- John 15:18-19 (NKJV)
We Christians, in our zeal to apply the New Testament to our lives frequently neglect the reality that Jesus was a Jew, as were His Disciples. And as followers of the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses they routinely followed the Jewish ritual of the Passover Seder, which was an event that set the stage for the Last Supper on the night before His trial. Jesus' concern with the Temple was not with Judaism but with the misrepresentation that the High Priests had made of it. And He had come to show the world in the flesh what life should be all about. He was clearly pained by their rejection of Him, yet He knew that's the way it would be.
Power, personal status and financial gain had entered into the Temple and Jesus knew that the real Truth of what God had sent to His Chosen People by way of Moses had been modified for personal gain. And it was for this reason that He spoke out in Truth and drew the ire of those leaders who saw Him as a threat to their lifestyle and status. Sadly, it is not uncommon to find the same issues arise in Christian churches today as well since we humans are sinners and we must work hard to stay the course that He intended for us.
So on that last Supper, after they had eaten and Judas had kissed His King and departed, Jesus spent time giving His final words to His principal followers who He would be leaving soon. The Scripture cited is just one of the points that He wanted them to understand along with many more, for He knew they would be under great pressure and danger and He wanted them to labor on for the cause of His love. He also knew that when what was about to happen to Him was over, they would understand, because His gift, the Holy Spirit, would be there to serve as their guide and counselor.
Chapters 14-17 of the Gospel of John go into considerable detail on these matters. Sometimes they seem repetitive, but yet explained in differing ways. Repetition was likely used with variety to get His points home and He knew that when the time was right, the words would give them great comfort in the trials and tribulations they would face.
The Gospel of John is clearly unique among the gospels, yet it merely added a new dimension which would serve to further enrich those who believed and give them the evidence they needed that Jesus is the Christ and the Truth. The Way, the Truth and the Life: it all makes sense when we take the time to pay attention and put all of the pieces together. Praise be His Holy Name.
This morning North Florida Writer Live will present a short devotional about this very subject, accompanied by songs of praise and a short prayer. It's at 7:30 a.m. and then on demand. Won't you join me and listen to Celebrating Another "Sunday Morning Coming Down" at this link:
Have a blessed Sunday and enjoy His day.