In John 13-17 Jesus gave the foundational teaching for the New-Covenant in Him.
In John 13 (the Last Supper) He symbolically acted out (through the Footwashing and His giving of Himself through the Passover Bread and Wine) the basis of this Covenant of Salvation (His incarnation, sacrificial death, resurrection and ascension).
In John 13:33,36 He announced His departure (Exodus) from the earth to Heaven, telling His disciples that they could not come with Him, but would follow Him later.
This naturally distressed the disciples and the teaching of Jesus in John 14 is designed to encourage them, that even though He will be physically out of their sight, their relationship in the New Covenant will be stronger than ever, that He will not forget them but will provide for them and always be with them. John 14 is addressed to the personal WELFARE of His disciples in His absence. Therefore He gives them promises of assurance of His continuing love and personal presence with them. He tells them all the ways He would be with them.
PROMISE 1: THE RAPTURE - He is coming again to take us to be with Him forever (v2-4).
PROMISE 2: HE WILL BE WITH US THROUGH HIS NAME (v12-14).
(v5-11 is a diversion).
PROMISE 3: THE SUPPLY and HELP OF THE INDWELLING HOLY-SPIRIT (v16,17).
PROMISE 4: HIS RESURRECTION APPEARANCES (v18,19).
PROMISE 5: We will be SPIRITUALLY UNITED TO HIM through the NEW-BIRTH (v19b,20).
PROMISE 6: FURTHER MANIFESTIONS of the FATHER, SON and HOLY-SPIRIT TO US (v21-26).
Introduction (v1). Jesus said: "Let not your heart be troubled (by My going away)” (v1). We have the authority to guard our own heart. The way we keep our heart untroubled and filled with the peace of God despite the troubles in the world is (1) “Believe (trust) in (literally into) God (when everything seems to go wrong, put your faith in the God who is greater. He will see you through), (2) believe (trust) also in(to) Me (notice the Son’s equality with God, for we are to believe in the Son as much as the Father). In particular, we are to believe the promises that He will give in John 14, especially that He loves us and is coming back for us (see v2,3). It is by prayer and meditation on the promises of Christ, that we keeps our heart in His perfect peace (v27, Phil 4:6-8, Isaiah 26:3). He returns to this point again in His Conclusion (v27).
PROMISE 1: One day soon He will come back for us and take us to be with Him forever (v2-4). This assured them that although He was leaving them to go to the Father, His absence was only temporary and for their benefit, and that He would return for them, so they could be with Him forever.
“In My Father's House (the New-Jerusalem in Heaven) are many mansions (our eternal dwelling places); if it were not so, I would have told you (words of reinforcement and reassurance). I go (away) to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (His purpose for us is eternal life and fellowship with Him).”
His Coming for us speaks of the Rapture, but it also applies spiritually to what happens at the death of a believer. The promise is both a PLACE and a PERSON. Heaven is a literal PLACE (some have a problem with that due to Greek philosophy), but what makes it Heaven is being in the Presence of the PERSON, our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ.
The language He uses here, tells us that these are the tender, reassuring words of a Bridegroom to His Bride, according to Jewish Marriage customs. The Bridegroom pays a bride-price for the chosen Bride (Jesus gave His blood) and if she accepts they are betrothed in covenant (now we are betrothed to Christ in the New-Covenant - 2 Cor 11:2) . Next, he goes to his father’s house to prepare a place for the Wedding-Ceremony and their life together. Then he returns for her to carry her home to be with him always (the origin of the romantic knight on a white horse). Thus Jesus says the way to understand His departure is that of a Bridegroom making preparations for His Bride. Although separated physically, we are not separated spiritually. We are always on His heart. He loves us and His desire is for us to be with Him forever in eternal fellowship. So the Bridegroom is coming back for His Bride to take her back to their eternal home prepared by Him, and to consummate the marriage (our resurrection and glorification). In the waiting time the Bride must herself ready for Him. Thus, even though He has left physically, He has not forgotten us and will return to take us to glory. This is His first assurance to encourage us in His absence. Although He was leaving them to go to the Father, His absence was only temporary (and for their benefit), for He would return for them, so they could be with Him forever.
