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Bible Commentaries
John 14

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

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Verses 1-31

Chapter 14

Jesus said,

Let not your heart be troubled ( John 14:1 ):

Now, they were troubled because He had been saying these things. "I'm going to go away; where I go you cannot come." He's been talking about His death; He's been talking about His betrayal. He's been saying things that are very troubling to them. And yet, He said unto them, "Let not your heart be troubled." The cure for it is,

believe in God, and believe in me ( John 14:1 ).

"Ye believe in God..." and that is either a question or it's a statement. "Ye believe in God, believe also in me."

For in my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I'm going to prepare a place for you ( John 14:2 ).

The word mansions is abiding places. "In my Father's house are many abiding places. And I'm going to prepare a place for you."

If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. Where I go you know, and the way you know ( John 14:3-4 ).

Now, for many years I heard this scripture interpreted as beautiful mansions that God has up in heaven for us. So, when we arrive in heaven, Peter will meet us at the gate and take us through the city of heaven, down Glory Lane, and there, in this beautiful forest of blossoming trees, stands one of these beautiful colonial-type mansions, with the verandas and the porches and the stream running pass and all, and the Lord says, "There you are, check in." But, as time has passed, I've come to believe that what Jesus is referring to is not some beautiful home, English Tudor or Southern Colonial, that He has built up in heaven for me. But I believe that He is referring to the new body that I'm going to receive when I move out of this old tent. And Paul the apostle in II Corinthians, chapter 5, says, "We know that when this earthly tent, the body in which we presently live, is dissolved, that we have a building of God that is not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. So then, we who are in these bodies do often groan, earnestly desiring to move out of them, not to be unembodied spirits, but that we might be clothed upon with the body which is from heaven."

Now, God has a whole new body for us, far superior to the present body in which we live. The present body in which we live is compared to a tent; a temporary place to dwell, contrasted with the building of God, not made with hands, that is eternal in the heavens. The present body in which we live has marvelous features, but yet it also has features that aren't so marvelous. The present body in which we live has an aging process that takes its toll, so that we grow old. And as we grow old, the capacities of the body diminish. And we are not always able to do all of the things that we want to do or would like to do. And sometimes we foolishly get out and try to do some of those things that we used to do, and find that age has taken its toll upon the body. The body deteriorates; the body is subject to sickness, to disease, to weaknesses.

Now, God has a new body for me. It's far superior to this body, in that it will not need sleep for recuperation. Thus, if I had a mansion in heaven, I wouldn't need a bedroom in it. Because the body won't need that period of recuperating its strength. You probably wouldn't need a kitchen, because the body will probably be nourished by other types of foods that the body will use completely...so I probably won't need a bathroom.

So, when the Lord talks about in heaven, He's going to prepare a place for us, I believe that He's talking about that new body that He's gone to prepare for us. "The building of God not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." And there in the kingdom of God, in that perfected state, we will dwell, live and dwell with Him forever.

Now, His promise is, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." So, the Lord kept His promise to His disciples and He came and received each of them to Himself, and they are dwelling with Him now in His kingdom. He kept His word. And He'll keep His word to us. One of these days He's coming to receive us unto Himself, that where He is, there we may be also. And there's come that time in life when leaving this body to be with Him is far preferable to remaining in this body, when the Lord comes to receive us to Himself. "Now where I go you know, and the way you know."

Thomas said unto him, Lord, we don't know where you're going; and how can we know the way? Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me ( John 14:5-6 ).

Now, here again is one of those radical statements of Jesus Christ. Last week He said, "I am the resurrection and the life; he that believes on Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. He who lives and believes in Me shall never die" ( John 11:25-26 ). Radical! Now He's making another radical statement. "I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father but by Me." Here, Jesus is declaring that He is the only way by which a man may come the Father.

There are those people who declare, "All roads lead to God. All religions lead men to God. All roads go to God." Not so! There's only one road that leads to the Father and that's Jesus Christ. "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father..." Now, people may try to find other gods and serve other gods, but they don't serve the true and the living God, except through Jesus Christ. "No man," He said, "comes to the Father but by Me."

