Chapter 14

 

The Way

 

After the events that are recorded in chapter 13 it is the disciples that are now distressed. Perhaps it is beginning to dawn on them at last that something traumatic is going to happen that will take away the one whom they had learnt to trust and rely upon. Jesus knows exactly what they are feeling like for He has already been troubled in His spirit about what He is going to go through. Therefore He is able to enter in to their very feelings (Heb. 2:18 and Heb. 4:15-16). So often in our times of trouble we forget or fail to understand that Jesus has already been through much more than we ever will  and that He cares and sympathises with us is the only one who can bring us through victoriously if we will let Hi

 

14:1 "Do not let your hearts be distressed. You believe in God; believe also in me.

 

In this little word let Jesus is saying  "if you will allow me to I will give peace to your troubled heart".  This is not the physical organ but the "centre of feeling and faith" (A.T. Robertson). The disciples were already believers in God now He challenges them to put their trust equally in Him.  

 

14:2 There are many dwelling places in my Father's house. Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going away to make ready a place for you.

 

We know of mansions that were built on large estates but here Jesus tells us that the heavenly mansions are built in God's house! Heaven is God's home; how vast it must be to contain all these mansions for the numerous numbers of the redeemed (Rev. 7:9). The word that is translated mansion means "an abiding place" or "abode". When Paul considered the heavenly home he was lost for words and could only (1 Cor. 2:9). These mansions were already in existence when Jesus spoke these words so when He said "I go to prepare a place" He meant through His death, resurrection and ascension.  A Barnes says "It evidently means that he, by the work he was yet to perform in heaven, would secure their admission there, and obtain for them the blessings of eternal life" (Heb. 9:24 and Heb. 10:19-20).

 

14:3 And if I go and make ready a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that where I am you may be too

 

Here for the first time in John's gospel we have the promise from the Lord that although He was going away He would come back again. This is not the promise of the resurrection as the preceding and following words make clear but of His coming to take those who are His own to the heavenly place He has made ready for them. This of course embodies the resurrection for those who have already died before Jesus comes (1 Thes. 4:13-18). The full purpose of the Lord Jesus Christ's coming into the world was to save and to change those who receive Him as their Saviour into His own likeness, that He might present them spotless before His Father and for them to live with Him forever more (Eph. 5:27, Phil. 3:21 and 1 John 3:2).

 

 

14:4-5 And you know the way where I am going." Thomas said, "Lord, we don't know where you are going. How can we know the way?

 

During His time with the disciples Jesus had taught them about the things concerning the Kingdom of Heaven so they should have known where He was going and the way for them to follow but it seems that it had not sunk in (Matt. 16:21 and Luke 9:22). Thomas was speaking the thoughts of the other disciples when he questioned the Lord about this.

 

14:6 Jesus replied, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 

Jesus makes it quite clear that there is only one way to enter the Kingdom of God and that is through Him.  He is the way because He made the way by dying on the cross (John 10:9 and Acts 4:12). In the early church salvation was spoken of as "The Way". Everything that He uttered was the truth but He is very truth and the power of truth (1 John 5:20). When Pilate asked Jesus what is truth he did not realise that it was standing before him (John 18:37-38). He is life indeed, eternal life and abundant life (John 10:10 and John 10:28). He imparts His life to us and gives a meaning to life. There is no other way that anyone can gain access to the Father except by His Son.

 

 

Revealing the Father

 

14:7 If you have known me, you will know my Father too. And from now on you do know him and have seen him.

 

From this verse we gather that the disciples had not yet realised that Jesus was in fact God manifest in the flesh (Heb. 1:1-3). He tells them that from now on they shall know God the Father for they have seen Him. That is, by implication, "to discern clearly, to perceive" (Strong).

 

14:8 Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be content.

 

Philip still does not understand what Jesus is saying to him and asks that He would by some physical evidence show them the Father and they would be satisfied.

 

14:9 Jesus replied, "Have I been with you for so long, and you have not known me, Philip? The person who has seen me has seen the Father! How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?

