Study Notes

John 14:7-17


On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus was reassuring the disciples that they shouldn't be troubled. No matter how bad things on earth looked, heaven was going to be waiting for them, and He was going ahead to get their places ready for them. Then He made sure that they knew,

John 14:6 ..."I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me."

Heaven is a great thing to look forward to. But we must make sure we know that Jesus Christ is the only way in. Now, having said, "no one comes to the Father, but through Me," Jesus continues...

14:7-11 Show Us The Father

The point that Jesus is making here is that He has completely and perfectly represented Father God to them.

No one can look the Father in the face. Remember, Moses made a similar request of God, saying,

Exod. 33:18 ..."I pray Thee, show me Thy glory!"

But God's response to Moses was,

Exod. 33:20 ..."You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!"

Philip wants to see the Father. But Jesus says, "Philip, I've perfectly represented Him to you. He's in Me, and I'm in Him. I speak what He tells Me to, I do what He tells Me to. So, although you'd die instantly if you saw the Father's face, you have already seen the Father through My words and My works."

So many people want to see God. And they know they can't look up at the sky and catch a glimpse of Him. So they turn to the church and say, "Show us the Father." What does the church show them? If they show them the words and the works of God, they show them the Father. But all too many are shown gossip. judgment. Hatred. Backbiting. Immorality.

And many people have decided that Christians cannot show them the Father. And so they turn elsewhere. Paul said to the Jews that were living hypocritically,

Rom. 2:22-24 You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God? For "THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU,"...

Let's take a look at ourselves. Every week, people come to us, hoping that we'll show them the Father. Let's be sure to show them the words of God, and the work of God, that they will not turn away from God.

14:12 Greater Works Than These

If we believe in Christ, we can do the works He did? We can do even greater works than He did? "Impossible," you might say. But consider this... By depending totally on the Father, Jesus did and said that which was pleasing to God. For three years, He was teaching, preaching, loving, and healing people. Now, how many years have been given to you to show the words of God and the works of God? You have a greater number of years than this Messiah who ministered for three years. You have a greater amount of resources than this poor carpenter from Nazareth. You have greater mobility than this man who walked everywhere on foot. But, the most powerful truth of all, is that you have the same God speaking the words and doing the works through you that Jesus did!

"Yes, but I could never heal the sick." Really? God has used me to pray for people who were instantly healed! "I could never preach the Word." Really? God saved a drug-addicted burnout with half a brain left and is using him to preach the Word to you this morning! "Yeah, but I could never be used by God." Really? That's actually a very prideful statement. Because the people God uses are:

1Cor. 1:26-28 ...not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are

You see, it's not me. It's not you. It's God speaking His Word through us. It's God ministering to people through us. It's God manifesting miracles through us. It has nothing to do with our abilities or talents. Jesus said seriously,

John 14:12 "...he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater {works} than these shall he do..."

Make yourself available to God, and you will find this to be true in your own life!

14:13-14 Ask Anything

Now an even harder statement! Jesus will do anything we ask in His name?! Many people have difficulty with this statement. Others have misused and misunderstood it. But as we look at it in context, it is completely clear and totally true.

He is talking to the disciples about the fact that He represents the Father in word and works. Those who would be His disciples will also display the Father's word and works. But as we seek to do this, we fall short. I don't have the love to give to these unlovable people! I don't have the money to feed these hungry folks! I don't have the power to heal this sick little girl! And Jesus says,

John 14:14 "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

Holding onto this promise, can I say, "Lord, give me a Rolex watch?" Can I ask for riches and wealth? Is God obligated to give me whatever I ask, as long as I finish the prayer with "in Jesus' name?" Doesn't the Bible say, "You do not have because you do not ask?" No, that is completely out of context with what Jesus is telling the disciples. James clarified this for us, saying,

James 4:2-3 ...You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend {it} on your pleasures.

The teaching in the church today that says, "name it and claim it brothers! Blab it and grab it! Demand it from God in Jesus' name! reduces God to a genie that is at your beckon call. But God is not our slave - we are His.

Whatever we put Jesus' name to in prayer had better be in accordance with the will of God. Very often, I pray as Jesus prayed. When I'm requesting something of the Lord, I don't always know that it is what He wants. I know it's what I want, but I don't know if it's what He wants. So I make sure and tell the Lord,

Luke 22:42 "...yet not My will, but Thine be done."

Has every prayer of mine been answered? No, and I praise God that many of those prayers were not. But has every prayer that was in accordance with the will of God answered? You betcha.

14:15 My Commandments

There is an old saying that goes, "actions speak louder than words." I can say that I love my wife, but it is my actions that prove it. I can say that I love God, but my obedience to Him is the proof. If we truly love Jesus Christ, we will keep His commandments.

One day, a man approached Jesus and asked,

Matt. 22:36-38 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And He said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment.

You see, if we love God, we'll keep His commandments. And if we are loving God, we're already keeping the greatest commandment! We'll talk more about this next week, when we get to verse 21.