A couple of Mormon boys came up to the door the other day. And I said, "The problem is you talk like I talk, but you don't believe as I believe. Your words are like mine. You say that you believe in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ in His death for you." "Yes," they said, "that is true. We believe that Jesus died for our sins and we're saved by our believing in Him." I said, "Yes, but the Jesus you believe in is a different Jesus than I believe in. For the Jesus that I believe in is not the brother of Lucifer. And you believe that Jesus is the brother of Lucifer, don't you?" And they said, "Yes, we believe He's the brother of Lucifer." I said, "Then, he's a different Jesus than the one that I believe in. Because the Jesus I believe in is not the brother of Lucifer, but the only begotten Son of God. And if He were the brother of Lucifer, Lucifer being a created being, would make Him a created being and would put Him on a whole different level than that level in which God's Word declares that He is, 'who was in the beginning with God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God.' So, you say you believe in Jesus, but it's a different Jesus. You're preaching a different Jesus than what the Bible reveals. And as far as that goes, you're also preaching a different god. For the God that I believe in is not an ascended man, nor do I believe that you're going to be a god. And you believe in a god that was a man ascended, just as you are ascending to a godhood state." I said, "So, though you may use the terms, 'god' and 'Jesus,' they're a different god and Jesus than what I trust in."

And so, Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father but by Me." That is a radical statement! A lot of people wish that Jesus had not made that statement. We are accused as Christians as being too narrow. "You need to become more broadened in your outlook on life. Surely God would not restrict the path to Him by just one way." Well, you've got to then set aside the claim of Jesus Christ. And if you say, "He was wrong when He said this," then you're saying He is not trustworthy, His Word is not trustworthy. You see, one thing about Jesus making these radical claims, man, He forces you to a decision. Either He is the way to the Father, the only way to the Father, or there are other ways to the Father. And if there are other ways to the Father, then Jesus was not telling the truth. If He was not telling the truth, then how can you trust Him on anything else that He said? So, call me narrow, call me what you wish. Jesus made this radical claim, and you either believe it or not.

Jesus said,

If you had known me, you should have known my Father also: and from henceforth you know him, and have seen him. Philip said unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. And Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long a time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me has seen the Father ( John 14:7-9 );

What a radical statement! Jesus is getting down to the end of the road, and He's just making one radical statement after another. "He that hath seen Me . . . " Do you want to see the Father? "Look, you've been around Me for a long time. If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. For," he goes on to say, "the works that I do I don't do of Myself, but the Father who dwells in Me, He does the works. That words that I speak are not My words, but the Father who sent Me. I'm here representing the Father, and if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father."

Now, God would appreciate it if all of us could make that statement, but I don't think that any of us can. I am to be God's representative in the world. I am here to do the works of God. I am here to speak the Word of God. But unfortunately, many times I'm doing my own works and speaking my own words. So it's impossible that I could say, "If you've seen me, you've seen the Father." In some situations, yes; but not in all. But with Jesus it was consistent all the way through His entire life. He was a perfect representation of the Father; in all of His works, in all of His words, in all of His deeds, He represented the Father.

And so, do you want to know what God is like? You can look at Jesus Christ. For the purpose of His coming was to manifest the Father to man. "God, who in sundry times and in diverse manners spoke to our Fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His own dear Son" ( Hebrews 1:1-2 ). God revealed Himself in times past through the prophets, but now He has revealed Himself in the perfect revelation through His own Son. And if you have seen Jesus, you have seen the Father. And so, what kind of a God has He revealed to us? A loving God, a compassionate God, a God who is concerned for the needs of man, a God who is weeping over the failure of man, a God who desires to redeem lost man. For He has said, "I have come to seek and to save that which was lost" ( Luke 19:10 ). What a beautiful God He has revealed to us through all of His life and ministry. And that is the God that we know and we worship and we serve, the God revealed to us by Jesus Christ. "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father."

Now, in a sense, we are also God's representatives upon the earth. And even more so, we who have taken the position of teachers of God's Word. We stand here to represent God and to declare God's truth to you, but what an awesome responsibility that is. Because standing here as God's representative, God is concerned that I represent Him in truth.

Now, Moses got into big trouble because he failed to represent God rightly. When they came to the wilderness area and they were out of water the second time, and the people began to murmur and complain unto Moses, and Moses went in and said, "God, I'm sick of it. I'm tired of it. I can't stand it any more! I didn't give birth to all of these people, and I'm tired of carrying their load. Here they are murmuring again. God, I'm so sick of it." And God said, "Hey, cool down, Moses. Go and out and just speak to the rock and they'll get water." But Moses went out and he was angry. And he said to the people, "Must I smite this rock again and give you water?" And he took his rod and he smote the rock in anger. And God, in His love and grace, gave water, but He said, "Moses, come here, son." He said, "Moses, you really misrepresented Me before those people. You went out in anger. You smote the rock. I told you just speak to it. And now, they are thinking that I'm angry with them, I'm upset with them. I'm not angry or upset with them, Moses. But they think I am because you were representing Me to be that way. Moses, I don't like being misrepresented." I wonder what God thinks about all these people who represent Him as being broke. Bankrupt and almost out of business! "Poor God, bail Him out quickly, friends! Get your letter in, or God's going to be in the bread lines next week, and His work is going to fail." What a poor representation of God.

