John 14

Introduction

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.’ John 14:1-4

Jesus talks with Peter This is a continuance from verse thirty-eight of the previous chapter. The chapter division splits Jesus in the middle of the full answer to Peter when he asked ‘why can’t I follow you now?’

It could be said that Jesus now addresses the entire group, not Peter exclusively, indeed all these questions could have been asked by any of the disciples and thus the answers are relevant to all.

The disciples were scared and confused, their Lord has said He is leaving, and He has just accused the most faithful of the group of disowning Him.

Jesus sees their worried expressions, particularly Peter’s, and takes a moment to put them at ease and so, He encourages them to trust and not to allow themselves to become over-anxious.

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled’ literally means, ‘stop being troubled’ or ‘set your troubled hearts at rest.’ The word, ‘heart, ‘kardia’ isn’t speaking of the physical heart, it’s speaking of man’s active mental and moral activity, both the rational and emotional elements, John 12:40 / John 16:6 / John 16:22. Notice how Jesus views death, it’s really no big deal.

The phrase, ‘My Father’s house’ is usually understood to be heaven, the rooms, abiding places, all referring to the fact that in His Father’s house, there will be plenty of room for all who get there.

He could be thinking about the temple because there were many rooms within the temple and so in a sense, Jesus could be saying that death is no big deal, it’s just like going from one room to another.

‘I go to prepare a place for you’, He assures them personally, that the separation will not be permanent. This same verb is used in Mark 14:12 concerning preparing the Passover, and so as they prepared for the Passover so he was preparing a place for them.

What does Jesus mean when He says, ‘And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am’.

He could be speaking about His resurrection was a coming again, or He could be speaking about the death of every faithful disciple was a coming again. He could be speaking about the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, was His coming again or He could be speaking about His future coming from heaven, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 / John 12:25+26. It’s possible that all of these are correct.

Jesus goes on to teach them that He is the way to God, John 10:9 and He tells them that He is going to return and when He does, they will know the way to the new home.

‘Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’ John 14:5-7

Jesus talks with Thomas I’m quite sure that all the men were thinking the same thing here, they didn’t know the way, they were going backwards and becoming more and more confused. The disciples not only didn’t know the way, but they also didn’t even know the destination.

Here we see Thomas making two mistakes

1. He may have thought the Master was leaving in death, or that He was to go to another area. In the latter case, the way would be an ordinary road and Thomas would have made a mistake similar to that made by the Jews in John 7:35. Was this work a failure and Jesus was now abandoning it for other areas?

2. He thought Jesus was referring to the way He needed to travel, but Jesus makes it quite clear that He had the road the disciples and all else who follow later in mind. Thomas does make one very relevant point, if we don’t tell of the destination, how will the lost ever possibly find ‘the way’? Notice also that Thomas didn’t pretend to have knowledge that he didn’t have, John 20:24+25.

And so, Jesus declares Himself to be the way, He isn’t a guide to show the way, nor a map to help those lost upon the path. No, Jesus is ‘The Way’ He is God and so, all life is available through Him, and only in Him is the truth to those eternal questions found. He wants to answer the questions of life for all mankind, He has the ability, He has the knowledge and He has the life.

The disciples had received so much teaching, they had had the opportunity to learn all of Christ, but how often did they neglect the teaching?

They allowed points the Lord had made to pass, they could have really known Jesus but they didn’t. Now that Jesus has fully exposed Himself to them, they have the chance to fully understand and know and see the Father as well.

In knowing Jesus, they know the way to the eternal Father which means life. Jesus was the ‘Way’, ‘Hodos’, the Road, the one through whom we have access to the Father.

Jesus is the ‘Truth’ ‘Alethea’, the embodiment of ultimate reality. Jesus is the ‘Life’ ‘Zoe’, the source, no life apart from him, the sustainer, all life depends on Him for instruction.

‘No one comes to the Father but by me’, these words on the lips of man, would brand him as narrow egotistical, or even mad, but on the lips of Jesus, it is a statement that does New Testament seem out of character. He is the only way to God can only be true if He is truly incarnate deity, John 1:1-2 / John 1:14-18 / Colossians 2:9.