“And (1) WHERE I go (to the Father in Heaven- see v6) you know,
and (2) the WAY you know."
The WAY to Heaven is CHRIST Himself (v6). He had taught them many times that eternal life with God was not by works, but through faith in Christ (John 3:16). By trusting in Christ alone to take us into Heaven, we can be assured that He will come for us, to take us to be with Him in the Father’s Glory.
DIVERSION based on the disciples’ questions (v5-11).
“Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know WHERE You are going, and how can we know the WAY?" (v5).‘Brutally honest’ Thomas contradicts the statement of Jesus in v4.
These are the ULTIMATE ISSUES of life: (1) WHERE do we go at death
(what is our destiny)? and (2) What is the TRUE WAY to eternal LIFE in Heaven?
“Jesus said to him, "I AM
(1) the WAY (to the Father, to Heaven),
(2) the TRUTH (He alone reveals the truth of the Father)
and (3) the LIFE (He alone gives us the Eternal Life of God).
No one comes to the Father except through Me (there are no exceptions!)” (v6).
This “I AM” is one of the strongest claims of Jesus to Deity. Only God can rightly claim to be the unique WAY to God (a claim to be the only mediator of salvation), to perfectly embody the TRUTH of God, and to be the only Source of the LIFE of God. Notice that these claims are exclusive, for Jesus said: “I AM the (only) WAY” - not just ‘a way’, “I AM the(only) TRUTH” - not just ‘a truth’, and “the (only) LIFE” - not just ‘a Source of Life.’ Thus in summary: “No one comes to the Father except through Me (Jesus).”
Such claims are offensive to many in this age of relativism, where people believe that all roads lead to God (just as there are many ways to climb a mountain). Why does He emphasise He is the only way? Firstly, it is true. Secondly, for faith to be true faith, it must be in Christ alone. Faith is total trust, surrender and dependence upon a Person, so trusting in Christ and in our works for salvation is not real faith. Thus, Jesus removes all other things as worthy objects of our faith, for they will ultimately let us down.
By these 3 statements Jesus claims to be the sole answer to man’s ultimate quest.
(1) “I AM THE WAY - no one comes into the Father’s Presence (Heaven) except through trusting Me” He is the only WAY to Heaven, in Whom we must TRUST.
(2) “I AM THE TRUTH - no one comes to know the Father, except through believing in Me.”
He is the (full) TRUTH (revelation, Word) of God, in Whom we must BELIEVE.
He alone reveals God perfectly. We can’t know God apart from Jesus, the Son.
(3) “I AM THE LIFE - no one comes into eternal life except through receiving Me.” He alone is the Source of ETERNAL-LIFE, which we must RECEIVE.
We can only come to God through Jesus Christ, by believing He is the TRUTH of God, receiving Him as our LIFE, and trusting in Him alone as the WAY.
1. The WAY. If someone asks you for directions you can explain to them the way (‘left-right-left’ etc). This is what all religious teachers have done. But how does Buddah know the way to heaven? He had never been there. Only Christ knew the way because He came from the Father. But rather than describing the Way to go (‘turn right at the Milky Way’), He said He was the Way. This is like when you are lost and someone says takes your hand saying: ‘I will take you to your destination. I won’t tell you the way, I will be the Way for you.’ Thus He says you can’t get there on your own, but if you trust in Me, I will personally take you to Heaven: “I will come again (for you) and receive you to Myself.” By His resurrection and ascension, Jesus was our pioneer (forerunner) who returned to the Father and opened (and became) the Way for us also to God and eternal life in Heaven, through faith in Him. This applies: (1) spiritually, for we can now come to God through Christ, and likewise at death our spirit goes to God (2) physically, for at His Return for us (the Rapture) He will resurrect us and bring us to heaven (v2,3).
2. The TRUTH (the perfect revelation of the Father): "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him." Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us" (v7,8). In other words:“We want to see God. Let us see the glory of God. We need God to manifest Himself, so we can see Him with our own eyes.” But that is exactly who Jesus is: ‘God manifest in the flesh’!: “Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father (Jesus is the perfect visible representation of the invisible God. In Him we see the will of God in action),so how can you say, "Show us the Father'?” (v9). This is a claim of Deity, for only God can perfectly reveal God.
“Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?” (v10a). That is: “I and the Father are one - in very Being.” His ability to reveal the Father is based on His nature and relationship (His essential unity) with the Father.
“The words that I speak to you, I do not speak on My own authority, but the Father who dwells in Me does the works” (v10). The Father authenticated His claim (‘the words’) by doing miraculous signs (‘the works’) through Him. Jesus did these works by virtue of His union with the Father. He did nothing independantly of the Father. All He said and did was the Father speaking and working through Him, a perfect revelation of the Father. So when they saw the Son they saw the Father in action.
“(1) Believe Me (based on My self-authenticating perfect character, truth and reliability) that I am in the Father and the Father in Me (“believe My Word that I am the Truth, believe I am God the Son, one with Father”), (2) or else (if you need more proof) believe Me for the sake of the works themselves (His signs, which prove His claims to be the Christ, the Son of God)” (v11). Thus, Jesus points to two strong bases of faith in Him: (1) His Person, (2) His Works (the Father’s witness).
Jesus concluded His digression of v5-11, by pointing to the WORKS He did in the Father’s NAME that proved His claims and His message (v10,11). He was sent by the Father and perfectly represented Him, being submitted to His authority, and always saying and doing what pleased Him (5:43, 6:57; 7:28,29, 33; 8:16,18,26,28, 29,42; 10:36; 12:49,50; 14:10, 16:28, 17:4,8). He spoke the Father’s words and did the Father’s works, so that it was the Father working through the Son. The Father originated and revealed His works to the Son, Who saw what the Father was doing and did them in the Name of the Father (John 5:17,19, 20,30; 8:38; 10:18). Then the Holy-Spirit flowing from Father through the Son manifested the miracle. When men saw the Son, they saw the Father in action. Thus to know (see) the Son, is to know (see) the Father (8:19, 12:44,45; 14:7,9), and to reject the Son is to reject the Father (15:23). Thus His miraculous works were the witness of the Father to His Sonship (v10,11, also 5:36, 8:18, 10:25,32,37,38; 15:24). This included the greatest work (the sign of His resurrection - 8:28).
This discussion of how the Father worked and revealed Himself through Jesus (v7-11) although part of a digression, gave Jesus a smooth transition to His second main point, His second promise to us, His second provision to us in the New-Covenant - THE NAME OF JESUS. For as Jesus came in the Father’s NAME (5:43), so likewise He sends us in His NAME: “As the Father sent Me, so I send you” (17:18, also 6:57, 13:20, 15:9,10,21). We are sent (authorised) by Him to continue His ministry of words and works. We are under His authority. He will give us the words to speak and the works to do, and as we do them in His Name, He will do them through us, powerfully witnessing to our words (proclaiming the Gospel message and the claims of Christ). Thus the Son’s relationship to the Father is the model of our relationship to the Son. As Jesus was given the Father’s Name (authority), so likewise we are given the Name (authority) of Jesus to continue to speak His words and do His works. When Jesus acted in (calling upon) the Father’s Name, the Father did the works. Likewise when we act in (call upon) the Son’s Name (Jesus), the Son does the works.
PROMISE 2: He will be present with us through His NAME (v12-15).
This gave them the protection and power they needed over the forces of evil through His Name. "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also (believers will continue the ministry of Jesus); and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father (because of changes He will accomplish through His death, resurrection and ascension)” (v12).
Firstly, in going to the Father, He received the Name above all Names which He gives to us to use to do His works (Phil2:9,10, Matt28:18,19, Mark 16:17,18, Acts 3:6, Eph 1:20-23). These scriptures describe the immense POWER OF THE NAME OF JESUS over all the power of the enemy. Secondly, on the basis of His blood, He was able to ascend to heaven and receive the Holy-Spirit from the Father and pour Him out upon all believers. Now the Spirit was no longer limited to indwelling Jesus. Therefore the greater work of the New-Birth would now be possible. Moreover a greater quantity of works would be done through believers, because the Spirit is no longer restricted to a single body to work through.
