This is a passage that is often read at funerals and because of that, the tendency is to think it is all about life after death. That is, of course, part of it. Jesus is speaking to his disciples, knowing the grief they will suffer in the coming days. There will be grief over the betrayal by one of their own; there will be grief over the failure to uphold a promise; there will be grief over Jesus’ suffering and death. He uses these words to assure his followers that there is life on the other side of death, both for him and for them, and by extension, for us.
But this passage is also about how we live today. It is about asking for and receiving the power to make a difference in peoples’ lives and to make a difference in the world today. Our actions may not be as spectacular as the miracles Jesus performed, but when added together, every act of kindness and care, every gesture of love and welcome and hospitality, every sacrifice in the name of Jesus, has a huge impact. Just as Jesus revealed and glorified God in all that he did, by calling on his name, so can we.
Think about times when you may have made a difference. Who were the people affected by it? What sort of change was brought about by your influence? Did you call on Jesus to give you the strength, the right words, the courage, etc. in each situation? If not, what practices might be helpful in remembering to do that?
In prayer, commit yourself to revealing and glorifying God in your words and in your actions.