Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  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.  These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Jesus loved the disciples. He showed a great deal of care in preparing the disciples for his death and ascension. In this passage, the Lord compared his present condition to that which was to come. Jesus was soon to be crucified. Yet rather than think of himself, he wants the disciples comforted by the knowledge that they would not be alone. Jesus assures the disciples the Holy Ghost will speak to them.
The Holy Ghost is still speaking to believers. He reminds us of all the Bible says. He will give us comfort in our troubles and guide us in our daily lives. The Holy Ghost is our teacher. He teaches us all things. This is another comfort. Though Jesus is with the Father, the Holy Ghost is with us. Though Jesus, the disciple’s teacher, would be gone, he promised to send another teacher.
In promising the Holy Ghost, Jesus reveals his love for his disciples. It hurt him to think about leaving them without a shepherd. The reality that he was leaving his friends was heavy on Jesus’ mind. He was about to be crucified, but rather than think of himself, his concern was for his men. We know that he is still concerned about his disciples today. Those of us who follow Christ are ever the object of his prayers. And the teacher he sent so long ago is still telling us the way we should walk.
Lord, thank you for caring for me. I love to follow and serve you and I am blessed knowing you love me. Thank you for the Holy Ghost to teach, lead, and guide me in my daily walk with you. Help me trust your love and receive from the Holy Ghost. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.  Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
How do we test ourselves so we can know if we are right with God? These verses make it clear that it is those that keep the sayings of Jesus that will be with him in the presence of the Father. The question arises, “which sayings do I need to keep?” This is an important question to answer because some of what Jesus taught seems to be cultural. If what he taught is cultural then it would not apply to us today.
Satan wants us to think of the Bible as a culture-bound document that is outdated and a relic. But we in Christ know that the Bible is the key to living a godly life. This belief marks us as different from the unbelieving world. However, we must pay attention to what we are believing. If what we believe is contrary to the Word, we are destroying God’s kingdom. However, if we keep the Word, Jesus promises to bring us to the Father.
So what? Now I am saying we are saved by works? No, of course not. There is no true salvation except that which is given to us freely by believing in Jesus. However, the writer of James tells us that, “Faith without works is dead.” (Jas 2:20) Dead things do not bring life. Reading the Word and failing to live the word causes many Christians to be disappointed with God. They assume they are saved by grace so then there is no responsibility on the believers’ side of the equation. Yet Jesus clearly says we obey him if we love him.
Lord, I thank you for your grace that leads to the saving of my soul. Help me show my love for you by leading me to keep your word. Forgive me for marginalizing your commandments. Teach me to fully obey. I hope to be in your presence one day. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
Jesus did mighty works. He healed people, restored people, and saved people from an eternity without God. This verse is easy to understand. If we believe in Jesus, we will do greater works than he did. Yet, most of us never see miracles and we watch as people struggle for decades sometimes to get relieved and restored. There are a lot of people that believe in Jesus but there are not many mighty works.
There are works of people being cleansed of their sins. There are also works of people testifying of God. But where are the miracles? Is this verse true? If this verse is untrue then can we really rely on the Bible as the authoritative Word of God? The good news is that this verse is true. But that still leaves the question of where are the miracles? Where are the truly mighty works?
The mighty works are done by those who believe in Jesus. So, it appears that either a lot of people are being dishonest about being Christians, or there is a problem with our definition of belief. Matthew 7:21 KJV says, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” How can we tell who truly believes? The true believer does the Father’s will. We see the Father’s will demonstrated in Jesus’ life. And like Jesus, they that do the Father’s will, will also do mighty works.
Lord, purify my life until I am in full agreement with your Word. Purify my walk until I look like you, Jesus. Help me believe you and keep your commandments. Lord, I want to do the mighty works that you did. Help my unbelief. 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.
Jesus therefore answered, “It is he to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.  After the piece of bread, then Satan entered into him. Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.”  When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.  If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him immediately.
Jesus knew he was destined to die. He understood that to bear much fruit a seed must fall to the ground and be buried. Jesus was not deluded. In his mind, Jesus did not think of everything from the perspective of his own good. Rather he thought about the Father’s will and the Father’s good. He read the truth in scripture and faithfully applied it to himself. He was a great seed, and the Father was about to plant him.
Jesus called this planting glorious. He knew he was going to die, and he considered it a matter of glory. What is this glory of which Jesus spoke? It is the glory of many lives coming to salvation. That glory was achieved on the cross, and it has been producing believers ever since. Through his obedience to the cross, we are saved if we believe. The mystery of glory is that what seems like dying produces life in Christ.
How do we achieve glory? Do we have to die in our flesh? Do we have to go to the grave? No. But we do need to be willing to persevere through trials. We must persevere in loving others more than we love ourselves. These are glorious behaviors. Giving of ourselves, even when it hurts, releases God’s glory. It is a mystery but one we must embrace. God wants us to be joyful. However, while we seek God for our good, we also seek God for the good of others. At times we must bear with another, even to our own hurt. These choices will lead to salvations and will bring God glory.
