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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
John 14

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-12

John 14:1. Let not your heart be troubled:

This is one of those verses that you may read as slowly as you like, and spell out every letter, and find honey in it all.

John 14:1. Ye believe in God, believe also in me.

As Jews, they had already known and seen the power of God. They were now to rise to the faith of Christians, and to believe in Jesus their Saviour.

Even though they should see him die, they were not to doubt him: “Ye believe in God, believe also in me.”

John 14:2. In my Father’s house are many mansions:

So there is room for many, there are homes for many, there is wealth for many; “In my Father’s house are many mansions:”

John 14:2. If it were not so, I would have told you.

The Saviour seems to say to his disciples, “I keep nothing back from you; had there been some sorrowful fact to be revealed to you, I would at length have told you of it.”

John 14:2. I go to prepare a place for you.

“There must be a heaven, for I am going there myself, and I am going on purpose to make it ready for you.”

John 14:3. And If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

That is the first and simplest idea of heaven, to be with Christ; and I think it is the last and sublimest idea of heaven, too,—to be with Christ: “that where I am, there ye may be also.”

John 14:4-5. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

The apostles blundered, and lost themselves in the words of their Master, instead of entering into the spirit of what he said; so we must not wonder if we often do the same. Unless we wait upon God to be instructed by his Spirit, even the plainest passages of Scripture may be obscure to us.

John 14:6-7. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. And from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Jesus had been talking about the many mansions, and now he talks about the Father. Is the Father, then, the same as heaven? Ay, indeed; to come to the Father is to come to perfect blessedness, to know the fullness of his eternal love, and to enjoy it in face-to-face communion;—this is heaven.

What higher bliss can we desire?

John 14:8-9. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?

Do we, then, see the Father when we see Christ? And is the Father’s presence heaven? Then, Christ is heaven; and to be with him is heaven. It is even so. He is the way to heaven, the truth of heaven, the life of heaven. He is heaven’s everything.

“His track I see, and I’ll pursue

The narrow way, till him I view;”

And when I view him, shall I not have seen the Father, and have entered into the Father’s rest?

John 14:10-12. Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

In consequence of Christ’s going to the Father, and the Spirit of God descending upon Christ’s disciples, they are enabled to outdo their Master in some forms of holy service. For instance, some of them brought more to the faith than Christ himself had done during his lifetime, and so realized the fulfillment of this promise, “The works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

This exposition consisted of readings from John 14:1-12 : and Colossians 1:1-19.


Verses 1-20

This is a chapter which I suppose most of us know by heart, full of comfort, a very river of delight.

Remember that our Lord spoke this to his own beloved ones — to the inner circle. It was not addressed to the general public. It is not a sermon to the world. It is a discourse to those who had lived with him, and were now sorrowing because he was about to leave them by a cruel death. Thus he begins: —

John 14:1. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

“You have believed in God, whom you have never seen. Believe in me when you cannot see me. Believe that I still am — that I still am working for your good. You have believed in God, though he has not manifested himself to you in his person as I have done. Now when I am no longer seen of you, believe in me as you believe in the invisible God.” It is well for us to have the same faith in Christ that we have in the everlasting God. This is the cure for the heart trouble. You are sure to be troubled in heart unless you have much faith in God. “Let not your heart be troubled. Ye believe in God, believe also in me.”

John 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.

Our Lord was going away, but he was going away with a purpose, and a grand purpose too — a purpose which had to do with the everlasting future of his beloved ones. “I go to prepare a place for you.”

John 14:3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.

And he will come again, beloved. That is our grandest hope. We are looking for his coming. It is very sweet to know that we shall be for ever with the Lord if we die before his coming; but still the hope of God’s people is the coming of the Lord, the resurrection of the dead — his taking to himself all his redeemed to be for ever with him.

John 14:4. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

We know where Christ has gone. Every step we can follow. The way we know. It always reconciles us to a friend’s going away if we know where he has gone — know all about him. A mother tells me that she has missed her boy now for twelve months, and never heard from him. That is sorrow; but when we know that our son has gone to the other side of the world, and we know why he has gone, and where he has gone, and what is coming of it, we are greatly comforted. So Jesus says, “Whither I go, ye know, and the way ye know.”

