In our recent messages in John we have been privy to a very intimate conversation between Jesus and his disciples as they shared their last meal together before the events of the cross would take place.
We have heard Jesus revealing his agenda in his upcoming death…
…for the glory of God above all else.
And the call for Jesus’ disciples, us, to live and die to Glory of God above all else.
We have seen Jesus give the disciples a master class in self-giving love…
….love, ‘God style’ as a Triune community of love.
And the call for us, knowing our position, statues and future in Christ, to think of and love others.
We have heard Jesus share a new way to love…
…a love by abiding, through action and to a greater extent.
And the call for us to love when it requires sacrifice, when it is inconvenient.
We have heard that only through Jesus can we believe in God and have the confidence to come to God with what troubles our hearts.
…because Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.
And the call for us to allow this truth to save us, effect how we approach God, and how we share Jesus with the world around us,
But you can hear the echo of the disciple’s questions…
“where are you going?”
“How do we get there?”
They are still filled with uncertainty!
And Jesus continues to reveal truth to them.
Read John 14:15-31
Many decades ago, during my university holidays, I worked as a builder’s labourer. I got dropped off one morning by my boss and told to break up a large raised concrete patio. He provided me with a kanga hammer, and a sledge hammer. He wanted it removed that day, so he could start work the next day on the alterations the householders wanted in place of the patio.
Clear instructions, obvious what I had to do. By morning tea, it didn’t even look like I had made a dent in it. I remember thinking, where is my boss! What am I doing wrong? I just needed some guidance, direction, encouragement, help. I can’t do this alone!
Jesus has set his disciples some clear instructions about what they were to do while he was a way. And in our passage today sums it up by saying…
“If you love me, keep my commands.” John 14:15
You could imagine the disciples, clear instructions, obvious what we have to do, but we’re going to be on our own. You’re not going to be here Jesus?
Jesus continues his teaching.
You are not alone!
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. John 14:16–17
You are going to receive the Spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit.
The third person of our Triune God will take the place of Jesus’ physical presence.
When my building boss was with me at the start of the day, the concrete patio job looked achievable. After he left, it soon became very daunting.
Jesus is saying to his disciples, to us, that even though he is leaving, they/we will receive the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit who is the counsellor, advocate, helper.
The Spirit of Truth who will guide, direct, enable, encourage the apostles to keep Jesus’ commands.
But the Advocate, 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. John 14:26
The Holy Spirit is in a believer. Abides in the believer. He is a gift from the Father in answer to the prayer of the Son. During His earthly ministry, Jesus had guided, guarded, and taught His disciples, but now the time was drawing close to when he would leave them. So, the Spirit of God would come to them and dwell in them, taking the place of their Master.
The Spirit of God is not different from the Jesus, Son of God, for both are God. The Spirit of God had dwelt with the disciples in the person of Jesus Christ. Now He would dwell in them.
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. John 14:27
Jesus is saying to his disciples, you are not going to be alone. I’m not abandoning you, leaving you helpless, and hopeless! The Spirit is with you. There is no need to have a troubled heart when you have the very Spirit of God dwelling within you! God in us!
Although Jesus was leaving, the Spirit would come, has come and dwells in each and every believer. God in us. Once again, we see the beauty of our triune God. One God, three persons. Three persons, one God. Perfect community. An echoing theme across the book of John.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. John 14:20
You know Jesus, you know the Father.
You know the Father, you know Jesus.
You have the Spirit, you have Jesus.
You have the Spirit you have the Father.
We are brought back into union with God. Through the plans and purposes of the Father, the person and work of Jesus Christ, and in the power and illumination of the Holy Spirit.
As believers we are never alone. We have the Father and the Son dwelling in us through the Holy Spirit. We are now bound in an eternal relationship with God.
Notice these relational words used repetitively throughout our passage…
The emphasis on the intimate union we are able to experience with God.
Why doesn’t the world get it?
Judas asks an interesting question…
“But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world? John 14:22
Because the world is in darkness, spiritual darkness.
The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. John 14:17
The world doesn’t get to see and experience Jesus or the Holy Spirit.
The world cannot accept Jesus or receive the Spirit because the world is at war with God. At the very heart of it, the world doesn’t know and accept Jesus as Lord.
As Joel explained to us the other week, those in the world love themselves more than anyone. They put themselves first, not Jesus.
So, they won’t accept Jesus.
Even though this world thinks it is in control, they’re not.
I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. John 14:30–31
Satan has no hold on Jesus. Jesus isn’t leaving because Satan is victorious. Jesus’ leaving will continue to reveal his victory over Satan.
But for those of us who believe in Jesus, and are his disciples…
What benefit we have in Christ!
“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. John 14:28
Jesus’ continual emphasis is on the necessity of his leaving. The benefit we receive from his death, burial, resurrection and ascension.
Intimate union with God as purposed by the Father, outworked in the Son and revealed and empowered by the Spirit. John 14:20
We will experience love as we have never experienced love before. John 14:21
God in us here on earth in the person of the Holy Spirit. John 14:23
We will know truth. John 14:26, 29
Jesus’ return. He will come to bring us home. John 14:28
A future home with God. Heaven. John 14:2-3
Peace with God. Through Jesus death, burial and resurrection we are no longer objects of God’s wrath because of the person and work of Jesus Christ. John 14:27
As Jesus is telling his disciples, as we must know and experience, that Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection and ascension are essential as they are part of God the Fathers plans and purposes which we benefit from.
And so, in light of all of this, what does Jesus ask of us?
“If you love me, keep my commands.” John 14:15
“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.” John 14:21
“Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.” John 14:23
Our love for Jesus is shown in through our ongoing obedience to what he teaches us.
It’s an obedience that comes from our experience of God’s love and an obedience that reveals God’s love.
Early afternoon my building boss came back. He was a little disappointed by my lack of progress. And I remember him saying. I shouldn’t have left you alone. This is a job for more than one.
And so, we started working together. All of a sudden it was all happening.
Do you have peace with God?
That is only possible when we see and know Jesus.
Do you see and know Jesus?
Do you realise that as a believer, you have God in you? The Holy Spirit!
We are not alone, through the person and work of Jesus Christ we have an intimate union, and intimate relationship with God.
Do you know and experience an ever-growing intimacy with God through the revealing and empowering work of the Holy Spirit?
Are you growing in love and obedience through the enabling of the Holy Spirit?
As believers we are never alone. We have the privilege of God dwelling in us which enables us to know, show and experience genuine love and obedience to Jesus.