January 11, 2005 • By Ed Wrather01.11.05
If you love Me, keep My commandments. - John 14:15 NKJV.
He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. - John 14:21 NKJV.
If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. - John 14:23 NKJV.
I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here. - John 14:30-31 NKJV.
The 14th chapter of the Gospel of John is a much beloved portion of Scripture that is frequently read at funerals and for comfort. However, the words can be very uncomforting for those who are not living in obedience to their Lord. A theme perhaps not often mentioned in John 14 is that of obedience. Jesus hammers away with "keep my commandments", "He who has my commandments and keeps them", "keep My word".
At least one of these statements about obedience is directed at Judas, and that is very appropriate considering his betrayal of Jesus, which occurs in the near future. It may be that the repeating of the need to keep the Lord’s commandments were not just directed at Judas. Perhaps others of His disciples had failed in one way or another. How could this be? It could very easily be possible since the disciples were all human, and therefore, capable of sin.
Jesus, of course, would know if any of the disciples had sinned because He is God and clearly sees the condition of the heart. In 1 Samuel 16:7 we are told, "But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'" Jesus would have been looking at the heart of each of His disciples, and they all knew that. You can picture Jesus teaching them and confronting them with their sin in John 14. Perhaps there are a few moments of silence between His teaching and confronting and the final phrase of the chapter. As each disciple experiences the piercing gaze of the Lord into the depths of their heart, you know that all of them except for Judas would have repented. Not a word would have needed to have been said. When the Lord knew that each disciple had made the decision to turn from sin and turn to what the Lord wanted in their lives; only then do we have the final phrase of the chapter. That phrase is, "Arise, let us go from here."
Just as Jesus could look upon the hearts of His disciples, He can and does look upon our hearts. Whatever sin or sins you may have committed if you repent - you turn from sin and turn to what God wants in your life He will forgive you of your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness putting those sins as far as the east is from the west and will remember them no more. Then, I believe He says to our hearts "Arise, let us go from here."
We cannot go back and change what we have done or not done or said or not said in the past. We can, however, receive His forgiveness and cleansing and then rise up to walk with Him from this point on. "Arise, let us go from here."