John 14:22-24 (NIV) 22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
On verses 22-24: One of Jesus’ disciples called Judas (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot who would soon betray Jesus) asks Jesus a question I sometimes hear from people today, “If Jesus is truly the Messiah, why doesn’t Jesus just show himself directly to the whole world instead of communicating to and through his disciples?” (v22)
At first it might not seem like Jesus answers Judas’ question. But upon further reflection notice that in response to Judas’ question, Jesus emphasizes again that to love Jesus is to obey his teaching and that when a person chooses to love Jesus, God (both the Father and Jesus in this case) come to that person and make their home with that person (v23). In other words, when a person chooses in faith to do what Jesus tells that person to do, they will discover for themselves all the evidence they need to believe in Jesus. Whereas Judas was placing the burden and responsibility on Jesus to show himself to the world so that the world would believe in Jesus, it seems in Jesus’ response that Jesus is saying that actually the burden and responsibility are on people to do something with what Jesus has already given to them. And if a person responds with faith to what Jesus has already given to that person by doing what Jesus teaches, that person will experience God coming to that person and making His home in that person’s heart.
This goes back to the issue of faith, for Jesus himself could be standing right in front of you preaching the word of God, but if you don’t combine what you already see with some measure of faith, Jesus showing Himself more and more will not make any difference to you.
John 14:25-26 (NIV) 25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
On verses 25-26: Here Jesus teaches us more about the Holy Spirit:
– It is the Father who sends the Holy Spirit to us (v26)
– The Father sends the Holy Spirit to us in Jesus’ name, meaning that the sending of the Holy Spirit is done on the authority of, in the power of, and on behalf of Jesus. Here we see all 3 Persons of the Trinity in action: The Father sending, the Holy Spirit being sent, and Jesus’ name as the channel by which the Holy Spirit is sent to us.
– Another role of the Holy Spirit is to “teach you all things” (v26), giving us insight into different matters, as well as to “remind you of everything…[Jesus] has said”. The Holy Spirit is both the teacher of truth and the one who points us back to the truth Jesus has spoken.
John 14:27 (NIV) 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
On verse 27: As Jesus continues to talk about his soon coming departure, Jesus reassures his disciples, telling them not to be afraid or troubled and emphasizing the peace that he gives to them and how unique that peace is compared to the peace that the world offers. The peace that world offers is a like temporary escape from your trouble. Take that drug, go on that vacation, enjoy that pleasure, and you might get away from your trouble for just a moment. But when the high fades, the vacation ends and the credits roll, you’re back in the same trouble you were in before. The peace that Jesus gives, however, is different. Rather than just taking you away from your trouble, the peace that Jesus gives takes you through your trouble, giving you courage and wisdom to face what you are facing. No wonder Jesus says, “I do not give to you as the world gives” (v27).
John 14:28 (NIV) 28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
On verse 28: Be careful not to take Jesus words “the Father is greater than I” as meaning that Jesus is not God. Rather, these words are better taken to show Jesus’ humility and submission to the Father’s will. Also, these words are meant to emphasize that the Father had a greater plan with Jesus’ soon coming death than even what Jesus humanly wanted (which was not to die – see Luke 22:42) or what the disciples could foresee. So in fact the disciples, Jesus says, should rejoice instead of mourn the fact that Jesus was going to the Father.
What can we learn from this? If we could see the whole plan of God and how God works all things – even the things we don’t wish for – for our good and for His glory, we would not complain or protest when things don’t go our way or when unexpected or undesirable things take place. So when things don’t go as we expect or hope, have faith that “the Father is greater” and has a greater plan than anything we could write ourselves.
John 14:29 (NIV) 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.
On verse 29: Jesus says something similar in John 13:19: “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He.” Jesus’ prophesies coming true would help to prove that Jesus is who claims to be. Jesus is not the type to speak empty words. Rather he is the type to back up the statements he makes.
John 14:30-31 (NIV) 30 I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, 31 but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. “Come now; let us leave.
On verses 30-31: A dark day was coming soon when Jesus would die. In this way the prince of peace, Jesus, was leaving, and “the prince of this world” – i.e. Satan – was coming. But Jesus assures his disciples that Satan the prince of this world has no hold on Jesus. In other words, the reason why Jesus would be killed would not be because Satan was more powerful than Jesus, but because Jesus would voluntarily lay down his life for us in obedience to the Father’s command. As Jesus said earlier in John 10:17-18, “I lay down my life–only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
Jesus, thank You for giving us a peace that the world cannot give. Thank You for submitting to the Father’s will, even to the point of laying down Your own life. Thank You for showing us that our Heavenly Father has a greater plan than anything we could write or imagine ourselves. Like You, help me to submit to the Father’s will and do what You have commanded me to do. And please fill me with the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!