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Summary: In today’s text Jesus is talking to His disciples about what will happen in the future. In fact, John 14 -17 is what some refer to as the “Farewell Discourse”. Jesus is talking to them about the connection to obedience and love and how that will be important in their work as disciples.

John 14:15 – 21 (NRSV)   15 “If you love me, you will keep[a] my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,[b] to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in[c] you. 18 “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

THE NEW COMMISSION

Text: John 14:15 – 23

Chuck Swindoll shares the story about Mark Twain encountering a ruthless businessman from Boston during his travels who boasted that nobody ever got in his way once he determined to do something. He said, “Before I die, I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I’m going to climb Mt. Sinai. And when I’m up there I’m gonna read the Ten Commandments aloud at the top of my voice!” Unimpressed. Twain responded, “I’ve got a better idea. Stay in Boston and keep ’em.” (Chuck Swindoll. Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998, p. 413). The businessman in this story is talking about what we would call a bucket list item. This story hinges on the ideal of obedience.

In today’s text Jesus is talking to His disciples about what will happen in the future. In fact, John 14 -17 is what some refer to as the “Farewell Discourse”. Jesus is talking to them about the connection to obedience and love and how that will be important in their work as disciples.

In John 13, Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment which was that they love one another as Jesus had shown love to them because others would know that we are Jesus’s disciples because of the ways that we love. In John 14:15 -23 Jesus is giving His disciples a new commission.

We have to remember that today’s text is before the crucifixion. What Jesus is talking about will happen after the resurrection. So here this sixth Sunday of Easter, we can look at this text through the lens of resurrection of Jesus Christ. The disciples did not have that option.

Jesus is talking to them about three things, Obedience, Objections, and Obligations.

OBEDIENCE

What does obedience mean to you?

1) Selective Obedience: Remember the story at the beginning about the businessman that Mark Twain encountered? Mark Twain seems to have been pointing out to that man that he might be suffering from selective obedience.

2) Doers: Consider what it says in James 1:22, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (ESV). Doctor Charles Stanley of Atlanta, Georgia has said in his teaching that obedience to God is defined as Doing …

?What He says

?When He says

?How He says

?All He says

Anything less that this is not obedience, but disobedience (Practical Illustrations. Leadership Ministries Worldwide, 2001, p 85). What could happen if you did not obey a stop sign?

Does the kind of love that Jesus talked about leave room for loopholes?

1) New Commandment: Jesus gave them a new commandment in John 13:34- 35. That new commandment was to love one another as Jesus had loved them. Jesus then said that everyone would know that we are Jesus’ disciples by our love. That means that love must be unconditional and not selective. That is easier said than done.

2) Love in context: There are three Greek words for love and two of those Greek words are used in the New Testament. There is the Greek word for unconditional love which is agape [Greek, agapa]. The other Greek word used in the New Testament is phileo [Greek phileo] which means brotherly love. “Whether one look s at agape or phileo, love is linked inextricably to the Lord. It is He who models is in the Trinity. [God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit]. He also engender love in our lives. When we display it , He is glorified”. (Wayne A. Detzler. New Testament Words in Today’s Language. Wheaton, Illinois: Victor Books, 1986, pp. 268 – 269). Does the way we love others always reflect God’s love?

3) God’ love: John 1:29 the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’ . John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have ever lasting life. John 15:13 tells us that Jesus laid don his life for His friends. Romans 5: 10  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. All of these things tell us that Jesus died on the cross for the whole world which includes friends and enemies.

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