Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: John's Gospel Studies|
Chapter: John 14
Passage: John 14:1-3
A. Find Out:
1. What negative did Jesus first command? v.1a
2. What two positive things did he then command? v.1b
3. What did he say about his Father's house? v.2a
4. Why did he say he was going there? v.2b
5. What did he say he would then do? v.3
Jesus has just said some troubling things, so now he simply says, don't be troubled, it's all in my purposes. Trust me!
When we say a little child trusts its parent, we mean it believes what the parent says, it believes the parent will look after it, care for it, provide for it, protect it. Trust is all about relying on the character or personality of another. It is about being at rest because of another. That is what Jesus asks us to do about he and his Father.
He further tells them that when he goes away, he goes to prepare a place in heaven for them, but he will come back and take them eventually to be with him there. In saying this he is bringing reassurance. First, over his going away: it is with a purpose, he is in complete control and he is doing what he is doing with an express end objective in mind. Second, his coming back: it will happen, he is not just leaving them for ever, they will see him again. Third, their own future: he has it planned so they will come to be with him where he is.
Each of these things, seen in the light of the worrying things he has said previously, should allay their fears. Yes, he will be put to death, but that is not the end of the plan. Yes, Peter will betray him but that will not be the end of Peter. Trust me! Be at peace!
1. Jesus, the perfect pastor, seeks to bring reassurance in troubling times,
by bringing understanding of his purposes for us.
2. Jesus has provided a place for us with him in eternity. Praise him!
A. Find Out:
1. What did Jesus say they knew? v.4
2. What was Thomas's reply to this? v.5
3. So what did Jesus say he was? v.6a
4. In fact, what unique claim did he make? v.6b
5. What did he say about himself and his Father? v.7,9b
To reassure them, Jesus has just said that he was going to prepare a place for them and now, leading them to think further, he says they know the way there. This leads them to confess their confusion: we're not sure where you are going so we certainly don't know the way there! Oh yes you do, says Jesus, I'm the way to the Father in heaven; that is your ultimate destination, to know God who is Father in heaven. Then he makes this most exclusive claim: no one comes to God except through me!
Look, says Jesus, if you know me you know the Father because (implied) we are so alike, so when you encounter me you encounter the Father. Again this is a most incredible claim that no other man on earth can ever make. Basically he is saying, I am God! To have seen me is to have seen God! There is both a present and a future dimension to this: see me and you experience God now, follow me and when you die you will encounter the Father in all His fullness.
When we see this basic truth, we see something more in his claim to be the way, the truth and the life. The way we have dealt with. Only God is utter truth, utterly real, unmade by any other, not formed by the influence of any other. Only He is life, pure existence that moves with self creating energy. And Jesus claims he is all this!
1. Jesus is the ONLY way to the Father.
2. Only Jesus is the expression of the Father in the flesh.
A. Find Out:
1. How did Jesus describe his relationship with the Father? v.10
2. What grounds did he say they had for believing this? v.11
3. What did he say anyone with faith in him would do? v.12
4. What did he say he would do? v.13a,14
5. Why? v.13b
Staggering verses! First of all, the clarity of Jesus' assertion that he and the Father were one. The words I speak, he says, and the things I do are all from the Father (God Almighty) living in me. Again and again in this Gospel Jesus explains this oneness with the Father. The first three Gospel writers hadn't picked up this element of Jesus' ministry; it was left to John having considered these things many years, to pick up this vital truth.
What follows is equally staggering: we, his followers who simply have faith in him, will do exactly the same sort of things he has been doing. Why? Because we will have God the Holy Spirit living in us in the same way, guiding us, motivating and empowering us in exactly the same way.
So, continues Jesus, as you ask as led by my Spirit in you (implied), asking in my name as I lead you, I will then give you whatever you ask in this way, so that you will be able to go on and do these things and Father in heaven will be glorified by it. The whole context is one of unity of God in us here, so there is no question of us asking for things for our blessing, but it is all for His glory. As we flow in his will we can then ask knowing that what we ask WILL be given because it originates in heaven.
1. We are to continue all the works of Jesus today by his Spirit.
2. As we are led by Him, we can ask expecting to receive, for His glory.
A. Find Out:
1. What did Jesus say we will do if we love him? v.15,21a
2. What will he ask the Father to do? v.16
3. Who will that be and how do they now know him? v.17
4. What did Jesus say would happen to him? v.18,19
5. What would they then realise? v.20
6. What will happen to the person who loves Jesus? v.21
Jesus has just been saying how his followers will do the things he has been doing. In the minds of the disciples may arise the question, “How can we do these things?”, and so in this passage Jesus gives them the answer.
It's quite simple, he appears to be saying, when I leave you my Father will give you the Holy Spirit and He will come and live in you. You do know about him because He lives in me, and He will soon come and live within you. This is one of the marvels of the Christian faith that distinguishes a Christian from any other person on earth, that they are indwelt by the very Spirit of God.
Observe the names that Jesus gives for the Spirit in this passage. First he calls Him a Counsellor, a name that gives a sense of one who draws alongside to bring comfort and help. But he also calls Him the Spirit of truth, because Jesus said he was “the truth” (14:6) and John records that Jesus was “full of truth” (1:14). Thus the Spirit can only come and dwell in a person who is willing to face the truth, and live the truth, for His work is to bring the truth to us, the truth about Jesus and the truth about ourselves.
