Summary: In Jesus' final hours before his arrest, he is not above needing others to join him in prayer.
The True Love of a Lifetime
Series: A Journey with Jesus (through the Gospel of John)
Brad Bailey – February 13, 2011
Years ago I picked up a line from a book I read with my kids when they were young. In the book the father hare puts his child to bed telling them that he will love him ‘always and forever.’ So at times I when they were young I tell I will love them “always and forever.” Now inside I know it reflects an ideal I can’t fully fulfill… yet I know it speaks to what our souls cry out for… a love that is always with us…. and never leaves us…. always and forever.
Today I want us to hear that this cry for such a presence in our lives is what we were made for… and what Jesus brings into fulfillment.
We all know something of the difference we feel when someone who loves us is present with us… and when we feel that such a presence is gone and may never be known… and that we are left alone in this world.
That is where we pick up in our Journey with Jesus through the Gospel John.
It is his final hours before he will be arrested…. and led to his execution.
He is not above needing others to join him in prayer … and later this night he will invite his band of disciples to join as he goes to the nearby garden (of Gethsemane). But now he focuses on what they are facing… and feeling.
Imagine what the disciples were feeling… everything was unraveling… turning tragic.
As they gather for a night alone in Jerusalem before they head out into public again… the word is out that the religious leaders have temple guards looking all over for them. They were really ready to grab Jesus and all his followers. So the disciples had reason to be afraid.
Judas had shown himself to be a traitor and had just left the room on his way to betray Christ.
More than that, Peter had just been told that within the next 24 hours he was
going to publicly deny Christ, (John 13:38)
Then came the worst blow. Jesus told them, “I am going to go away to prepare a
place for you. You can’t come to Me until I come for you. I am not going to tell you
when I will come for you, but trust Me.” 14:1-3
Thomas reacted right away. “Jesus, you have got to be kidding. We put all of our eggs in
your basket, and now you tell us you have to leave us. Jesus, we had enough problems
trying to make it with you here. How in the world do you expect us to make it if you
leave us? (v.5) What a legitimate question to ask.
What they don’t understand is that Jesus knows better than anyone what they will face. He has imparted his life and mission to them… and now they will face what he has faced.
He also knows that he is about to be taken away …and they will not see him…. and that they will assume it’s all over.
He wants them to be prepared.
And with all we face around us and within us. Jesus has us in mind this morning….
This morning we hear Jesus begin to lay some foundations for us.
> It’s now time to explain the power that that allowed him to fulfill his calling in this world. Here he speaks to all of us.
As we heard last week, first tells them that he is going to prepare a place… that their ultimate home is already being prepared in the eternal realm. That is the reality that empowered him to bear what this temporal world was bringing to bear upon him. (“For the joy set before him he endured the cross...” – Heb 12:2)
But that’s not all…
Into this these lives that feel anxious and alone… and into our lives that face the same… Jesus introduced His disciples to the ministry of the 3rd Person of the Trinity:
John 14:15-31 (NIV)
15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- 17 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. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." 22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?" 23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He 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. 25 "All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counselor, 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. 27 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. 28 "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. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, 31 but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. "Come now; let us leave.