We are not orphans – John 14:18

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

The more we allow ourselves to think about this remarkable truth, the more utterly amazed we should be.  Christ was once with his disciples, as was the Holy Spirit.  Now, by means of the Holy Spirit’s presence, they both dwell within all disciples as part of our new life in Christ. 

“Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us” (1 John 3:24). 

Or, if you prefer it with more pronouns,

“Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us (NKJV).” 

Either way, God is with us and in us, and he has no plans to leave.

He will not leave us as orphans; nor will he leave us at all.  We can count on his comforting, empowering presence right up until that day when we see him face to face.  That day is not so far away. 

“Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.  The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Rom 13:11-12). 

The time is short, and as Jesus has said,

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt 28:20).

John 13 – Verse by Verse

John Pic

Omar Yamout walks us through John 13, in which Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. Judas goes off to betray Jesus, while Jesus predicts Peter’s denials

John 13.mp3 (Omar Yamout)

Here is a link to the livestream video:

Betrayal, denial and following Jesus – from John 13

God forbid any of us should betray Jesus as Judas did. Honestly I’m not very sure what that would even look like today. Possibly, it could be someone doing the opposite of the Apostle Paul. He was an early persecutor of the church who later was converted and became an ardent follower of Christ. Today I can imagine someone following Jesus, serving him in what appears to be sincere, outward devotion encouraging others in a position of ministry. What if this person turns, if Satan enters him as he entered Judas, and then this public Christian turns and becomes a persecutor of the church? It could happen. Maybe someone knows of a story just like this. (I do not.) This would be just Judas-like enough to qualify as a complete betrayal.

More common by far are those who deny Jesus like Peter. Simon Peter was overconfident. He would have gladly laid down his life for his Lord – or so he imagined. Jesus knew better and told Peter he would deny him three times before the night was over. Many of us fit into this category. We’ve blown it when we had the perfect chance to resist temptation or make Jesus look good. Let’s face it, we sometimes find it hard not to go along with the world.

The church is full of Peters and most of us can identify with his weakness. Thank God that he uses weak servants, empowers them with his Spirit, and builds his church through their feeble yet God-infused ministries.

By God’s grace, most of us who follow Jesus do so with a modicum of faithfulness. Our lives give evidence of a modest amount of the fruit of his work. We exercise our mustard seed of faith. We donate our few loaves and fishes to the cause of feeding the multitudes. Someone wishes to see Jesus and we are happy to lead the way to the Savior. We figuratively (or literally, if need be) wash the feet of the saints. These little actions are the big ways that God furthers the kingdom.

One thing that stands out to me in this chapter is how little the other ten disciples could do to prevent the betrayal by Judas or Peter’ denials. As far as I can tell, they could do nothing. There are times when we all have to stand or fall on our own. Even following the crowd, in the end, becomes an individual decision. When that time comes, may we all be found faithful. Let us each take a few more steps today as we follow our Lord.