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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

IF YE LOVE ME...

John 14:11-15 Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works' sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. (Also See Vss. 8-10)

To know that God's plan of salvation is to come through Jesus is to also know Jesus is God's Son - they are one. The fact that the apostles saw, knew, and believed Jesus, also meant that they saw, knew, and believed God. However, as it had previously done so, the preconceived idea that the Savior would come to earth and establish a temporal kingdom, again had blinded the apostles from the true meaning of the gospel message of salvation that was to be established by a spiritual kingdom. Thomas didn't realize that Jesus was the way, and the truth, and the life that lead to eternal salvation (Prev. Vss. 5-7). In order to know this to be true, and that they were able to see God in Christ Jesus, Philip asked Him, as proof, to show us the Father, and it sufficeth us (all apostles), (Vs. 8). Philip was, no doubt, being led by the human proverb, "to see is to believe." Therefore he asked Jesus to give them a visible manifestation of God, His Heavenly Father, and that would be sufficient for us to believe the things Jesus was teaching them.

The full revelation of Jesus, as the Savior and Son of God, did not take place until after His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension back into heaven. Here, it seems that Jesus was, in a simple and kind manner, reprimanding Philip and the other apostles for their lack of faith and trust in Him as the promised Messiah. Jesus had been with them for slightly over three years. They had heard Him preach and teach God's plan of redemption, and here He tells them that the words He spoke did not come from His own human mind, but they were the words of God spoken through Him. They had observed numerous compassionate miracles, which healed the sick, gave hearing to the deaf, voice to the deaf and mute, restored lame legs and arms, cast out demons, and gave life to some that had died. Yet Jesus told them that these good deeds were not His own, but were works of His Heavenly Father performed through Him. Therefore, He told His apostles, if you heard My teaching, and if you witnessed My miracles, then you have heard and seen God, because I am in the Father, and the Father in Me (See Vss 9-10).

Beginning with verse 11 of the lesson text, Jesus told His apostles that they should believe that He and His Heavenly Father are one, first because of His testimony to that fact. Secondly, even if His own word was not sufficient for them, they should believe Him for the very works' sake. His compassionate, miraculous works are without equal. The miracles that He accomplished had unquestionably established His deity as irrefutable, and proved Him to be the Son of God. There were no other human accomplishments, either before or after Jesus' earthly ministry that can compare to the miracles performed by God through His Son, Christ Jesus. Any doubts of Jesus being the manifestation of God, if not cleared by the things He said, certainly should be removed by the miraculous works He performed.

There are many instances when Jesus' teaching to His apostles, by inference, apply to all Christians of all ages. However, the teaching in verse 12 applies only to His apostles. He had just completed a strong, but kind, reprimand, telling them that His teaching and miraculous works should be sufficient for them to believe Him to be the Son of God, Who was sent to earth to bring the hope of eternal salvation to the world. To further establish their trust in Him, Jesus gave them this personal promise, meant especially for them alone: He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do. Their consolation after His final departure from them would be that, due to their unwavering belief in Him, that God would still be with them in spirit, and bestow on them the same power of performing miracles that Christ Jesus had while here on earth. Further, He promised them that they would do even greater works than these. What greater works? Jesus, while here on earth, had over five hundred disciples, but when compared to the three thousand that the apostles converted and were baptized for the remission of their sins on the Day of Pentecost, indeed, those were greater works.

This Jesus promised His apostles that He would continue to inspire and comfort them after His departure, because I go unto My Father, and there He would intercede for them. When the time God appointed was come, Jesus assured them that they would be given the power of miracles - whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do. And the reason for imparting these powers was so the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. Looking back on this day, and the Day of Pentecost which followed, we know that they received the power of God through His Holy Spirit. And it was by this power that they preached His gospel plan of eternal salvation through Christ Jesus, first in Jerusalem, and later throughout the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8).

If ye love me, keep My commandments. The consolation Jesus gives His apostles in the lesson text is intended to console and comfort them after His final departure from their presence. He does not want them to mourn, grieve, or experience any distress over His departure. Rather He desires them to remember Him with gladness and love. And by doing so, keeping His commandments, the New Testament doctrine He taught them, would be easily achieved. For the apostles to merely say they love Jesus was not sufficient in the sight of God and His Son, Christ Jesus. Love must, then and now, be demonstrated by acts of love, and, in this instance, that act of love was to keep His commandments. He says that we are to hear the word of God, accept it, repent and turn from all sinful ways, confess Jesus to be the Son of God, and be baptized for the remission of our sins. These are His commands, and if we truly love Him, we will keep them. And if we remain obedient to them, we will enjoy the hope of eternal life in heaven. Not only will Jesus love us but, to demonstrate our love for Him, we are to love others in the same manner. In closing, notice what John wrote in his first epistle: By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous (1 John 5:2-3).