Within the context of the final instructive moments Jesus had with His remaining eleven disciples there are several statements describing His purpose for the various teachings.

Here are some of those: First, and I think, most important, Jesus impressed on His young followers the absolute necessity of knowing what He taught them in order that they might do it (John 13:17). The first essential for any of us in learning Christ’s will...in learning the gospel...is that we might obey His will!

He spoke with them on the very night of His betrayal that they might have peace (14:27). This is not speaking of calm circumstances in life. Our Lord seemed rarely to have such circumstances during His public ministry years. Rather it speaks of a calmness of soul which issues in a determined path of pleasing God.

In 14:29, Jesus says He told them of His impending departure beforehand because He wanted them to have faith after it happened. He also spoke to them because His words had a cleansing effect upon them (15:3). His words informed, corrected, rebuked, inspired and purified them. They still do such for us today. Surprisingly, He told them that He was speaking to them at that moment in order to impart His joy to them (15:11)!

Obviously, Christ’s joy transcends happiness. Though Jesus would not be with them physically for much longer, He would be living in their hearts as the resurrected, never-dying, Lord. That is the basis of the joy Christ was to them. And (15:17) Jesus was speaking to them to help them love one another. They were about to need each other like never before.

Our Lord was preparing them, and us for that. It is vital that we heed His ancient words which though old are more necessary for our welfare than daily food! Did He not teach us that humans shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God?!

Written and submitted by Doug Oakes, minister, Woodlawn Church of Christ, Zanesville; email my7acorns@gmail.com

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