Sunday, May 1, 2016

John 14:23-29 -- Home in the Heart

"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words:  
and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him,
 and make our abode with him.”   John 14:23

Image courtesy of Pixabay
Continuing their walk from the Upper Room to Gethsemene, the conversation between Jesus and all the apostles except for Judas had taken a heavenly turn.  Jesus spoke to them about his spiritual home as he centered himself in preparation for the events surrounding the Crucifixion.  Importantly, he talked about this eternal dwelling place as a home to be shared by all who love him and cherish his words.  With such people, he promised, God the Father and the Son would come and make their home.  Charles Wesley reminded us of where this home is, concluding his lengthy hymn, O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing (1739) with the words

Anticipate your heaven below,
And own that love is heaven.

Jesus promised the Father would send the Comforter in the name of Jesus. He identified this Comforter as the Holy Ghost, who would teach us and bring the teachings of Jesus into our remembrance.  He also promised us his own divine form of peace.  His peace is different than any other peace, the types with which we are familiar.  The peace of Christ is the kind that stills our hearts and vanquishes our fears. This is the centering peace Jesus demonstrated on that very evening as he made his way to Gethsemene to be arrested.  It is the peace of one who is at home in a loving heart.

Jesus wants to share this heavenly home with us even now, and during every moment of our life in this world and extending throughout the life of the world to come. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Revelation 3:20 NIV).  At the beginning of this same chapter fourteen, John reported how Jesus told the apostles about the many dwelling places in the Father's house, and his promise to take us there. The Bible concludes with a description of the City of New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, 
Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, 
and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, 
and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; 
and there shall be no more death, 
neither sorrow, nor crying, 
neither shall there be any more pain (Revelation 21).