John 14:5. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

There is always somebody who has not learned the lesson. I am afraid that it is not one Thomas, but a great many Thomases that still have to say, “We know not.” Although Christ himself be the teacher, we are always poor learners.

John 14:6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

There is nothing good except by Christ. They that hate Christ very soon hate God. They get rid of the Christ of the gospel, and they soon get rid of God out of creation too, and there is no coming to the Father in any way or fashion except by Christ. He has gone to the Father, but he is also the way to the Father.

John 14:7-8. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

There is a Philip as well as a Thomas. It does not seem that, even with Christ for a teacher, we should learn much without the Holy Ghost. The greatest blessing, after all, is not the bodily presence of the Saviour, though we learn something from that, but it is the indwelling and the teaching of the Holy Ghost which we most of all need.

John 14:9-11. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

The eternal union between Christ and the Father should never be forgotten by us. He seems to sink himself, but the well-beloved Son will have it that his words are not his own, but come from the Father. I cannot help remarking how different this is from some who profess to be the ministers of Christ. They must be original; they must be great thinkers. Every man nowadays makes his own gospel, but the Saviour was no original — the grandest of all intellects, and yet he says, “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself, but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, or else believe me for the very work’s sake.”

John 14:12. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

While the Master was here in his humiliation he healed a few poor Jews, and raised here and there a dead one, but he purposely veiled the splendor of his godhead. But now that he has gone up on high, he does greater wonders by his servants than he himself personally did, for he said to a few poor fishermen, “Go and break up the Roman Empire,” and they did it. They preached the gospel, and the gods of the heathen that sat upon their thrones for ages were cast to the moles and the bats. And there are greater victories yet before the Church of God. You ought not to measure our passage by the past, but believe that “greater works than these shall ye do, because I go unto my Father.”

John 14:13. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

We do not believe enough in the power of prayer. I sometimes feel staggered when I meet with good people, undoubtedly good people, who still look upon it as a new thing that we should believe that God hears our prayers. But this is the fundamental of Christian experience. Hew can we live without the mercy-seat? And if that mercy-seat be nothing but a vain show, and prayer be only a pious but useless exercise, what is there in the Christian religion at all? We have heard some very wise people say that prayer is no doubt beneficial to those who offer it; but to suppose that it has any effect upon the mind of God is absurd. Do you not see, brethren, that they think us all idiots. They must do so, for do you suppose that any but an idiot would go on praying at all if he did not believe that it had some effect upon the mind of God, and that it did prevail with God? I would as soon stand and whistle out of my bedroom window for half an hour, as I would kneel down and pray for half an hour, if there were to be no result coming from it, and so would every sensible man. But we know of a surety that God heareth prayer. We cannot imagine our Lord deceiving us, and he must have done so if it is not so, for he says, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

John 14:14. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

But there is a deal of praying that never reaches to the name of Christ. Even to pray for Christ’s sake does not reach to the point of praying in Christ’s name. If I go and transact business in the name of such a person, that is a different thing from merely asking to be allowed to do my own business for the sake of that person. But when you are authorized to use the name of Christ — as it were, to write his signature to your cheques — oh! what power there is in prayer at that time! “If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” But you cannot ask everything in that name. You are obliged to draw back from some prayers, and say, “No; Christ would never authorize me to put his name to that.” You see there is a blessed cheques upon the universality of prayer — a most necessary and useful cheques — for we would not dare to ask some things in that wondrous name.

John 14:15-17. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

He dwelt with the apostles, but was not in them until after Christ rose from the dead. But now you and I knew his indwelling. He has made our bodies to be the temples of the Holy Ghost.

John 14:18. I will not leave you comfortless:

Orphans.

John 14:18. I will come to you.

He does this by his Spirit, but still he means more than that. It is not a spiritual coming merely; it is a personal coming. “I will come to you.”

John 14:19-20. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

Wondrous unity — Christ in the Father, we in him, and Christ in us. Who understands this? He only who is taught of the Holy Spirit.


