The Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyers Journal reported the following questions were asked of witnesses by attorneys during actual trials:

Q: “Now Doctor, isn’t it true when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?”
Q: “The youngest son, the twenty-year old, how old is he?”
Q: “Were you present when your picture was taken?”

Q: “She had three children, right?”
A: “Yes.”
Q: “How many were boys?”
A: “None.”
Q: “Were there any girls?”

Q: “How far apart were the vehicles at the time of the collision?”

Q: “Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?”
A: “No.”
Q: “Did you check for blood pressure?”
A: “No.”
Q: “Did you check for breathing?”
A: “No.”
Q: “So, then is it possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?”
A: “No.”
Q: “How can you be so sure, Doctor?”
A: “Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.”
Q: “But could the patient still be alive nevertheless?”
A: “It is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.”

These questions did not need to be asked or answered because the answer was obvious.

That is the situation Jesus finds himself in the interaction below.

Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 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. – John 14:21-24

Jesus doesn’t avoid the question. He responds by restating the principle that a person who loves and obeys him will experience him more through that obedience. The first word in the above passage, “Whoever” is singular in the Greek, “the one having my commandments and keeping them.” In verse 23, answers the question, Jesus makes it plural, not just you Judas, but “anyone” that loves and obeys me.

Believers’ wandering brains come up with questions that sidetrack from the main point. There are conditions placed on experiencing God’s unconditional love. This point calls for care in explaining. There are no conditions on being unconditionally loved by God, but experiencing his love, his closeness is revealed under certain conditions. The closeness believers feel with God, their experience of God depends on their love for him lived out in obeying Jesus. In these verses, Jesus explains the Holy Spirit will be manifest in believers who obey. Those will know that God the Father, Son, and Spirit is at home with them.

Pastor John Riley

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