These next chapters are to be considered as one major teaching segment, not a series of chapters or verses that have little relation to one-another. In chapters 14-16, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit are intertwined. Jesus teaches His followers that the Word ofGod is more important than any other kind of “word”.
The introduction of the Holy Spirit in these chapters is key to Jesus’ teaching, the future Church, and Jesus’ return. Again, the Holy Spirit is sent for a particular purpose, and He is intimately connected to the Word of God.
In this context, Jesus is still in the “upper room”, and is preparing to leave and go to the Garden of Gethsemane. He knows what is going to happen to Him there, which is very instructive. Jesus knows even though His followers do not.
Consider this for a moment: why is it important to recognize that Jesus knows when we who are following Him do not?
Jesus spends His last few hours (?) teaching His disciples (minus Judas, who was not a real disciple anyway) about the duties they will be given. They have a heavenly home, but they will not be going there any time soon. Jesus is preparing them for the work and suffering that lies before them, and He is the example.
Why is this important?
Finally, Jesus is beginning the teaching reading the Church as opposed to Judaism (this was the subject of many of His parables).
II. John 14:1-14
A. Believing in the Lord Jesus, 14:1-7
1. Their hearts are gong to experience “trouble”. This is the same thing Jesus experiences in 13:21. Great sorrow and agitation is normal for humans, but these do not have to be in control.
a. Jesus provides a future hope
b. He is personally making preparation
2. He is going to personally return
a. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:12-18
b. The “only way”is known to the disciples.
What does this mean to those who are being taught the Word? What does this mean to those who want to be teachers of the Word? See James 3:1-ff
c. “Not even one” can come another way. How, then, will people know the “one and only exclusive way? See Romans chapter 10.
B. Jesus and the Father, 14:8-14
1. Jesus reiterates the Truth that He and the Father are One.
a. Jesus exhibits, reveals the Father
b. Seeing and knowing Jesus equal seeing and knowing the Father.
It is very popular, common today for church-goers to freely talk about “god”. Unfortunately, very little is said about “Jesus Christ the Lord”. Yet the book of Colossians is all about Jesus being the fullness of God, God revealed to mankind. To speak of “god” but not specifically about the Lord Jesus Christ is to deny what the Father has demanded. It is the Lord Jesus Christ whom we are to worship and serve not just “god”. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 5:11,12 and what the Holy Spirit revealed in Luke 2:34. Jesus is offensive, “god” is not.
2. Words and works are united, v.10
a. Believe God’s Word – the things Jesus said and did are not of His own will, but of the Father
b. God’s Word always leads to working
c. The works themselves prove that Jesus and the Father are One, and that Jesus is doing the Father’s will.
3. “Great works” – what does this mean?
a. He is leaving, they are staying – they do not understand this, and even after He leaves they will spend the rest of there lives believing that He is returning before they pass from this earth (compare what Jesus teaches in Luke 19:11-27).
b. The Holy Spirit will indwell them (implying a long-time residence and necessity) and empower them and work through them.
c. The works of Jesus are what He started, and His followers are to continue His work. The “greater” works means that they are more in number and of a similar kind.
We are not providing salvation to others as Jesus did, for only He could do that. However, we are to “lay down our lives” as in Romans 12:1,2 and 1 John 3:16. John 16 continues this truth of Jesus that the Holy Spirit is not about the miraculous, but is about the Word of God and the things of the Lord Jesus.
The book of Acts is the record of the Holy Spirit working through the disciples and the Church.
4. Praying – directly connected to the “doing greater works”.
a. Praying according to God’s revealed will
b. Receiving answers accordingly – see 1 John 5:14,15. Be careful not to separate vests 13,14 from the context. Many have done this and have made prayer something that it is not. God is not our “heavenly butler” just waiting for an opportunity to give us something. Prayer is about God’s will, not about our desires. See Psalms 37:4,5. This is NOT teaching that whatever we desire is from God; it teaches that when we make Jesus Christ and His glory first, our desires will come into conformity with His Word and His plans. All too often we have made our plans equal with His will because of some silly psychological teachings.
III. John 14:15-31
A. The Comforter
1. Loving equals Obeying
a. “Keeping” means a “strict adherence, a careful watch over” – not legalism, but not license.
b. Observing Jesus’ commands and teachings because they are from the Father.
2. The Comforter, or “Paraklete” (Greek word)
a. The Holy Spirit
b. he “abides”, dwells within each true Believer (Romans 8:9)
c. He is an advocate, a helper, one “called along side of”
d. He teaches – public, direct, admonishing.
