John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
John 14:3 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.
John 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
Jesus continues to give comfort and encouragement to His disciples. He tells them not to worry or be sad; hold on to your trust in God—and in Me in the same way, as one and the same in power and authority. In His Father’s house there are lots of mansions (dwelling places). He emphasizes that He would never tell them a lie or withhold truth from them. (Now He tells them where He is going.) He tells them that He is going to prepare a place for each one of them in His Father’s house. (I like the thought that there is a special place or spot in eternity just for me.) He basically says next that He wouldn’t prepare a place without reason. He will come again and take them to be with Him in His presence again. Then He reminds them that they already know where He is going and how to get there.
In my study of prophecy, focus is keen on the phrase “I will come again and receive you unto myself.” This doesn’t sound like He is referencing physical death—“absent from the body, present with the Lord.” (2Corinthians 5:8) Nor does it match the description of His second coming for all eyes to see to reign on planet earth. He is speaking of coming to take His followers to the presence of His Father.
This sounds like a statement that is meant to comfort the disciples—something to which they could look forward—Jesus coming back for them to take them to His Father’s house (just as the Jewish husband did with his bride). Then I am reminded of the scripture that says:
Mark 13:32 “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”
Given that perspective, it would make sense that Jesus would use these words of comfort. As God in flesh, a man, He only “knew” what the Father revealed to Him.
The thought presented in these verses seem to correlate more directly with Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians.
1Thessalonians 4:16-17 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
John 14:5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
Thomas still doesn’t get it. (Was he half asleep? Jesus has already told them—more than once—that God is His Father and that He is going to His Father’s house.) Thomas basically says, “We don’t know where you are going, so how can we possibly know the way? (Maybe in Thomas’s defense, he did understand and was just saying that they didn’t know where the Father’s house was, so how could they know how to get there.)
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
Jesus basically tells him that he doesn’t need directions because He (Jesus) is the way, the truth and the life. The only way to get to the Father is to go through Jesus. He says, “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.” After all the time they had spent together, they still could not grasp that this man Jesus is God. I don’t blame them. I accept the truth by faith—but I don’t really understand it. So Jesus tells them basically to think of it like this—from now on, realize that you do know the Father and have seen Him—“in Me” is implied.
I think it is important to note that Jesus boldly declared that faith in Him was the ONLY way to get to heaven. He wasn’t concerned with political correctness or of offending someone. His concern was declaring the truth!
Note from somewhere-- The WAY for going
The TRUTH for knowing
The LIFE for growing
John 14:8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
Now Philip pipes in. He asks Jesus to show them the Father, and they would be content.
John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, 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?
John 14:10 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.
John 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
Jesus is so patient in His explanations. I can almost hear the tone He is using as He answers him. He basically says, “Don’t you know me yet after all this time? Again He explains that to see Him is to see the Father. Jesus asks Philip, “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and that the Father is in Me?” He is trying to make them understand that He and the Father are so a part of each other that they are one (which is hard for our human mind to grasp—especially when looking at flesh and blood claiming to be one with the divine Father God in heaven.) They are so much one that even Jesus’s words are the Father’s words. He implores them to let the evidence of the miracles confirm Him. These miracles are the work of the Father through Jesus. Jesus does not act independently of the Father.
John 14:12 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.
John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
John 14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
Then He tells them that anyone who has faith in Him will do what He has been doing—even greater things—because He is going to the Father and will do whatever is asked in His name in order to bring glory to the Father. Then He repeats the truth for emphasis—“If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.”
These verses and others similar to them have really caused me to think a lot throughout my life. It is obviously not as simple as it sounds—yet it is simple by definition. You first have to remember the context. He will answer requests in order to bring glory to the Father. That is the huge qualifier for “anything.” To learn to make our requests with no selfish motives and with only desiring the will of the Father in our hearts is a very large obstacle for most of us. I finally learned in my life not to be too specific when I pray on behalf of my loved one’s or myself unless I am totally without reservation that it is the thing that will bring glory to the Father. Most of the time I confess what my desires are on their or my own behalf, but quickly qualify the request with, “whatever will be best for the individual/situation to bring glory to You in the process.” I know that God knows the best action/inaction re helping me/my loved one grow stronger in our walk with Him and honor Him in the process.
