Doing Anything for Love

Judas (not Iscariot) said, “Master, why is it that you are about to make yourself plain to us but not to the world?”

“Because a loveless world,” said Jesus, “is a sightless world. If anyone loves me, he will carefully keep my word and my Father will love him—we’ll move right into the neighborhood! Not loving me means not keeping my words. The message you are hearing isn’t mine. It’s the message of the Father who sent me.

“I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.

“You’ve heard me tell you, ‘I’m going away, and I’m coming back.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I’m on my way to the Father because the Father is the goal and purpose of my life.

“I’ve told you this ahead of time, before it happens, so that when it does happen, the confirmation will deepen your belief in me. I’ll not be talking with you much more like this because the chief of this godless world is about to attack.” (John 14:22-30)

If you love someone, you pay a lot of attention to him or her. If you don’t, not so much. Jesus words made more sense to his disciples than they did to the world at large just for that reason.

When Jesus told his disciples that he was going away, he meant that he was about to be crucified. He told them that they should be glad because the whole purpose of his life was to die. It wasn’t for nothing, either. His death would save the whole world from sin. He was trying to explain to the disciples, that his coming death should be a cause of joy, as paradoxical as that sounded to them just then.

But he would be coming back because he would rise from the dead in just three days. Later he’d leave again for awhile, but in the meantime the Holy Spirit would come—and in fact, when the Spirit came, it would be just like he was back again, and the Spirit would explain it all to them, and remind them of everything that Jesus had ever said.

Jesus never leaves his people without comfort.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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