Lord, please give me the grace to love others even when it is hard. Help me lay down selfish ambition and turn to serve you willingly. Teach me to give you glory with my choices and actions. And let my life bring you glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.
If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.  Most certainly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord, neither one who is sent greater than he who sent him.  If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Jesus makes it plain. We are to do the things he demonstrated as he walked the Earth. He also makes a distinction between those who know the truth and those who act on the truth. He said, “Blessed are you if you do them.” He was referring to the example he had given them. In this case, the example was washing feet. But there were many things Jesus did, and this verse applies to those situations as well. Jesus walked the Earth as a human. He did the things humans can do. He cared for the sick and the poor. He was kind to both Jews and Gentiles. He prayed. He got close to the broken-hearted. He taught. He obeyed the Father unto a horrific death.
Jesus gave it all. Not only did he give it all, but he suffered greatly in the process. He was completely yielded to God. He was so yielded to God that his prayers for miracles were honored. There are things, like healing, that Jesus did which we have made an attribute of his divinity when they are attributes of his humanity. This is a great deception. We are meant to bring the gospel with power (Rom 15:9). Even Jesus said that we would do greater works than he did (John 14:12). So why do we not see more miracles?
We do not see more miracles because we do not follow the example that Jesus gave. We are part of that group mentioned in the last line of the scriptural text. We are people who know things we should do but do not do them. Yet, there are still miracles on Earth. There are missionary organizations that have reported blind eyes opening and people raised from the dead. One such ministry is led by Heidi Baker. This ministry works in one of the poorest, most destitute places on the earth. They have completely yielded themselves to the work of the Lord. And, like Jesus, they are doing wonderful things.
Lord, please help me give my life and thinking to you. Help me trust and believe the examples you left in the Bible. Show me how to yield to you so that I may do the greater works. 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.
Jesus answered them, “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.  Most certainly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.  He who loves his life will lose it. He who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life.  If anyone serves me, let him follow me. Where I am, there will my servant also be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
Jesus taught a mentality that modern science may have called suicidal. He calls for us to abhor our own lives in preference for a life in God. The Lord goes so far as to say, “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit (John 12:25). Everything we know about having a successful life is nothing in the light of the gospel. According to this passage we are to die. But if we are faithful to serve Jesus, the Father will honor us.
How does the Father honor a person he has told to lay down their life? Once we lay our lives down, he often gives us our lives back. Jesus is the only one who needed to die for the salvation of the world. However, working out our salvation some will be called to martyrdom. Most will not. Most people who commit their whole life to Jesus will prosper. It is impossible to stop wanting goodness and the fullness of life. But with God it is possible.
There are so many ways to lay down our lives. A stable, committed prayer life is a small death to self. Reading the Bible daily is another way to lay our lives down. The same can be said for tithing. It can also be said for going to church every week. Laying down our life could be following the Spirit to a new job. It may be when we humble ourselves to the ungodly for the sake of their salvation. We show others the way to salvation through our righteous behavior and our holy mindset. If we lay our lives down for the sake of obedience, it proves we serve and love Jesus.
Lord, teach me how to lay my life down for you. Teach me how to humble myself to you in obedience and righteousness. And teach me to lead others to you through love and holiness. I want to love you and others more than I love myself. All things are possible in you, Jesus. I trust you to teach me how to lay my life down. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.  When therefore he heard that he was sick, he stayed two days in the place where he was.  Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let’s go into Judea again.”
Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus so much that he decided to let Lazarus die. It was tough love. He knew the outcome was good, for the Father had shown him. So, for the sake of the blessing that was coming, he waited two days before going to Bethany. For two sisters saved from prostitution and dependent on their male relative to care for them, this was a scary situation. They were on the verge of losing their beloved brother and the life they knew. They lived in a time when women were treated as less valuable than men. There were approximately 100 rules in Judaism that constrained woman’s behavior. Losing Lazarus was going to destroy their lives.
But Jesus knew what he was going to do. Jesus always listened to his Father and did what he saw the Father doing. Thus, when he either heard or had a vision of Lazarus rising from the dead, he knew he needed to wait. The waiting was probably uncomfortable for Jesus. His love for this family is highlighted in Scripture. However, Jesus was so convinced of the Father’s good intentions that despite his great love for Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, Jesus waited. And in the waiting, the problem became more difficult to remedy.
Mary was upset with the Lord’s choice. When he finally arrives in Bethany, she does not go to meet him. Martha must coax Mary to come to see the Lord. It is then that Mary goes to Jesus. She wails her frustration in her small voice, “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn’t have died (John 11:32).” That was Jesus’ limit. He asked where Lazarus had been laid to rest because Jesus was about to call Lazarus out of the grave.
Lord, increase my trust in you. I do not want to become afraid when trouble arises. Help me, Lord, to have real faith that inspires Godly patience and complete trust. Lead me into a full conviction of your goodness. In Jesus’ name, amen.