We are celebrating the 50 days of Easter. We fast approach the Feast of Pentecost. In this time we are living life in the Spirit though we are yet to read Luke’s account of Pentecost.
We are listening to the last discourse of Jesus at the Last Supper. We have heard of the Good Shepherd and the new Commandment of Love. Now we listen to a very private conversation of Jesus with his eleven. Judas has departed into the dark. Jesus shares deeply his love for his team.
There are ambiguities in this passage that are worth noting. Jesus is sharing his love for the Father and his disciples. It is as though the past and the present and the future are all happening NOW.
He speaks of “my word”, then says it is not his own word but the Father’s. “My word is not my own”. He says that he and the Father will make their home with the disciple, yet speaks of going to the Father. Two Sundays ago he said, “I and the Father are one”. Today he says that “the Father is greater than I”.
These thoughts can help us in prayer in this Holy time. God is eternal. A thousand years is like a day. Jesus was really praying for each and every one of us in his last prayer. For God it is always NOW.
What was his Prayer? “If anyone love me he will keep my word and my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home in him”. God is dwelling in my heart! What a promise. It is conditional on not just hearing but keeping the word. There is a simple test. “Those who do not love me do not keep my words”. If we love God, he dwells in us.
But like all the good adverts say, there is more! ‘the Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you”. We are being taught by Jesus what will happen in the future. We are being taught about the Holy Spirit.
Today’s teaching is that the Spirit will teach us everything and will remind us of the teachings of Jesus. These themes will reoccur in the Pentecost Season.
Note. Early in all the Gospels the theme of Jesus is that he will be with us always. As we get nearer to Calvary, the theme changes to “I am going away” and this causes some anxiety. Today the assurance is in the words “I am going away and shall return”.