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John 14:1-31


It might surprise you to learn that the Gospel of John doesn't actually record the Passover Feast or the Lord's Supper.

In fact, the first words we hear in John 13:2 are --- "And supper being ended.”

However, John’s Gospel does give us an excellent account of the happenings in the upper room after supper.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As soon as Judas walked off into the night, Jesus began to zero in on the needs of His little flock. 

It would be an uphill battle.

These men were to be the nucleus of His Church, but, as yet, it almost seemed He had nothing to work with.

First of all, there had been an undercurrent of bickering throughout the evening regarding the best places in the kingdom.

And then they had been content to eat the Passover feast with dirty feet rather than do the job of a servant.

Jesus addressed both of these situations, in Chapter 13.

Finally, He broke the news of His departure.

John 13:33 "Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you."

Suddenly, they came to the realization that this would be their last Passover meal with Jesus.

Oh how they had wasted those precious hours in bickering.

And then, as their dreams of the kingdom faded away, Jesus began to prepare them for the Age of Grace.  It was to have a tumultuous beginning.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Their first resource against the impending storm already resided within their own hearts.

John 13:34-35 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35: By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

Brotherly love.  It was to be the mark of a Christian.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As we enter John chapter 14, we find Jesus still busily equipping His disciples.

V 1 "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me."

Often, when someone is trying to console a troubled friend, he will say, "Now everything is going to be all right."

Certainly he means well, but, in most cases, he has nothing to go on but wishful thinking.

However, when Jesus said --- "Let not your heart be troubled," He had a rock-solid basis to back up His statement --- "ye believe in God, believe also in me."

In this particular verse, the word "believe" is used more in the sense of trust.

Trust God, and trust Me.

Certainly, belief is a wonderful thing.

However, sometimes it can be nothing more than a cold technical belief in a particular fact. 

On the other hand, trust is always warm and loving.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Jesus knew His disciples were about to enter the three darkest days of their lives.

Every prop, every anchor, and every landmark would be swept away.

That's when He said --- "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

There's a line in an old hymn that goes like this --- "Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal."

It was time to talk to them about heaven.

We don’t find many details about heaven in the Old Testament scriptures, so Jesus’ words would be good news indeed.

V 2 "In my Father's house are many mansions: (or dwelling places) if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."

Jesus’ stepfather had been a carpenter, and no doubt He had learned the trade.

But I don't think Jesus is up in heaven building houses for us.

No, Heaven is not under construction.

It has always been perfect, and it has always been complete.

So, what did Jesus mean when He said, "I go to prepare a place for you."

Well, He meant just exactly what He said.

The mansions didn't need to be prepared, but our our place in heaven did.

Before Jesus went to the cross, there was no place in heaven for us.

In fact, we were the enemies of God.

And, if there was ever going to be a place in heaven for us, Jesus needed to prepare one.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Let me give you an example from real life. 

My wife, Eleanor, and I used to reserve a bed and breakfast near Buckhorn so she could take art lessons at Gallery on the Lake .

It was a beautiful home, finished in pine, but it didn't belong to us. 

If we wanted to stay there, we needed to make a reservation.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When daylight was fading, and we had finally come to the end of our journey, it was so nice to see the lights of our home- away-from-home.

We would sit in the vaulted living room by the large stone fireplace, sipping hot chocolate, and visiting with the Sorensons.

Would you like a sip?

However, if we hadn't made reservations, we would have been sitting in our cold car, and there wouldn't be any hot chocolate.

The place would still be there, but it wouldn't be our place.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

At the cross, Jesus made a place for us in heaven.

He made the arrangements, and more importantly, He paid the price!

If He hadn't done that, heaven would have continued to be the exclusive residence of God and His angels.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

This would have been the first time that Jesus told His disciples about His second coming. 

Down through the ages, this has been the blessed hope of the believer ---"I will come again, and receive you unto myself.”

No, He won't send an angel. He will come Himself.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 4-5 "And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
5: Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?”

We need directions, or we will never get there!

Jesus’ response was immediate.

V 6 "--- I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Have you ever been completely lost in a big city?

You ask for directions, but you can’t get them through your head. 

I always hate to hear the words, tacked onto a long set of directions --- "You can't miss it.”

I always do. 