We do these works of Jesus through the NAME OF JESUS: “And whatever you ask (demand) in My NAME, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (v13). Here Jesus gives believers His Name; He is giving us the right to use His Name to command in combat. Later, He also gives us the right to use His Name in prayer to God, telling us we can ask the Father for anything in His Name (John 15:7, 16:23,24,26). However, John 14:12-14 does not speak of asking the Father, but of demanding something, so the subject is not prayer. Now we don’t demand of God, but we are to demand (command) the enemy (demons, satan, sickness etc) to be removed. Rather than ask God to deal with evil-spirits, we are to use our authority in the Name of Jesus to expel them and Jesus will back up our command with His power (Mark 16:17). If we look at Jesus ministry as an example, He did not pray for people’s healing or deliverance but He commanded it. He demanded sickness and evil spirits to leave. Likewise in Acts, the believers used the authority of the Name of Jesus to command healing and deliverance. Thus we have been given His Name - the key (authority of access) to Heaven (God’s power and resources) to do His work. We can call upon His Name in prayer to receive what we need from God, and also we can call upon His Name in combat to demand the destruction of satan’s works.
Jesus now repeats His promise: “If you ask (demand) anything in My Name, I will do it” (v14). As we do God’s will, we will sometimes be opposed by satan. These verses (v13,14) describe our authority over all the forces of evil. When we act and speak in His authority (Name), He does it; His power (Spirit) flows through us to manifest the answer. When we command sickness to leave in Jesus’ Name (using faith in His Name, Acts 3:16), Jesus enforces our command (‘He does it’).
When we call upon the Name of Jesus in combat, the power, authority and victory of Christ will move through His Name, against the enemy who must then flee. Thus we can understand that whatever we do in His Name, is actually His work through us, just as what Christ did in His Father’s Name was His Father’s work through Him. When we use His Name, He backs it up: “I will do (enforce) it. I will see that it is done.” When we speak (command) in His Name, it is as if Jesus Himself is speaking.
But there is a condition: for us to effectively use His Name as one in authority, we must first be under His authority. Therefore He says:“If you love Me, keep My commandments” (v15). First, submit to God, then you can resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7). Thus, Jesus is present in and through His NAME and the promise of His Name that He gave here, is a promise to us of His presence and protection. Though we do not see Him, He is with us in power whenever we call upon His Name.
PROMISE 3: THE SUPPLY and HELP of the INDWELLING HOLY-SPIRIT (v16,17). Next Jesus gave another wonderful promise of what would be available to us in the New-Covenant. He would give them another Helper like Himself to take His place, who would help them from within.
IN THE NEW COVENANT HE IS PRESENT WITH US THROUGH HIS HOLY-SPIRIT:
“I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper that He may abide with you forever the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (v16,17). These are foundational verses on the present ministry of Holy-Spirit, describing Him as our personal Helper and Teacher, taking the place of Christ’s physical presence. Christ’s teaching on the Spirit in the New-Covenant is developed in 14:25,26, 15:26,27 and 16:7-15.
1. The Deity and Personality of the Spirit: “And I (the SON) will pray the FATHER, and He will give you another HELPER - the SPIRIT of truth.”
The word for ‘another’ signifies ‘another of the same kind.’ Thus the Holy-Spirit is a Helper, just like unto the Son in nature. This establishes the fact that the Spirit is a Person and that He is Divine (God). Just as Jesus was available to teach and guide His disciples, so likewise the Spirit is here to help us. Notice the Trinity in this verse. The three Persons of the One God are revealed through the drama of redemption. The Father sent the Son who is distinct from, yet one with the Father. When the Son returned to the Father, He received the Spirit from the Father and sent Him to us. The Spirit is distinct from the Father and Son, yet one in Being and Nature with them. Thus the Father, Son and Holy-Spirit are three Persons, yet they exist in perfect oneness of Essence (Being).
2. The Origin of the Spirit: “He (the Father) will give you another Helper - the Spirit of Truth.” The Spirit is eternal, but comes (proceeds) to us (being spirated or breathed out) from the Father through the Son.
3. The Location of the Spirit.
(1) The Spirit does not come to live in the world: “whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.” The world, at emnity with God, is not tuned into His wave-length. They are not even aware of Him.
