Audio Sermon “God's Miniature”

Nov 6, 2016
“God's Miniature" No.13 by Rev. Toru Asai
John 14:15ff., Ruth, etc.

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Eph 5:1-2)

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If you love me, you will obey what I command (John 14:15).

It should be remembered that Peter had earlier said, "I will lay down my life for you," which Jesus knew would not come to be fulfilled at this stage. The rest of the disciples were in the same condition, and seeing their inability to love and to understand what was said, Jesus said:

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever (v. 16)--

Without the help of this "another Counselor," the above words of Jesus in v. 15 would not be fulfilled. The word, "Counselor," is "parakleitos (one who appears in another’s behalf)" in Greek, and "menahem (comforter)" in Hebrew. Since Jesus most likely spoke in Aramaic, the nuance of the word he used was closer to that of Hebrew "menahem" associated with its usage in the Old Testament. This word is used as a verb, when Ruth expressed her appreciation to Boaz for what he did for her: "you have given me comfort (Ruth 2:13)." It is also used when God spoke to the remnant of the Jews after the days of his judgments with the devastating experience of destruction and captivity were over: "Comfort, comfort my people (Isa 40:1)". It was not simply the healing of their emotion of sadness, but more importantly the restoration of what was lost, the creation of what was destroyed, and the revival of what became dead—the redemption. Jesus was the first of such a "comforter," and the Holy Spirit is "another comforter."

the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you (v. 17).

Jesus also called the Holy Spirit "the Spirit of truth." The word "truth" is "aleitheia" in Greek, and "emet" in Hebrew. This word cannot be explained with only a few words as you can see from the way Jesus did not answer the question that the Roman governor Pilate asked, "What is truth?" Truth is not a thing, or an abstract thought, but a being, as Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life." "Emet" is a noun from the verb "aman (to make firm, to support, to foster, to believe, and to trust,)." When it is used together with the word, "spirit (ruah)," it refers to the living spirit who does the action of "aman" describing his nature and work. In other words, the phrase would be the same as "—er" in English, which is equivalent to a Hebrew participle: in this case, "omenet" in feminine, and "omen" in masculine. Interestingly, the word, "omenet," is used for Naomi, when Ruth bore a son with Boaz.

Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap (lit. put him in her bosom) and cared for him (lit. became a foster-mother to him) (Ruth 4:16).

As she "took the child," she adopted the child as her own, and "put him in her bosom" to nurse him, and "became a foster-mother ("omenet") to him." So, it was Naomi who took care of, nursed, taught and guided Obed. Out of this line came David, a faithful king full of faith, and also Jesus Christ, our Savior. Note the way Naomi adopted this child: in the same way, the Holy Spirit adopts those who believe, and begins to live with them, but the world does not see him as Jesus said. Then, pay attention to the following words:

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you (John 14:18).

"I will come to you" refers to the combination of his resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit after his ascension. He is with us in the form of the Holy Spirit. This makes sense because the Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of truth" for us—our spiritual foster-mother. Without the Holy Spirit, we would be orphans: we were born again, and became God's children, but abandoned in this world. It would be impossible to live as God's miniatures doing the will of the Father without the Holy Spirit. We need him just as we need Jesus Christ.

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