By Brooke Holt
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18
Though not an official phobia, the fear of abandonment is one of the most common and damaging fears people face today. Covid certainly did not help this situation as people faced abandonment and loneliness in unprecedented ways – death, fear of spreading the virus, and social isolation. This fear of abandonment is so powerful and real because even the most introverted people are created to live in fellowship. Every person needs to know that he or she is loved, known, and valued as a human being. We find that love, acceptance, and affirmation in relationships, especially our most intimate relationships.
Jesus had an emotionally and spiritually intimate relationship with his disciples. Thus, news of his impending death was devastating to them. Their tight knit community would change without the leadership of Jesus. Jesus knew how deeply these men loved him and valued his presence among them. Everything he did and spoke throughout this Passover meal in John 13-17 was to prepare them for the tumultuous days ahead.
And while the disciples loved Jesus, Jesus loved these men- his beloved children, his friends, his students - even more. Jesus not only loved these men, but he also knew these men – inside and out. He fully understood their confusion and despondency over his words about his betrayal, crucifixion, and departure. He also understood all that was yet to come.
As these men faced the crucifixion of their beloved friend, teacher, and Messiah, Jesus longed for his words to resonate in their minds and hearts. Though it appeared as if his death was final, that all hope was lost and his time on earth was done, Jesus would overcome the grave. He would come back to his beloved disciples, and he would never leave them again. His presence would remain and be even greater once the Spirit came.
Jesus did not leave the disciples alone. They did not have to do the work of building the kingdom of heaven in their own wisdom and strength. They built it by God working in them through the Holy Spirit.
You are not alone! You, also, are called to build the kingdom of God, and the Lord would not have you do this in your wisdom and strength. He is with you; he is in you; and he will equip you for every good work and transform you to become more like Jesus.
Have you received Jesus and the Holy Spirit? Has he come to you to speak the love of God over you, to tell you who you are to him, to cleanse you, to heal you, to lead you into all righteousness, to transform you from one degree of glory to another, and to equip you for building the kingdom? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Follow the ancient way of the Psalms and find the life God has for you. A model for vibrant worship, the Psalms provide practical wisdom to traverse the circuitous path of life with trust and hope. Pilgrim’s Path: A Study of the Psalms traces our spiritual walk with God—from discovery and delight, through doubt and disappointment, into joyful confidence. Whether used for individual or group study, Pilgrim’s Path is for everyone who seeks to know and love God more and find life in him.
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