Tuesday, March 30, 2010

John 14 - The Obedience Cycle

by Katrina

LINK: John 14

BACKGROUND
In this chapter Jesus explained to his disciples that he would be leaving to return to the Father in heaven and that the Holy Spirit will be coming to help them. He began and ended the conversation with comfort for the disciples. "Let not your heart be troubled" and "Peace I leave with you."

The disciples, along with many others, thought Jesus was about to establish himself as king and overthrow Rome. That's why Judas (not Iscariot) was confused and asked why Jesus wasn't going to disclose himself to the world (vs 22). Jesus told them that Satan is the ruler of this current world (vs 30).

Once again, Jesus explained to his disciples that he is one with the Father. They didn't fully understand it, but they would "get it" once the Holy Spirit comes.

REFLECTION
Jesus linked love with obedience, and he linked both with God's presence. Everything Jesus did was out of obedience to the Father and through the Father abiding in him (vs 10). As for everyone else, Jesus said, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments" (vs 15) and "He who does not love Me does not keep My words" (vs 24).

God reveals himself to those who love and obey him. "He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him" (vs 21). It's a wonderful cycle - The more we know of God and obey him, the more he reveals himself to us. So we know more, and obey, and the cycle goes on.

What an amazing opportunity we have to know God!

APPLICATION
Jesus has work for us to do. "He who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater (works) than these shall he do; because I go to the Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it" (vs 12-14).

Our work is to obey. We are not left on our own, though. The Holy Spirit is our helper (vs 16) as we seek to keep God's word. And whatever we ask in Jesus' name, he will do (vs 13-14). Asking "in Jesus' name" is not a magic formula to be tacked onto the end of a prayer. It is to ask what Jesus would ask. It's like we stand in his place, as his representative, and speak for him. And the purpose of our request must be to bring glory to God (vs 13).

PRAYER
Father, thank you for your word that gives us a glimpse of who you are, and for your Holy Spirit who is our helper. May we seek to love and obey you in all we do so that you will receive all the glory. Amen.
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