Setting

According to His foreordained hour, Jesus loved His disciples with one final act of love: He washed His disciples’ feet. He then commanded them to do the same, thereby establishing the sacrament of footwashing as the means to have a part with Him. He also bid them to wash one another’s feet, an action that reminds them to love one another. Through the exposure of Judas’ betrayal and the prediction of Peter’s denial, Jesus has made it plain to the disciples that His departure was at hand. To prepare them for the trial ahead, Jesus repeatedly reassures them that He will not leave them alone, but that He will come to them again. This lesson studies the first part of the lengthy discourses that span to the end of chapter 16.

Key Verse

(14:18)

Did You Know...?

1. Mansions (14:2): This word, which is literally, “dwellings,” is the same word as “home” in verse 23. It is from the verb, “dwell,” which is found in verses 10, 17, and 25.

2. Helper (14:16) denotes a person who appears in another’s behalf, and may also be translated as “mediator” or “intercessor.” [ref] The NKJV renders the word “advocate” in 1 Jn 2:1.

3. Judas (14:22): This was probably Judas, the son of James (Lk 6:16; Acts 1:13).

Outline

  • Comfort and Promise
    (14:1–4)
  • Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life
    (14:5–14)
  • Loving Jesus by Keeping His Commandments
    (14:15–24)
  • Concluding Words
    (14:25–31)

Keywords/Phrases

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General Analysis

  • 1.

    What promises did Jesus make in this passage?

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    1. “I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (3). 2. “He who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do” (12). 3. “Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do” (13). 4. “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (14). 5. “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever” (16). 6. “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (18). 7. “You will see me” (19). 8. “Because I live, you will live also” (19). 9. “At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (20). 10. “He who loves me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (21). 11. “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with Him” (23). 12. “But 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 things that I said to you” (26). 13. “Peace I leave with you” (27).

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  • 2.

    Record what this passage teaches about the unity of Jesus with the Father.

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    1. “No one comes to the Father except through Me” (6). 2. “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also” (7). 3. “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (9). 4. “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? 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” (10). 5. “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me” (11). 6. “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (13). 7. “At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (20). 8. “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (23). 9. “The word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me” (24). 10. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things…” (26).

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  • 3.

    What connections can you make between these key ideas in the passage: “dwell,” “love,” and “keep the commandments”?

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    Love is the basis of dwelling together. Only with mutual love would two individuals yearn to be together. What the Lord Jesus promises about the many dwellings in His Father’s house (2), preparing a place for believers (3), and coming to receive them so they may be where He is (3), all express the deep love between Him and the believers. His assurance that the Holy Spirit would abide with the believers forever (16, 17) and that He would not leave them orphans (18) likewise issues out of His love for them. The Lord Jesus makes it even more explicit when He said that His Father would love those who love Him, and He and the Father would come to him and make their home with him (23). On the part of the disciples, they would rejoice at the thought of the Lord’s return if they loved the Lord (28). Love also motivates us to keep the Lord’s commandments (15, 21, 23). Without love, obedience is compulsory and burdensome. On the part of Christ, it is also out of His love for us that He gives us His commandments. That is why He said, “He who has My commandments” (21; emphasis added), since His commandments are for our good and are precious. It is a privilege to have the commandments of Christ because they are given out of love. The Lord further promised that if we love the Lord by keeping His word, His Father would love us, and He and His Father would come to us and make Their home with us (23). Therefore, keeping the commandments of God is a concrete act built on love, and this loving relationship deepens even more when God abides with us as a result of our obedience.

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  • 4.

    What does Jesus teach about the Holy Spirit?

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    1. He is “another Helper” whom the Father gives us to abide with us forever (16). 2. He is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But we know Him, for He dwells with us and is in us (17). 3. The Holy Spirit, whom the Father sends in Jesus’ name, teaches us all things, and brings to our remembrance all things that Jesus has said to us (26).

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Segment Analysis

  • 14:1–4

    1.

    How are Jesus’ words here a source of comfort and strength for you?

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  • 14:5–14

    2.

    How does Jesus’ proclamation in verse 6 contradict the popular notion that all religions are essentially the same?

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    Even though many religions encourage people to do good, none other than faith in Jesus can give us access to God the Father. Jesus is the only way because in Him alone is the truth—truth about God, the sinful condition of man, and the redemption that God gives (Jn 1:14, 17; 5:30–32; 7:16–18; 8:26, 31, 32, 40; 18:37). What is more, in Him alone is life, for He, as the Son of God, is the only Savior who has the authority to grant eternal life (Jn 3:14–17; 5:24–26; 6:40, 47, 51, 54, 63; 8:51; 10:27, 28).

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  • 3.

    How do we walk on Jesus the way?

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    According to the Lord Jesus’ words to Philip, knowing Jesus as the way involves believing His words (14:9–11). Further in the passage, the Lord Jesus also teaches us that keeping Jesus’ commandments enables union with the Father (14:21, 23). Therefore, in short, to walk on Jesus the way means to believe in Him and to keep His commandments.