But sometimes, a kind individual, noticing the puzzled look on your face, will jump into his car and lead the way.

Maps are forgotten, instructions are no longer important, and doubts are a thing of the past.

From that point on, the man is the way.

Jesus is the way to heaven, and there's no other way.

He also said "I am" --- "the truth.”

That means there is no other truth. 

Other systems and other religions will not get you there. 

Not only that, but He said "I am" --- "the life.”

Yes, Jesus is the only source of eternal life.

Of course, some people will insist that there are many ways to heaven.

But Jesus insists "--- no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 7 "If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him."

Actually, that's the theme of the Gospel of John.

Jesus is God.

And I rather thought the disciples had settled that question when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.

So, how do you think Jesus felt, when Philip said, in V 8 --- "Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us."

Exasperated?  --- Oh yes!

I think Jesus was very exasperated.

Look at V 9 "--- Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?"

Jesus was about to leave His disciples.

It was important that they had this point straight.

V 10-11 "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11: Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake."

As you might recall, Jesus had made much the same appeal to the Jews who had refused to believe that He was the Son of God --- "If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
38: But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works

Now He was saying the same thing to this disciple.

Philip had seen all of Jesus’ miracles!

How much more proof would He need?

I think Philip got the point.

And it's nice to know that Thomas finally got the point.

Later on, when Jesus made a special effort to convince Thomas that He had actually risen from the dead, He ended up killing two birds with one stone.

John 20:27-28 "Then saith he to Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28: And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God."

Did you get that --- "and my God."

Good for you Thomas.  You're going to need that.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Getting back to the upper room, Jesus had just made an announcement that must have taken their breath away. 

V 12 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."

Certainly, when the disciples had been sent forth to preach the gospel of the kingdom, Jesus had given them power to heal in His name. 

This same power was manifested in the early church. 

But what was this part about believers doing "greater works" than Jesus?

How could they do "greater works" than the Son of God? 

Well, in Jesus’ opinion, and that's the only one that counts, they would do greater works.

I suppose, geographically speaking, the Gospel of Grace was a greater work than the Gospel of the Kingdom.

Jesus’ original purpose was to fulfill God's promise to Israel .

As their Messiah, it was only necessary that His public ministry go as far as the borders of Palestine .

In contrast, the Gospel of Jesus Christ would be spread throughout the known world in a relatively short time.

But there's another point, and I think this is the most important one.

Jesus performed many mighty works.

He healed the sick, raised the dead, and stilled the mighty elements.

They were a sign of His Messiahship and deity.

How could a believer do a greater work than that?

Well, Jesus said he would.

Obviously, He considered the salvation of a precious soul a greater work than any miracle.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 13-14 "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14: If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it."

That's something new, isn’t it?

Does that really mean we can ask God for a new Cadillac or a free trip to Disney Land ?

No, this isn't a, make-three-wishes kind of promise.

There’s a qualifying phrase attached --- "that the Father may be glorified in the Son."

And when we get a little further on in this lesson, we will find that this qualification is not so much a rule as it is a condition of the heart.

V 15-18 "If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16: And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17: Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18: I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you."

We are first made aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence in the Genesis 1:2, and He continues to be active throughout Old Testament times.

However, the Holy Spirit came and went at will.

Saul disobeyed God, and the Holy Spirit left him.

David never forgot Saul’s experience, and he had no desire to repeat it. 

That is why he wrote, in Psalm 51:11, "Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me."

However, things would be different now.

Jesus said, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.”

Yes, in answer to Jesus’ prayer, the Holy Spirit would take up permanent residence in the Church of Jesus Christ.

Certainly, the disciples had already experienced the influence of the Holy Spirit, as David had, for Jesus said --- "but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you.”

But now Jesus was able to assure them, the Holy Spirit "shall be in you."

And there's more.

In V 18, Jesus says "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you."

What does that tell us?

Well, it tells us that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are One.

In fact, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are Three in One.

Consequently, when the Holy Spirit would arrive, Jesus would also arrive.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Greek word that is translated "Comforter" means advocate, or one that is called alongside to protect and counsel.

Also, the word another, as in "another Comforter," really means another of the same kind.

For 3-1/2 years, Jesus had been the disciples’ Comforter, one called alongside to protect and counsel.

