JOHN | Lesson 14 | Lesson Notes / Talking Points
Read John 14.1-31
I / INTRODUCTION: MAKING THE CONNECTIONS
1 / Upper Room Discourse. We usually call chapters 14-16 ‘The Upper Room Discourse’ because Jesus is the One speaking, and these words were spoken by Him as they were in an upper room in Jerusalem celebrating the Last Passover meal together / see Mark 14.12-16.
2 / But chapter 14 is the only part of the discourse that was spoken in the upper room [along with the events of chapter 13]. In ch 14.31, Jesus announces to the disciples ‘Rise, let us go from here’ and they leave the upper room.
3 / The discourses of chapters 15-16 are spoken by Jesus probably on the streets of Jerusalem as they make their way to the Garden of Gethsemane.
4 / And maybe even the intercessory prayer in ch 17 was prayed by Jesus in the presence and hearing of His disciples before He entered Gethsemane where He agonized longer in prayer…and where He was arrested by the Romans and the Jewish religious leaders under Judas Iscariot’s direction.
5 / So chapter 14 is the truest Upper Room Discourse. However, the other succeeding chapters will be the continuation of what He delivered in the upper room.
6 / ‘Let not your hearts be troubled.’ Jesus themes everything He will say here in chapter 14 around His primary admonition of comfort and reassurance. Their hearts were indeed troubled. Jesus had repeated in ch 13.33 what He had often said before: Where I am going you cannot come…now. [See also the follow up with Simon Peter in v 36.]
7 / Except that, they are just now ‘getting it.’ When it finally registered in their hearing that Jesus was going away, it rocked their world. This was not just a ripple of restlessness or agitation. It was not just a scratching-the-head moment of confusion. Not just “Hmmm…wonder what He means by that?” It was a full-blown panic attack…a meltdown with anxiety. The upper room became panic city.
- ‘What? You are leaving us?
- You are going away?
- Where are you going…and why?
- What will become of us?
- What will we do without You?
- What are we supposed to do now? …and how will we know how to do it?
- Who will lead us?
- Who will take care of us?
- Who will lead, teach, and instruct us how to conduct our lives as Your followers?
8 / We know that Jesus is targeting all these words to reassure their troubled hearts because He will ‘circle back’ to this same issue and repeat it again in v 27: ‘Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid!’
9 / Key theme words to follow and highlight:
- Go…going: Jesus repeatedly relates everything He says here to His disciples’ primary troubling concern – that He is going away from them.
- Believe: “Believe in God; believe also in Me.” Then He proceeds to tell them what they must believe to both cure their presently-troubled hearts [‘Stop allowing your hearts to be troubled’] and prevent the troubling of their hearts going forward [Don’t ever let your hearts be troubled.’] To believe is to receive and accept as the truth; trust, rely, depend upon; have confidence in.
- Words…works: Jesus teaches His disciples [and us] to believe the words He has spoken and the works He has done. Both His words and works are given to demonstrate and evidence His union and unity with the Father – to whom He is now going. Jesus has often repeated these same claims all throughout His ministry – both to His disciples and also to His enemies / for example, ch 5.17-18.
- See…sees…seen: The visible Glory of God that they had physically seen in Jesus [see ch 1.14 & 1 John 1.1-4] was the same as the invisible Glory of the Father to Whom He was going. When they had seen Him…they had seen the Father.
- Know…known: They did, in fact, already know the same truths they were afraid they didn’t know. They knew because they knew Jesus…and Jesus and the Father are One in nature, essence, character, purpose, and works.
10 / And so, what follows in ch 14 is a series of promises Jesus makes to them and to us, to give them assurances and comfort for their lives and ministries in the days ahead.
11 / AND these promises were not only for them, but also for us. So, think right now about what is troubling your heart…what issues, events, fears, anxieties are troubling you most. We, too, must do what Jesus teaches here: Believe in God, believe also in Me!
12 / We will divide up Jesus’ reassuring promises into two stanzas:
- vv 2-14 / Yes, I am going away…but let not your hearts be troubled…because I am going to the Father, from whom I came, who sent me, and whom you know by knowing Me!
