Lauren StansberrySunday Reading ReflectionsSunday, May 5, 2013
The Gospel of John 14:23-29 was read last Sunday. I chose it out of all the other readings because it had a more personal message inside of it. This isn’t just a story, it’s a lesson. I found it very interesting and insightful. The main teaching in this Gospel is that the best way to follow God is by following his teachings, and that Jesus’ peace has been left behind for us on earth.
This Gospel is giving us a warning that we must follow God’s words. Jesus’ words aren’t spoken just to lecture us; his words mean something. When he tells us stories about God and the power that he holds, we as his people should know that it’s not something to be taken lightly. In John 14:23 Jesus says, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him.” After researching this passage, one online Bible Commentary says this, “When Jesus says that whoever loves him will keep his words, he doesn’t mean he wants people to keep his doctrines, but he wants them to keep his ordinances.” His own personal law is made up of actions that reflect glory to God. After reading this Gospel, part of me feels like Jesus is telling me that I need to stop going through the motions and put my heart into following him more. I don’t always follow Jesus’ words, and sometimes I go directly against his will, even when I realize that I am doing wrong. But another part of me realizes that God sees deep into my heart and the hearts of everyone around me. He can see what is truly deep inside of us, things that sometimes we can’t even see ourselves. By choosing to follow Jesus, life doesn’t get easier but it gains more purpose. Life feels full when Jesus is my companion for the journey. Part of following Jesus’ teachings entails that his words must be obeyed.
In another part of the Gospel, Jesus tells the disciples that he is going to be leaving them. This doesn’t sound like a sad thing now but if I were in the shoes of the apostles, I would be heartbroken by this news. Having their master physically leave had to have been a challenge that none of them were yet prepared to face. However, Jesus wouldn’t leave them if he knew they would be lost without him. He knew when the right time was. Jesus tells his disciples, “If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.” In another online Bible commentary, it reads, “Christ has left us all that is really and truly good, all the promised good; peace of mind from our justification before God.” The best way that we can keep following Christ even after he is gone is by following his teachings. When we accept Christ’s teachings, we are rejecting the teachings of Satan. In the second part of his Gospel, John is trying to say that the disciples shouldn’t think about the effect the situation will have on them. Jesus is going back to heaven with God, they should be rejoicing. Jesus would never abandon his people; he is still in each and every one of their hearts.
In the Gospel of John 14:23-29, I became aware that Jesus is completely selfless. After analyzing his words, I noticed that he gives all the glory back to God. This might be an obvious thing to most people, but in this Gospel I fully understood it. He wants the same things for our world that God does. A line that stood out to me was, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” Jesus is saying that the world doesn’t bring the same kind of peace as he does. The world brings empty peace that deceives us. The type of peace that Jesus is talking about is peace within our hearts and souls. The world cannot bring that. Many people focus on what the world has to offer and think that it will bring them happiness. But as most people eventually find out, that’s not the way it works. Everybody here is searching for something; whether it’s a purpose, love, forgiveness or happiness. Jesus confirms here that none of that can be brought by the world. Another reason that this particular verse stood out to me is because it is still relentlessly taught, even to this day. This is still a main topic of discussion thousands of years later. This message affected me specifically because it applies to me. It’s not just a verse that I hear all the time; it actually has a personal meaning to me. Overall, it’s easy to learn the difference between the emptiness the world offers you and the fulfilling peace of God. God has left us with his peace and because of this, we have nothing to fear.
“John 14:23.” BibleStudyTools.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2013.
“Bible Commentary.” Bible Commentary. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2013.