I also thought about the phrase “and greater works than these.” How could anything we do be greater than Jesus performing a miracle Himself. I think it would be the fact that it was being performed through a person in response to the faith of that person regarding Jesus’ ability/willingness to keep His promise. I would love to be that kind of vessel, but I am too unsure of my ability to know what is best in God’s eyes (His perfect will) to presume to call for God’s immediate response of healing or provision based on my request. I am sure that if the Lord ever wants to work a miracle through me, He will provide the necessary faith at that time.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
This verse seems to be an easily understood statement, but I don’t think it is so cut and dried. I don’t think it infers that we will never do wrong. The word keep in the Greek means “to guard, watch over, preserve, and observe.” It is speaking of a person who is striving to do the best he can to obey the teachings of the Savior.
As a parent, I treasure the love of my children—but they have not always obeyed me. There have even been times I thought they didn’t love me, but it never changed my love for them or kept me from giving them rules or commands. Much to my despair, when I review the past, I have compromised what I knew to be the best choices along the way on their behalf. Although justifying the compromises at the time (e.g., movies allowed, places gone, clothes worn, etc.), I wish now that the compromise had never been made. God is a much better “Father.” He has given us clear guidelines and commands that are unchanging. When we mess up, He is there to correct us, but He lets us experience the consequences. He wants us to learn, to become mature and wise in our choices. We know when we are showing our love to Him because the commands in His word are clear and unchanging.
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
John 14:17 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.
Jesus knows our shortcomings. So He promised to ask the Father to give us a helper, a counselor, a Comforter to be with us—the Spirit of Truth. It is interesting that the Lord chose this name to identify the Holy Spirit. As I think about it, I realize that He has been my safety net when my overactive sense of logic or reasoning leaves me hanging in areas I don’t have the ability to fathom or follow through to a conclusion that is acceptable in my mind. (I think my mind is where Satan attacks me most.) Even when we can’t follow the reasoning, the Spirit always gives us the truth—the bottom line—to hang on to. Those who do not know Him (recognize Him through their relationship to Jesus) don’t accept Him as real because He is invisible. Jesus promises that we will know Him because He will dwell with us and in us. I just noticed that the phrasing uses present and future tense. The Spirit was already with them, but would be in them.
The Spirit didn’t indwell the disciples until after the resurrection of Jesus.
John 20:22 “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost….”
Believers were then filled and empowered by the Spirit at Pentecost.
Luke 24:49 “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Acts 2:1-4 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Important – The gift of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, is only for those who have faith in Jesus. The world of unbelievers cannot receive Him.
“Him” = the most intelligent caring powerful being.
John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
John 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
Jesus continues to comfort His disciples. I think He is referencing the fact that they will see Him after His resurrection to help solidify the foundation of their faith and their hope for the future. I also think He is referencing the fact that He will be present with them through the Holy Spirit. Verse 19 is referencing the fact that He is going home to be with the Father; He will no longer be bodily visible to mankind. They will see Him after His death and will KNOW that He lives. Because He lives, they can be confident that they will live eternally with Him also.
Verse 20 says “At that day,” and I think He is saying that all the pieces of the puzzle will fit—they will see concrete proof that everything He has told them is truth. They will see Him alive after His resurrection, and they will see Him ascend into heaven. They will know with confidence that He is God’s Son and that His words to them are true. They will be heirs together with Christ.
I liked a reference McGee made regarding the Greek for the word “comfortless”; it is the word orphanos, or orphans. The Lord is eager to have us as a part of His family and never intended us to feel like we had an absentee Father. The Father will always be with us in the person of the Holy Spirit.
John 14:21 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.
Then Jesus goes back and reiterates that those who know His commands and obey them are those who really love Him. This is obedience motivated by love—not working to earn love. Those who know his will and ignore it are not His. This doesn’t mean we will never do wrong. It means the believer will not practice as a way of life that which He knows to be against God’s will. If we truly love Him, we will want to please Him and be so sorry when we disobey Him.
Those who love the Son will be loved by the Father. This is a statement of fact. It’s a natural parental response. Again, He emphasizes that He (the Son) will also love those who love Him. (By the way, the Greek for all the uses of the word love in this verse is agapao—unconditional love.)
