Comfort for the Disciples in view of Jesus’ Absence
John 14. In chapter 13 Jesus had spoken of His death and the glory it would bring to God, and how God would straightway glorify Him in response. In chapter 14 Jesus goes on to speak of His return to the Father, and the proper Christian hope of His return to take us to the Father’s house. In this chapter we have a number of things that would comfort the disciples in the time of Jesus’ absence. The whole trinity is involved. Jesus was going to the Father, and the Father would send Another Comforter (the Spirit). The whole Trinity is for us! What more comfort could He give?
1a Let not your heart be troubled; v.1a Comfort for Troubled Hearts. There were at least three things that the disciples were told in the previous chapter that could trouble them. First, that one of them would betray the Lord. Second, that Jesus was going away. Third, that one of them would deny the Lord three times before daybreak. All of this, but especially the fact that Jesus was leaving them, had caused their hearts to be troubled. Jesus comforted them by saying, “Let not your heart be troubled”. This verse serves as a heading for the entire chapter: comfort for the disciples in view of Jesus’ absence.
1b ye believe on God, believe also on me. v.1b Christ in a New Position.
2 In my Father’s house there are many abodes; were it not so, I had told you: for I go to prepare you a place; v.2 Preparation of the Father’s House. The Father’s house has many abodes, perhaps like the chambers of the temple in the Old Testament. He was going to “prepare a place” for them. The presence of a glorified man in heaven has prepared that place for us! Will Old Testament saints be in the Father’s house? They didn’t know him as Father in the same way Christians do. In heaven “every family” will know Him as” the Father”, but Christians know Him specially as Our Father, sharing in the Son’s relationship.
3 and if I go and shall prepare you a place, I am coming again and shall receive you to myself, that where I am ye also may be. v.3 The Return of Christ for His Saints.
4 And ye know where I go, and ye know the way. v.4 The place and way. Christ is the light of the world, but he does more than illuminate the believer’s pathway. For many Christians the ray of light has come down and lit up their path… but they are still in, and occupied with their path, although they acknowledge the Sun as the source of light. But God would have our gaze follow that ray upward to its source, to be occupied with Christ, and so to have fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. Christ himself is the way to the place of communion with the Father!
5 Thomas says to him, Lord, we know not where thou goest, and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus says to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father unless by me. v.6 This is one of the great “I am” statements of John’s gospel.
7 If ye had known me, ye would have known also my Father, and henceforth ye know him and have seen him. 8 Philip says to him, Lord, shew us the Father and it suffices us. 9 Jesus says to him, Am I so long a time with you, and thou hast not known me, Philip? He that has seen me has seen the Father; and how sayest thou, Shew us the Father? 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words which I speak to you I do not speak from myself; but the Father who abides in me, he does the works. 11 Believe “me” that I am in the Father and the Father in me; but if not, believe me for the works’ sake themselves. 12 Verily, verily, I say to you, He that believes on me, the works which I do shall he do also, and he shall do greater than these, because I go to the Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, this will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it. 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will beg the Father, and he will give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever, 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see him nor know him; but ye know him, for he abides with you, and shall be in you. vv.16-17 This shows that the indwelling of the Spirit is permanent; he will “be with you for ever”.
18 I will not leave you orphans, I am coming to you. 19 Yet a little and the world sees me no longer; but ye see me; because I live ye also shall live. 20 In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that has my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me; but he that loves me shall be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas, not the Iscariote, says to him, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself to us and not to the world? 23 Jesus answered and said to him, If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our abode with him. 24 He that loves me not does not keep my words; and the word which ye hear is not mine, but that of the Father who has sent me. 25 These things I have said to you, abiding with you; 26 but the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, “he” shall teach you all things, and will bring to your remembrance all the things which I have said to you. 27 I leave peace with you; I give “my” peace to you: not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it fear. 28 Ye have heard that I have said unto you, I go away and I am coming to you. If ye loved me ye would rejoice that I go to the Father, for my Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it comes to pass, that when it shall have come to pass ye may believe. 30 I will no longer speak much with you, for the ruler of the world comes, and in me he has nothing; 31 but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father has commanded me, thus I do. Rise up, let us go hence.