If Jesus isn’t deity then this statement is stupid and blasphemous. Are there other ways to God? Hinduism, or Buddhism, this verse says No. Jesus claims exclusivity. The word ‘known’, ‘ginosko’ in John 14:7 means to know by personal experience, they knew Jesus personally but they didn’t have full and accurate knowledge of His character and designs.

They had a wrong concept of His Messiahship and kingdom and they refused to believe that He would have to die and come back again. They would know and understand, these things after the resurrection, Luke 24:45-47.

‘Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day, you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them’. John 14:8-21

Jesus talks with Philip Philip has been accused by some commentators of being very slow to reach spiritual maturity. He failed the test when the 5,000 were fed, and had sought assistance from Andrew when the Greeks asked to interview Jesus, John 6:5-7 and John 12:21-22 respectively.

However, I’m quite sure that all the disciples would have asked the same question if they had thought of it, he shows very little understanding of what Jesus had just said.

‘Lord show us the Father’, Jesus declares the complete unity and relationship with The Father in the following verses.

Philip ought to have known that by seeing the Son he had seen the Father, but he still needs further explanation of the point, he may even want to see a Theophany, a manifestation of deity. A visible form of God not truly understanding that that was indeed what Jesus was, Exodus 33:17-33 / Exodus 24:9-11.

Despite being with Jesus and hearing Him teach for nearly three years, the apostles did know really know Jesus, Deity incarnate, Colossians 2:9 / Colossians 1:19. All of God in Christ, He is deity incarnate, 2 Corinthians 4:4 / Colossians 1:15. The ikon, image of God.

Jesus again explains the point, He seems disappointed that Philip didn’t understand after the previous explanation. He stresses the closeness of the relationship between Himself and the Father.

The mystery of Deity, everything as to character and nature, essential Deity is resident in Jesus. Deity which a man cannot see has been made possible by Jesus limiting himself, as the Son not the Father. As Deity, He and the Father are one, glorify Me with the glory I had, not an angel but Deity. Father and Son are accommodative terms to help us understand God.

Jesus cannot help what He is, in Him Deity dwells naturally. We have Deity put in us, we are true ikons, we are His representatives, Romans 8:9-11 / 1 Corinthians 3:16 / Galatians 4:6 / Ephesians 3:16. Notice the word, ‘with’, this means perfect harmony, mirror image, see face to face. Delving into John’s Gospel is like using a bottomless well with a bucket the more you bring out still there is more down there.

In John 14:10 Jesus stresses the words He speaks, are the Fathers and He stresses that the two are one. Even the words Jesus speaks aren’t His but the Fathers, the work is the Fathers, and the life is the Fathers. He claims by His deeds to be God, His people hear His voice and obey Him, John 10:6-17.

If you don’t believe that Jesus is God, you don’t hear and obey Him. When Jesus had claimed this earlier the Jews had tried to stone Him, John 10:30-39.

All of Jesus is common with the Father, the miracles are proof of this, if Jesus weren’t from God He couldn’t come up with these impressive miracles, so He is from God. Coming from the Father, He must be totally honest, and He says the two are one, so we all can believe this fact.

Jesus doesn’t ask for blind faith, because He has proved his trustworthiness and His power through His resurrection. Believe because of the ‘works’, ‘erga’, ‘ergon’. What to man is a miracle is to Jesus’ normal activity, He never looks amazed when He does something, it’s part of Him. He who made everything and sustains everything is our brother.

Again, in John 14:12 we find the words, ‘Very Truly’ and this is important, this isn’t a promise to all believers, Jesus was speaking to the twelve who were to have special miraculous powers, later they were able to do the works that He was able to do. Acts 2:43, many signs, Acts 3:1-10. Lame beggar healed.

The term, ‘greater things’ isn’t in type but quantity. Jesus raised Lazarus but He will die again, we who proclaim the Gospel bring people to life forever through the Gospel, resurrected to eternal life.

