He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
We say we love people, and we prove it by showing care towards them. In this verse, Jesus says those who love him keep his sayings. We show Jesus care by obeying his teaching. But those who do not truly care for Jesus do not keep his sayings, even though he has only said what he heard from the Father. The implication is that to love the Father you must love Christ.
If you do not love Christ, you do not love the Father. Jesus cares for his disciples. He warns them and gives them a way to test their love. They can tell, and prove, they love Jesus by obeying him. It is the same for modern believers. We can measure our love by reviewing our obedience. And if we see room for improvement, we can rejoice because we know how to pray. We can pray for greater love and greater obedience.
Jesus obeyed the Father. He did not have a sinful nature. It was in his nature to love and obey the Father. Therefore, the Father revealed himself to Jesus. Though Jesus’ obedience was divinely inspired, his many choices to obey were done in his flesh. We see how things should be as we study Christ. Like Christ, upon our rebirth into the Kingdom of God, we are free from our sinful nature. We are free to obey and love both Jesus and the Father.
Lord, please help me love and obey you in everything I do. Deliver me from the philosophy of the world and help me learn the teachings of the Bible so I may obey you more fully. Lord, let my life shine for you. Teach me your ways. In Jesus’ name, amen.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Jesus cares for the disciples. It is almost time for Jesus to depart and his care is for those who will be left behind. Jesus promises to pray for another comforter. He is addressing their abandonment issues when he says this comforter will stay forever. In everything Jesus says, he is tending to the hearts of his men.
Jesus was not only Lord to these men, but he was also a friend and a brother. He loved them as we love our family. The world would soon seem to be on their shoulders and Jesus promises to help. He promises this comforter will be the Spirit of Truth. He assures them this is not available to people outside of Christ. This is a special endowment for the church.
And like the early church fathers, there is an endowment for us today as well. The Spirit of Truth lives inside us. Jesus wanted to reassure his disciples he would be with them again. He identifies himself as the Spirit of Truth that brings comfort in the last line of the text, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
Lord, please bring your truth and your comfort to my life. Thank you for dwelling in me and giving me an inheritance with the saints. I receive your comfort and rejoice that you are so near. In Jesus’ name, amen.
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.  If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Jesus believed. He believed that he was going to the Father and that he would continue to help the disciples. This statement makes it plain that Jesus believed he was going to heaven, and he believed he would have the authority to answer prayers. These verses testify to the fact that Jesus knew he was divine. He assumes he will have divine authority in heaven and that he will be able to use that authority to assist the disciples.
Jesus loved his disciples. He wanted them to be safe after he ascended to the Father. More, Jesus wanted them to be obedient based on their love for him. He shared with his disciples that he was going to help them. He revealed his love and concern for the disciples in this promise. More, he goes on to ask the disciples to return his love. The way they could do this was to keep his commandments.
These verses reveal intimate details about Jesus’ relationship with his disciples. To begin, he was modeling the right behavior to the disciples. He was teaching them the meaning of the gospels which is to love all people. Here, Jesus asks them to reciprocate the love they receive from him. As he cared for the disciples, he wanted them to care for him. So, while his statements reveal he knew he was divine, they also reveal that he was human. Jesus wanted his love reciprocated.
Lord, please help me reciprocate your love. Teach me to honor and love you in a way that is proper. Reveal yourself to me from your Holy Word so that I might love you better. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
What does it mean to go through Jesus? It means, that to get to heaven you must believe in Jesus. That is simple. What is complicated is trying to figure out what believing in Jesus means. In the above passage, Thomas isn’t even sure where Jesus is going, and still, Jesus says he knows the way. Jesus goes on to say he is “the way, the truth, and the life.” He teaches the disciples that to get to the Father they must go through Him.
So, what does it mean to go through Jesus? Simply, it means we must believe and confess that he is real and that he died to save us. That is all it takes to get to heaven. However, that is not all going through Jesus means. To go through Jesus we must also obey his teachings and example. Going through Jesus means practicing Jesus’ way of life. That does not mean we need to become Jewish. It means we must love and care for people in the way that Jesus did. How did Jesus love people? He loved people to the point of his own death.
Going through Jesus to get to the Father means loving other people more than you love yourself. Jesus gave the perfect example when he willingly died the horrific death of crucifixion. He did that because it was necessary to save humanity from an eternity without God. Jesus also believed in a literal hell. Thus, he gave himself up so we would not burn eternally. The way through Jesus is to believe in him and practice his love with obedience to his teachings.