 

The disciples had constantly been with Jesus for three and a half years they had witnessed all the miraculous things that He had done. He had taught them many things concerning the Kingdom of God as one who had first hand experience of Him and not as the scribes and Pharisees. They had heard His declarations about who He was and yet they still did not realise that they had been in the presence of God. Jesus is the express image of the Father (Heb. 1:1-3 and Col. 1:15).

 

14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you, I do not speak on my own initiative, but the Father residing in me performs his miraculous deeds.

 

The Son and the Father are completely absorbed in each other, they are inseparable. What He is telling them is not on His own authority but it is the Father who lives within Him that reveals Himself through the works that He has been done.

 

14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me, but if you do not believe me, believe because of the miraculous deeds themselves.

 

He appeals to them to believe that He and the Father are one (John 10:30). If they cannot believe what He has said then to let the works that they have witnessed convince them.

 

 

The Answered Prayer

 

14:12 I tell you the solemn truth, the person who believes in me will perform the miraculous deeds that I am doing, and will perform greater deeds than these, because I am going to the Father.

 

The first promise that Jesus gives to all those who constantly and firmly believe in Him is that they will do the same miracles that He did. They will be greater in quantity and will be done to the uttermost parts of the world.  Jesus did not mean that the miracles they do will be greater than His. R.V.G. Tasker"' says "The works of the apostles after the resurrection were not greater in kind than those of Jesus, but greater in the sphere of their influence".  This will be possible because He is going back to the Father and will send the Holy Spirit (John 16:7 and Acts 1:8).  

 

14:13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

 

The second promise He gives is that as we come believing and asking in His name, the authority and power of that name, (the "'I AM"' of Ex. 3:14) whatever we ask He will grant it. That is if we ask in faith and according to His will (James 1:6, and 1 John 5:14).  Hence the Father will be glorified, exalted in His Son (Acts 3:6 and Acts 3:16).  

 

14:14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

 

He repeats the promise given above. If we ask the Father for anything in the name of His Son, Jesus has promised that He, Himself will grant and bring forth the answer.

 

 

The Promise of the Comforter

 

14:15 "If you love me, you will obey my commandments.

 

In Deut. 6:5   it states that "you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might," and in Matt. 22:37 Jesus says that this is the first and greatest command. In this verse He is not saying you "shall" or "must" love me for He knows that true love for Him or anyone else cannot be commanded. God is Love therefore the kind of love that He is talking about here comes from God and is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). We Love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). What Jesus is saying here is this, if you are saying that you love me it has to be with all your being and if this is true then it will be shown in the way that you keep the commandments I have given to you (John 13:34-35).

 

14:16 Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever.

 

The fulfilment of the previous word would seem to be the condition that He lays down for Him to pray on their behalf for the Father to send the Comforter or Helper as another source of consolation and encouragement. The Greek word here is parakletos and meant one who plead's another's cause, an intercessor, advocate. In the fullest sense of the word He would be an instructor and a guide in all truth (John 15:26 and John 16:13). He would encourage and give the strength, desire and purpose for holy living. Unlike the Lord who would be returning to the Father this other person would never depart from them.

 

14:17 The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides with you and will be in you.

 

He goes on to explain that this other "comforter", "the Spirit of Truth" cannot be accepted by unbelievers because they are spiritually blind and have no spiritual knowledge therefore they cannot know or regognize Him. To those who have received salvation, who are "born again of the Spirit", who have had their eyes and minds spiritually opened He will remain with them and be in them.  

 

14:18 "I will not abandon you as orphans, I will come to you.

 

Jesus promises that although He will leave them for a short while (referring to His death) they will not be as children bereft of their parents, left desolate, for He will return to them.  

 

 

Indwelling of the Father and the Son

 

14:19 In a little while the world will not see me any longer, but you will see me; because I live, you will live too.

 

Jesus again refers to His soon departure via the cross and states that once He is placed in the grave as far as the world is concerned that will be the end, they will have no more trouble with Him.  The disciples however, will see Him when He has arisen from the dead and because he will conquer death, hell and the grave, they will share in His resurrection life (Rev. 1:18).  

