Connections 05.14.2023: Making a Home

John 14:15-24

In 22 years as a military family, my family has had a lot of homes. We are old hands at moving in and moving out. All the sounds and sights of moving are familiar to us: the smell of cardboard boxes, the loud “rip” of packing tape coming off the spool, the crumple of packing paper ready for recycling. For us, every move has been temporary, and even though we live somewhere—make friends, join a church, wear school colors—it never really feels like abiding. We know before long we’ll be getting ready to go again, saying goodbyes and packing boxes.

In John 14, Jesus is getting ready to go, but no one has ever “moved” in this way before: he is leaving, and he is also assuring his beloved friends that he is not leaving them. How can both of these be true? He will leave them but not leave them “orphaned.” He is going, but he is “coming to you.” The world will no longer see him, but the disciples will see him. Jesus’s movement is not moving away, but moving into a new way of being, a new way of living and a new way of loving. Jesus may be getting ready to say his goodbyes, but he is also preparing his disciples for move-in day, when Jesus and the Father “will come to them and make our home with them” (v. 23).

His disciples seem to be trying to understand both his leaving and his coming, how he will not be seen by the world but will be seen by them. When Judas (not the betrayer Judas Iscariot) asks for clarification, Jesus gives a very Jesus-like, not-quite-direct answer. He will be revealed in the lives of those who love him. He will move in, lock, stock, and barrel into the lives of his followers; with God he will “makes our home” with those who keep God’s word and experience God’s love.

Where Jesus moves in, where he abides—in his disciples—the world will know him, and he will not go away again. No cardboard boxes, no packing tape required.


  • Think about your own experiences of moving out or moving in, living somewhere new, and experiencing a true sense of “abiding.” How is “making a home” or abiding different from simply moving in or living in a place? Are there areas of your life today where you are holding back from fully abiding? Why?
  • When you think of how Jesus is revealed in the world today, where are you inclined to look for him?
  • Reflect on what it means for you, as a disciple of Jesus, to be the place where Jesus abides and “makes a home.” How does Jesus’s “home” in your own life affect the neighborhood you live in? What would the world know about Jesus based on his “home” in you?
  • What thoughts, concerns, questions, or fears do you have about Jesus’s “leaving you orphaned”? Do you ever feel that Jesus or God has left you on your own? What thoughts, gratitude, questions, or doubts do you have about Jesus’s “coming to you”? Do you ever feel that Jesus or God has delayed or forgotten or declined to come back?

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair is the lead editor of Connections. She is a graduate of Samford University and Central Baptist Theological Seminary, and as a military spouse has had nine (at last count) different hometowns in the past 20 years. She and her husband Scott and sons Sam and Levi live in the Washington D.C. area. In recent years, Nikki has written Smyth & Helwys curricula as well as devotionals for and Baptist Women in Ministry. She weaves clergy stoles, knits almost anything, and dreams of making her dreadful novel drafts into readable books. She blogs about faith and making things at


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