Lessons from the Upper Room - Part 5
Of the four questions asked of the Lord in John chapters 13 and 14, the one which, up until this point, we have spent the least time considering is that asked by Jude, referred to as Judas (not Iscariot), sometimes referred to as Thaddeus. And although that which we learn from the response of Jesus to each of the four questions asked is equally wonderful, I think that, that which we learn from the response to the question asked by Jude is particularly amazing.
Jude’s question is prompted by that which Jesus says in John 14:15
He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
To which Jude asks…
“Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”
And Jesus answered and said to him…
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."
Here we are introduced to the notion that the believer may be indwelt by the abiding presence of the Father and Son… amazing! The Lord had already promised the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but here He promises something else, the abiding presence in the life of the believer of the Father and the Son (as indicated by the pronoun “We”). This is an incredible promise and perhaps the reason why in Ephesians 3:17 Paul could write “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith” and in Colossians 1:27 that “Christ, the hope of glory in you”.
Isn’t that amazing! Not just the promise of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but the abiding presence also of Father and Son. However, if there is a problem, it is this. That the abiding presence of Father and Son appears to be contingent upon the believer loving Jesus, as outwardly demonstrated by the keeping of His word and commands. Now, this sounds like a pretty tall order for any one of us in and of our own sufficiency. But fear not. Jesus is not expecting us to do it on our own… And this is why the promise of the Holy Spirit is so crucial and wonderful to us.
It is here in John 14:15-18 we are first introduced to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you."
Here we receive the promise of another Helper, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, and later in John’s gospel, in chapter 16 and verses 5- 15, we learn more of His ministry. We are told by Jesus that it is to our advantage that He (Jesus) goes away, because in doing so He will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to us. And His job, our Lord goes on to inform us, is to guide us into all truth, glorify Jesus and take of what is His (Jesus’) and declare it to us.
How is it that we can love Jesus and keep His word? Because we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us. The Holy Spirit who glorifies Jesus. The Holy Spirit who convicts us when we go wrong. The Holy Spirit who reminds us of all that Jesus said and did. The Holy Spirit who guides us in all truth and ever points us to Jesus as sure as a magnetic compass points to the north.
Isn’t that wonderful. Another Helper. And the great work of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Jesus, to take of what is His and declare it to us that we might love Jesus and keep His word. And when we do so, the Father and the Son will come and make Their home with us.
It is in the power of the sinner to give Christ the greatest glory, if the Holy Spirit enables him to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is then the victory won becomes real in our lives through the saving, redemptive power of Jesus. And when it does so, we shall then do nothing else throughout eternity but praise Christ, and glorify Him, if He will but save us from sin.
God grant that it may be so with every one of us, for the sake of our glorious Lord Jesus. Amen