Thursday, May 26, 2011

Devotional 5-27-11

This week's gospel passage is part of Jesus' farewell discourse to his closest disciples that centers on the final Passover meal they shared together.

Jesus knew that his ministry on earth would soon be coming to an end. He would be betrayed and denied by his own, arrested, tried and crucified. He and his disciples had shared together what would later become known as the Last Supper. During the supper, Jesus got up from the table and began to wash the disciples' feet to demonstrate for them that leadership means service.

Jesus knew the arrest and crucifixion would be confusing for his disciples. He knew they would be tempted to leave their new life and go back to their old ways, before they had responded to his invitation to "follow me." Jesus wanted to encourage the disciples to continue believing in God and him, and he explained that belief equals action. It is within this context that Jesus continues his discourse as recorded in this week's gospel passage, John 14:15-21:

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 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 you. I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 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.

Jesus' promise to the disciples, and to us, is that the Holy Spirit will empower us to live in ways that give testimony to Jesus' life. Jesus makes it clear here that discipleship empowered by the Holy Spirit is more than mere belief or creed.

They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me.

This week, think about how others have seen Jesus because of your belief in him. What has the Holy Spirit empowered you to do that gives others a glimpse of Jesus?

It's easy to talk the talk; discipleship involves walking the walk.

Jeff Taylor

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