Attention!
Take your personal ministry to the Next Level by helping StudyLight build churches and supporting pastors in Uganda.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries

Philpot's Commentary on select texts of the Bible

John 14

Verse 1

Joh 14:1

"You believe in God, believe also in me." — Joh 14:1

To believe in God is to believe in him as he has manifested himself in his dear Son in all the fullness of his love, in all the riches of his grace, and in all the depth of his mercy. God must be seen, not in the terrors of a holy law, but in the mercy and truth of the glorious gospel of the Son of God, and thus be approached and believed in as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our Father in him. How few see and realize this, and yet how severely exercised are many of the living family upon this point! To believe in God in such a way as to bring pardon and peace into their conscience; to believe in God so as to find manifest acceptance with him; to believe in God so as to call him Abba, Father, and feel that the Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are his children; to believe in God so as to find him a very present help in trouble; to receive answers to prayer, to walk in the light of his countenance, to have his love shed abroad in the heart, to be manifestly reconciled to him, and feel a sense of his manifested goodness and mercy—this is to believe in God through Jesus Christ.

And O how different is this from merely believing about God from what we see in nature that he is the Creator of all things, or from what we may have realized of his footsteps in providence that he watches over us as regards the things that perish, or from seeing in the letter of the word that he is the God of all grace to those who fear his name!

Verse 2

Joh 14:2

"In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." — Joh 14:2

O that we could lift our eyes to those blest abodes, those mansions of heavenly bliss, where no sorrow intrudes, where sin is unknown, where tears are wiped from off all faces, where there is no languishing body, no wasting sickness, no pining soul, no doubt, fear, darkness or distress; but one unmingled scene of happiness and pleasure, and the whole soul and body are engaged in singing the praises of God and the Lamb! And what crowns the whole, there is the eternal enjoyment of those pleasures which are at the right hand of God for evermore. But how lost are we in the contemplation of these things; and though our imagination may seem to stretch itself beyond the utmost conception of the mind, into the countless ages of a never-ending eternity, yet are we baffled with the thought, though faith embraces the blessed truth. But in that happy land, the immortal soul and the immortal body will combine their powers and faculties to enjoy to the uttermost all that God has prepared for those that love him.

Verse 6

Joh 14:6

"Jesus said unto him, I am the way." Joh 14:6

How is Jesus the way? In everything that he is to God’s people he is the way. His blood is the way to heaven; "for the whole path," as Hart speaks, "is lined with blood." By his precious blood shed upon Calvary’s tree he has put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, and opened a way of access to God. His righteousness, also, is part of the way; for only so far as we stand clothed in his glorious righteousness have we any access unto, any acceptance with God the Father. And his love is the way; for if we walk in love, we walk in him, for he is love. Every part of the way was devised and is executed by the love of his tender heart.

But the way, also, is the way of tribulation. Was not Jesus himself the great Sufferer? And if he be the way, the only way, I must be conformed to his likeness in suffering. Not to know afflictions and tribulations, is not to know Christ. He was "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief!" And if so, to have no sorrow, to have no acquaintance with grief, and to know nothing of tribulation, is to proclaim to all with a loud voice that we have no union and communion with the Lord Jesus Christ.

But we are continually turning aside "to the right hand" or "to the left." There is that cowardice in the heart which cannot bear the cross; there is that slipping into carnal ease and fleshly security, so as to get away from under the painful cross of affliction and suffering. But when we thus turn aside "to the right hand" or "to the left," the voice the Lord sends after us is, "This is the way"—the way of affliction; no other; the way of tribulation, the way of trial, the way of exercise. This is the way in which the King walked of old; and this is the way in which all his people have walked before him and after him; for this is the only path in which the footsteps of the flock can be found.

Verse 16

Joh 14:16

"And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him—but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you." Joh 14:16-17

The holy Comforter and most gracious Spirit does not take up a temporary abode in the heart of the Lord’s people. Where he once takes up his dwelling, there he forever dwells and lives. "He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever." Oh, the blessing! Where once that holy Dove has lighted, there that Dove abides. He does not visit the soul with his grace, and then leave it to perish under the wrath of God, or allow his work to wither, droop, and die. But where he has once come into the soul with power, there he fixes his continual habitation, for he makes the bodies of the saints his temple. He consecrates them to the service of God. He takes up his dwelling in their hearts; there he lives, there he moves, there he works, and sanctifies body and soul to the honor and glory of the Lord God Almighty.

And oh, what a blessing it is to have received the same gracious and heavenly Teacher as the Spirit of truth! If this be your happy case, you know the truth for yourself, and the truth is dear to your soul; it has been ingrafted by a divine witness in your heart, and inlaid by the power of God in your conscience. The truth as it is in Jesus is very, very precious to you. You cannot part with it; it is your very life. Sooner than part with God’s truth and your saving interest therein, you would be willing in favored moments to lay down your life itself.

But what makes you love God’s truth? What has given you a heart to embrace and delight in it; and when you have come to the house of prayer, it may be with a fainting body and a troubled mind, has yet supported your weary steps and brought you on; or when you have gone home from hearing the word, has cheered your heart, in the dark and gloomy night as you have lain upon your bed, and drawn your affections up to the Lord Jesus Christ? The Comforter, the Spirit of truth. He, and he alone, could give it so firm and enduring a place in your heart, conscience, and affections.