Jesus discusses the power of the believers, the great things they are to do needn’t be limited to miracles, if that were the case the lack of these miracles today would infer that no Christians were around.

The believers who came after Jesus would have a far greater scope than Jesus did, He came to the Jews of Judea and Galilee, spending very little time in surrounding areas. The apostles and others have travelled all over the world teaching as they go.

These things are greater than Jesus’ with all else being equal, this promise cannot be for all believers. We again would find no believers if this was a sign of believers, the promise was made to the apostles for the work they were about to launch.

Jesus says in John 14:14 ‘ask anything in my name.’ They were to recognise the authority of Jesus, we can approach God not with demands but by recognising our dependence and relationship with Christ.

When we pray for the sick, we don’t demand that they be returned to good health but under the permissive will of God we accept His decision.

In John 14:15 we find the fundamentals of Christian living, we have given ourselves to Christ, no longer do we seek for ourselves, all for Him. We need to seek out the will of God and put that straight into practice, rejecting the ideas and opinions of man that are in contradiction to the word. Genuine love for Jesus must lead to willing obedience to His commands, the love of God demands obedience.

The Greek for ‘another Counsellor’ is ‘allon Paraklator’ and is derived from ‘allos Parakletos’. The words refer specifically to another, ‘allon’, councillor, advocate, comforter or helper, with councillor being the favourite modern choice, is translated from ‘Paraklator’.

The inference is that we will get another of the same sort as Jesus, we know that this was referring to the coming of the same sort as Jesus. We know that this was referring to the coming Holy Spirit, so we can safely gather that Jesus and the Spirit are the same, we have the Spirit of Jesus with us now.

‘Spirit of truth’ is a divine source who speaks through the apostles. Jesus continues in verse eighteen saying that He will not leave us alone as we will have this councillor, but not Jesus in the flesh.

‘I will not leave you as orphans’, ‘orphanous’, forlorn, fatherless, orphans, is the same word in James 1:27. These ‘little children’ but He would come to them in the Person of the Holy Spirit.

‘Yet a little while’ means soon He would die and the world would see Him no more but they would see Him in resurrection appearances, Acts 1:3. ‘Because I live, ‘present tense’ you will live also, ‘future tense’.

The context indicates that this refers to the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, ‘He dwells with you and will be in you’ John 14:17. But the principle holds good in other ways, Jesus’ resurrection guarantees present spiritual life and future glory to every believer, 1 Peter 1:3-4.

In John 14:20 we find the words, ‘in that day’ this means in the new dispensation, beginning with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the disciples, will recognise and joyfully acknowledge the closeness of the relationship between the father and the Son. They will then also understand that this union is in turn the pattern for the relationship between Christ and his followers.

There’s a great spirit of unity between God the Father, the Son and the Spirit which is developed, and ‘You are in me as I am in you.’

Love of the Father is proven by obedience to the Son and will result in love and a relationship being returned. Exodus 33:13 / Exodus 33:18.

‘Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. “You heard me say, ‘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, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. “Come now; let us leave.’ John 14:22-31

Jesus talks with Judas. This is obviously not Judas Iscariot, who had previously left the group, going into the night. John here refers to Judas son of James, Luke 6:16 / Acts 1:13.

In both Matthew 10:3 and Mark 10:18, he is referred to as Thaddaeus, while Luke and John as well as Luke’s account of the activity of the early church referred to him as Judas, Thaddaeus was his Surname.

In John 14:22 se find a very good question, one which could have serious implications for us if Judas’ understanding had been correct. It seems as if Judas would Jesus perform some act so great that all would see it.

Obviously, He has performed many miracles greater than the world had ever seen before and still some people would not believe Him, so even exposing Himself physically to the word had not helped.

He continues to expose himself spiritually each day through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Even after Jesus’ resurrection the apostles still clung to a materialistic view of His kingdom, Acts 1:6.

Perhaps Judas thought of Jesus revealing Himself by some great miracle, a popular view was that the Messiah would suddenly drop from the sky!

