I think, though I haven’t studied it to prove it, that this passage from the end of John 13 through chapter fourteen enable us to see how open Jesus was to the questions of his disciples, because so many had them in these few short verses. Remember, they were students of Jesus. He had called them to follow him but also study, not just under him, but to study him.
I think this last dialogue was something of a I-term in college: lots of material crammed in one unending session. Perhaps that’s what led to all the questions. They were trying to get it right, trying to understand. They would eventually, but it was going to take a full dose of the Holy Spirit to do so.
In the meantime, it was Judas (also called Thaddeus) up to bat. Here’s how it went:
Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone 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.*
The “but Lord” of Judas was a clear indication that he wasn’t quite understanding. The limited perspective of the disciples was still keeping them from grasping the much larger picture of why Jesus had come. Working from the worldly viewpoint of an earthly Messiah, Judas couldn’t figure out why Jesus would show himself to only those who loved and obeyed him. I think the world asks the same today:
Why doesn’t Jesus just make it clear to everyone that he’s the Messiah?
Does that mean we serve an exclusive God? No, because Jesus makes that clear in his response:
If anyone loves me…
Jesus doesn’t just make himself available to certain kinds of people, certain races, sexes, or socioeconomic levels of people. No, he says if anyone…from the richest and most powerful to the poorest and most lowly…if they would love him, he will make his home in them.
What a wonderful thought: To know that Jesus has made his home in me.
That’s exactly what he’s offering here. It is made possible because of his willingness to die on the cross for our sins, and then in rising from the dead, gaining power over death and the grave, he enables us to know a home beyond this life. While, in the meantime, as we wait for that glorious day, he makes his home in us, through the Holy Spirit.
His indwelling Spirit is the down payment on the home that will be paid in full when we meet him in glory.
So, today I’m grateful that Judas didn’t get it. I’m grateful he wasn’t afraid to ask the question, because now we get to hear the answer and through the Holy Spirit in us, understand the implication for us and all the world.
Do you have the down payment on the heavenly home? All it takes is the deposit of love for Jesus.
Grace and Peace
John 14:22-24 (NIV)
All The Colors In The World by Podington Bear is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License.