And so, God said, "Moses, because you failed to represent Me there at the waters of Meribah, you cannot go into the Promised Land." Hey, that's serious business. Your lifelong dream is shattered. Why? Because you failed to properly represent Me before the people at Meribah. God's representative. Oh, God, help me to always realize that awesome responsibility of being His representative. So, if ever I look like I'm ever angry with you, I'm not representing God. Because He's not angry with you. He loves you. If I look like I'm really upset and out of sorts, I'm not really representing God, because He's not upset and out of sorts. God has such great patience and compassion and love towards you. And to be His representative, we must also have great compassion and mercy towards one another.

"He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." What marvelous words. "How do you say then, 'Show us the Father'?"

Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? the words that I speak unto you I don't speak them of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he is doing the works. Believe me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake ( John 14:10-11 ).

All the way along, Jesus was saying, "The works that I do, they bear witness of Me. I claim to be the Son of God, and the works that I am doing bear witness that My claim is true. I am doing the works of God." What were the works of God? The healing of the sick, the lifting of those that were fallen. This is God's work in a needy world. "I'm doing the work of the Father, or else believe Me for the very work's sake, for the witness they are to you."

Verily, verily, I say unto you, That he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also ( John 14:12 );

We are to do those same works that Jesus did, of showing compassion and love and tenderness and concern and care.

And greater than these shall he do, because I go to my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you shall ask anything in my name, I will do it ( John 14:12-14 ).

Now, those are two promises for prayer that are absolutely so broad that they are staggering. Jesus is saying, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." Broad, broad promises. But to whom are the promises made? He's not talking now to the multitudes. He's not standing in the temple court crying out, "Ask anything in My name, and I'll do it!" He's talking with those men who have forsaken all to follow Him. He's talking to His disciples. And what constitutes a disciple? Jesus said, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me" ( Mark 8:34 ). To whom is this broad promise of prayer made? To that man who first of all has denied himself. So, his prayer isn't going to be one for his own glory, for his own wealth, for his own enrichment. Jesus isn't saying here, "Just ask for a Cadillac, and I'll give you one. Ask for a Mercedes, ask anything, I'll give it to you!" "Oh, alright," you know. And I start making out my list of all of those things that I want for me and for my flesh. No, no, no; you've got it wrong. "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself." And that's the first qualification to a man who has this broad promise.

Secondly, "let him take up his cross." By that, submitting himself totally to the will of the Father. "Not my will; Thy will be done." And that man who has totally submitted his life to the will of the Father, who has denied himself, who is following Jesus Christ, he has a glorious broad promise from the Lord, "Whatsoever you ask in My name, I will do it." Because whatever I am asking will be according to the will of God, because that's what I desire to see.

Now, there are some people who put down the prayer, "Not my will; Thy will be done." But I think that's almost blasphemous to put down that prayer, because Jesus was the one who offered that prayer. "Lord, Your will be done." They say, "Oh, that's a lack of faith." No, it isn't. It's greater trust than anything else. It's greater trust than demanding that I have my way done in this matter of which I know so little about. I'm so stupid in the overall program and purposes of God. I see things one way today, but I see them differently tomorrow. And it would be a shame if God would answer every little whim that I had and change of mind, "Oh, no, Lord, remember yesterday? No, please, no; that was wrong, Lord. This is really what I need." These broad promises of prayer are glorious, but they are to the disciples. They are restricted.

Jesus said,

If you love me, keep my commandments ( John 14:15 ).

What is His commandment? That we love one another as He has loved us. In John, again, in writing his epistle, speaks about keeping His commandments. But then, he says, His commandment is that we should love one another, even as He gave His commandment. "If you love me," Jesus said, "keep My commandment." So, I show my love to Him by loving you. Yes, I love Him. And for that reason, I love you. Because that's what He has commanded. But, fortunately, it's very easy because you're so loving. Isn't that neat?