Verses 1-21

We have often read this chapter, both in our private meditations, and at our public worship; but we cannot read it too often. It is sweet as honey and the honeycomb. It contains the very quintessence of consolation. Every word in the chapter is rich, and full of meaning. Perhaps they understand it best who cannot read it quickly, but are obliged to spell over every word of it, and so are like those who feast upon marrow and fatness.

John 14:1. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

That is the cure for heart trouble, and all other trouble, too, — believing in God, and believing in his Son, Jesus Christ. Faith is the double cure of trouble, for it delivers us altogether from the trouble, and, at the same time, it helps us to find sweetness in it as long as we have to endure it. Notice that our Saviour says, “Let not your heart be troubled.” If your heart can be preserved from trouble, you will not be greatly tried by it. Trouble is in your house, perhaps; but, if so, let it not get into your heart. The waves beat all round your vessel, but let not the vessel itself leak, and take in the water: “Let not your heart be troubled.”

John 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.

This was very largely the cause of their trouble; they were full of sorrow because their Lord and Master was going away from them; yet he was going for their good. It was with a set purpose that he was leaving them, and the same reason still keeps him away from us. We are not to mourn for him as we might for one slain in battle, who would never come back to us. He has gone for a little while to another country, to the great Father’s house, upon a most gracious and necessary errand: “I go to prepare a place for you.” The Spirit of God is down here to prepare us for the place; the Son of God is up yonder to prepare the place for us.

John 14:3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Do not tell us about a purgatory for Christ’s people, a limbo in which they are to be awhile to be prepared to share his glory. No, he will come at the right time, and take them to be where he is, and they shall have the very place that Jesus has: “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Do you want a better rest than that after all your work and warfare here below? Does not this prospect cheer you while you are journeying down the hill of life?

John 14:5. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

“Ye know that I am going to the Father, and ye know that I am myself the way to the Father; I am going whence I came.”

John 14:6. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:

“I am all that you want on your way to heaven, the truth that will make heaven for you, and the life which you will enjoy with me for ever in heaven. I give you all that while you are yet here below.”

John 14:6. No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

There is no getting to God except through Christ. Those who say that we can go to heaven without a Mediator know not what they say, or say what they know to be false. There can be no acceptable approach to the Father except by Jesus Christ the Son.

John 14:7. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also:

For Christ is also “the mighty God, the everlasting Father.” All the character of God is seen in the Christ of God, and he who truly comes to Christ has really come to the Father.

John 14:7. And from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

I hope that this may be said of many of us, that we do truly know God; and, since we have seen Christ by faith, we have seen the Father also.

John 14:8. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

What a comfort these questions and blunders of Thomas and Philip ought to be to us, for it is clear that we are not the only dolts in Christ’s school; and if he could bear with them, he can bear with us also. Like them, how little do we retain of that which he teaches us! We are taught much, but we learn little, for we are such poor scholars. Our memory holds but little, and our understanding still less of what we have been taught, and we are all too apt to want something that we can see, just as Philip said, “Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.”

John 14:9-11. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

Note how the Master continued to urge his disciples to believe. Again and again he returned to that vital point: Believest thou? “Believe me...: believe me.” This he did because there is no relief from heart-trouble but by believing the everlasting truth of God, and especially by believing him who is “the truth.” The believer alone has true peace of heart; the unbeliever is tossed to and fro on the billows of the great ocean of doubt; how can he rest? There is nothing for him to rest upon. Happily, Christ is still saying, “Come unto me, and I will give you rest;” and they are truly wise who accept his gracious invitation.

John 14:12. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

When Christ had gone back to the Father, he opened all heaven’s treasures for his people; he bestowed the Spirit of all grace, and so his servants were helped to do even greater works than he himself did while he was upon the earth. We cannot add anything to his atonement; that work must for ever stand as complete and unique; but there are other forms of service, in which he engaged in his earthly ministry, in which his servants have gone far beyond him. The Lord Jesus Christ never preached a sermon after which three thousand were converted and baptized in one day; to a large extent he kept his personal ministry within the bounds of Palestine; but, after his resurrection, when the Spirit was poured out at Pentecost, then, in the power of the Spirit, greater works than his were wrought the wide world over.