- vv 15-31 / Yes, I am going away…but let not your hearts be troubled…because I will give you the Holy Spirit, who will be another Helper just like me, and He will be with you and in you forever. I, myself, will continue to be with you and in you in the Person, Presence, and power of the Holy Spirit!
13 / All I will do here is read through these two stanzas of ‘Panacea Promises For Troubled Hearts’ together. We will reiterate and paraphrase Jesus’ words … attempting to add some fuller thoughts to His words while maintaining His connecting trains of thought. We will seek to hear and learn the lessons Jesus teaches us and apply His precious promises here to our own hearts, lives, and experiences.
Prepare to believe!
II / vv 2-14 / Yes, I am going away…but let not your hearts be troubled…because I am going to the Father, from whom I came, who sent me, and whom you know by knowing Me!
1 / v 2 / Believe that I am going to my Father’s House – where He is. And in my Father’s House are many rooms [monai] for all of you who believe in Me. I am going there to prepare a ‘place’ for you to be there together with us…a place to live, remain, abide, belong / see Hebrews 9.24
2 / v3 / Believe that if I go away to my Father’s House, and if I prepare a place for you also, I will come again for you – to receive you to myself…so we can be there together forever.
3 / vv 4-6 / And, yes! you DO know the way to where I am going…because I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE! And I am the only Way, because no one is coming to the Father – where He is – except through Me!
4 / vv 7-9 / You DO know who the Father is…because you know Me…and you have seen Me.
5 / vv 10-11 / Believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. You must believe that the Father has given me all the words that I have spoken to you. And the Father has done through Me all the works that I have done. That is why I have done the works I have done – to show you the Father’s love and power. I have spoken words to you to explain the works and how they reveal the Father. So believe my words and believe the works. They all show the Father.
6 / vv 12-14 / When you believe Me, you will continue doing the works of witness to the life and power of the Gospel. You will continue to bear evidence to the Father and to Me. BECAUSE, in fact, it will be ME who is doing the works through you! I will be doing them from Heaven. AND you will do those works by asking Me in prayer to do them! Remember: Ask Me, and ‘this I will do’…’I will do it’!
- We must note here that our praying itself is as much of the ‘greater works than these he will do’ as are the works Christ Himself will work through us as we pray to Him, asking Him to do what needs to be done. It also is evident that nothing we even attempt to do in our strength, energy, and ability will be accomplished … only what we ask Him to do through us. Nothing is accomplished apart from our asking Jesus to do it…and His doing it! Jesus repeats the promise two times to be sure we understand and get it: “Whatever you ask in my Name, this I will do…If you ask Me anything in my Name, I will do it.” He will reiterate and reinforce our absolute dependence upon Him and impotence apart from Him in ch 15.4-5: “…for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
III / vv 15-31 / Yes, I am going away…but let not your hearts be troubled…because I will give you the Holy Spirit, who will be another Helper just like me, and He will be with you and in you forever. I, myself, will continue to be with you and in you in the Person, Presence, and power of the Holy Spirit!
1 / v 15 / In the days and ages ahead – until I come again – you must live your lives and conduct all your ministry by loving Me and keeping my commandments…especially the primary commandment to ‘love one another just as I have loved you’ / see ch 13.34-35.
2 / vv 16-17 / Yes, I am going away to the Father, but I will ask Him to give you another Helper [parcletos / one who is called to come along beside you]. He is the Holy Spirit. He will be ‘another’ of the same kind as I have been to you. He will serve you as your Helper, Companion, Counselor, Comforter for your troubled hearts…even as a kind of ‘proxy’ in my place. The world – unbelievers – have no association with Him. AND, He will be with you forever [since I am physically going away for now…] He will dwell – continue to live – both with you and in you … forever!
