any length of time you are probably aware of my anecdotal style of writing. I always search for some story or image that captures what I believe is the essence of the Gospel message. This week is different. As I studied this passage I continually tried to find something that encapsulated the Gospel message. Nothing clicked. Why don't you take some time to read and reflect on it yourself:
Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.
“I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.” John 14:23-29
Then as I read over it for the 'I don't know how manyth time' there it was, right in the middle of the passage.
"The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name" It struck me that there they are, all three, The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I had been looking at the content of the message. There was so much to take in in these seven short verses that it is easy to lose sight of Who they are about. Once I saw Them everything changed.
This is about loving relationships. All of it! This passage, John's Gospel, the Bible. Everything is about God's love that emanates from the Trinity. This pure Godly love is available to each and every one of us. Once we enter into a relationship with God and realize how much "They" love us, being obedient becomes as natural as breathing. But we can't forget that love and obedience go together. It is what makes love unconditional.
In the two verses immediately following this passage we see the kind of love and obedience Jesus is talking about:
I will no longer speak much with you, for the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me, but the world must know that I love the Father and that I do just as the Father has commanded me. Get up, let us go. John 14:30-31
What Jesus is sharing with His disciples and what we must realize is that the Father commanded the Son to suffer and die. And Jesus, out of love, did.
Will we follow as His disciples did? "Get up, let us go."