John 14:13-14. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

Is that promise true to every man? Certainly not. It was made by Christ to his own disciples, and not to all of them absolutely; but only to them as they believe in him, as they are filled with his Spirit, and as they keep his commandments. There are some of God’s children who have little power with him in prayer, — some who walk so disorderly that, since they do not listen to God’s words, he will not listen to theirs. Yet he will give them necessaries, as you give even to your naughty and disobedient children; but he will not give them the luxury of prevailing prayer, and that full fellowship with him which comes through abiding in him. Such luxuries he saves for his obedient children, who are filled with his Spirit. Even under the old dispensation, David wrote, “Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart;” and in a very special sense, under the new dispensation, that spirituality of mind, which enables us to delight in God, is a necessary antecedent to our obtaining the desires of our heart in the high and spiritual sphere of prayer.

John 14:15-17. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him:

The world is carnal, it is unspiritual; therefore, it is unable to see or to know the Spirit of God. A man without a spiritual nature cannot recognize the Holy Spirit; he must be born again before he can do so. You who are only soul and body need to receive that third and loftier principle — the spirit which is wrought in us by the Spirit of God. Until you have it, this verse applies to you: “The Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him.”

John 14:17. But ye know him;

Christ’s own disciples know him.

John 14:17-19. For he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

Oh, what a rich promise! How, then, can Christ’s people ever perish? Until Christ himself perishes, no child of his can ever be lost.

John 14:20. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

Three wondrous mysteries of union, — Christ in the Father, the Church in Christ, and Christ in his Church.

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

May we be such lovers of Christ that he may love us, and manifest himself unto as, for his name’s sake! Amen.


Verses 1-31

John 14:1. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

You will be troubled; that cannot be helped. But let not your heart be troubled. You are like a ship, and all the water in the sea cannot hurt a ship, if it is kept outside of her. Let not your heart be troubled. How are you to prevent it? Faith is the remedy. Ye believe already; believe more. “Ye believe in God; believe also in me.” “You have a trust in the infinite power of God; believe in me as the incarnation of his infinite love.”

John 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.

There is no room for you on earth; there will be in heaven. If troubles should so multiply that it seems impossible to live in them, you shall be carried away where you shall live above them “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” You may depend upon the love of Christ beloved, for if there were anything dark, mysterious, distressing, which would lead you to despair, he would not have kept it back. He treats you frankly. “If it were not so I would have told you. I go, and you are sorry that I go. It is the source of your sorrow. But I go to prepare place for you.”

John 14:3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Oh! this is ground for sweet comfort, and it ought to yield it to us tonight. He has gone, but he will come again; he has not left us for ever. Space divides us for awhile; but, skipping over the mountains like a roe and a young hart, he will come again, even to this poor world, and to us, his waiting church, he will come again. Therefore, have patience. Let not your heart be troubled. Jesus Christ will come very soon.

John 14:4. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

Ye know where Christ is gone. Ye know how to get at him. The throne on which he sits is the throne of grace. He is gone to the Father, and your prayers will find the Father. You know the way. Then frequent it; and though as yet in your bodies you cannot reach to him, yet in spirit you can. “Whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”

John 14:5. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

Which was a contradiction of his Master, which Thomas ought not to have uttered. He should have put it much rather in the form of a question for explanation, than of such a fiat denial. His Master said, “Whither I go ye know.” He said, “We know not whither thou goest.” But we must take care that we do not contradict Christ. Our unbelief would be shamed out of us, if we were to look at it and examine it. I am persuaded that your faith will be justified the more you examine it, till you will discover that faith in God is nothing, after all, but sanctified common sense. So unbelief will appear to be more shameful the more you examine it, till you discover at length that it is nothing but garish folly. An outrage upon the first principles of wisdom is distrust of God.

John 14:6-7. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

This, then, is the main point of knowledge with us, to know Christ. All the studies in the world are vain, compared with the study of Christ crucified. This is the most excellent of all the sciences. He that knoweth Christ knoweth the way, the truth, the life, yea, and God himself.