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter ( John 14:16 ),

"Parakletos," one to come alongside of you and help you.

that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth ( John 14:16-17 );

So here we have the Trinity. Jesus is saying, "I'm going to pray to the Father. He's going to give you another Comforter, the Spirit of truth, that He may abide with you forever." And so, the Father, the Son and the Spirit.

whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knows him; but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you ( John 14:17 ).

And so here we see a twofold relationship of the disciples to the Holy Spirit. Number one: He is dwelling para, with you...the same "parakletos," but this is just para, the preposition, "He's dwelling with you, alongside of you." "But He shall be in you." He's going to come on in.

Now, prior to your receiving Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit was dwelling with you. It was the Holy Spirit that caused you to realize that you were a sinner and you needed help. It was the Holy Spirit that pointed out Jesus Christ as the answer to your sin problem. It was the Holy Spirit that drew you to Jesus Christ and caused you to come and say, "Oh, Lord, come into my life and take over." That was the work of the Holy Spirit with you, to bring you to that place of surrendering your life to Jesus Christ. And the moment you surrendered your life to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit came in you and began to indwell you.

"Ye know him," Jesus said, "this Spirit, because He is with you, but He is going to be in you. He's going to come and indwell in your life." Paul said, "Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you? You're not your own; you've been bought with a price. Therefore, glorify God with your body and your spirit, which are His" ( 1 Corinthians 6:20 ).

So, the Holy Spirit; the twofold relationship, dwelling with me to bring me to Christ, and then, now dwelling in me now that I have received Jesus Christ. But, as we move on to the book of Acts, we find one further relationship, where Jesus, in Acts 1:8 ,said, "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes epi, upon you." And so, there is that empowering of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer, which we will touch on when we get to the book of Acts as soon as we finish the book of John. So, here we find a twofold relationship. There is a threefold relationship, but Jesus isn't making mention of that here.

Jesus said,

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. But yet a little while, and the world will see me no more; but you see me: because I live, ye shall live also ( John 14:18-19 ).

Now, He's been talking about going away, "Where I'm going you cannot come." He's been talking about His death, but He's also talking about His eternal life. "I'm going to go away; the world is not going to see Me any more, but you see Me. And because I live, you shall live also."

So, my hope of eternal life is based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. If Christ is not raised from the dead, then my hope is in vain, my preaching is in vain, and I'm a very miserable person. But because Jesus is risen from dead, Peter said, "Thank God we have a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, which fades not away, which is reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith" ( 1 Peter 1:3-5 ). So that glorious living hope that we have, "Because He lives, we too shall live."

At that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you ( John 14:20 ).

What a glorious relationship that we have now with God! Christ is dwelling in the Father; we are dwelling in Christ; Christ is dwelling in us; the Father is dwelling in us. How beautiful it is!

He that hath my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him ( John 14:21 ).

To whom? The one that is keeping His commandments.

Judas said unto him, not Iscariot, [he's already gone,] Lord, how is it that you will manifest thyself to us, and not to the world? And Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him ( John 14:22-23 ).

Man's relationship with God must be through obedience to the Word, the commandment of Jesus Christ, demonstrated and manifested in our love. And so, if we love Him, we'll keep His words and the Father and Christ will come and make their abode. They will come and dwell with us.

Paul, writing to the Ephesians, said, "that Christ might dwell in your hearts through faith." That word dwell is the same word here, abode. And it literally means, "just settle down and make himself at home in your heart." Has your heart become Christ's home? Does He feel comfortable there? Does He feel at home? Or does the art on the wall sort of bother Him? What's in your heart, you see? What kind of an imagine or pictures are there on the wall of your heart? As Jesus is relaxing in the lounge and He looks at the wall, what kind of a picture does He see, observing? When I first invited the Lord in my heart, I went in and I could see that He was very uncomfortable, and I said, "What's the matter, Lord?" And He said, "Oh, the pictures on the wall, I can't take them. You're going to have to get rid of that art!" I said, "But Lord, that's costly stuff!" He said, "Get rid of it. Can't take it." What is in your heart? Oh, that Christ might just be at home there. That my heart might be Christ's home, that He might feel perfectly at home within my heart.

"He that loves me keeps my words. The Father will love him, will come and will settle down and make our home with him."

And he that loves me not will not keep my sayings: but the words which you hear are really not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, [the parakletos,] which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name ( John 14:24-26 ),

Again the Trinity, "the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name,"

he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you ( John 14:26 ).

