I remain in you

Throughout the Old Testament, we see times when God revealed himself to his people in a dramatic way.   He dwelled in a tent (Exodus 27), a pillar of fire and a cloud (Exodus 13:21), and the Temple (1 Kings 6).   There was no question that God was close to his people.

As wonderful as those manifestations of God were, Jesus reveals in today’s Gospel (John 15:4) that it wasn’t enough for God to simply be near us.   God wants to dwell in us.   As Jesus told his disciples, “Remain in me, as I remain in you” (John 15:4, emphasis added).

This is one of the most comforting truths of our faith.   From the beginning, God created each of us and called each of us by name so that he could dwell in us.   He sent his Son, Jesus, to earth to proclaim the good news of his mercy.   On the cross, Jesus poured out his life for us and then rose from the dead—all so that he could dwell in us.

The Hebrew word for “remain” is yashab, which means to “abide,” “settle,” “stay,” or “dwell.”   In other words, Jesus is here to stay.   He is not moving out.   He wants to be with you forever.

As you ponder this amazing truth, you might be tempted to think “But I’m a sinner.   I’m not worthy for the Son of God to dwell in me.”   But Jesus didn’t come to abide in you based on your worthiness.   He came to abide in you because he loves you.   So even if you struggle until the end of your life with the same sin, he won’t abandon you.   He is infinitely patient, always ready and waiting for you to come to him for mercy and grace.

That’s why Jesus kept telling his disciples to remain in him (John 15:4, 6, 7).   He’s sticking around, and he doesn’t want you going anywhere either!   The more you abide in him, the more he can pour his grace into your heart.   Then his life in you will touch those around you.   His presence in you will soften hearts that don’t know him.

So rejoice with Jesus.   He’s right where he wants to be!

Word Among Us