 

14:20 You will know at that time that I am in my Father and you are in me and I am in you.

 

When this happens they will indeed believe and know in truth that He dwells in the Father and that they will be in Him and He will be in them. The Spirit itself will bear witness with the believer's that this is so, that  they are children of God (Rom. 8:16).

 

14:21 The person who has my commandments and obeys them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will reveal myself to him.

 

The one who really loves the Lord will keep the commandments that He has given and if this love for Him is genuine then he shall be loved in return by the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this circle of love He will show Himself and make Himself real to those that love Him.

 

14:22 "Lord," Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "what has happened that you are going to reveal yourself to us and not to the world.

 

Unlike Thomas and Phillip's questions to Jesus this one that Judas (called Lebbeus Thaddeus in Matt. 10:3) asks is understandable. Jesus had already shown Himself to the people living in Israel, why should He now confine showing Himself to the disciples only?  

 

14:23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and take up residence with him.

 

In answer Jesus repeats to a certain extend verse 15 and 21 but puts "words" (logos) instead of "commandments" (entole). This implies that while there are commands that are plainly given and to be kept, every word that came forth from the Lord, all the things that He taught, are equally as important.  It is those who obey the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ are the ones who truly love Him and whom the Father loves and both the Father and the Son will live in them.

 

14:24 The person who does not love me does not obey my words. And the word you hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me.

 

The person who does not love Jesus Christ will not observe and obey  his teachings and therefore cannot see Him. The words spoken and aught by the Lord were not His own but those that He received from Father.

 

14:25-26 I have spoken these things while staying with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you.

 

The Lord knew that all the things that He had taught His disciples  they would not have the ability to retain or power to fulfil (John 16:12). He has already told them that He would ask the Father to send another Comforter/Helper, the Spirit of Truth and now He tells them who He is, the Holy Ghost. He will come in place of and to represent the Lord, and will continue to teach them. He will recall all the things that Jesus taught to their minds and will give them understanding of these things (1 Cor. 2:9-10).

 

 

The Gift of Peace

 

14:27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage.

 

In the middle east men greeted and parted from each other with the words "Shalom, Shalom, peace, peace.   In preparing His disciples for His departure He does not use this word as a farewell. He who is the "Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6) gives them His peace and leaves it with them.  It is a peace that is far beyond human understanding (Phil. 4:7). It is a peace that the world nor anyone else can give. It is the peace that the Lord Jesus Christ secured on the Cross for all those who believe and receive Him as their Saviour (Rom. 5:1 and Col. 1:20). They may not have lands or gold, they may be persecuted, imprisoned, killed or whatever but no one or anything can take away this deep inner peace in the soul that He gives as a gift to His own.  He repeats His words in verse one to "let not your heart be trouble" and adds "neither let it be afraid" or "stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated, cowardly and  unsettled" (Amp. N. Testament)."'

 

14:28 You heard me say to you, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am

 

Rather then feeling sorry for themselves and being downcast at the thought of Him going away,  He tells them  "if" they really loved Him" they would be rejoicing because He was returning to His Father who is mightier than Him.  

 

14:29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.

 

The reason for telling them of what was about to happen to Him was that when it did that they may believe and have faith in Him.

 

14:30 I will not speak with you much longer, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me.

 

With this He brings to a close His talk with them for the present because He knows that the "prince of this world" the Devil, is even now arraying his forces to come up against Him but he will not prevail for He has no power over the Lord Jesus Christ.  Satan and the Lord Jesus Christ have nothing in common; the Devil has no claims or power over Christ for He is without sin (2 Cor. 5:21 and 1 John 3:5).  

 

14:31 But I am doing just what the Father commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Get up, let us go from here

 

The world will know the love that Jesus Christ has for His Father for He does everything as He commands Him even to giving His life upon the cross for the sins of the world (Phil. 2:8). Thus they departed from the upper room.

 

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