77. The last supper (2 of 5)
The last supper (2 of 5)….THOMAS saith unto Jesus, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way. Jesus saith unto him,
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
Philip saith, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus answered,
Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words I speak unto you, I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 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 anything in my name, I will do it.
¶If ye love me keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.
Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
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, not Iscariot, saith unto him, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered,
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 keepth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do.
Scripture: John 14:1-6
Meditation 1 of 4:
Do you allow any troubles to rob you of God’s peace? As much as we try to avoid it, we all inevitably encounter troubles and difficulties, and
sometimes more than we think we can handle! Jesus knew his disciples would have to face adversity and trials after he left them to return to his Father. Jesus assured them that his departure is for their good, in order tosecure a place for them in God’s house – a place of refuge, peace, and everlasting happiness. The Lord Jesus assures us of a safe passage to our true home in heaven with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
If heaven is our destination, how can we be sure we know the way without some kind of map or guide? The scriptures speak of the way we should go. “You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Youshall walk in all the way which the Lord your God has commanded you” (Deuteronomy 5:32-33). “And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not pass over it, and fools shall not err therein” (Isaiah). Teach me your way, O Lord; and lead me on a level path” (Psalm 27:11). Jesus proclaims: “I am the Way.” The Lord Jesus does not simply give advice and direction. He personally is the way, and we cannot miss it. He leads and guides us personally every day. The Lord Jesus also is the Truth. Many can say, “I have taught you the truth.” Only Jesus can say, I am the Truth. Moral truth cannot be conveyed in words alone; it must be conveyed in example. Jesus embodies the truth in his person. Jesus also is the Life. He not only shows us the path of life (Psalm 16:11); he gives the kind of life which only God can give — eternal life. Is there any fear or trouble which keeps you from the perfect peace and happiness of a life surrendered to Christ?
“Lord Jesus, you fill us with the joy of your saving presence and you give us the hope of everlasting life with the Father in Heaven. Show me the Father that I may know and glorify him more fully.”
Scripture: John 14:21-26
Meditation 2 of 4:
Do you know the love that surpasses all, that is stronger than death itself (Song of Songs 8:6)? In Jesus’ last supper discourse he speaks of the love he has for his disciples and of his Father’s love. He prepares his disciples for his imminent departure to return to his Father by exhorting them to prove their love for him through their loyalty and obedience to his word. He promises them the abiding instruction and consolation of the Holy Spirit. Saint Augustine says the Lord loves each of us as if there were only one of us to love. God’s love for each of us is as real and tangible as the love of a mother for her child and the love of a lover who gives all for his beloved. God made us for love — to know him personally and to grow in the knowledge of his great love for us. How can we know and be assured of the love of God? The Holy Spirit helps us to grow in the knowledge of God and his great love. The Spirit enables us to experience the love of God and to be assured of the Lord’s abiding presence with us (see Romans 8:35-39). The Holy Spirit also opens our ears to hear and understand the word of God. Do you listen attentively to God’s word and believe it? Ask the Holy Spirit to inflame your heart with the love of God and his word.
“Lord, in love you created me and you drew me to yourself. May I never lose sight of you nor forget your steadfast love and faithfulness. And may I daily dwell upon your word and give you praise in the sanctuary of my heart, You who are my All.”
Scripture: John 14:23-29
Meditation 3 of 4:
What makes us both truly human and truly like God? Love for certain. It is love that unites us in a bond of fellowship with others. From the very beginning of creation God said: it is not good that man should be alone (Genesis 2:18). We were created in love for love — to be a community of loving persons, just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are united in love. John Henry Newman said: We love because it is our nature to love, and it is our nature because God the Holy Spirit has made it our nature. Jesus speaks to his disciples of the inseparable bound of love between himself and the Father, and of their love for humankind. In Jesus we see the fulness of God’s love and how God’s love is directed to our well-being. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him (1 John 4:9). How do we know that God loves us? In the cross we see the proof of God’s love for us and the incredible price God was willing to pay for our redemption. Jesus gave up his life that we might have life — abundant, everlasting life with God — a life of love and unity with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit forever. Through the cross Jesus opened a new way of relationship for us as adopted sons and daughters of God — his beloved children (Romans 8:14-17). Jesus calls his disciples to walk in his way of love through obedience to the will of the Father. True love is more than sentiment or good intentions. As important as these may be they are not the proof of sincere love. True love for God is expressed in obedience and obedience is expressed in love. Jesus promised to give his followers the best of gifts, the Holy Spirit as their Counselor and Helper. How does the Holy Spirit help us? Counselor is a legal term for one who defends someone against an adversary and who guides that person during the ordeal of trial. The Holy Spirit is our Advocate and Helper who brings us safely through the challenges and adversities we must face in this life. The Holy Spirit is also the Giver of life — the life of God — and the One who guides us in the way of truth. We can never stop learning because the Spirit leads us more and more into the knowledge of God’s love and truth. Jesus also promised his followers the gift of peace. Peace is more than the absence of conflict or trouble. Peace includes everything which makes for our highest good. Trust in God, faith in his promises, and obedience to his word lead us to peace and safety in God’s presence. That is why a Christian need not fear or be troubled by anything. What can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus?
“O God, you are the unsearchable abyss of peace, the ineffable sea of love, the fountain of blessings and the bestower of affection, who sends peace to those who receive it. Open to us this day the sea of your love and water us with abundant streams from the riches of your grace and from the most sweet springs of your kindness. Make us children of quietness and heirs of peace; enkindle in us the fire of your love; sow in us your fear; strengthen our weakness by your power; bind us closely to you and to each other in our firm and indissoluble bond of unity.” (An ancient prayer from the Syrian Clementine liturgy)
Scripture: John 14:27-31
Meditation 4 of 4:
Do you know the peace which passes all understanding (Phil.4:7)? In his farewell discourse Jesus grants peace as his gift to his disciples. What kind of peace does he offer? The peace of Christ is more than the absence of trouble. It includes everything which makes for our highest good. The world’s approach to peace is avoidance of trouble and a refusal to face unpleasant things. Jesus offers the peace which conquers our fears and anxieties. Nothing can take us from the peace and joy of Jesus Christ. No sorrow or grief, no danger, no suffering can make it less. Jesus also speaks of his destination and ultimate triumph over the powers of evil in the world. In the eyes of the world the cross stood for shame, humiliation, and defeat. Jesus went to the cross knowing that it would lead to victory over the powers of sin and of Satan. Jesus also knew that he would return to his Father in glory. The cross brought glory to Jesus and to the Father and it is our way to glory as well. In the Cross of Christ we find true peace and reconciliation with God. Do you live in the peace of Jesus Christ?
“Lord, may your peace be always with me. May no circumstance, trouble, or vexation rob me of the peace which passes all understanding. You, alone, O Lord, are my Peace. May I always reside in that peace by believing your word and by doing your will.”