Tom: We’re continuing with the gospel; we’re in the Gospel of
John:14:22: “Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? And 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.”
Dave, to begin with, we have “Judas…not Iscariot,” so it’s not Judas Iscariot.
Dave: Judas, the betrayer.
Tom: Right, so this Judas has to be, we assume, one of the disciples. He’s in the upper room; this is the discourse taking place there. And I know sometimes when I am really being stumped by a Sunday school class, they say, “Well, name the 12 apostles.” And that gets to be a little bit of a problem because they had other names. You know, for example, Peter—Simon Peter, Cephas, and so on. In this case, Judas may well be Thaddeus, Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddeus, found in Matthew:10:3 and Mark:3:18. So, it gets a little confusing but not if you do your homework.
Dave: Well, as you were pointing out to me, Tom, when we were “off mike,” we do get the list of the apostles in Luke:6:16, is it? And there it does list Judas, the brother of James.
Tom: That’s in contrast to, well, I’ll read verse 16.
Dave: And Thaddeus isn’t mentioned, so he must be the one.
Tom: Right, but it does contrast Judas Iscariot with this Judas. It says, “And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.” Now again, “the brother” is in italics, but nevertheless we know that this Judas was one of the disciples.
Dave: One of the 12, and he was not Judas Iscariot. And Judas Iscariot, in fact, is not present at this point. He has gone out into the night—back to chapter 13, “Jesus said to him, Whatsoever thou doest, do quickly.” And Judas goes out, and the disciples thought he was going out to buy something, because he was the treasurer. But in fact, he has gone to the Rabbis, to the Pharisees, to betray Jesus.
Tom: Dave, I have a question. As we look at this verse, verse 23, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words.” Now just right there, we also had in verse 21, “He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.” It’s important to obey the Lord. Again, salvation doesn’t come by our works, our good deeds, and so on, but out of our love for Him, we want to do what pleases Him. But it’s really more than that. In terms of having a fruitful life, a life that’s a blessing to others, that pleases the Lord, you’ve got to be obedient, don’t you?
Dave: Well, Tom, Christ is our life. Now, all that I want is in Jesus, the hymn says. “I’m crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live…not I, Christ lives in me.” So, what else do I want as a Christian except that my Lord should have His way, that I should somehow be what He wants me to be and that He would live through me? This is what a Christian is. So, of course, and if we love Him, we will certainly keep His words; we will keep His commandments.
Verse 21, where we ended last week: “He will be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him.” And then in verse 23, it says, “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.” Now this is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit—“Christ in you, the hope of glory.” There’s nothing like this in Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and so forth, that Christ literally comes and lives in us. And “in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,” Father, Son and Holy Spirit—one God, three persons.
So now, we have a reality, Tom, that maybe as Christians we don’t appreciate this enough—that we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. We ought to be being filled moment by moment by the Holy Spirit, who is living the life of Christ through us.
So now we can understand what it says, “I will manifest myself to Him…we will make our abode with Him.” Well, if Christ is living in us, there should be some recognition of that. Now you can go in a couple of directions. You can go way off on fanaticism or mysticism and always trying to feel that Christ is in you, getting visions, or become a mystic, go into meditation, or you can do what some people—we talked about it recently, we won’t go into it again—but visualizing Jesus and seeing Him here with you, and so forth. Or you can go to the other side and say, “Wait a minute, let’s not get into this mystical stuff! What do you mean, ‘manifest’? ‘I will manifest myself to him.’ Well, that’s only through the Word. You mean you’re going to actually feel like Christ is…or He’s going to…there’s going to be something supernatural about this?”
I think so. I don’t know what else Jesus was talking about. Well, the scripture says, “His Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, and if children, then heirs and joint heirs with Christ.” So, Tom, there should be some reality in the Christian life. But there again, we have to be very careful because some people can go off on a mystical trip.
Tom: Dave, let me give you an example of that. In our last segment, where we were talking about yoga, and I referred to an article from the Charlotte Observer . Well, it seems that this minister’s wife, Emily Cobb—she’s starting a class on “Christian yoga.” Now, the article goes on to say,
“Cobb was inspired by an Alabama instructor who bases her Christian yoga classes on Psalm:46:10, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ ‘And yoga is about stillness,’ Cobb said. ‘It helps us to find that focus and that stillness in God.’”
This is where we’ve mixed modes here, this is where we’ve gone away from, really, the reality of Scripture. And the reality of Christ in us, the hope of glory.
Dave: Well, there has to be some companionship. There has to be some…well, you said, “reality.” Reality to Christ living His life in me; some communion. And others would say, “Well, wait a minute now. Be careful. That only comes through the Bible…” I was listening to a speaker, very well known, recently, who said that God never guides except through His Word. I remember talking with a dear man about this, and I said, “But you’re a missionary in Africa. How did God guide you to go to Africa? Was there a verse somewhere in the Bible that said, ‘Thou shalt go to Africa’? How did He impress this upon you? How did you come to this conviction by the leading of the Holy Spirit?
So, on the one hand, I want to avoid becoming what some people call a “space cadet,” you know, I’m out there just on wild adventures saying that God is leading me, and always hearing God speaking to me, and so forth. Better be very wary of that!
On the other hand, there must be some reality. Let me just read it again, Tom. I’ll go back to verse 21: “He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” Now Judas is asking this question: “How will you manifest yourself to us and not unto the world?” Jesus answered and said, “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.” That Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have come to indwell my heart, my life, my body, my all, there ought to be some practical consequences to that. And there should be a real witness of the Spirit, and certainly, if I step out of line, and if I’m doing things that I shouldn’t be doing, there ought to be a witness of the Spirit, and it’s not going to just come through a Bible verse, although He speaks to us through His word, and that is the principal way.
Tom: Well, in addition, Dave, and we just have a second or two, God gives us many examples of guidance. And I don’t think you could say these have ceased, with, you know, the finished writing of Scripture.
Dave: Well, Christ wants to work through us, He wants to live through us, and Paul said, “Christ, who is your life,” and so there ought to be some reality to that.