To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
March/April 2014 Issue – ‘The Great Legacy’
Today’s text for reading and meditation is:
John 14:15-31 (NIV): “‘If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you for ever – 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. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 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.’
Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, ‘But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?’
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. 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.
All this I have spoken while still with you. 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. 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.
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. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but Satan 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.'”
We have had this set of verses earlier, yet they are well worth further meditation. We hear Jesus say in these verses that He gives us His peace; have you recently considered just how wonderful it is to possess this gift, during such troubled times?
Another aspect to think about is the fulfilment of prophecy, we are reminded of the importance of prophecy in Scripture, in today’s verses. We hear Jesus say; ‘So, that when it does happen just as I have said – then you will believe.’ Consequently, I consider it to be a worthwhile exercise to meditate upon all that Jesus said about future events.
My last point, concerns the reference to the devil; and, we can learn a lot from it. Jesus tells His disciples that Satan will try to divert the course of history (to disprove prophecy) yet through his evil actions the world will learn of Jesus’ love as seen in His total commitment to undertake His Father’s commands.
Likewise, I’m sure, the devil – through deliberate and planned actions will try to divert our attention away from following Jesus’ commands – will we, be as committed as Jesus? Something to think about during this day. Keep in mind that we have God’s Spirit to help us to obey the two great commandments.
I liked Selwyn’s conclusion: “Jesus alone gives hope and substance to what lies beyond death in God’s kingdom future. And He alone gives joy and meaning to the life to be lived before death in God’s kingdom present.
Whether now or then, in the perplexing present or uncertain future, He will not leave us as orphans. He will gather us to His Father and fold us in the loving embrace of His Father’s family.
On either side of death it remains true that He will come to us and that, because He lives, we shall live also, with the same quality of life He now enjoys!”
I think, a good way to go about this day’s business, would be with the words: ‘Because He lives.’ These words, as our banner, would clearly show to the world, our full allegiance to His love and commands.