Receiving the Calming Spirit
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him (John 14:1-7).
The disciples were troubled. Jesus had just informed them that one of their number would betray Him. Then He had described His imminent departure from them. Theirs were troubled hearts and so this is where Jesus begins this episode.
1. Trusting in God relieves troubled hearts
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight”(Proverbs 3:5-6).
2. Jesus knew where He was going
“There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12).
Not all goals we pursue in life are the right ones. Many of the things we seek most really are not worth the effort. According to Jesus there is only one destination that is truly worthwhile—the Father’s house. Making your way to God is the most important journey you will ever take. In fact, today’s episode on the webcam begs the question, “If you got to where you are going, where would you be?”
3. Jesus was exclusive about the way to God
Some people who have the Father’s house in their sights never get there because they get lost on some side street.
- Some people try to get there by living the “good, moral life.”
- Some people try to get there by following their own “gospel.”
- Some people try to get there by being “religious.”
Just as we have no right to make the way narrower than He does, we have no right to make it broader than he does. Did you know about Christ without really knowing Him? This is Jesus’ fundamental concern of His life and ministry... will people really come to know God, or will they be content to be aware of His presence and know nothing of His person?
“If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—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 in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him” (John 14:15-21).
4. Loving God results in obedient living
You don’t need more religion. You need to fall more deeply in love with God. As the love of Christ becomes more complete in your life, then your life conforms to His image.
“But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did” (I John 2:5-6).
The chief work Jesus did was not performing miracles but revealing the Father. So, here is a key concept for spiritual life:
5. Living in God comes through God living in us
"Parakletos": called to the side of (for the purpose of helping)... advocate, called to ones aid, counsel for the defense Plummer argues that the fundamental idea is “of pleading, arguing, convincing, instructing... He is represented as the Advocate, the Counsel, who suggests true reasoning to our minds and true courses for our lives, convicts our adversary the world of wrong and pleads our cause before God tour Father”
The Spirit living within the disciples would take the place of the Savior living beside the disciples. He is also called “the Spirit of Truth.” The meaning of the word used is really of a friend, a legal friend (an “Advocate” in the legal sense of the word)
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” (I John 2:1).
These are words of comfort, spoken in troubling times. But still, the disciples have troubled hearts. How will they learn to have peace with God?
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:25-27).
6. The peace of God comes through the presence of God
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified” (John 7:37-39).
How the disciples needed peace! The peace that Christ gives is not that of the world, nor does He give it the way the world gives.The world’s peace is shallow, unsatisfying, and temporary; while Christ’s peace rests deep in the heart, is always satisfying, and will abide forever. The world offers peace through outward means; Christ gives peace that dwells in the heart. Psychologists talk about “peace of mind,” but Christ, through His death, resurrection, and ascension, gives “peace with God”. Peace with God is one of life’s greatest possibilities. How can it happen?
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7).
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