What Will The World See?
Read John 14:22-26 (ESV)
Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
Since the Lord said that He will not manifest Himself to the world, is there any hope that the world will come to know the Lord?
If Jesus has told His disciples once, He’s told them a thousand times…”if you love me, you will obey me.” Well, ok, in this section of Scripture, He’s only said it three times. But it won’t be the last time He says it, in fact we will read this same command in the very next chapter (John 15:10). The apostle John will stay on that same theme in his letters to the church. With all of this repetition, we should sit up and take notice.
It’s important to understand though that our obedience isn’t the basis of our salvation. We know that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). Remember in John 5:24, Jesus said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” We are saved because we believe in Jesus—His Words and His works.
But obedience is the natural result of our salvation. Those who believe in Him are changed and transformed because at the moment of our salvation, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. In today’s verses, Jesus said that “we will come to him and make our home with him.” God loves and lives in those who love Him. Our obedience to God’s Word is the fruit of our new spiritual life and evidence that we are truly saved. Those who aren’t saved do not have the Spirit dwelling in them.
This concerned and confused Judas. It is important to remember that this is not the Judas who was going to betray Jesus. At this point, Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, had already left. This was Judas, the son of James (Luke 6:16).
This Judas wanted to know how Jesus will manifest Himself only to them and not the entire world. You might be wondering that as well. Didn’t Jesus come to save the whole world? How would the world ever come to know Him if He never manifests Himself to them? Is there any hope for the unbelieving world then?
Remember, Jesus said He was leaving but that the Holy Spirit, that He was sending to live inside of them, would be their Helper. So, He put Himself in the members of the church and He left His church in the world with this command: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). Witnessing to the world, showing them who Jesus is…that is our job!
In Matthew 5, Jesus said that we are to be salt and light in the world. A salty and shiny church puts God on full display: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Friends, we have a Helper. The Holy Spirit lives in us! Now, we are to show who He is to the whole world.
Lord, thank You for Your indwelling Holy Spirit. Help me let my light shine before others. Keep me salty. Use me to show the world who You are. Amen.
Reveal: How might your Spirit-led obedience to Christ reveal Him to the unbelievers around you?
~ Pastor Nat Crawford