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  • 4.

    In what sense will believers do greater works than what Jesus had done?

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    Those who believe in Jesus will do even greater works than what Jesus had done when He was on earth because the risen Lord will do for them whatever they ask in His name (14:12–14). When the Lord Jesus is exalted, He will continue His works through the believers. The scope of their works will be even greater than what Jesus had accomplished when He was in this world (cf. Jn 12:24, 32).

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  • 5.

    What is the context of the promise that the Lord will do whatever we ask in His name?

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    To have a proper understanding of the Lord’s promise, we need to see it in its context. As mentioned in the above question, the Lord Jesus was speaking concerning the works that the believers would do. These works are of the same nature as the works that Jesus did in the world (14:12). The works of Jesus were what the Father had shown Him and sent Him to complete (Jn 4:34; 5:20, 36; 7:21; 9:3, 4; 10:25, 32, 37, 38; 14:10, 11; 15:24; 17:4). They were good works for the purpose of bringing men back to God. Therefore, Jesus’ promise must be interpreted in light of the commission entrusted by the Father. Those who believe in Jesus would continue His works to an even greater extent by asking the Father in Jesus’ name. However, His promise does not pertain to our personal demands stemming from selfish desires (cf. Jas 4:3; 1 Jn 5:14, 15).

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  • 14:15–24

    6a.

    What is the thought behind the word “keep”?

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    Keeping Jesus’ commandment is based on our love for Him (14:15, 21, 23). The word for “keep” may also be translated “preserve” or “guard.” It is a word that connotes holding on to something valuable and dear.

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  • 6b.

    What does this teach us about our attitude in keeping Jesus’ commandments?

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    If we love Jesus, everything He commands us would be close to our heart. That is the attitude with which we would have in carrying out His words. Consequently, we would be careful to do all that He commands us with our utmost effort.

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  • 7.

    How is the Holy Spirit our Helper?

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    Having the Holy Spirit dwelling in us is having the very presence of God with us. This in itself is our help. More specifically, the Holy Spirit helps us in our Christian walk by teaching us (Jn 14:26; 16:13), reminding us of Jesus’ words (Jn 14:26), interceding for us (Rom 8:26; Jude 20), sanctifying us (2 Thess 2:13), and enabling us to live a new life (Tit 3:5, 6; Gal 5:22–25).

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  • 14:15–246a. What is the thought behind the word “keep”?

    8.

    In what sense do we see the Lord today (18, 19, 21)?

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    In this chapter the Lord Jesus explains in various terms the way through which we as believers see the Lord. If we love the Lord by keeping His commandments, Jesus and His Father will come to us and make Their home with us (14:23). This divine presence and manifestation come to us through the Holy Spirit who lives in us to help us and to teach us the truth (14:16, 17, 26). Because the Holy Spirit is in fact the Spirit of Jesus and the Spirit of the Father (cf. Mt 10:20; Lk 4:18; Acts 8:39; 16:6, 7; Rom 8:9; 2 Cor 3:17; Gal 4:6), the Lord Jesus could speak interchangeably of the coming of Himself, of His Father, and of the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:18). Through a living experience of God’s workings in our lives, we are able to see the Lord. This abiding presence of God is something that unbelievers (i.e., “the world” in Jn 14:19) are unable to see (cf. Jn 14:17).

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  • 9.

    Jesus promised, “Because I live, you will live also.” How is this a great encouragement for you?

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    Although we are often weak and easily troubled by many things, we do not despair because we have our living Lord to depend on. He is living, and is therefore sovereign over all things. By being united to Him in love, we are confident that nothing can ever take away our everlasting hope (cf. Rom 8:18–39; 2 Cor 4:7–18)

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  • 10.

    How is Jesus’ promise that we would dwell with Him (verses 2–4) already beginning to be a reality for believers?

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    The abiding presence of God in our lives, as described so richly in this chapter, is the beginning of the fulfillment of dwelling together with God. The life we share in God is already a reality even now, and will last through eternity when the Lord finally receives us into the many dwellings in the Father’s house (Jn 14:2).

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  • 14:25–31

    11.

    Share your experience of how the Holy Spirit teaches you and reminds you of Jesus’ words.

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  • 12.

    How is the peace which Jesus gives us different from the peace the world gives?

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    The kind of peace that the world gives is outward and temporary. The illusory sense of security comes and goes along with the gains and losses of this life. The peace that Jesus gives, on the contrary, causes an inward change and calms our hearts. Through trusting in the Lord, abiding in His commandments, and the inner workings of the Holy Spirit, we are at rest no matter what may come our way. Because our Lord lives, we live also (14:19). The personal fellowship we have with our Savior sustains our souls even through the most difficult trials.

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  • 13.

    How has Jesus Himself demonstrated to us how we are to love God?

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    The Lord Jesus demonstrated His love for the Father by doing the commandment He had received from the Father (14:31). In turn, we are to imitate His total submission as we learn to love our Lord.

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