“If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and 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[c] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14.15-18
Jesus book-ends these verses with love and assurances. Today we will cover verses 15-18 and tomorrow 19-21.
He begins with a brief but powerful message to his disciples (and so to us) — “If you love me, keep my commands.” It begins with a conditional preposition – “if” you love me. If you do not love him, then the suggestion is everything that follows doesn’t need apply. But “if” you love them then he gives a second directive — “keep my commands.”
Now we could stop there and spend the rest of the time on what is it that he commands. We know Jesus obeyed the Law of Moses perfectly, thus he became the sacrificial lamb. Yet, he does not make our salvation dependent upon the same obedience. Now don’t get me wrong — we should obey and do what is just. In order to be like Jesus we must do the righteous thing — but by following the intent rather than the letter of the law.
If you love Jesus, obey his commands and once you do this you will immediately be giving help in order to conform to his image and reflect his glory. You will be given the Holy Spirit who Jesus refers to as the “Spirit of truth.” He will live in you, Jesus says, and be in you. Your life will be a vessel for this Holy Spirit who will remind you, encourage you and strengthen you in becoming like Christ — which is our ultimate goal. Jesus gives us His Spirit so as to fulfill the promise he made — “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.”
This is where many miss out on the personal, intimate relationship with Jesus. We forget that Jesus wants to live inside of us. And once we have received him as Savior, His Spirit does just that. So how can we ignore, forget or sin again? How can we live as if he didn’t make this stellar promise and this saving fact that we are his temples?
The beautiful promise is like what God gave the Levites as their portion of the Holy Land. They did not receive land as their inheritance but the Lord himself was their portion. He gave them himself. Just as he did this for this priestly tribe of Israel, so he does the same to us who he calls a new holy priesthood.
Bottom line – if you love Jesus, obey him and enjoy the fruits of his presence. Nothing quite compares to a God who abides with us moment by moment and day by day.
“O Lord God, come and live within me. Consume me by your passion, fill me with your love. Help me find strength in you and solace in your word. Send the power of your Holy Spirit upon me now. Help me make room for you in my life! Guide me, renew me, redeem me and control me. Help me be your hands and feet, voice and heart, in a world deep in need of renewal and grace. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen