22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me,31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
“Come now; let us leave.
(John 14:22-31 NIV)
From our last study (verses 15 – 21), we noticed how Jesus shifted the conversation topic to love and obedience. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit as the Comforter, who would come after He was gone. Jesus did not give His disciples an abstract idea to implement; He set Himself as the example of love and obedience. Jesus had just washed the disciples’ feet, showing humility and service toward one another. Jesus was now telling His disciples about what would soon happen to Him, and how this was the most radical obedience and love that He would demonstrate. His disciples would not understand His example at the time, but would remember and comprehend later.
Judas (not Judas Iscariot) interrupts Jesus with a question: “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
Judas’ question was legitimate – he knew the Messiah was to save all humanity. So why was Jesus saying he would only show Himself to His disciples? What about everyone else? Little did Judas (and the rest of the disciples) know that this would become his role (and ours) – to share the Good News of Christ with those around them.
Jesus essentially ignores Judas’ question and continues talking about love and obedience. While seemingly ignoring Judas’ question, Jesus is both directly and indirectly answering it. Love of Christ and obedience to His commands are the direct ways that Jesus said others would see Christ in them. Jesus would show Himself indirectly to others through the radically changed lives of His disciples (and you and me).
In verses 25 – 26, Jesus reminds His disciples that He had taught them many things, and He would send the Holy Spirit to remind everyone of all of His teachings and commands.
In verse 28, Jesus likely sees the worried and confused looks on His disciples’ faces. Jesus reassures them with words of peace and comfort.
In verses 28 – 31, Jesus tells His disciples that He is going to the Father, and they should be glad for this to happen. They don’t understand right now, but they will later. Jesus is referring to His steadfast love for them and His radical obedience to the Father through what was about to happen – His death on the cross.
Jesus ends this time with His disciples in a sense of urgency. The events that will change the world are already in progress. It’s time to go.
Looking at Jesus’ life from the other side of the cross, we see what Jesus’ disciples could not have seen or imagined as positive (Jesus’ death on the cross) as being the greatest news we could ever know.
And what is our part? How can we share the Good News of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection with others? Jesus made His teaching simple and clear in today’s passage. Love for Christ and obedience to His commands are the ways to show Jesus to the world around us. When His love works powerfully in and through us, it bursts forth like a fountain to bless and point others to Himself.
It’s not about us – it’s all about Him.