John 14:8-9. Philip saith unto him, Lord shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

The best view of God we can ever have is Christ in the person of his Son. There is more seen of God than in all nature; aye and in all history added to nature. God hath given us a full-length portrait of himself in Jesus; while in all his works, we have no more then a mere miniature of him. Oh! that we knew Christ more; then should we know the Father.

John 14:10-12. Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

Oh! what strength there is in faith. These are the same people who are not to be troubled. They are to rise so much above trouble of heart, that they are to become performers of works like to Christ. Yea, and since Christ has gone, and he has endowed us with the Holy Spirit, we are to do yet greater works than he did. Oh! to know the possibilities of our nature; to know what God can do by us. What appears to us as we are, as unable to be done, we may be enabled to do through the spirit of God which is in Christ Jesus.

John 14:13-14. 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 any thing in my name, I will do it.

It does not mean that every prayer will be answered. The power to ask a thing in Christ’s name is not given to everybody. It is not merely to say at the end of your prayer, “for Christ’s sake.” It is another thing; it is to be able to feel that, as Christ stood in your place, so you dare stand in Christ’s place; and what you have asked, you have asked in his name, feeling that what you have asked is such that Christ would have asked it. Now, when you can feel that, and can feel that Christ puts his seal on what you have asked, then, you ask in his name. A person cannot always speak in the name of another; cannot do it at all unless he has received an authorization so to do. Then he stands as that person’s deputy; stands in his place; speaks in his name. I am sure that nine out of ten of the prayers of Christians are not offered in the name of Christ, and could not be. It would be a sin against Christ for such prayers to be supposed to be the prayers of Christ. But when we talk of the Spirit of God, and we dare ask in the name and use the seal of Christ to set his signature at the bottom of our petition, then, brethren, depend upon it Christ will do it.

John 14:15. If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Oh! some of us would have liked him to have said, “If ye love me, give all your money; go into a convent. If ye love me, perform some wonderful action. Go into the streets and preach; where you would be hooted. Go to some foreign country and get yourself made a martyr of.” No, no; “If ye love me, keep my commandments. Stop at home near your father and mother. If ye love me, love my disciples. Let love rule you. And in that place in life in which I have set you, try to honour my name by exhibiting my character. If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

John 14:16-19. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him: for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

“Yet a little while and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me.” Now, when the world does not see him, we still see him. He is present to our faith, though passing from our sight. “Because I live, ye shall live also.” Is he a dead Christ? Then he has a dead people for his church. He is a living Saviour: he has a living people; and they shall no more die than he shall die; “for he, being raised from the dead, dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.” “Because I live, ye shall live also.”

John 14:20. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in You.

What a wonderful union this is — Christ in the Father; the saints in Christ, and Christ in the saints. These be riddles which are not meant for the children of this world; but they who are the children of God shall understand them, shall live upon them.

John 14:21. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me:

Not he that preaches about them, talks much about them; boasts about a higher life and all sorts of things; but “he that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

John 14:21-22. And he that loveth me shall be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

If thou dost manifest thyself to us, who are only a few poor fishermen, thou does not extend thy kingdom so; but if thou wouldest manifest thyself to the world in all thy glory, surely they would be surprised and overwhelmed, and thy kingdom would thus come. But that is not Christ’s way. His manifestations are for his own: not for glitter, but for edification. He comes to bless them; not that he may be ostentatious among men.

John 14:23. Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Oh! what an honoured man that — for the Father and the Son to be his guests, to make an abode in his heart.

John 14:24-28. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings; and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever have said unto you. 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. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

Christ had stooped to take a lower place for our sakes.

John 14:29-31. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father: and as the Father gave me commandment, even so do, Arise, let us go hence.


Verses 15-31

John 14:15. If ye love me, keep my commandments.

