This section begins an extended after dinner conversation, which contains some great insights about Jesus and His disciples; and in the face of further questions, Jesus chooses not to give answers but to give Himself as the answer. [v.6] But the disciples seem to miss that.
Philip actually asks for more proof in verse 8…even after hanging out with Jesus for 3 years, seeing all the miracles, etc. It had to be frustrating for Jesus. He says, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?” [v.9] It seems crazy that Philip and others would still need more, but they did. And we often do, too.
We ask God for a sign, proof and more insight into “what’s next.” It is not wrong to ask God questions, but there comes a point when we need to quit asking for more proof, more evidence, more details and just step out and obey.
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” [v.12-14] That is an incredible passage because Jesus not only tells us what to do, but He also gives us a new privilege…asking in His name. It is more than a format. It is more than tacking the “name of Jesus” on the end of our prayers. It is His power and glory found in His Name when preceded by love and obedience.
It is living in His power today and tomorrow no matter what you face as you love and obey Him.
In the remaining verses, Jesus makes a specific connection between love and obedience. He says it 5 times! [v. 15, 21, 23, 24 & 31] Do you love and obey Him? Do you love Him more than the thing(s) you are abstaining from?
Jesus modeled love and obedience for us even as he left the dinner table and began the journey to the garden. Soon Jesus will once again validated what He said about Himself by His actions. Jesus always validates what He says by what He does, and He will “do exactly what [his] Father has commanded [him].” [v.31]
On the cross, Jesus will show His love for us and His obedience to the Father, and He calls us to do the same.
Lord God – You are above and before all things. We love because You first loved us. Help us be a people who love and obey You. Give us the courage to do both so that Your glory will be revealed in our lives. Show us areas of disobedience in our lives and teach us what it means to love. We want to see even greater things than what You have already allowed us to witness. We ask these things in the powerful name of Your Son and our Savior Jesus the Christ. Amen.
April 11, 2014
Thanks so much Shawn for these daily blogs. It adds another level to reading the chapter each day, like a mini sermon/lesson every day and keeps me on track. Your question do we love Jesus more than what we’re abstaining from is the bottom line and helps to provide encouragement and a reminder of the reason we’re doing it so our focus in on His sacrifice, not on what we’re giving up for a period.
Thanks also for the prayer at the end!
April 12, 2014
I need to start asking the Holy Spirit every day to keep giving me a clue as to who Jesus really is, and what He really says about Himself in the gospels, so that I find myself being less like Philip and Thomas, and more like the person He wants me to be.