Then live that truth as well as love it, and proclaim its power and efficacy in your life and conversation. If the Spirit has written his truth upon your heart, he will bring forth that truth in your lips and in your life. He will make it manifest that you are "children that cannot lie." You will show forth the power of truth, in the sincerity of your speech, in the uprightness of your movements, in your family, in the Church, in your business, in your general character and deportment, and in everything which stamps the reality of religion and the power of vital godliness.

Verse 19

Joh 14:19

"Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but you see me—because I live, you shall live also." Joh 14:19

Communion with Christ rests on three things—seeing him by faith, living upon his life, and experiencing his manifested presence. But all these three things depend on his resurrection and a knowledge of its power. As risen from the dead, the saints see him; as risen from the dead, they live a life of faith upon him; as risen from the dead, he manifests himself unto them; and as life and feeling spring up in their souls from sweet communion with him, the power of his resurrection becomes manifest in them.

This communion, therefore, with the Lord Jesus as a risen Head all the reconciled and justified saints of God are pressing forward after, according to the measure of their grace and the life and power of God in their soul. It is indeed often sadly interrupted and grievously broken through, by the sin that dwells in us. But the principle is there, for that principle is life; and life is the privilege, the possession, and the distinction of the children of God. You need none to assure you that Jesus is risen from the dead if he manifests himself to your soul. You need no evidence that you are one of his sheep if you have heard and know his voice. So you may say, "Jesus is risen, for I have seen him; Jesus is risen, for I have heard him; Jesus is risen, for I live upon him."

Communion with Jesus is the life of religion, and indeed without it religion is but an empty name. If without him we can do nothing; if he is our life, our risen covenant Head, our Advocate with the Father, our Husband, our Friend, our Brother, how are we to draw sap out of his fullness, as the branch from the vine, or to know him personally and experimentally in any one of his endearing relationships, unless by continual communion with him on his throne of grace? In fact, this is the grand distinguishing point between the living and the dead, between the true child of God and the mere professor, that the one has real union and communion with a risen Jesus, and the other is satisfied with a form of godliness. Every quickened soul is made to feel after the power of God, after communion from above, after pardon and peace, after visitations of mercy and grace; and when he has had a view of Christ by faith, and some revelation of his Person and work, grace and glory, nothing afterwards can ever really satisfy him but that inward communion of spirit with Jesus whereby the Lord and he become one; "for he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit."

Verse 23

Joh 14:23

"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." Joh 14:23

There are two grand vital points that every Christian should seek to be established in. The first is—Is he a believer in Christ? Has the blessed Spirit made Christ known to his soul? Has he embraced Jesus in the arms of living faith? The second point which he should seek to have established in his soul is—Does he abide in Christ? This he may know by having some testimony that Christ abides in him, and produces the fruits that flow out of this inward abiding. If Christ abides in him, his heart will not be like the nether mill-stone. He cannot rush greedily into sin; he will not love the world, and the things of time and sense; he cannot happily love idols, or do those things which ungodly professors do without one check or pang.

Jesus in the soul is a guest that will make himself known; yes, abiding there, he is King therein. He is Ruler in Zion, and when he comes into the heart, he comes as King. Being, therefore, its rightful Sovereign, he sways the faculties of the soul, and makes it obedient to his scepter; for "your people shall be willing in the day of your power" (Ps 110:3). "O Lord our God, other lords beside you have had dominion over us; but we worship you alone" (Isa 26:13)

Verse 26

Joh 14:26

"But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things." Joh 14:26

If the Lord has given to any of you eyes to see and hearts to receive this divine Comforter, praise, bless, and adore your God and Father, and most merciful Benefactor, for his distinguishing grace in giving you to know him as your Comforter; and if he has ever dropped into your soul any of his sweet teachings, bless him that you have received him also as the Spirit of truth into your conscience. What but sovereign grace, rich, free and super-abounding, has made the difference between you and the world who cannot receive him? But for his divine operations upon your soul, you would still be of the world, hardening your heart against everything good and godlike, walking on in the pride and ignorance of unbelief and self-righteousness, until you sank down into the chambers of death. Oh, it is a mercy if but one drop of heavenly consolation has ever been distilled into your soul, if ever you have felt or found any relief in your sorrows and distresses from the work and witness of the Holy Spirit; if you have ever gathered any solid comfort from any promise applied with power, from any text dropped into your heart with a sealing testimony, from any manifestation of the love and blood of Christ, or from any communication of liberty, joy, or peace such as are produced by the operation and influence of the Spirit of God.

It may have been but little, nor did it last long; but it has given you a taste of its blessedness, and made you long for another sip, another crumb, another visit. But look to it well and examine carefully whether it be real, and whether, weighed in the balance of the sanctuary, you have good ground for believing that what you received with such comfort to your soul was distilled into your heart by the Comforter, and that the truth which you have felt and believed, as well as professed, has been opened up to your conscience by the Spirit of truth.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on John 14". Philpot's Commentary on select texts of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jcp/john-14.html.