Monday, 22 October 2012

John 14: Promises

Yes, I know. I've been a bit dry on the blogging front recently. Getting into my PGCE has made me very busy and pretty tired. However, tonight, I'm feeling unusually coherent and alert. In order to maximise this new-found and rare burst of energy I'll try and keep my posts succinct and a bit more interactive.

John 14 is an awesomely reassuring passage. It promises the following things:
  • We have a place in the Father's house. Often I have the feeling that I don't quite belong. It's something everyone feels, I'm sure, but I think, as a Christian, there is an awareness that our place is somewhere else. Philippians 3:20 tells us that our citizenship is in heaven. Please note, though, that this is not an excuse to be weird and otherworldly.
  • If we are to ask anything in Jesus' name, he'll give it to us. What an amazing promise. Is this promise too good to be true? I've had prayers unanswered, so does this make this statement a lie?
  • We are to do greater things than Jesus. I find verse 12 startling and confusing. Jesus tells us we are to do greater things than him. What did Jesus mean by this? What are these greater things?
  • We are not to be left as orphans. Jesus does not simply forsake us by dying on the cross.
  • We will be given the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will remind us and guide us of what Jesus has taught.
  • We will be given peace. We don't need to be trouble if we have Jesus. It's about time for another cross-reference to Philippians (chapter 4, verse 7): "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Is this, again, too good to be true? Surely, we'll have troubles as Christians?
We also learn that Jesus is "the way, the truth and the life." This seems to be an outrageously bold statement, that flies in the face of universalism and relativism. This verse does not seem to allow view points that "anyone can get to heaven as long as they're good" or that everyone else's beliefs are as valid as each other's. It's a really contentious statement.

Jesus also calls us to obey his commands. This is a sign of our love for him. This is done twice is a short space of time, so it's probably significant.

Quick Questions
  • Where do you feel you belong?
  • Can we trust in these promises?
  • What is this peace that guards all understanding?

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