Love, Obedience and Peace
Lord, help me, through Your Spirit, to know the kind of peace that the world can never give.
Read JOHN 14:15–31
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
“Come now; let us leave.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
There are two basic motivations for obedience: love or fear. Jesus recommends the former for his disciples.
Some today want to coronate “love” as central to the Christian faith, sometimes even at the expense of minimizing obedience to Jesus’ commandments. Jesus indicates that the two are inseparable (15,21,23). If you are in a relationship with him, love and devotion are central, but it is by actually obeying Jesus that you will show that your love is genuine. Moreover, the Father and Son will then come to you and make their home with you
(23)—a wonderful privilege!
Jesus knows all too well that obedience is often challenging. He also knows that his disciples are anxious about the future because he has said that he was soon to leave them (19) and they might feel abandoned. So he firmly assures them that in fact he will never leave them but will remain with them through his Spirit. The various ways of translating the word used for the Spirit (16,26) can give us insight into his role. Thus, advocate (or counselor)—one who pleads the case on behalf of the believer (cf. Rom. 8:26,27); helper—one who
lends assistance in our various tasks, giving God’s people the ability to live for him and be his witnesses; and comforter—one who gives help and extra strength for moments of need, as well as afterwards.
Through his Spirit, Jesus will be with his people. This means that we enjoy a superior arrangement than that of his followers during his lifetime! He will teach us—enabling us to spread the Gospel throughout the world with deep conviction—that the Son is in the Father and we are “in” him and he is “in” us (20), making us part of this innermost circle. From this comes peace (27) as we, out of love, do what he commands.
Consider how this passage both encourages and challenges you to look for the peace that Jesus promises.
Lord, increase my love for You, so as to maximize my obedience to You as I am led daily by Your Spirit.