“And will manifest myself to Him” – At this point I think He is talking of how the believer will recognize the presence/working of God through the Holy Spirit in His life even though He (Jesus) is not physically present with him/her.
John 14:22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
Now Judas, not the one who betrayed Jesus, asks Him how He is going to show Himself to them (His disciples) and yet not show Himself to the world.
John 14:23 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.
John 14:24 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.
Jesus explains yet again that there is a plan in place. Those who love Him will obey Him. The Father will love him. Then we (Father and Son) will come to Him and make our home with Him. I think this references the presence of the Holy Spirit. Again, this is beyond my understanding—three in one, yet separate—each with a different ministry in our lives, yet all one God. Those who don’t love Him will not obey Him. Then He reminds them that these truths/words are from the Father who sent Him (Almighty God). Again, our actions prove our relationship. Our love shown forth in obedience through the Spirit answers how He will manifest Himself—His empowerment produces visible evidence of His presence in our lives.
I can’t help but wonder what the disciples understood about the ministry of the Holy Spirit at that time. The nation was emerging from a 400-year drought of interaction with God. He had quit speaking through prophets since the time of Malachi until John the Baptist emerged on the scene.
John 14:25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
John 14:26 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.
Jesus is telling them the truth while He is present with them. When He is gone, the Father is going to send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to teach them and remind them of all Jesus has taught them. Not only is the Spirit the voice of truth in our lives, He is our Comforter—the ultimate supply source of all that we need. He is also the ultimate teacher—but a teacher can only provide insight to the student that is ready and willing to learn.
The same Holy Spirit inspired every author of scripture. His message is one and the same to every writer. They may present specific pieces of it and/or declare it from different perspectives for different reasons, but the message is unified and not contradictory. It is the message of truth.
John 14:27 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.
John 14:28 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.
Jesus promises the disciples peace as a result of their faith. “I give unto you not as the world giveth.” His word is sure; He is not going to take it back or not keep His promise.
Psalms 119:89 “LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.”
Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”
Jesus urges the disciples not to worry or be afraid as the future unfolds. They are to remember that He has already told them that He was going away, but that He would also return. In fact, they should be glad that He is going to His Father because the Father is greater than He. It is through the power of the Father that He will be able to deliver on all of His promises to them.
In my head, I think Jesus is referring to His status as a man, a human being. Although divine, He chose to give up for a time all the rights and privileges associated with His position as God to be able to qualify as the perfect sacrifice for man. I don’t see how He could qualify as that sacrifice if He couldn’t face the temptations faced by man as a man. The key is that He came by choice and He did conquer sin!
Because Jesus was sinless, He was indwelt by the Holy Spirit, as are we believers, and, I believe, as Adam was at creation. In that sense He did have supernatural help, but no more so than was available to Adam or to the believer today. When Adam sinned, he died spiritually; he lost his spiritual connection to God through the Holy Spirit. The writer of Hebrews makes it clear that Jesus came as a man.
Hebrews 2:6-7 & 9 “But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands….But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
Hebrews 2:16-18 “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”
“my Father is greater than I” – I believe this is a direct reference to Jesus the man. I found another quote from D. A. Carson that expresses this thought far better than I ever could: “The comparison is only meaningful if they are already on the same plan and there’s some delimitation going on. Jesus is in the limitations of the Incarnation—he’s going to the cross; he’s going to die—but he’s about to return to the Father and to the glory he had with the Father before the world began.”
John 14:29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
John 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
John 14:31 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.
Then Jesus reminds them again that He is telling them the plan beforehand, so that when it comes to pass, they will believe. He basically says His time is short since the “prince of this world” is coming, and they have absolutely no part with one another. Satan has no power over Him. In order to show the world that He loves His Father, He is being obedient to the command of the Father. That is what He is about to do; it is time; let’s go.
“the prince of this world cometh” – As I read this again, I immediately connected with the thought that he was coming in the person of Judas Iscariot. In my study of prophecy, I have learned that only two people are identified as the “son of perdition”—Judas Iscariot and Antichrist. I believe that these are the two people that Satan has deemed so important in his fight against Jesus that he chose/will choose to personally indwell them.