1. The Spirit comers to comfort and guide us. Do we let Him?
2. The Spirit comes to bring truth in us. Do we allow Him to teach us and
A. Find Out:
1. What question did Judas ask? v.22
2. What was Jesus' two part answer to that? v.23
3. What about other people? v.24a
4. What did he say about what they were hearing? v.24b,25
5. Yet who did he say would come and do what 2 things? v.26
6. What did he say he was giving them so what did he instruct? v.27
As Jesus speaks about coming back and showing himself to them, the disciples question what this means. Why us and not others? How can that be? Jesus answer is that those who love him will obey him, and it is those who are obedient to God who will be blessed by His presence. As we saw yesterday, the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey God. The Lord comes to those who are open and responsive to Him. Those who don't love him won't obey him and therefore Jesus won't come to them; it's as simple as that!
Even now, says Jesus, the words you hear from me are from my Father, and when I go He will give you the Holy Spirit so you will continue hearing from Him. He will teach you what you need to know and He will remind you what I've said already. So, you see, (by implication) the relationship you have with me now will just carry on, even though you don't see me in the same way. So look, you can be at complete peace because, in one sense nothing is going to change, I'll still be here with you. Have my peace. (By implication continuing) It comes in two ways: first you will have my very presence within you and second because you see that I am still in complete control, you need not be anxious. Just be at rest in this knowledge.
1. Jesus' very own presence dwells within all Christians.
2. His presence brings peace as we share together (see Phil 4:6,7)
A. Find Out:
1. What had Jesus said? v.28a
2. What does he say they should feel about that and why? v.28b
3. Why does he say he has told them about it? v.29
4. Who is coming? v.30a
5. What hasn't he got? v.30b
6. Yet what must the world learn? v.31
Throughout this chapter Jesus has been stating again and again (in outline at least) what is going to happen, and thereby bring reassurance to his disciples that it all is within his plan and purpose.
Essentially what he is saying in the first part of today's passage is this: Look, I have told you I'm going away and will then come back, but if you can see it as part of my Father's master plan, you would rejoice and be glad that I do these things, because my Father is supreme and whatever He plans is perfect. Not only that, to go to be with the Father is more wonderful than anything here.
Look, he continues, I've told you all this so that when it happens you will believe and realise it's all been true what I have been saying, and that in itself should help you be at peace.
He continues, I can't carry on talking to you like this because time is running out and Satan will have brought his people here soon to play out the next part of this plan, but realise that even his activities, stirring on the people, is part of my plan. He doesn't have a hold over me, I simply allow him to do what he will do to bring to completion the plan. When it's all happened you'll all understand my love and my obedience for my Father.
1. Jesus was in total control of those last awful hours and was working
through the decreed plan and purpose of God. Praise him!
2. Jesus wanted his disciples to understand - but they didn't! And us?
In this final group of 6 studies we have seen Jesus:
If chapter 13 was about serving and love & betrayal and denial, then chapter 14 is about being given a vision of the future, eventually in heaven, but now in the present here on earth, with the help of the Holy Spirit. As such it is a very encouraging chapter.
We can be secure first of all in knowing that we have a future in heaven decreed for us, and that Jesus himself is the guarantee of us getting there. We can then be reassured by knowing that while we are here on earth we are not alone, for the Holy Spirit lives within us and He is working according to God's agenda, to achieve God's purposes through us. As we submit to His leading, so we will be working out those purposes, with His blessing.
1. Jesus HAS prepared a place for me in eternity
2. Jesus is the guaranteed path for me to get there
3. As a Christian I have the Holy Spirit within
4. As He leads me I will do the works of Jesus
5. He will teach me and train me
6. I may rest in peace, secure that He has all things in hand!
Thank the Lord for your guaranteed future. Thank Him for His presence that dwells within you. As Him to teach you, enlarge your faith and lead you on more and more to do the works of Jesus. Submit your will to His and rest in the peace of knowing that he is in control, despite the things that Satan may seek to bring across your path. Praise and worship the Lord for His goodness to you.
2. People responding to Jesus
CONCLUSION - John 11 to 14
As we come to the end of this set of Studies, the following may be some of the things that stand out from these four chapters of John:
1. The Confusion of People around Jesus
From our vantage point in history, with the whole of the Bible before us, and the Holy Spirit helping us from within, we may find it strange that there was so much confusion about what was happening. Yet if we are honest we have to confess we do not understand, so much of the time, what the Lord is doing or is about to do with us.
Perhaps, like the disciples, we are confused about Jesus' timing sometimes, or Jesus' apparent refusal to move, or we simply don't understand or are unclear about our future or Jesus' provision for us both for the future and in the present. Perhaps, like the crowds, we get caught up in euphoria one minute, and are then questioning him the next minute. The people in these chapters typify us in so many ways!
2. The Sin of Religious Orthodoxy
Jesus' death only came about because the religious authorities rejected him and plotted and planned it! Again and again in these chapters we have seen that it was the religious people who rejected him, those who were committed to religious ritual rather than real life. The warning must come strongly to us: do we get so entrenched in our beliefs about our religion that we end up rejecting, denying or betraying the Son of God himself. In these chapters it is largely under cover. In the next set of Studies it will be right out in the open! Beware!
3. The Control of Jesus
These are chapters revealing Jesus complete understanding of the times, circumstances and people surrounding him. He knows when to wait, and when to act. He knows when to speak and when to remain silent. He knows all about the future, and he knows all about us.
In the run up to the Passover, Jesus played the circumstances and the crowd to bring about his own eventual destruction or sacrifice, for this is the Lamb of God (see Jn 1:29,36) who is to take away the sin of the world by his death, and that at the hands of sinful men, a death he gradually brings about by stirring the authorities to act so wrongly against him. What a wonderful Saviour! Worship him!