If you knew you were going to be removed from your family and they were going to believe the worst had happened to you. What would you say to them?
Before Christ, people had a rare connection with God, even the prophets of old Elijah only a few miracles, Samuel hearing from God only a few times in his life…Christ changed all that daily walking with his disciples but after Easter that changed for all of us….because he promised
Last week we talked about Jesus being a victor and that the crucifixion and resurrection were planned from the beginning…we also talked about Jesus’ act of love, mercy, and grace washing the disciple’s feet including the feet of Judas, teaching us about forgiveness.
As Jesus was preparing for physical and spiritual battle, He and those closest to Him would battle he shared what they all needed to hear….
There is so much here in the last supper discourse but for understanding more of the perspective of Easter I’m going to only highlight a few things.
Please remember most of this is taking place in the upper room after dinner and before the go to Gethsemane.
Connection – Come live with me
Let’s get started John 14: 1-6
“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. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”
5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
Jesus is starting securing them in the idea that they are family…..who comes to live with you permanently except family whether they are of blood or not in the physical they become family but by the blood of Christ poured out on the cross they have become family.
Thomas’ question is legitimate…they had followed him everywhere he had asked; Thomas had even encouraged everyone to go with Jesus to possibly die with him as the leadership was wanting to stone Him (John 11:16)
Jesus is saying because you have relationship with me, you know me, you will know what to do to spend eternity with me….if Jesus has relationship with you then you will have relationship not only with Him but with the Father and the Spirit.
Connection – you are never going to be alone
“If you love me, obey my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. 18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. 19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. 20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in 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.”
Jesus is making the connection clear for us….if we really love Him then we continue in that relationship by believing that His ways are the ways for us to live the happiest and most fulfilling life…so we show we love Him by keeping His commandments….he told us what they are Loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, loving your neighbor as yourself, and making disciples, sharing what we know about our life of freedom.
Jesus going to be seated at the right hand of the Father doesn’t limit our connection because His death and resurrection paved the way for the Holy Spirit to have the freedom to live in every believer…The Holy Spirit never leaves us….the world can’t have this relationship because they don’t believe in the power of Jesus death and resurrection…
Connection – we are part of Him, His life is always flowing through us
Jesus wants us to make the connection that He is in us and always working through us…after they left dinner and were on their way to Gethsemane, Jesus was probably passing a grape arbor and he said this…
I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
What is the “fruit” Jesus us looking for? Paul tells us all about it in Galatians 5:22,23. I talk about it frequently as well.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Without living this fruit through our lives, it is impossible for us to “remain” in him? Why????Because This is really everything that God is…He is peace, love, joy….so someone who us “in Christ” will naturally, supernaturally have this fruit flowing out of them. It may take different shapes, even as apples look different, kiwi, pears, tomatoes all can look different but they are still fruit. The connection is really deep as you become who you have been called to be all along because you have Him living through you….Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be in you once he went to the cross and rose again….thus the fruit of the Spirit should be alive in every Christ follower.
His pruning is merely submitting to the growth, changing, discipline, of the Lord! He allows us to reach our maximum of being able to love people then he disciplines us (like an athlete, not a principal) to love even more.
But what does it really mean to “remain” in Him?
The idea of having a relationship with God was strange enough to the religious world. To most God was so out of reach of mere humans. Notice how Jesus again is talking about God being Father….John uses the word “remain” 11 times in this chapter 40 times in this Gospel…
This is what it means
- First, to accept Jesus as Savior John 6:54, 56.
- Second, it means to continue or persevere in believing, John 8:31 “hold” is remain; 1 John 2:19, 24).
- Third, it means believing, loving obedience, growing in the fruit, John 15:9–10.
Without faith, no life of God will come to anyone. Without the life of God, no real fruit can be produced: Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Jesus.
Jesus is explaining to the disciples, this is not obligation this is a love relationship. In a true love relationship, you are totally committed, accepting the person, you stand with them always because you love, you choose to believe them because you love them.
His connection is hope….
Hope that our future is secure with Him
Hope that he is always with us
Hope that he is always in us pouring through us to change our world
Without the cross none of this could happen but this is what God had wanted with man all along. It is what he had with Adam and Eve until they sinned and now, we can have it always