Part 2: The preparation that we all need!
Friday 30 Jun, 2023
Whenever you go away from home, for any length of time preparations need to be made. If you’re going on a road trip you need good music, snacks and a wee bottle of Irn Bru (if you’re like me). If you’re going on a bigger trip you need to pack a suitcase and you normally spend time chasing others around the house, double checking that they’ve packed everything they need for the trip. Sound familiar?
Whenever we go away, we need to prepare. That’s what Jesus is doing in John 14-15, He is preparing the disciples for the day when He wouldn’t physically be with them anymore. But Jesus doesn’t fill a suitcase for each of the disciples, instead He fills their minds with important truths that will comfort and equip them for the days ahead.
The truths contained in these chapters are true both for the disciples back then and for Jesus’ followers today. So as you live for Jesus today, as you go through life with all of its ups and downs, remember that Jesus gave you these truths so that you can be prepared to live for Him until He returns.
John 14:15-31 - Jesus tells His disciples of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who will come after Jesus has left and be with all of Jesus’ followers. Jesus comforts His disciples with the knowledge that the Holy Spirit will remind them of all that Jesus had taught them (v26).
John 15:1-17 - Jesus reveals His final ‘I AM’ statement in John’s Gospel, Jesus is the true vine. He is the faithful one who lived in perfect obedience to God’s covenant, He is the perfect one who fulfils what a fallen Israel never could. By saying that He is the True Vine, Jesus is saying “I am the true Israel of God and all those are in me, belong to the Father”. Jesus tells His disciples that we must abide in him and says that He will abide in them (15:4-7).
John 15:18-27 - Jesus warns His disciples that because they are connected with Jesus, the world will hate them and be hostile towards them. The contrast in this chapter is between the love of the Lord and His people (v7-9) and the hatred of the world (v18). Whilst the news of being hated is sobering, Jesus brings comfort by saying that His disciples will be helped by the Holy Spirit to stand firm even in the midst of hostility and hatred (v26-27).
John 16:1-15 - The disciples must have been devastated for Jesus to go, He had been their teacher and close friend for 3 years, they did everything together! But Jesus says that it is better for them that He goes because He will send the Holy Spirit (v7). The Holy Spirit will comfort the disciples, embolden them to witness about Jesus and convict the world for their rejection of Jesus (v8-11).
What Jesus says in these chapters is on the one hand really hard but on the other it’s glorious. It’s hard to know that we will be hated for our faith in and allegiance to Jesus but it’s glorious because we aren’t alone in our struggles. The Holy Spirit lives in every believer and reminds us of the truth that we need to know so that we can live for Jesus and God’s glory.
Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves and so He prepared us with exactly the truths we need to remember until He returns. How wonderful is the love of Jesus that in His final hours He chose to prepare others for His departure. The old hymn sums it up well…
Oh-oh the deep, deep love of Jesus Vast unmeasured, boundless, free Rolling as a mighty ocean In its fullness over me
Underneath me, all around me Is the current of His love Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above