F.F. Bruce in his commentary on The Gospel of John points out that “the word Advocate in 1 John 1:21 is the Greek equivalent for the Latin parakeet. He is saying that the Holy Spirit is an additional helper, or “another helper”, Jesus being the first. Jesus is leaving so that the Holy Spirit can be sent as their helper.
What, then is He sent to help with? Most seem to believe that it is for the comfort of Believers until the final destination of Heaven, away from all of the cares of life, or for the novelty of the miraculous. This is NOT the teaching of Jesus, nor of the New Testament! The Holy Spirit is an advocate, a helper, guide, and an One to empower. It is about the Kingdom of God and His work, not about the kingdoms of mankind and our comfort. He is sent so that Christ’s true followers can serve Him here. In this context, then, read Ephesians 5:18.
Note: Chapters 14-16 have a great deal about the Holy Spirit. In fact, chapters 14 and 16 both highlight the Holy Spirit. Accordingly, chapter 15 is “sandwiched” between these two indicating that it is also about the work and person of the Holy Spirit. We have done a great disservice to Scripture by operating chapter 15 from the context of Jesus’ final teachings.
B. Names and Descriptions of the Holy Spirit in chapter 14
1. Paraklete – means a great deal more than Comforter. In fact, that English words misleading. Look this up in a Bible Encyclopedia, word study source.
2. Advocate -more than a legal term, but includes it
3. Revealer – of God’s Word, God’s Will
4. Indwelling Believers
5. Abides Forever – He is fully God
7. Reminder – He reminds us of what we are learning
8. “Gift” sent by God
9. Spirit of Truth – God’s Word, God’s Truth, Jesus Christ Who is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life….” – 14:6
1. Loving Jesus means obeying His commands – remember Who is our Helper to do this!
2. Living by the Lord Jesus Christ
a. He is eternal life – see 1 John 5:11,12; John 1:1-14
b. v. 20 – Leaving them is a “proof” of His deity, co-existence with the Father.
3. Knowing and Keeping His Word
a. Proof of “agape”, divine love
b. Experiencing a life of intimacy with the Father and the Lord Jesus comes through His Word and the work of the Holy Spirit.
Satan attacks the Word of God first and foremost. In every generation this has been his ploy, and it continues today. If he can hinder God’s Word in any way then he can infect people’s minds with misconceptions of God’s character, plans, purposes. These are not always constructed as evil, but often as good and desirable but still not what God Himself has revealed. This may be one of the most destructive schemes of Satan today.
c. The Spirit will reveal God’s Truth through Hs Word, v.26. He “teaches” this is a word that implies a direct and public teaching.
As you read through these chapters, and the entire book of John, and even the entire New Testament, take note of how often the Word of God is spoken and taught to others. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to make Christ known.
Unfortunately many church people toady would much rather have a “close and personally intimate relationship” with “god” instead of being ministers of His Grace through His Word. This is NOT the work of the Holy Spirit, but a misleading of Satan.
4. Peace is from the Lord Jesus Christ, v.27
a. Does NOT mean: a lack of external conflict
b. DOES mean: confidence without the need for external proof
Confidence is in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in His faithfulness to Himself. Too often we expect our confidence to be in His faithfulness to us, and when we do not get the response expected we tend to doubt Him, or even blame Him.
c. The reminder, command is “do not be afraid”. This requires knowledge of God’s Word and trust in the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus Christ to His Word and to Himself. He is unable to fail.
D. He is going back to the Father
1. Rejoicing is then result because of trust – the Father is even greater
2. The main reason is found in the next two chapters
3. Jesus is not hiding the truth, but is open and clear
4. The “prince of this world (Satan)” is NOT going to be banished or hindered, yet.
5. The love between Jesus and the Father is evident – this will be explained more in chapter 17.
Notice here how the human author, John, is relating the words of Jesus and then provides how Jesus explains what He just said. This is the way John wrote and what he wanted for his readers to understand. Again, CONTEXT is of utmost importance.
IV. Truths Presented
A. Jesus is not leaving His followers alone
1. He is making preparation in eternity
2. Troubles will surround but but do not need to overcome
B. The Holy Spirit is coming, being sent
1. He is powerful, a Being of many talents and purposes
2. Jesus’ leaving is necessary for the place of the Holy Spirit
C. Peace is from the Lord Jesus, not from the world or circumstances