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John47 – “Rise up!”

“If you may love-in-action me, you will keep my own commandments. Also, I myself will ask the father, and he will give you another advocate, in order that he may be with you into eternity— the spirit of truth, whom the world is not able to receive, in that it neither observes nor knows him. You yourselves know him, in that he is staying with you and will be in you.” (John 14: 15)
John, the first century eye-witness biographer of Jesus (who saw him die and knew him well after he rose again), is here recalling the evening which led into the day of crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth around AD 30 in Jerusalem. Jesus had made it completely clear to his eleven disciples that he was going, through his execution as a convicted criminal and his return to his father above, to prepare a place for them all in which they would be able to dwell with his father for eternity.

But he promised much more than that – see the words in bold above – in particular “another advocate” to these who would love-in-action him by keeping keep his commandments after his return to the father. “Another”? Yes, one like him. “Advocate”? Yes, to be consulted by you, to advise you, to speak and plead for you and never ever to leave your side. 

“I will not leave you orphans; I am coming to you. Still a little and the world will observe me no longer, in fact you yourselves will observe me; in that I myself live, you yourselves also will live. In that day you yourselves will know that I myself in my father, and you yourselves in me, also I in you. The one having my commandments and keeping them—that same one is the one loving-in-action me. In fact, the one loving-in-action me will be loved-in-action by my father, also I will love-in-action him and will make myself visible to him.” 

Not only would these lovers-in-action of Jesus be given “another advocate” within each of them for eternity but also these would become one with Jesus, the father. In short, they would actually “live”. They would be alive with the life of God inside.

Judas (not Iscariot) states to him, “Lord, how came it to be that you are about to make yourself visible to us and not so to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If someone may love-in-action me he will keep my word, and my Father will love-in-action him, and we will come to him and with him will make a place to stay. The one who not loving-in-action me is not keeping my words, and the word that you are hearing is not mine, but of the father who appointed me. These things I have spoken to you, staying with you. In fact the advocate, the holy spirit, whom the father will appoint in my name—that one will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you.” 

Understandably, Thomas probes this further. How is it that they (and not the world) will be able to discern Jesus when he has “departed”? Jesus repeats his promise, emphasizing how the father “will love-in-action” any who so loves-in-action Jesus that they “keep his word”. His words are those of the father who sent him into the world. The holy spirit, being the advocate promised earlier to them by him, will be in them “to teach” them. 

“Peace I am leaving with you; my own peace I am giving to you—not just as the world gives, I myself am giving to you. The heart of you all must not be disturbed, and not be fearful. You have heard that I myself said to you, ‘I am going, and I am coming to you.’ If you were loving-in-action me, you were rejoicing that I am departing to the father, in that the father is greater than I.  And right now, I have said to you, before ever it comes to be, in order that when it may come to be, you may believe. I will no longer speak many things with you, because the ruler of the world is come, and he has nothing in me.” 

Continuing his words to his eleven disciples, Jesus leaves his “own peace” to them – unconditional peace, when facing, as he does, heart-disturbing and fearful things. They must rejoice, especially receiving prior disclosure of the supreme evil that the “ruler of the world” is about to inflict upon him.

“But in order that the world may know that I love-in-action the father and that I am doing, in this way, just as the father has commanded me, rise up! We may bring ourselves from here.”
“We are more sure to arise out of or graves than out of our beds.”  (Thomas Watson, preacher and author, 1620-1686)
Jesus calls for he himself and for all those there who are his disciples, together, to “rise up” – he and they together. He is able to bring them with him – through his crucifixion and resurrection – to where he is going, the father’s house on high. Rise up! You may bring yourselves, he says, through him, from where you are now. Rise up! 
Sinner Syvret

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