(2) The Spirit comes to live with believers: “He will abide (make His home) with you forever.” The disciples already knew Him, for He had been indwelling Jesus (within and upon Him): “you know Him, for He dwells with you (in Jesus).”
(3) Moreover He will indwell believers!: “He will be IN YOU.”
In the New-Covenant we are now Temples of the Holy-Spirit, just like Christ. Jesus said that it was better for us that He went to the Father, for then He could send the Spirit to us (16 :7). Jesus was limited in the help He could give His disciples (eg:16 :12,13), because He was outside them and could only be in only one place at a time. But now we have the unlimited help of an All-Powerful, All-Wise, All-Holy Helper WITHIN US, who can fully indwell all believers everywhere!
4. The Ministry of the Spirit. He is called our Helper (‘Para-kaleo’ = ‘One called alongside to Help’: this also carries the meaning of Comforter, Standby, Advocate, Counsellor, Intercessor and Teacher). He does not come to take over our lives, but to help us from within. We still have to act, pray and witness, and He is there to help us do it. He will help and empower us (imparting to us the wisdom, holiness, blessing and life of Christ) if we call (lean) upon His Help within. If we ignore His help we will live weak lives, for He does not force His help upon us. In particular, He helps us witness (John 15:26,27; 16:7-11). He is also called the Spirit of Truth (Christ), for He is our Teacher leading us into knowing, understanding and experiencing the Word of God, the truth of Jesus. He is sent to reveal and manifest to us the things of Christ in the New-Covenant, helping us to know and possess our inheritance (John 14:26; 16:12-15, 1Cor 2:6-12). Without Him we cannot operate in the blessing, life and power of the New-Covenant.
5. The Permanence of the Spirit. “He will abide with you FOREVER.”
He will never leave us, but indwells us for all eternity. We are betrothed to Jesus and the indwelling Spirit is our engagement ring, encircling us as a seal around our spirits as God’s promise of His eternal covenant love for us. He is God’s deposit, guaranteeing the future eternal glory to be manifested in us at our resurrection and marriage consummation. So His present ministry in us is just a foretaste or downpayment of our full inheritance, yet to be revealed in us when He takes full possession of our beings (Ephesians 1:13,14).
PROMISE 4: HIS RESURRECTION APPEARANCES (v18,19).
Next, Jesus promises His disciples that He will appear to them after His resurrection, to assure them that He is alive and that His words, promises and claims are true: “I will not leave you orphans (unprotected, alone, abandoned); I will (personally) come to you. (He is predicting His resurrection appearances). A little while longer and the world will see Me (physically) no more (when He dies and is buried the next day), but you will see Me (physically)”(v18,19a). This was fulfilled on the third day after His death when He appeared to them for 40 days before His Ascension. It was His Resurrection appearances and the Coming of the Spirit that transformed the disciples from hopelessness, depression and defeat, to joy, power and victory.
PROMISE 5: We will be SPIRITUALLY UNITED to Christ through the NEW-BIRTH (v19b,20).
Having talked about His resurrection and how He would show Himself alive by physically appearing to them, Jesus reveals the spiritual impact of His resurrection upon them: “Because I live, you (believers) will live also” (v19b). This speaks of His RESURRECTION LIFE IMPARTED to us at this present time (not just in the future - this is confirmed by v20). This powerful statement signifies that Jesus was not just raised up physically, but spiritually also. Firstly, because He is alive physically, we shall also be raised physically. But He is also saying that since His human spirit was resurrected spiritually from death to life, believers shall also be raised with Him spiritually to live by a new-life. They will live by His life, by the same life that was imparted to Him in His resurrection. They will be made spiritually alive with Him (Eph 2:5,6), and will live by His resurrected, victorious, everlasting life that has already conquered sin, satan, curse and death and is imparted (released) to our spirit by the Holy-Spirit within, in the New-Birth, when He recreates our spirit transforming it from death to life, from darkness to light by imparting the resurrection life of Christ to it (2Cor 5:17).
