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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary
John 14

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-14

143. The way to the Father (John 14:1-14)

The disciples by now surely knew that Jesus was soon to die. He therefore comforted them by saying he was going to his Father to prepare a permanent dwelling place for them, and one day he would return to take them to be with him for ever. He had told them often enough that if they followed him as loyal followers, they would share in his final victory (John 14:1-4).

Thomas misunderstood, thinking that Jesus was speaking of a physical location and a physical journey. He wanted Jesus to show them the way so that they would have no difficulty in following him later. Jesus explained that the 'way' to the Father was through the Son. Jesus had brought the truth of God and eternal life to the human race, and to know him was to know God. To know the Son was to know the Father (John 14:5-7).

Philip also misunderstood. He wanted a special revelation of the Father, though he should have known after more than three years with Jesus that Jesus and the Father were inseparably united. Jesus' words and actions were the Father's words and actions (John 14:8-11). Jesus may have been about to die, but God's work in the world was not about to end. When Jesus returned to the Father he would send the Holy Spirit, and through the power of the Spirit and prayer the disciples would do even greater works than Jesus had done. Jesus' ministry had been limited to a few years in Palestine, but his disciples would travel to other countries and reach the whole world for God. Jesus' return to the Father would bring in a new era (John 14:12-14).


Verses 15-31

144. Promise of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-31)

In assuring the disciples of the blessings that would follow his return to the Father (see John 14:12), Jesus had not specifically mentioned the Holy Spirit. Now he explained. When he returned to the Father, he would send the Holy Spirit as the Counsellor, or Helper, to guide, instruct and strengthen them. Those who did not believe in Jesus would not be able to understand how this Helper worked, because their understanding was limited to the things of the world in which they lived (John 14:15-17). Soon Jesus would leave the world, but he would not desert his disciples. Although people in general would see him no longer, his disciples would, in a sense, continue to see him. They would see and know him spiritually, because he would live within them. He would love them, and in return they would love him (John 14:18-21).

Judas Thaddaeus (not Judas the betrayer), still thinking of Jesus' physical body, could not understand how the disciples would see him but others would not. Jesus replied that not only the Son, but the Father also, would live with them, provided they gave proof of their love for him by following his teachings. The Holy Spirit would help them recall those teachings (John 14:22-26).

Jesus saw that his disciples were confused and unsettled, and promised them his peace. By this he did not mean a life free from trouble, but an inward calm such as he had. Though outwardly afflicted, inwardly he had peace. The disciples should not have been troubled about Jesus' coming death, but glad that by that death he was bringing to completion the work his Father had given him to do (John 14:27-29). Though sinless and in no way under Satan's power, Jesus would allow Satan's servants to betray and kill him, so that through his death he might fulfil his Father's will and save sinners (John 14:30-31).

 


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Bibliography Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on John 14:4". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/john-14.html. 2005.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, October 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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