Bible Reading: John 14
“In that day you will now that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is 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 14:20-21)
Jesus had just told the disciples that He was going to leave. After all this time, the disciples were troubled because their beloved Master was departing. And Jesus did really leave when He ascended into heaven as recorded in Acts 1:1-11. Yet, Jesus made a promise that He would still be around for His disciples by the Holy Spirit. The same Jesus who was with the disciples is manifest to His followers today.
Jesus, who loved sinners, broke bread with tax collectors and prostitutes, healed the sick, taught and strengthened His disciples, is the same Jesus today for those who love Him and obey His commandments. Those who love Jesus are loved by Jesus and by the Father also. Jesus reveals Himself to them through the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures. There is a real and living communion between Jesus and His elect today. Is this your lived experience? Can you spiritually see Jesus? Can you talk to Him and embrace His love?
This same Jesus calls us to obedience today as it was in the past. He entrusts heavenly work to sinful hands in a great gift of grace. He says that our works would even be greater than His because He has charged us to spread the good news to the entire world by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Amid our fear and uncertainty, the same Jesus gives us comfort to know that He will always be with us through the Holy Spirit. He gives us a heavenly peace the world does not know. He guides us as our Shepherd. He leads us in His ways and works. Can you say that God leads you through this life as you serve Him and do His works?
This same Jesus was and is, is the same Jesus who will return at the second coming. Acts 1:11 notes how Jesus will return the way He ascended. Jesus is returning in the flesh, although He now sits at the Father’s right hand. Remaining fully man and fully God forever, Jesus shows us the nature of His everlasting love. When Jesus became man, He came to be with us, sinners, forever. His humble love for sinners is His eternal nature. He who stooped down to come and dwell with man on earth continues to stoop down to commune with us now and forever. Jesus, who is Emmanuel then, is Emmanuel now and forever. Praise God!
What is our response to such a loving God? With encouraged hearts, have we surrendered our life to serve Him wholeheartedly all our days?
Lord, thank You that You are the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Thank You that You are always with us and that Your Spirit is with us now. Give each one of us real communion with You. Please manifest Yourself to all of us and do not pass anyone by. Empower us by Your Spirit to obey and love You, serving You all our days. In Jesus’ name, amen.