Jesus now tells us more about the effect of this New-Birth: “At that day (of the New-Covenant and New-Birth, when we shall live by His life within us), you will know (by experience) that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (v20). The New-Birth is not just a one-off impartation of life, but an act of God whereby we (in our spirit) are united (joined) to Christ in a union so strong, that the closest analogy is the union of the Son to the Father in the Trinity! The Father and Son are eternally united (One in the Other). Through the New-Birth we are likewise united to the Son (also John 17:21-23). By the New-Birth believers will know by experience a spiritual union with God (‘you in Me, and I in you’). This speaks of our new RELATIONSHIP with God (possessed by all believers). Through this union we are continually united to Him, so that our spirits are constantly sustained and renewed by His life.
Thus Jesus is assuring His disciples that through the New-Covenant and New-Creation made possible by His death and resurrection, they will come into a new spiritual relationship with Him. Although physically separated from the Lord, spiritually we are one spirit with Him (1Cor 6:17), just as the Son is in the Father.
PROMISE 6: FURTHER MANIFESTIONS of the FATHER, SON and HOLY-SPIRIT TO US (v21-26).
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father (the Father will show His love for him), and I will love him and manifest (show) Myself to him (through the Holy-Spirit)”(v21).
While the previous promises applied unconditionally to all believers, this final promise to believers is conditional on our love for Him, which is defined by our attitude to His Word. To qualify for these manifestations of His Presence we must be loving Him. This love is not a feeling, but a choice and an action. It is our response to Him, to His Word and His Love.
Firstly, He desires us to ‘have His commandments’ - that is we must possess (get) His words (as given in the Gospels) in our heart. We do this by putting His Word first, giving attention to it by diligently hearing and studying it.
Secondly, we are to ‘keep His words’ - that is to guard their place in our heart, so that we put them into practice (Joshua 1:8). In this way we return His love to Him as He desires. Then there will be an ongoing flow and manifestations of God’s love and presence to us. This speaks of our FELLOWSHIP with God. It is not that God does not love or that He is holding back on those who don’t love Him, but they don’t see the same manifestation of His Presence in their lives because the very nature of Fellowship requires a two-way exchange of love and life. You can’t have fellowship with a person who does not respond. God has shown His love to us and when we complete the circle of love, by returning our life to Him in love, then more of Him can flow back to us. It’s like an electric circuit. We(like a light) are connected to God (the battery, the Source of life). His life and love flow to us through the Holy-Spirit. When we let His life flow through us back to Him, the circuit is complete and we are lit up (empowered and shining) by Him.
If however there is a resistance to His Spirit (sin), the current can’t flow as it should and we become dim! Now He can’t manifest His Presence to us as He would like. Our RELATIONSHIP with God is not broken (we are still in Christ, the Father’s son), but our FELLOWSHIP is broken (impaired). By the New-Birth we are put in Him and He is in us (this is our relationship, which is His work alone), but when He tells us to: “abide in Me, and I in you” (John 15:4), He speaks of fellowship, which depends on our co-operation. Abiding is not automatic for we are commanded to abide in Him. It denotes the motion of our life into Him, trusting and loving Him, so that we are consciously living in Him. The result of us abiding in Him is that He will then abide in us (manifesting Himself, His life and presence in us).
In John 15:1-16, Jesus teaches us how we can abide in Him more and more, so that we can bear more and more fruit from the flow of His life in and through us. The more we give (return) to God, the more He can return to us.
This is participation in the love-life of the Trinity, for as well as being of one essence (Being) with each other, the Father and Son are eternally united in loving fellowship with each other through the giving of the gift of the Holy-Spirit to each other (an eternal circuit or circle of love). This self-giving exchange of life through the Spirit, is called the bond (fellowship) of the Spirit in which now, through our union with the Son, we also participate! New-Covenant Life is participation in the eternal life of God, the eternal circuit of self-giving (fellowship), which is love’s fulfillment.
Thus, just as (1) our RELATIONSHIP (union) with God (through the Son) is modelled on the essential UNION of the Father and Son (v20), so also (2) our FELLOWSHIP with God is modelled on the loving (dynamic flow of) LIFE between the Father and the Son in the Holy-Spirit.
The first is positional and unconditional (God puts us ‘in Christ’).
The second is dynamic and dependant on how much we ‘abide in Christ.’
We have come into a relationship with God, whereby we know (experience) Him through a dynamic fellowship of love.
“Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, why is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?" Jesus answered and said to him (repeating and amplifying His previous words, because the answer is in the very words He had spoken): "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We (the Father and Son through the Spirit) will come to himand make our home (ABIDE) with him. (On the other hand) he (the man of the world is included here) who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me” (v22-24).
The reason why the world can’t experience the life and blessing that comes through this fellowship with God is that it does not love Him. It totally fails to meet the necessary condition for fellowship - love. Jesus wants our love, but it can’t be forced, it must be freely given. True love shows itself in action by keeping His words (v15). Love that just declares itself, but has no loving action is not love. God does not judge us by our good intentions and promises, but by our works. The Son revealed to us His true love for the Father by His obedient life and supremely by His death on the Cross as a sacrifice unto God (v30,31). He only tells us to do what He does Himself. He gave us the perfect example of what He is talking about and this in turn released God’s blessing (Phil 2:5-10).
Loving the Father involves suffering and conflict in overcoming strong opposition: “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world (satan, 2Cor 4:4) is coming (the conflict of His Passion was starting as the Jewish leaders, inspired by satan, came to arrest Him in Gethsemene) and he (satan) has nothing (no landing pad) in Me (v30). But loving God leads to sure victory. He was saying: “Do not fear. Things will look bad. I will go through all that satan, hell, death, sin and the curse can throw at Me, but I will come through victorious for I am the Life. I will overcome all.”
“But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here” (v31).
This is when they leave the Upper Room to go to the Garden of Gethsemene, where He did the Father’s will and chose to enter into the final conflict. Notice that He did not only do this from His love for the Father, but also because He wants the world to ‘know’ (believe in Him) and so come into His circle of love and blessing, showing in answer to Judas, that He wanted to manifest Himself to the world (it was man’s rejection of Him that was the problem).
In order to live in dynamic fellowship with God we need the Word of God, and the Help of the Holy-Spirit (v25,26):
"These things (words) I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name (notice the Trinity clearly revealed again here), He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
The Spirit will continue the ministry Jesus started of being our Helper and TEACHER. (1) He helped the Apostles remember the words of Jesus and so write the Gospels for us.
(2) Moreover, He led them into more truth enabling them to complete the New-Testament (16:12,13).
(3) Now He helps us understand the Word and to remember the specific word that we need for each situation (as we ask for His help).
The Conclusion (v27-29). Jesus closed His message of John 14 by returning to His initial words, encouraging them not to be troubled by His coming absence:
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you (His peace is part of the fruit of the Spirit, one of many benefits of abiding in fellowship with Him through His Word); not as the world gives do I give to you (the world’s idea of peace is mere absence of trouble, but Christ’s peace is a strong, overcoming inner life that protects the heart, even in the midst of outer trouble, see 16:33). Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (v27, a reiteration of v1).“You have heard Me say to you, "I am going away and coming back to you” (This refers to His promise in v2,3 that although He was going away, He will come back for us. The way to live in His peace in a troubled world, while He is absent, is by meditating in His Word, especially His promises in John 14, see also 16:33).
“If you loved Me, you would rejoice (for My sake) because I said, "I am going to the Father,' for My Father is greater than I” (v28).
In His Deity the Son is equal in glory to the Father, but in His humiliation He laid aside His glory as God, to live His earthly life as a man, subordinate to the Father, a servant of all. In this way, the Father was greater, for Christ did not grasp His equality with God, but laid His glory aside. But now in returning to the Father, He would again enjoy the unrestricted fellowship and participation in the Glory and Presence of the Father, receiving His full glory (as the Son) back again from the Father (17:5). Therefore they should be happy for Him, for He would not just die, but also rise again and ascend to the Father to be glorified (His full equality with the Father manifested).
“And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe (in Me)” (v29). Thus Jesus predicted His resurrection and ascension, so that upon the fulfilment they would remember and believe. Fulfilled prophecy is a major basis of faith. Thus although He was going away to the Father, His absence from them would just be temporary (v27). Moreover, His going to the Father would have glorious results for the Son, and also for us in Him (v28,29). Therefore, we are not to be disheartened by His going away (His physical absence from us) for a time.