MONDAY, JULY 10 | JOHN 15
Have you ever really cleaned your house? That deep cleaning that leaves the house smelling of a mix of Lysol and just clean air? It feels good when you’re done. But, when you’re in the middle of cleaning, it’s often annoying and tough to do. When you’re told to clean your room, it’s not exciting or motivating for most kids. Yet, it’s important to maintaining a clean life. Jesus is going to talk about the tough work that lies ahead for the disciples after He returns to live with God the Father. Look closely at how Jesus ensures that the disciples are prepared and ready for this big change.
Read John 15:1-17
As Jesus is speaking in this analogy, He quickly makes reference to something that shows the disciples were already “cleansed”. What is this? The word of God is the most powerful cleaning that we could ever experience. It condemns sin, it inspires holiness, it promotes growth, it reveals power for victory. The disciples had relied on the word of God to come from Jesus. Now that He was preparing to go back to Heaven, they had to learn to rely on the word of God from the scriptures written. However, the idea of cleansing is also a constant renewal process. Those who are connected to God, but then fall away were never truly overcome by God’s grace and need to reconnect through the hard work of “cleansing”.
Read John 15:18-25
Jesus does not shy away from the fact that following Him is hard. What does Jesus say to comfort the disciples when they feel as though they are going a tough time? Specifically, why should the disciples not be discouraged when they become hated by the world? Jesus will never give us anything that we cannot handle because everything that we experience, He has experienced Himself. Jesus also references the fact that the guilt of sin rests with those who have heard and seen what Christ can do, but have not come to the point of having faith in Him. Notice that Jesus is not judging others, but rather telling His disciples that they should having faith that everything that they go through will be only to strengthen them in the end and bring glory to God.
Read John 15:26-27
In these short two verses, Jesus does two things: comforts His disciples and shows the connection between God and man and woman. First, He shows them that He is not leaving them completely on their own. Who does Jesus say will come and work through them as a witness? He also says that the Holy Spirit needs us, you and me, to be witnesses for Christ. We work in partnership with God to witness for Christ.
When we think of being left or leaving, we often think that we are losing something. Here, the disciples are getting ready to lose the physical presence of Jesus. But, it becomes an opportunity to grow into witnesses for Jesus. It requires work. We all need to be cleansed. And then, we also need to make sure that we are ready to be witnesses for Christ. Where are you at in your spiritual walk with Christ? Do you need to spend time and letting God come in and cleanse. To wash, scrub, and dig out all the impurities of your heart so that you can “abide in Him”? Or do you need to go and witness for Christ? Many times in our lives, these happen at the same time. But where do you need to focus on today?