This percolated through me during worship on May 18, pondering John 14 and soaking in the message.
In Jesus’ name, I have prayed.
I have prepared, and in this preparing,
there is great comfort, because
The pain is diminished, and I know healing.
I too know the place.
In days not too far removed, my heart fluttered.
Anxiety fluttered through my mind,
through my body,
shook my soul.
Jesus then prepared his disciples,
prepared some yet to be.
He prepared us all for pain yet to be,
and for places yet to love and to comfort us.
The relationship has opened to this cavernous place, where
we are full, whole, still alive.
Rivers flow wide around and below us,
trees bud out and green up deep and rich,
and the blue sky glistens and shimmers.
We live and life is abundant.
Grace flows through us.
(c) Tom Bolton, West Allis, 18 May 2014
John 14 in The Voice (VOICE)
Ultimately Peter is telling the truth. He is more than willing to lay down his life. But none of His disciples understand the magnitude of the persecution and hatred that is about to be unleashed.
Even Peter, Jesus’ dear Peter, is afraid. He protests any inference to Jesus’ impending departure. Each of the twelve would do the same. Jesus calms their fears over and over again with stories, metaphors, and outright promises, saying, “I will never abandon you like orphans; I will return to be with you” (14:18).
14 Jesus: Don’t get lost in despair; believe in God, and keep on believing in Me. 2 My Father’s home is designed to accommodate all of you. If there were not room for everyone, I would have told you that. I am going to make arrangements for your arrival. 3 I will be there to greet you personally and welcome you home, where we will be together. 4 You know where I am going and how to get there.
Thomas: 5 Lord, we don’t know where You are going, so how can we know the path?
Jesus: 6 I am the path, the truth, and the energy of life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7 If you know Me, you know the Father. Rest assured now; you know Him and have seen Him.
Philip: 8 Lord, all I am asking is that You show us the Father.
Jesus (to Philip): 9 I have lived with you all this time, and you still don’t know who I am? If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. How can you keep asking to see the Father? 10 Don’t you believe Me when I say I abide in the Father and the Father dwells in Me? I’m not making this up as I go along. The Father has given Me these truths that I have been speaking to you, and He empowers all My actions. 11 Accept these truths: I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me. If you have trouble believing based on My words, believe because of the things I have done. 12 I tell you the truth: whoever believes in Me will be able to do what I have done, but they will do even greater things, because I will return to be with the Father. 13 Whatever you ask for in My name, I will do it so that the Father will get glory from the Son. 14 Let Me say it again: if you ask for anything in My name, I will do it. 15 If you love Me, obey the commandments I have given you. 16 I will ask the Father to send you another Helper, the Spirit of truth, who will remain constantly with you. 17 The world does not recognize the Spirit of truth, because it does not know the Spirit and is unable to receive Him. But you do know the Spirit because He lives with you, and He will dwell in you. 18 I will never abandon you like orphans; I will return to be with you. 19 In a little while, the world will not see Me; but I will not vanish completely from your sight. Because I live, you will also live. 20 At that time, you will know that I am in the Father, you are in Me, and I am in you. 21 The one who loves Me will do the things I have commanded. My Father loves everyone who loves Me; and I will love you and reveal My heart, will, and nature to you.
God becomes flesh and lives among humanity, not just to have a transaction with people and ultimately die, but to continue to be with them and to send His Spirit to be present with believers. So God calls His Spirit-indwelled people to something greater, something more significant: they are here as redeeming forces on this earth; their time here is about reclaiming the things He has created. Believing God has created the entire cosmos and that it is restored in Jesus, the believer’s work here through the Spirit is to say, “This belongs to God,” and to help point out the beauty of creation to everyone. And most of all, to live in it themselves by the power of the Holy Spirit who plants the teachings of the Lord in their hearts.
The Other Judas: 22 Lord, why will You reveal Yourself to us, but not to the world?
Jesus: 23 Anyone who loves Me will listen to My voice and obey. The Father will love him, and We will draw close to him and make a dwelling place within him. 24 The one who does not love Me ignores My message, which is not from Me, but from the Father who sent Me.
25 I have spoken these words while I am here with you. 26 The Father is sending a great Helper, the Holy Spirit, in My name to teach you everything and to remind you of all I have said to you. 27 My peace is the legacy I leave to you. I don’t give gifts like those of this world. Do not let your heart be troubled or fearful. 28 You were listening when I said, “I will go away, but I will also return to be with you.” If you love Me, celebrate the fact that I am going to be with the Father because He is far greater than I am. 29 I have told you all these things in advance so that your faith will grow as these things come to pass. 30 I am almost finished speaking to you. The one who rules the world is stepping forward, and he has no part in Me; 31 but to demonstrate to the cosmos My love for the Father, I will do just as He commands. Stand up. It is time for us to leave this place.