Vs. 1, “If your offering is a fellowship offering, and you offer an animal from the herd, whether male or female, you are to present before the Lord an animal without defect.” This fellowship offering is also known as the “peace” offering (shalom). This fellowship offering was similar to the burnt offering in that the offering was made by fire with an aroma that would be pleasing to the LORD (vs. 5, 16). Cattle, sheep and goat were used, however female animals could be used unlike the burnt offering. Question: What was the purpose of the fellowship/peace offering? It was a voluntary offering that would be followed by the sharing of a meal with the parts of the animal used. There could be a few reasons for this offering; expressing gratitude or giving a vow.
Regarding application…Joyful Sacrifice. This is a wonderful reminder that not all sacrifices should be sobering. There is a tendency to come to the LORD only in times of trouble. But this fellowship offering reminds us that there is a time for joyful sacrifices, a time of voluntary giving not motivated by legalistic purposes. Being joyful is not just an emotion like happiness. Having joy is a mandate given from the LORD. In the busyness of our lives, this is a poignant reminder to come with joy when we attend church. There are not enough faces filled with joy in the pews of our churches. Let us be people who give with a joyful heart to the LORD and his church!
Vs. 6, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This was a troubling night (vs. 1), but Jesus would offer them hope! He was paving a way for all of us to one day find our home (vs. 2-4) with our Father in Heaven. Many scoff to this day on Jesus’ claim that He is the only way. I’ve even seen believers adhere to Universalism (belief that all religions are similar and can lead to divine good). That is false teaching. Philip seems to be excited at the prospect to see the Father one day, but little did he realize the Father is in Jesus (vs. 8-14). Question: Jesus is leaving, what will they do? They might feel like orphans (vs. 18), but we know now that we are not left on our own. There is a peace (shalom) that will come (vs. 15-31). And to top it off, Jesus promises us He will be coming back (vs. 28).
Regarding application…Promised Holy Spirit. Vs. 16, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.” We are not alone. This peace that will come is the Holy Spirit. Think of the picture we are given in Scripture when it comes to the Holy Spirit; the dove which is a picture of purity and peace. Question: Do you trust promises made by others? Too often we have a hard time grasping the promises of God when we have been let down by those we love hear on earth. Our parents, teachers, pastor’s, friends have not always been able to keep promises. It’s a bit understandable why the hesitation on being able to trust in the promises of God. In the storms of our lives, we know that we are not abandoned. When we put our faith in Jesus, the promised Holy Spirit now dwells in us and keeps us sealed until eternity! Let that be your encouragement as you go about this week! Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, is with us each step of the way!