Now it seems that the Lord has changed His plan, He is the Messiah, and He surely wants everybody to believe in Him. The point of His manifestation would be to prove that He is what He claims to be but now He talks about revealing Himself only to the apostles.

It seems almost as if Jesus doesn’t answer the question that Judas asks, but carries on in a very similar vein as He previously was, but on closer inspection, it can be seen that these two verses make up the answer.

He assures Judas that the Spirit will make a dwelling within each believer’s heart. In that way, God will be revealed in each person accepting the truth.

A very close relationship is indicated, and a good knowledge of one for the other is hinted at. That relationship is available to all, and all can get a knowledge of the potential relationship by lifting up God’s word and reading it.

The way Jesus will manifest, disclose, reveal, Himself to the apostles is entirely spiritual. It will be a manifestation to the one who ‘loves’ which means, keeps on loving Jesus and who consequently will, ‘keep’ His word.

With him, both Father and Son will, in the person of the Spirit make their ‘home’, ‘monen’ is the same word in John 14:2. As God dwelt with His people in the tabernacle, Exodus 25:8, Deity dwells with the obedient disciple, 1 Corinthians 3:16.

Please note that John 14:25-31 is promised for the apostles only not for us today. John 14:25-26 we see a specific promise to the apostles, not to all the disciples. All necessary for the citizens of the kingdom, all Power in Heaven and earth, Matthew 28:19-20.

‘Bring to your remembrance’. Many people today claim these gifts yet are all supposed to be guided by the Spirit. Why different, if the inspirational ability was here today then all would be the same?

‘Peace’ means a right relationship with God, an inward serenity that is the result of reconciliation to God, as opposed to disquiet, upset, apprehensive. The word, ‘leave’ is a word used for a legacy, ‘not as the world gives’, not as a mere ‘troubled’, disquieted, as in John 14:1.

The word ‘afraid’ is a word used medically to describe palpitations of the heart. Peace is My parting gift to you, My own peace, such as the world cannot give. Set your troubled hearts at rest and banish your fears.

He had told them often that He must go away and return, John 14:2-3 / John 14:12 / John 14:18-19 / John 14:21 / John 14:23. This should have made them rejoice, but it didn’t because their thoughts were on themselves, not on Him.

The words ‘The Father is greater than I’ are used to supporting false doctrine, e.g. that Jesus didn’t have Deity. This interpretation would flatly contradict the teaching of John’s Gospel, John 1:1-2 / John 1:14. It also contradicts Jesus’ own assertions, John 8:59 / John 10:30.

It likewise contradicts other New Testament teaching, Colossians 2:9 / Colossians 1:19, in His humanity Jesus accepted limitations and was subject to His Father, John 14:29 / John 13:19 / John 16:4 / John 2:22.

In John 14:30-31 we see the phrase, the ‘ruler ‘archon’ of this world ‘kosmos’’, Satan. Jesus knew that Judas, soldiers and members of the Sanhedrin were coming to arrest Him, but He says that ‘the evil genius of this world is coming’. Judas and the mob were agents of Satan.

‘He has not power over Me’ or ‘nothing in common with Me’ or ‘no hold on Me’, ‘no claim on Me’. Satan has a legitimate claim on every sinner, for ‘the wages of sin is death’, but Jesus was sinless, so His death couldn’t be demanded by the evil one. Jesus died voluntarily, John 10:17-18. He says, ‘I do as the Father commanded Me’, He went forth willingly to die.

‘Come now; let us leave.’ Some argue at length that this doesn’t necessarily indicate that Jesus and the apostles did immediately leave. They suggest that He remained in the Upper Room and spoke all that is recorded in John 15-17, then He left, John 18:1 stating their actual leaving.

If ‘Come now; let us leave,’ was immediately followed by their departure it is possible that they went first to the temple, that John 15:1-11 were spoken as they went there, or on arrival, and that the rest of chapter 15, also chapter 16 were spoken as they walked out of the city and toward Gethsemane.

The great prayer of John 17 may have been offered on the slopes of the Mount of Olives immediately before they crossed the Kidron valley and entered the Garden of Gethsemane.

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