John 14:15-31 (spring AD 30, Thursday evening of Passion Week)
This is a great passage for:
- Those who claim that the idea of free salvation by grace through faith is a recipe for disobedience and a license for immoral behaviour
- Those who claim that because of grace, the way we live is relatively unimportant, or that we don’t need to be concerned about our sinfulness.
- Those who think that as New Testament Christians, we should not be focusing on obedience to God but rather our blessings from God.
Here’s a list of Jesus’ comments on obedience in this passage:
- “I you love me, keep my commands” (v.15)
- “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me” (v.21)
- “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching” (v.23)
- “Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching” (v.24)
- “…I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me” (v.31)
Because he saved us, we love him and because we love him we want to obey him.
And the consequences of that obedience:
- “…I will ask the Father and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever…” (v.15)
- “…you know [the Holy Spirit], for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (v.18)
- “I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (v.20)
- “The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them” (v.21)
- “My Father will love then, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” (v.23)
- “…the Holy Spirit…will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (v.26)
- “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you” (v.27)
- “I am going away and I am coming back to you” (v.28)
Five times Jesus commands obedience, six times he explicitly promises that he will be with those who do. I put them in bullet form because seeing such long lists for such a short passage shows the importance Jesus places on both obedience and the promised blessings of his being with us.
You can’t downplay obedience – it’s the inevitable outworking of a heart that loves God. And almost everything Jesus says to reassure and comfort, and all he promises for the future, is that he will always be with us.