Lord Jesus, teach me to believe so I may come to heaven. Please teach me to love others and to walk in obedience to you. I want to receive rewards to enjoy eternally, so please, teach me to obey. I welcome your correction, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Jesus loved the disciples. He walked with the disciples and cared for them. How did Jesus love his disciples? He loved them by caring for their many needs. First, he fed them and gave them rest. Next, he taught his disciples the truth. Finally, Jesus prayed for the disciples and answered their questions. To begin, Jesus cared for the disciples’ physical needs. He both fed them and gave them rest. In Mark 6 and Matthew 15 Jesus feeds thousands of seekers. He literally broke up fish and bread and miraculously multiplied it to feed the large crowds. In addition to feeding the disciples he gave them rest (Mk 6:31). When they grew weary from ministry, Jesus pulls them aside and lets them rest.
Jesus loved the disciples. Not only did he feed them and give them rest, but Jesus also taught the disciples. He taught them to walk in faith turning away from sin. Jesus taught the disciples everything the Father was releasing (Mt 7:28-29). Additionally, Jesus rebuked sin and praised faith. In Matthew 16:23 Jesus blatantly rebukes Peter and calls him a stumbling block. This happened because Peter was trying to protect Jesus. However, Jesus did not appreciate the gesture but instead calls Peter Satan. In Luke 17:3 Jesus teaches the disciples to rebuke those in sin. Jesus also taught the disciples to behave and think faithfully. In Matthew 16:17 Jesus praises Peter for his insight into the things of God.
Jesus fed the disciples and taught them the difference between faith and sin. He also prayed for them and maintained an intimate relationship with the disciples. Jesus prayed for his disciples and those they brought to him. In John 11 Jesus prayed for Lazarus to come back from the dead. In this same passage, both Martha and Mary have intimate conversations with Jesus. Also, at the Last Supper Jesus let the disciples lean against his breast and ask him questions (John 13:25-26). Jesus loved his disciples and was intimate with them.
Lord, help me love like you love. Not as the world loves with flattery and half-truths, but real love that comes from you. Help me care about other people’s physical and spiritual needs so that I can discern how to love each one. Put truth in my mouth along with kindness and gentleness. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me, but in him who sent me.  He who sees me sees him who sent me.
When we reflect God, we obey the Bible. We care about the 10 commandments and the commandments of the New Testament. It is natural to bind the Word to our hearts, it reflects the Father. Additionally, we put away anger. Instead, we respond to people gently, even when they are rude. We do not try to get even or to justify ourselves. Instead, we are patient, caring more about the things of God than our egos. Finally, when we reflect God, we walk in love. We put away jealousy and bitterness in exchange for mercy, kindness, and grace. In our daily walk, we testify of God through our words and actions.
When we practice these basic principles, God is reflected to the people around us. We must separate ourselves from sin and come into obedience to the Bible. More, we must submit our goals to God. Are our goals truly Biblical reflecting the whole counsel of the Bible? Or do all our choices hang on one or two scriptures that speak of blessings? When we are purposed to reflect God to the world, we bring all these areas of “flesh” into obedience to the Scripture.
When we separate ourselves from fleshly indulgences we begin to look like Jesus. We both reflect God, and we reflect Jesus’ motivations. Like Jesus, we love to the point of laying down our lives. We are powerful to confront sin in other believers. We are passionate about getting people into a relationship with God. We also believe the Bible when we reflect God. We believe in heaven and hell and an eternal destiny so we realize the worthiest thing we can do to reflect God and imitate Jesus is to share the gospel with the lost.
Lord, please help me have the same motivations as Jesus. I long for those around me to see your love and goodness. Please help me witness to the lost. Help me focus on your priorities. Teach me to love others more than myself. Please help me bring my flesh into subjection to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Therefore a division arose again among the Jews because of these words.  Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane! Why do you listen to him?”  Others said, “These are not the sayings of one possessed by a demon. It isn’t possible for a demon to open the eyes of the blind, is it?”
Jesus had trouble. In the verses above he is in a crowd and some of the people listening begin to accuse him of being demonized and insane. This is not so different from what believers experience today. In Christian circles, some would call Jesus demonized. At the same time, unbelievers today would likely call Jesus insane.
Jesus definitely had trouble at times when he was sharing the truth. Yet he spoke the truth anyways. Jesus did not get overwhelmed with a spirit of rejection or self-protection. Rather, he continued telling the truth which was a true act of love. Because Jesus loved others more than he loved himself he was able to stand for truth. Jesus also loved the Father more than he loved himself. That love helped him to defeat his flesh and stand for God.
