This Sunday I’ll be preaching on John 14 in the village of Bilyahilu (I’m driving a truck this time). And this passage (vv. 30-31) in particular stood out to me during my studies:
I can’t talk with you guys much longer, because Satan’s coming; I’ll need to get going. It’s not that he’s more powerful than me — Lord (that’s me) knows that’s not the case. It’s just really important for the world to see how much I love my Father. That’s why I do everything he says, because I love him.
- Jesus is leaving because Satan is coming. It’s not an issue of power, though — Jesus isn’t afraid of Satan. Rather he’s simply being obedient to his Father. The Father wants Jesus to leave earth.
- Why does the Father want the Son to leave earth? I’m going to suggest (according to the context of John 14) it’s so the Holy Spirit can be sent to Jesus’ followers.
- Jesus’s love for his Father compels him to do everything he is commanded. Love is Jesus’ motivation for obedience.
- Jesus stresses the importance of showing the world how much he loves his Father. It is through his obedience that this occurs. Obedience, then, displays, and is the evidence of, love.
What I’ve Learned
- There is a key relationship implied here — the relationship between love and obedience. Love is to be our motivation for obedience to God, and obedience to God demonstrates to the world our love for him.
- A Christian who is not obedient to God does not love him — and, then, is no Christian at all.
- The world won’t be won over by our carefully worded arguments and intelligent thoughts. Nor will they recognize us as belonging to God by our programs and events. Rather they will know we love God by our obedience to him.
- I believe one could make a very good argument that the best method or strategy for mission is simply being obedient to God.