Maybe everything we've talked about this morning seems way out of reach. Demonstrating God to other people. Doing the same works, even greater ones, than Jesus. Having our prayers answered, obeying God's commandments... This seems like too much to comprehend, too much to believe, too much to hope to ever accomplish. That's probably where the disciples were at, too. Especially because Jesus said He was going away. Do you ever think that the apostles had it easier because Jesus was there, walking with them? Well, Jesus is about to reassure them (and us) that just because He's going away doesn't mean they're going to be on their own...

14:16-17 Another Helper

Even though Jesus is leaving, He promises to give them another Helper. The Greek word for "Helper" here is "Par-AK-lay-tos." It means, "One who is sent alongside to help." Jesus had been alongside them, assisting them, counseling them, helping them, teaching them. Now, the night before He would be murdered, He promises that another Helper will be sent.

There are two words in Greek for "another." One means "another of a different kind," the other means, "another of the same kind." Last week I went to Cornerstone Christian Supply and said that I needed to order another Bible. I was ordering another NAS Ultra Thin Reference Bible, identical to the one I had worn out. It was another of the same kind. But if I had said "I need another Bible. This time, let's get an NIV Adventure Bible with the apocryhpha and life-size fold out Bible maps of the Holy Land," that would've been another of a different kind. When Jesus said, "another Helper," he used the word for "another of the same kind." Jesus had been their helper up to this point, but He promises them another Helper of the same kind - the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit As Helper

How does the Spirit help? In verse 26, we see Jesus saying,

John 14:26 "...The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

The Spirit helps us by teaching us. He also brings to our remembrance what we've read in the Scriptures, bringing comfort, advice, and assistance. Have you ever been witnessing to someone and you find yourself quoting Scripture that you didn't even know you knew? The Holy Spirit is helping you, bringing the Word of God to your remembrance. This help came in handy for the disciples in terribly trying times. Jesus told them in advance,

Mark 13:11 "And when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not be anxious beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but {it is} the Holy Spirit.

So teaching us and bringing the Word of God to remembrance is one way that He helps us. Another way He helps is by intercession. As we talked about earlier, often we're not on track with what or how we are to be praying. Fortunately,

Rom. 8:26 ...The Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for {us} with groanings too deep for words;

So the Spirit helps us by interceding for us, filling in the gaps in our prayer lives.

With You Forever

Jesus also said of the Spirit that He will be with you forever. Why did He need to tell them this? Well, He'd only been with them for three years, maybe they needed reassurance.

But they also knew the Old Testament. They had read of the Holy Spirit being on at least 17 individual people [Bezalel (Exo. 31), Moses (Num. 11), Balaam (Num. 24), Joshua (Num. 27), Othniel (Judg. 3), Gideon (Judg. 6), Jephthah (Judg. 11), Samson (Judg. 14), Saul (1Sam. 10), David (1Sam. 16), Amasai (1Chr. 12), Azariah (2Chr. 15), Jahaziel (2Chr. 20), Zechariah (2Chr 24), Isaiah (Isa. 61), Ezekiel (Eze. 2), and Micah (Mic. 3)] and 2 groups [the 70 elders (Num. 11) and Saul's messengers (1Sam. 19)]. But often, the Spirit would be taken away from them just as He had been given to them. Samson was given the Holy Spirit:

Judg. 14:6 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily...

But after years of sin, we see that his compromise left him without the Spirit:

Judg. 16:20 ...He awoke from his sleep and said, "I will go out as at other times and shake myself free." But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him.

Much the same happened to King Saul. We read of him in 1Samuel 10,

1Sam. 10:10-11 When they came to the hill there, behold, a group of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him mightily, so that he prophesied among them. And it came about, when all who knew him previously saw that he prophesied now with the prophets, that the people said to one another, "What has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?"

But then, by chapter 16, we read,

1Sam. 16:14 Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrorized him.

King David was also given the Holy Spirit:

1Sam. 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward...

But when he had fallen into sin, he desperately prayed,

Ps. 51:11 Do not cast me away from Thy presence, And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me.

Can the Spirit be taken away from you? Paul told the Ephesians,

Eph. 1:13-14 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation - having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of {God's own} possession, to the praise of His glory.

It sure sounds to me like the Spirit will be with us forever. Does that mean you cannot lose your salvation? I believe that those whom God has truly sealed with His Spirit will never have the Spirit taken away from them. But on the other hand, if you fall away, then it shows me that you never had the Holy Spirit to begin with.

Our salvation is not something to take for granted. Grace is not an excuse to sin. Jude said that people who do this are apostates.

Jude 4 ...those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness...

We are commanded to,

Phil. 2:12 out your salvation with fear and trembling;

Paul told the Corinthians,

1Cor. 9:26-27 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.

Where is your walk with God this morning? Have you taken salvation for granted? Have you figured, "Well, since I can't lose my salvation, I may as well live in immorality and drunkenness?" A life like that is a good indicator that the Spirit of the Lord isn't really dwelling in you.

However, if you have sorrow over your sin, a true desire for repentance, then it would seem that the Spirit is interceding for you and convicting in you. Don't quench the Spirit inside you, follow His leading to repentance.

Go to next study

Go to previous study