Jesus experienced rejection and shame, yet, he did not turn against God. Instead, Jesus spent time in prayer, he knew the scriptures, and he testified to the truth. And many were saved. Today we are still mandated to witness to unbelievers with the hope that some will be saved (Mark 16:15-16). When we start sharing Christ, some will slander us and call us names. These are beautiful opportunities to lay our lives down, show the love of God, and stand in solidarity with Jesus.
Lord, please lead me into a love that is greater than my sense of self-protection. Teach me to love you and others more than I love myself. Help me to open my mouth and testify of your greatness and anoint me to lead others into a saving knowledge of You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
The neighbors therefore, and those who saw that he was blind before, said, “Isn’t this he who sat and begged?”  Others were saying, “It is he.” Still others were saying, “He looks like him.” He said, “I am he.”  They therefore were asking him, “How were your eyes opened?”  He answered, “A man called Jesus made mud, anointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash.’ So I went away and washed, and I received sight.”
Have you ever seen or experienced a miracle? If you have, one of the things you may have noticed is miracles tend to be obscured. In the above passage, people were already casting doubt on the miracle of healed vision. There were people telling others the man was not blind. Even as we read the Bible today, we can see skepticism in these Bible characters. Miracles are easy to doubt, even when we see them.
Yet, God does perform miracles in our lives. Some are profound, and others are simply sweet. It is a miracle to be healed of blindness but it’s also a miracle to have access to eye care, including the skills and talents to earn money to go to an optometrist. We are so busy waiting for an undeniable God event that we miss the sweetness in the abundance of what God does for us.
The blind man needed sight. He needed to see, so Jesus healed him. But there is a small tension in the story because Jesus sends the man to wash in the pool of Siloam. Why did he do that? Why did he give a command that truly has nothing to do with being healed? Because the enormous miracle of sight was the smaller miracle of God’s care. God was healing more than the man’s physical vision; he was also healing his heart.
Lord, help me to be faithful in recognizing miracles in the world and in my life. Heal me inside and out. Help me see. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Most certainly, I tell you, he who believes in me has eternal life.  I am the bread of life.  Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.  This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, that anyone may eat of it and not die.  I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Yes, the bread which I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Eating the flesh of Christ is a metaphor. It simply means receiving from Christ. When we receive salvation, grace, mercy, or anything else from Jesus, we are metaphorically eating the flesh of Christ (1 Cor 11:24). The saying also nods to the coming crucifixion. However, we are looking at the metaphor, not the grounding reality of Jesus’ statement. So, the metaphor of eating Christ simply means receiving from Jesus is what gives us life. Jesus is the Bread of Life, when we receive of him, we inherit eternal life. So, here is the question, if Christian means little Christ are we to give our flesh?
Do we suffer to bless those who would come to Christ? (Rom 8:17, 23) According to Romans chapter 8, yes, we do suffer as Christ suffered. And that suffering has value. When we lay down our lives, we can then be remade in Christ’s likeness. (1 Cor 15:49) It is a holy thing to suffer for Christ (1 The 1:6, Heb 12:10). More, holiness allows us to be anointed to bring others to Christ (Mark 13:11). When Jesus died and ascended, he released the Holy Spirit (John 20:22). Christ was holy because he gave his life away (Col 1:22). In his complete giving of himself for the will of God, Jesus is the holiest (Heb 10:19-20). In giving his life away he has saved millions. We must be ready should God ask us for our comfort, ease, or luxury. We must be ready to imitate our Savior and give others access to the Bread of Life.
Lord Jesus, you have given me so many blessings. Please help me let go of the things you ask me to give up. Please help me love others so much that I will give of myself to see them whole and reconciled to God. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.
All those whom the Father gives me will come to me. He who comes to me I will in no way throw out.  For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.  This is the will of my Father who sent me, that of all he has given to me I should lose nothing, but should raise him up at the last day.  This is the will of the one who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
It’s touching that Jesus is purposed not to lose anyone who believes in him. Can you imagine if we viewed all believers, from the greatest to the least, as too valuable to lose? That type of love would bring the lowly to the church. The pews would be filled.
The coffers would be empty. Because in churches where the poor are truly welcomed, the wealthy tend to leave. Without the tithes of the middle class most churches cannot survive. In fact, most churches have multiple people on the payroll, grounds to maintain, buildings to maintain, not to mention utilities, and other costs associated with property ownership.
In short, churches have bills. Additionally, is the benevolence cost associated with serving the poor. So, when churches are purposed not to lose anyone the Father brings them, they must overcome these difficult challenges. Sadly, many churches continue to cater to the wealthy.
Lord Jesus, please help me recognize the worth of all people. Help me love all those I encounter. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.