“But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.” John 14:31
Jesus, You were getting ready to experience something awful. You were preparing Your followers so it wouldn’t come on them by surprise. You were giving them everything they needed to put it all together later, with some help from Your Holy Spirit at the right time. It wasn’t just something awful coming. It was worse than awful. And it was coming because it was commanded by God. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16) It’s hands on instruction. “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all nations be blessed..'” (Galations 3:8) “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, saith, ‘I thirst.'” (John 19:28)
So, why did You go through this crucifixion thing and all this terrible beating and being ridiculed? “[T]hat the world may know that I love the Father.” Well, how do we know that means You loved the Father? “Because no matter the commandment, no matter how much the cost, no matter how much the pain or sacrifice, I do what He says.” Now, Jesus, that is a hard example to follow.
But I have to stop and look at this closely. What if you had said, “No! That’s too hard. That’s too painful. That’s too embarrassing. I shouldn’t have to do that. I won’t do that. I want to do it a different way, a way I’m better at.” What then? Scripture would not have been fulfilled. God would not have been true. You would not have been God. I would be dead in my sins as would the rest of the world forever. I would have no way to the Father. My Redeemer would never have come. The disciples would have been following a false teacher. The world would have never been turned upside down. History would have been rewritten.
Thank God, truly, that You paid the price for me and every person ever out of love. This is love, that You came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give Your life a ransom for many. Straight from Your mouth, Jesus, came these words, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) But in order to do that properly, You show me that I must first lay my life down before God. And I look to You to see what laying my life down should look like.
Whatever God tells You, You do it. How did You know what God had told You? You listened and You spent time with Him and You studied His words. You prayed and communicated with Him over them. You communed with Him. You took Him at His word. He said it, You believed it, You did it, You lived it. It was true for all time, even the stuff written hundreds of years or a thousand years before You. It was all relevant and always will be. And You let Your Father give You understanding.
You allowed Yourself to be made ready by God’s word to make ready the things in God’s word. And I can be made ready by God’s word and I can be making ready the things in God’s word in the way You give me to do so. You’ve shown me how to experience what You’ve experienced. You’ve set the example. You invite me to follow You.
You are the Absolute Example on how to know and experience God. You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. To know You is to know God. To experience You is to experience God. The sad thing is that You can stand right in front of me, You can commune with me, You can share Your life with me, and I can still not see You in a way that I experience You and experience the Heavenly Father. It’s one thing to take a sideways look at the sunrise, but it’s another thing to sit and watch and soak it all in and experience the beauty and joy and grandeur of the sunrise. Where am I with You?
Do I love You enough to continually fix my eyes upon You just like You continually fixed Your eyes and will upon the Heavenly Father? If I love You I will keep Your commandments. You loved the Father and kept His commandments, no matter the price. What about me? Do I read Your words and come to some where I say, “That doesn’t apply to me any more. That’s awfully hard. That’s a lot to ask. Isn’t that a little harsh? ” Whose example am I following?
You were like a father stolen from his children. You were like the mother hen burned in the fire, sacrificing her life for her chicks. And it didn’t come to You as a surprise. This was Your purpose. It was Your destiny. You knew it was coming. And You didn’t shy away from it no matter how much Your mind and body wanted to. You obeyed Your Heavenly Father unto the end. And because You loved Him that much, now there is no end for those who believe.
You did not leave us comfortless like a fatherless child. You supplied all our needs. You returned and You gave us Your Holy Spirit, our Comforter, to be with us forever. You made us one with You, one with the Heavenly Father, one with the Holy Spirit. You set the example for what it takes to experience You, to experience God. You set the example for what true relationship means.
“Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. My Father will love the ones who love me; I too will love them and reveal myself to them.” (John 14:21) This is what I gain from listening to Your words, from guarding them, from mulling over them and meditating on them, and making them a part of my life, and by allowing them to be fulfilled in my life. Obedience is just putting God’s Word to practice, putting it to the test. That’s when I get to see Him make Himself known. That’s when I get to experience His words coming true in my life.
This is important stuff. You keep repeating it in this chapter, over and over again. “Those who love me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and my Father and I will come to them and live with them.” (John 14:23) How do I know what that looks like? I watch Your example. I follow Your example. Why do I have to follow Your example? Because there was something about Your example that when the world looks on, when it really takes the time to watch and witness what is really going on, the world must know that You love the Father, and that is why You do everything as Your Father commands You.
So what about me? When the world looks at me, what must it think? Is there something about my example that when someone really takes the time to watch and witness what is really going on in my life, that they must know the I love the Father? Is it that important to me to get that message across? Is it that important to me that I would do everything as You command, no matter the cost, no matter the shame, no matter the pain, no matter the loss?
Lord, I keep counting the cost, and You are always worth the cost. You are more than worth it. And I’m so glad that You didn’t leave me to do this on my own, because I couldn’t. But You have given every believer (and I’m one of them!) Your Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to empower me to obey and Who teaches me everything I need to know and understand and makes me remember the things You have taught me. And even in the midst of losing everything, of laying it all down for You, I can have peace. Whatever my cross is, I can face it joined with You, because that is Perfect Peace. You are my Perfect Peace. It’s in You and I’m in You. So, whatever my cross is, Lord, keep my heart from being troubled and keep me from being afraid. Let me always look to You and run to You for me inspiration. Divinely breathe into me, Lord, that I may live in You and have Your strength to overcome and obey You fully.