Word from Scotland: Jesus becomes so personal while remaining so very practical
Notice how John is so Christ centred, in these closing verses of John Chapter 14. This passage is focusing upon Jesus Christ, and how Jesus Christ cares for, and is concerned about, those whom He calls.
No matter what you are going through or experiencing in these present days, know that the risen living Jesus cares for you and that He is concerned about every detail.
Jesus has been speaking about peace, and peace can be vague and illusive and many strive for peace, and march for peace, and hold ‘Peace Rallies’, but peace like Jesus Himself is unique and uniquely flows from Him and from Him alone.
Now, that is a lesson the world finds hard to accept, but it happens to be true. Peace is a gift of God and we so need that gift in these troubled times.
Jesus has also been speaking about the coming of the Holy Spirit, (verse 26), and that teaching too might sound vague and illusive to the ears of many people, but not to those who have received the Holy Spirit, and who have been baptised in the Holy Spirit by the risen and living Jesus, with the same consequences as on the Day of Pentecost.
The Holy Spirit is a gift from the Father, and a gift from Jesus Christ the Son of God, and it is He who enables us to grow peace!
The Holy Spirit is a Person and He is so Personal. He purifies and inspires and empowers. We are cleansed and called to become temples of the Holy Spirit. Our lives are to become fit dwelling places for the Spirit of God. He is the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of Holiness. He is different from everyone else and everything else. It is difficult to explain in words. It is better to experience His Power and His Presence.
He comes alongside to help. He is our Counsellor. He is the Comforter, fortifying and fortressing us, and He teaches. He reminds us of the words of Jesus Christ, the Son.
All the help we need for our work and service and ministry is available. Were these disciples feeling a little bit helpless, and perhaps sensing that real help would be out of reach? Jesus takes the time to teach and explain what was going to happen. We too need to take time and explain and to do so as simply as we know how.
These disciples of Jesus would be provided with all the resources they would require and these would come from within – from the indwelling Holy Spirit and through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. These men were going to be given a goal and an aim and a purpose greater and higher than their own pleasures or self interests.
One of the reasons that made Jesus such a good teacher was that he used visual aids.
Jesus would take a child and sit that child on His knee and say – Now unless you become like this little child you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus would point to a door and say, “I am the door”. If you want to get in, you must come in through Me.
It is as we move into John Chapter 15, that we come to the last picture Jesus used in His teaching. Notice too, how Jesus is teaching right to the very end.
They leave the Upper Room and have a mile or so to walk to the Garden of Gethsemane, in the Kidron Valley.
It is night and they are walking past the gates of the Temple. As they pass the gates of the Temple, Jesus looks at the gates and points them out to His men. On the Temple Gates there were two large clusters of grapes. They were more than six feet high and they were made of gold. This was the symbol of Israel. Israel was to be the fruitful planting of the Lord. Israel was to bring all the nations of the world to God. The symbol of who they were was on their Temple Gates, and looking at this, as Jesus begins His road to Calvary, He says to His men – “I am the true vine. I am the real vine.”
God had been looking to Israel for the fruit of righteousness and justice and care and love. God had planted His people but had not been able to pick the fruit which He wanted to pick and Jesus says, “I am the real vine”.
In Me, the Father will be able to pick the fruit He has been looking for, and if you want to give God real fruit, you will need to remain in Me.
This is the only way whereby we can live fruitful lives – by being united to Jesus – and by allowing the sap of Christ – the refreshing Holy Spirit – to rise in us – and flow through us until fruit is formed.
That is what the Father is looking for in us and from us – FRUIT.
Leaves are not enough. He is looking for FRUIT.