The Holy Spirit was to be a Comforter of the same kind.

But there's more.

V 18 also says "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you."

The word that is translated "comfortless" here is the same word that we derive our English word orphan from. 

I'm sure the disciples felt like orphans when Jesus told them He was leaving.

But then He said, I will not leave you as orphans, "I will come to you."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 19-20 "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20: At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you."

Jesus and His Heavenly Father have always been inseparable.  Now the believer was to be included in this fellowship --- "I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you."

Someone has likened this relationship to the rings of a tree, with the believer in the middle.

Consequently, nothing can touch the believer's life that doesn’t touch the Father and the Son first.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

But there's another aspect to this mystical union, and that's what I referred to a few moments ago.

Remember what we discovered about Jesus’ words in V 14 --- "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it."

This wasn't a blank check to satisfy our earthly desires.

No, our requests must fit into the criteria --- "that the Father may be glorified in the Son."

And if you think about it, any earthly father would be foolish to automatically grant his children's request with no thought as to their welfare, or the welfare of the family.

So, God made the stipulation --- "that the Father may be glorified in the Son."

However, when we consider the believer's new relationship in the Father and the Son, this requirement becomes much more than a mere rule. 

Not only is the believer protected as he resides in the Father and the Son, but his very desires are molded into theirs.

Yes, their wishes will become his desires.

And as Paul said, Christ’ life will become our life --- "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Gal. 2:20

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 21-24 "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22: Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23: Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24: He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me."

That is the only path for a true disciple, isn't it? ---"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me:"

And this is the marvelous privilege of a true disciple --- "he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."

And that’s only the beginning --- and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

Is it worth it?

I should say it is!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yes, real love always produces obedience.

A child may say, I love you mommy, but he must show it by his obedience.

And that's how our love for Jesus works.

It's not our talk that counts, it's our walk --- "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 25-26 "These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26: But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

One of the Holy Spirit’s ministries would be teaching.

Why would that be necessary?

After all, Jesus had been with His disciples for 3-1/2 years, and He had been teaching them on a daily basis.

Well, yes, He had, and yes, He did, but He could only go so far.

As He would tell them in John 16:12, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Another important ministry of the Holy Spirit would be to --- bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

Actually, there are two reasons for that.

First of all, people have a tendency to forget.

In fact, a lot of Bible teaching involves reminding God's children about truths they once knew. 

It's not that believers have bad memories.

The problem is, "the cares of this world" can make us forget what we really have in Jesus.

For instance, in spite of Jesus’ teaching, the trauma that surrounded the cross made the disciples forget their real mission and go back to fishing.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The second reason for the ministry of  remembrance was the need for a sanctified hindsight. 

For instance, in John 2:19-22 we read, "Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
20: Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
21: But he spake of the temple of his body.
22: When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said."

Again, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem , fulfilling prophecy, the disciples didn't fully appreciate the full significance of this event. 

John 12:14-16 "And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,
15: Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.
16: These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him."

In both cases, I believe it was the Holy Spirit that connected the dots.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Jesus has provided the Christian with two kinds of peace which the world cannot give. 

Before the cross, we were enemies of God "by wicked works.”

After the cross, we are children of God. 

Romans 5:1 "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

However, that evening, in the upper room, Jesus was talking about another kind of peace.

It was a peace that would shield their hearts from trouble and fear. 

It wasn't "peace with God."  It was the peace of God.

And it’s a resource that is available to every Christian.

However, like the gift of salvation, it can only be appropriated by faith. 

Yes, in every situation that the world can throw at us, we can experience the peace of God. 

As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 --- "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9: Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed

Yes, Jesus can give us peace in the midst of the tribulation.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 28-29 "Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
29: And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe."

Not only did Jesus say, "I go away," but He also said, I "come again.”

That’s the believer's hope, isn't it?

It hasn't happened yet, but it surely will.

As the angels once told the disciples, --- "this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."

I will "come again" --- you have Jesus’ word on it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 30-31 "Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
31: But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

Satan, "the prince of this world," was amassing his forces, but Jesus was still in control.

That evening, He had made the connection between love and obedience.

This was no theoretical dogma, but a divine principle that He was about to demonstrate in His own life --- "as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence."

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