And so here's the promise of that help that the Holy Spirit would give to us by teaching us all things, and by quickening our recall, bringing to our remembrance those things that He has said.

And then, the beautiful bequest of peace,

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid ( John 14:27 ).

And so, to a frightened bunch of troubled disciples, Jesus is saying, "Look, My peace I give to you." That kind of peace that He had when the boat was sinking and He was sleeping. That peace that comes through perfect confidence that the Father is in control of everything that surrounds my life. God's in control. The peace. "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

You have heard how I said unto you, I am going away, and I am coming again. If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said, I am going to the Father: the Father is greater than I ( John 14:28 ).

Interesting statement. Jesus said, "If you loved Me, you would rejoice. I'm going to die, I'm going to go be with the Father. Now, if you loved Me, you would rejoice." You know, isn't it interesting that when our loved ones die, we cry? If we really loved them, we would rejoice, because they have gone to be with the Lord. It's because we love ourselves that we cry. I would bring them back to this miserable old earth. I would bring them back to the decrepit old bodies. I would keep them from that glory of dwelling with God in His kingdom, in that new body, in that new glory with Him. Oh, I would keep them from that. I would bring them back to this old decrepit body and sit them there so that they can still give input to me. I've said it before, and I say it again; if the Lord should see fit to take me, and a group gathers around and says, "Oh, Lord, don't let him die, bring him back, Lord," when I get back, watch out! I'll bust ya!

Jesus said, "If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I'm going to the Father." Oh, how glorious to be with the Father! You see, it's only because we don't have a true concept of what heaven is like. We think, "Oh, earth is so wonderful. Life is so glorious. He's so young, what a shame that he had to die so young." Oh, what a blessing, he doesn't have to do through all the misery of this sick world. You just have the wrong concept of heaven. You don't realize how glorious it is. And that's why Paul prayed, "that the mind of your understanding might be enlightened by the Spirit that you may know what is the hope of your calling" ( Ephesians 1:18 ). If you only knew what God has in store for those that loved Him. If you only knew what a glorious inheritance there is for those saints in light, you wouldn't be praying, "Oh, God, bring them back." You'd be praying, "Lord, Your will be done."

In the final days my mother was with us, and the ministers used to come and pray, "Oh, God, heal her," and all. When they'd leave, she'd smile and she'd say, "I wasn't agreeing with them in prayer. I don't want to be healed; I want to go and be with the Lord. Why don't they just let me go and be with the Lord instead of praying, 'God heal me'? So, I just wasn't agreeing with that prayer." Boy, if we only knew the glory of God's kingdom.

And Jesus said,

I have told you before it is come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, you might believe ( John 14:29 ).

He said this back in the thirteenth chapter, the nineteenth verse; and this again is one of the purposes for prophecy in the Bible to make a believer out of you. Telling things in advance before they happen, so that when they happen, you will believe. Yes, He knew what He was talking about. And so Jesus is calling upon this prophecy as a pillar for faith. "I've told you before it comes to pass, so that when it does come to pass, you might believe. Remember that I told you and you'll believe that I am in control. I know what I'm talking about. It's all happening according to plan. Things are not out of hand."

Hereafter I'm not going to be able to talk much with you: for the prince of this world comes ( John 14:30 ),

And Jesus is soon going to go out into the garden to face the prince of this world. He's going to go out into the Garden of Gethsemane and fight against every force and power of hell. "The prince of this world comes,"

but he has nothing [Jesus said] in me ( John 14:30 ).

But there in the garden a tremendous battle was waged. And Jesus sweat, as it were, great drops of blood, falling to the ground, as there He was fighting this tremendous spiritual warfare as He was facing the cross.

But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let's go ( John 14:31 ).

And so, with His disciples He now arises and He makes His way with them towards the Garden of Gethsemane. And chapter 15 is a discourse on the way to the Garden to Gethsemane, probably as they were passing by some vineyards. And He is now teaching them of that glorious relationship that they are to have with Him, as the vine and the branches.

So next week, chapters 15 and 16. And now, may the Lord plant His Word in your heart tonight. And may the Spirit bring it to your remembrance. And may He enable you this week to love as God would have you to love, even as Christ loved us. And may our lives be open and yielded to that work of God's Spirit, and may we each one be very concerned that we keep His commandment to love one another. And may God give us opportunities to show that love to each, by serving one another in love as His children. God bless you and help you as you put into practice His Word this week. In Jesus' name. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on John 14". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/john-14.html. 2014.
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