By: Carole L. Haines
In our discovering of how cherished we are to Christ; we will find that Jesus’ last day with the disciples is very telling in just how precious they were to Him. It is also easy to ascertain through this discourse from John 13-17, what are the issues closest to Jesus’ heart. In chapter 13, He washes their feet as an example of how to love one another, In 14, He is comforting his followers with thoughts of heaven and fellowship with Himself, the Father and provision of the Holy Spirit as our helper when Jesus has ascended. One of His followers asks this question of Jesus:
“Judas (not Iscariot) *said to Him, “Lord, what has happened that You are going to reveal Yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will follow My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him. The one who does not love Me does not follow My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.” (John 14:22-24)
One of God’s greatest gifts to us is the sense of His presence with us. Jesus’ answer to Judas’s odd question is to make clear that we will sense God’s presence when we love Him because God will come and make His dwelling with us. The “if” here is very important, “if” we love Him and follow His Word, we will be aware of God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit dwelling with us. We need to devote ourselves more to loving God than any other endeavor in the world.
We can claim we love Him by pointing to works we do for Him, but here he states that to love Him is to follow His Word. The word “follow” here means: “to attend to carefully, take care of, to guard.” I have oftentimes run off out of the presence of Jesus without fully hearing what His heart is speaking to mine. So anxious to be doing things for Jesus instead of attending to His Word and Will for me specifically. Lots of yielding and surrender is needed to discern God’s heart. Jesus speaks of this intimacy in John 10:
“When he (The good shepherd) puts all his own sheep outside, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 However, a stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” (vs. 4-5).
It takes time and effort to sit at Jesus’ feet and learn His voice so intimately that we recognize the voice of strangers. Sometimes we ourselves can be a distracting voice from our Good Shepherd by running off before He finishes telling us His Will and Way for us to walk in. In Christ’s answer to Judas’ question about revealing Himself to us but not the world, the key in Christ’s answer is the time spent in devotion and love of intimate fellowship with the Lord. He doesn’t want our works, He wants us. Let us sit before Him long and often. Then we will know just how cherished, precious and wanted we are