First Sunday in Lent – Sunday
I will not leave you comfortless. – John 14:18.
Thus spake the departing Savior to His grieving disciples. How, then, would He not leave them comfortless? “If ye love Me, keep My commandments,” He said first (John 14:15). He that truly believes in Jesus loves Him, and he proves his love by keeping, and holding fast to Jesus’ commandments and instructions. Such are Jesus’ true disciples.
To them, the Lord said and says: “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever” (v. 16). And who is He? “The Spirit of Truth” (v. 17a), the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and from the Son, who, through the Word of Truth, divinely and mightily strengthens and comforts the hearts of Jesus’ disciples and always directs them to Jesus. This Comforter the unbelieving world cannot receive, because they see Him not, neither do they know Him; they are incapable of comprehending His comfort; His Word of Truth, the burden of which is Christ, is altogether foreign to them.
But Jesus’ disciples know this Comforter. It is He who, through His Word, brought them to faith in Jesus. And He will abide with them, and be in them, and comfort them, and divinely and mightily strengthen and comfort them, and always direct them to Jesus. It is in this manner that Jesus would not leave them comfortless. Thus He will come to them through the Holy Spirit, working through His Word, and through the comfort that the Spirit gives to them through that Word. “Yet a little while,” said He to His disciples, “and the world seeth Me no more, but ye see Me” (v. 19a), in the comforting light of the Holy Spirit, working through His Word. “Because I live, ye shall live also” (v. 19b), in the life of the comfort of faith, which the Holy Spirit works in you through the means of His Word. “At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you. He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me” (vv. 20-21a), and is My true disciple. “And he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and I will manifest Myself to him” (v. 21b), through the Holy Spirit working through His Word, unto great comfort.
Are the disciples of Jesus comfortless? No, “I will not leave you comfortless,” says Jesus. Meditate on this blessed truth.
PRAYER – Lord Jesus, who through cross and death and resurrection and ascension did enter into the glory of Thy Father, and are no longer visible with Thy disciples and Christians on earth, I thank Thee that, nevertheless, Thou didst not leave us comfortless, but dost come to us again and again through Thy Word and the enlightenment of Thy Holy Spirit, working through that Word, dost reveal Thyself to us, and abundantly comfort us with Thy nearness, though unseen, and with Thy great love. Bestow more and more, through Thy Word, this great comfort upon me too, O Lord, richly and daily, that I may rejoice in Thy love, and exultantly finish the course leading to the mansions of the Father. Amen.
Holy Spirit, God of love, who our night dost brighten;
shed on us from heav’n above, now our faith enlighten.
In Thy light we gather here; show us that Christ’s promise clear,
is Amen forever. Jesus, our ascended Lord,
oh, fulfill Thy gracious Word; bless us with Thy favor!
(Hymn 230; TLH)