The Lord had just finished telling His disciples that they
are to love one another and that He?s leaving. Peter had asked where exactly
Jesus was going to which He answered that where He is going, Peter would not be
able to follow but he will come later. This opened some discussion on Peter?s
denial in contrast to his adamant statement that he would follow the Lord unto
death…but it also leaves the disciples with a ground shaking question. How
are they to love and work as the Lord loved and worked if He?s not there to
show them how when even Peter (who walked on water!) would deny the Lord (John 13:31-38)?
The Lord right away begins to comfort them (Jn 14:1). They
trust God, they can trust Him. The place He?s going to is where His Father is
and in this abode He will prepare a place for each one of them personally. And
if He is planning to do as such, He will come again to receive them to Himself
so that they might be with Him (14:3). His first help is concerning an end goal
which is a place with the Father.
This spurs Thomas? question of how to get to this foreign
land and Jesus points out that this place is not arrived by methods. The road
to get there is not on mapquest, but is found in a person. ?I am the way, the
truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me? (Jn 14:6). Jesus
explains that if they had known Him, they would have followed that road and
known the Father. His second help is that they are not to get lost in a method,
in the Master, Himself.
Hearing this, Philip requests the presentation of the
Father?a special privilege indeed. How great would it be if in this room they could
see the Invisible Father? But Jesus? response illustrates how off the mark
Phillip was at this moment (Jn 14:9). ?I don?t speak of my own initiative, Phil,
but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father
and He in Me?otherwise believe the works themselves.? (Jn 14:10,11) His words
echo what He was saying to the Pharisees in John 10 where He was trying to get
those men, not His sheep, to become His sheep by explaining the nature of the
works which He did?evidence of the Father working.
Now, He uses the same words to a believer to establish Him
in this truth?that the Son has demonstrated the Father to them! For He is the
incarnate expression of the Father and if they see His actions and His love
they see how the Father acts and loves. No one has seen the Father at any time
but the Son has εξηγησατο, or explained, declared, unfolded and interpreted Him
In fact, they will also do works and some of their works
will even be greater because Jesus goes to the Father (Jn 14:12). How can the disciples? works be as great as, if
not greater than Christ?s works? How can this be?
The Son is going to the Father and whatever they ask in
Christ?s authority, Christ will do it. They can now be partakers in that work
of holiness in their own members by asking the Lord to work in them. So when He
makes a request such as ?Keep My commandments?(Jn 14:15) they will be able to do it because of His work. As
if that is not enough, He will send them a Helper, the Spirit of Truth from the
Father who will abide in them to help them (Jn 14:15-17). So they can now work
a great work because the Holy Spirit is in them, because He is working next to
the Father and the Father is revealed in the Son.
He continues to establish them by telling them that He will
not leave them as orphans. He won?t be seen for a little while, then He will be
seen but the world won?t see Him. In this atmosphere, those who keep His
commands are those who love Him (Jn 14:18-21).
As he had showed that His disciples would keep His commandments before all men
(Jn 13:35), now He shows that His
disciples that love Him will keep His commandments before each other. His third
provision consists of evidence of works?by Christ, by the Father, by the Spirit
and by themselves.
Judas (not Iscariot) wonders about this bit of not
disclosing Himself to them and not to the world?how is it possible? The Lord
explains that this is being done by the Helper who the world can not receive.
This Helper would bring Jesus? words back to their memory (Jn 14:23-26). They will be taught. This last
provision is that the Helper will assist them in their learning.
Jesus hints at the greatness of what?s going on here.
Because He?s going away they can rejoice?but He tells them this now so that
they would be comforted and prepared (Jn 14:27-29).
He does exactly what the Father tells Him to do to show the world that He loves
With this fourfold provision, what work are we to do to show
that we love the Son? He outright told us that we are to keep His commandments
and also explained that we?re not doing it by ourselves but the Lord will personally
help us with a whole bunch of provisions. He gives us an end goal to direct our
run. This end goal is not to be reached by a method, but He gives us Himself to
direct our focus. He gives us the work to fight the good fight. He gives us the
Helper to enable and to teach us.
We can now look at the great provisions of the Lord, this
great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, found here and evidenced in past men
of faith who have ran well and echo the words of the writer of Hebrews: Let us lay
aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets us and let us run the race
that is before us fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith
who instead of the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross, despising
the shame and has sat down on the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him
who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not
grow weary and lose heart (Heb 12:1-3).