14.21 It is powerful how the Lord Jesus brings together love for Himself and obeying His commandments. I remember going through the Gospels, writing out all the commands I could find so that I might attempt to obey them. Well, better to get the love and faith in our hearts first and the obedience will follow. And what commandments is he referring to ? Well , John in his letter writing refers to just one – ‘to love one another’ from Chapter 13.34 (1 John 2.7) . Of course there are more, but they are not given to us like 10 commandments written on stone. Rather ,, all his words are His commands,, beginning with “Believe in Me” (John 6.29) His commands through His Apostles are many, like John says ‘love not the world’. But rather than there being a formula for Christian obedience, the Holy Spirit wants to bring us into the joy of obedience one step at a time as we are able to bear it. To those who respond to light He gives more light.
14.21b John uses the unusual expression ‘whoever abides in love abides in God and God abides in him’ (1 John 4.16) That is close to what we have here in this verse.. The spiritual intimacy of those who believe, who obey, who love. This deliberate drawing near Christ, this surrender to Christ, this deep affection for Christ is so fully rewarded by the Fathers love.
‘How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure.........................’
Many millions enjoy the fact that ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son....’ but this is different. This is God’s particular love for those who choose to love Him. Have you experienced this in your life?
This is important teaching in the light of the Old Testament where largely God spoke to the people through prophets, priests and sometimes kings. Worship and drawing near to God was largely linked to the tabernacle and temple with it’s ceremonies. It was the Lord Jesus who emphasized the importance of knowing God personally. You may remember in the ‘sermon on the mount’ He said,” go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.” (Matthew 6.5)
The next section is an answer to the question “Lord how is it that you will manifest yourself to us and not to the world”
We have plenty to study – more next time.