3 / vv 18-20 / Yes, I am going away in my physical body…but I am not abandoning you as orphans – without a Christ-Presence. I will even come back to you for a few days after my resurrection and you will see that I am alive! And I will share with you that same resurrection life! When you see me again – resurrected and alive – you will see proof for your faith that everything I am telling you and promising you is the Truth! You will see the Presence and Life of the Father living in Me, and my Presence and Life living in you, and you living in Me by the Eternal Life of my resurrection in the Person and Presence of the Holy Spirit!
4 / vv 21-23 / You will continue to express and evidence your love for Me by believing and obeying my commandments. And when you do that, My Father and I will give you undeniable expressions of our love for you – I will continue to manifest [reveal, appear, make visible to your experience] my love for you. How will I do that? When you love the Father and Me, we will come to you in the Presence and Person of the Holy Spirit and ‘make our home’ with you!
- NOTE: this is the second of the only two times this word is found in the New Testament – the same word Jesus uses for ‘rooms’ in v 2.
5 / v 24 / Those who do not love Me will not believe, keep, obey my words. They will have no part in all these promises I am giving you. But all of the words I have given you are my Father’s words that He gave Me to give you. He sent Me to you to give you these words…so you may believe them and be saved – and be one with us!
6 / v 25 / I have spoken all these words from the Father to you…while I have been with you in my physical Person and Presence. ‘But,’ you ask, ‘are these same words and promises going away with you when you to the Father?’
7 / vv 26 / NO! All of these words I have spoken to you will remain with you through the continuing ministry and Presence of the Holy Spirit! He will continue to teach you all the words I have verbally spoken to you. He will keep on reminding you of everything I have said. And He will also give you a much fuller and more complete understanding of so many things you can’t fully comprehend now! [see ch 15.26 & 16.12-15].
8 / v 27 / Yes, I know your hearts are very troubled. But you need not be! Give me your troubled hearts by believing in Me, trusting Me, having confidence in the Truth and faithfulness of everything I’m telling you. Yes, I am going away in my physical Person – but I am leaving my peace with you! This is the very same peace that I have in myself! It is the peace of being One with the Father. It is not a peace that depends on the comfort, convenience, and preferences of passing circumstances – that is the kind of human, earthly, worldly peace that comes and goes in the course of natural, human life. My peace that I am giving you that comes from being saved, right with God, reconciled to the Father through your faith in Me. So, STOP LETTING YOUR HEARTS BE TROUBLED, NEITHER LET THEM BE AFRAID!
9 / v 28 / Your hearts are being troubled because you heard Me say, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ Instead of being troubled, you should rejoice! Because when I go away, I am going to the Father. And He is ‘greater than I’ … not in the sense of ‘being more God’ than I am … but rather in the sense that I have come to you at His command, serving His pleasure on your behalf, and fulfilling all His purposes of love for your salvation. And now, I am going back to Him to bring all those redemptive purposes to pass – to fulfill all His loving, saving will for you! He sent Me to you to save you and bring you all Home with us to be with us forever! This is how it will happen!
10 / v 29 / I am telling you all this in advance – before it happens – so you will know I am telling you the Truth when it all comes to pass as I have said. I know I’m asking you to believe many things by faith in Me and my words. But, you can trust me! I will show you!
11 / v 30 / Our time for conversation tonight is very short and rapidly drawing to a close. This very night, I am going to be arrested, turned over to my enemies, and be condemned to die. All of this is under the direction and influence of ‘the ruler of this world’ – Satan, the Devil. He has already taken over Judas Iscariot’s heart. He is the one who has been working in the hearts of the Jewish religious rulers over these last many months when they have been making their plans to kill Me. They are about to fulfill all their murderous plots here within the next few hours.
12 / v 31a / But everything that is transpiring now has been prophesied by the Scriptures. And it has been the Father’s covenant plan for Me from eternity. I love the Father and always obey and please Him. My Father’s commandment is for Me to come here to earth and die for you all – the people whom He has given Me to save by my sacrificial death as your Passover Lamb. And as I fulfill my love for Him by obeying Him even to the point of death – even death on the Cross – I will be giving public testimony to my love for Him.
13 / v 31b / It’s time to go. Everybody get up. We’re leaving this upper room. I’ll have more to say as we make our way to where we’re going next…