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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THE MANIFESTATION OF JESUS

John 14:21-24 He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him. Judas saith unto Him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 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. He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings: and the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father's which sent Me. (Also See Vss. 19-20; 25-26)

Jesus had just promised His apostles that He would send the Comforter (the Holy Spirit of God) to teach, lead, and sustain them in His absence. Now, with His death only hours away, the Savior gives His apostles additional encouraging promises. In the two verses preceding the lesson text, Jesus tells them, Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more. Certainly this proved to be true. After His death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus appeared to only His obedient disciples, but the world, at large, saw Him no more. Having overcome the bonds of death and was resurrected, His disciples were privileged to see Him once again alive. And as He was raised from death, so ye shall live also. This not only indicates that His faithful disciples will enjoy the remainder of their life on earth living as devoted, zealous, brotherly-loving Christians, but also they will live eternally after having been resurrected from bodily death that all must endure.

And at that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you. "That day," referred to here, must mean the Day of Pentecost following the ascension of Jesus back into heaven. Because it was on that day when the apostles of Christ, fully inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, revealed for the first time on earth, the hope of eternal salvation to all believing men and women of the world, that, having repented of their sinful past, were baptized into the body of Christ, His church. It is in the church of Christ, that they, on that day, having repented of their past sinful life, being baptized for the remission of their sins, and having been added to His church by God, began living in Christ as He lived in them. This same promise is as true today as it was on the Day of Pentecost, when all of God's truths were fully revealed to the world.

In the lesson text, Jesus explains in detail the conditions necessary for His apostles, as well as all of His obedient followers today, to joyfully dwell in Him, and He, in turn, dwell in us. First of all, one must love Jesus, so much so, that we will devotedly obey the doctrine He teaches, that is, His commandments. Then, when men and women render this obedience to Jesus, they will be loved by God, His Heavenly Father. When this is fulfilled, we will be so loved by Jesus and God that they will, in turn, manifest themselves to us through the Holy Spirit-inspired Word of God - through His Helper and Comforter. This is what took place through Christ and His apostles and takes place today with His obedient followers - the devoted members of His body, which is His church.

Another apostle of Jesus, referred to here as Judas, is immediately identified as not Judas Iscariot. He is listed as an apostle by Matthew as Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus (10:3). Just as Thomas and Philip, due to their lack of knowledge, questioned Jesus about events that were soon to take place, so does Judas in the lesson text. He couldn't understand how Jesus would manifest Himself to them and not, at the same time, to the entire world. First this term needs further explanation. Manifestation is appearing to someone in a manner that can be sensed, which assures them of their presence. Assurances, such as this, can be established by the sense of seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, or tasting. Jesus was seen by His disciples after resurrection, which assured them that He had overcome death. However, in this teaching, His manifestation comes by the knowledge of, and obedience to, His commandments.

In verse 23, Jesus uses the same explanation as stated in verse 21. He simply states that If a man love Me, he will keep My words. With this obedience, Jesus says that God will love him, and We (Himself and God) will come unto him, and make Our abode with him - that is, Jesus and God will live in his presence, manifesting Themselves to him. Jesus had personally taught His apostles everything pertaining to the New Testament doctrine of God. After His departure, the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, would be sent to them by God. He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. With Jesus manifested in their hearts, and the Comfortor revealing God's complete plan of eternal salvation and guiding their teaching, the apostles of Christ would soon (on the Day of Pentecost) bring salvation to the world!