We cannot expect the Holy Spirit to dwell with us unless we are obedient to the commands of Christ. Our Saviour here tells us much about the spirit of truth, but he begins with this test of our love to him, “ If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

John 14:16. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

Not a different Comforter, but the Comforter who is now with us, is of the same nature, and works after the same manner, as the Lord Jesus himself, who was our first Advocate, Helper, Paraclete, Comforter: I give you these four words instead of one, because they are all wrapped up in the original word ‘Paraclete’-“ that he may abide with you for ever and ever.” The Lord Jesus could not abide with us for ever, it was expedient for him that he should go to heaven to prepare a place for us. But the Holy Spirit will not go; he will remain in this dispensation, even to the end of it,-“that he may abide with you for ever.”

John 14:17. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

The world knows nothing about the Holy Spirit; it can hear the gospel, it can hear the outward word, but the living, mystic, inward Spirit the world knows nothing of.

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

“While I am away the Holy Spirit shall be your Comforter, you shall not be like orphans without father or friend.” Jesus will come a second time. This is our joyful hope, but meanwhile, while he is away, we are not without a Comforter. “ Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more.” What a wonderful thing! The children of God always see Jesus spiritually. “ But ye see me; because I live, ye shall live also.” There is life in a look, and our continued sight of Christ brings us continued life through Christ. Because he lives, there is a loving, living, lasting union between us and Christ.

John 14:20. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

Three wonderful unions, Christ in the Father, his people in Christ, Christ in his people. If you are instructed of the Lord, you will understand this text. This is such knowledge as the universities cannot teach; it is such knowledge as the most-learned doctors cannot attain to by themselves.

Only the Spirit of God can teach us these things.

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

He must have obedience. Christ cannot come and comfortably manifest himself to those who are living out of order and disregarding his words. Take heed, children of God, of disobedience; it is a discipline of the divine family that if we disobey we should lose the comfortable presence of our Lord. “ I will manifest myself to him.”

John 14:22-23. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Christ and his Father dwell with obedient people: “We will dwell with him, and make our abode with him.” Oh, that we might carefully watch our thoughts, our words, our acts, lest we grieve our Lord. He will manifest himself to us when we yield ourselves to him. When we obey his will, it will be his will to honour us with his constant presence.

John 14:24. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings:

There is much talk of loyalty to Christ, but the teachings of Christ are despised. The teachings of his apostles are the teachings of Christ they are but a prolongation and exposition of what Christ taught. In rejecting them we reject Christ. He will not have it that we can be loyal to him and yet refuse his teaching.

John 14:24. And the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

It is a wonderful denial of originality on the part of Christ. If anybody could have spoken his own word, it was surely the Christ of God. But he was a messenger, and he delivered his message. Now, if it be so with Christ, how much more so with us who are very inferior messengers. We ought to be very careful that we do not deliver our own thoughts, or suggestions, excogitations and philosophies. “The word which ye hear is not mine,” (that I can most emphatically say,) “but the Father’s which sent me.” You see, when we deliver a message which is not ours but the Father’s, we feel safe about it; we feel sure of its success, whereas, if we were the makers of it, we should often question whether we had not told you falsely: but if we can fall back upon the Word of God, and prove it from what the Father has said, then do we feel we are no longer responsible.

John 14:25-26. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, 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.

That is the teaching. The Holy Spirit does not reveal anything fresh to us. He brings to our remembrance what has already been said and written in the inspired Word. Whereas the Book conveys to us the outward sense, the Holy Ghost conveys to us the inner meaning. The embodiment of truth you have in this Book, but the truth itself, dealing with the conscience, and heart, and spirit must be led home by the Author of the Book, by the Holy Ghost himself.

John 14:27. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:

Have you got it, brothers and sisters? Are you at peace at this moment? “I am very much troubled,” says one. Well, you are to have tribulation here; but you are to have peace with it. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but in Christ you shall have peace. If you have got the bitter herbs, do not be satisfied with bitter herbs, ask for the Paschal Lamb.

John 14:27. Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Come, tell your trouble to your Lord, ask the Holy Spirit to exercise the office of Comforter upon you now at this very moment.

John 14:28. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

The Lord Jesus had taken a subordinate place, he had become the servant of the Father, the messenger for the Father, but he was going back to reassume his glory. That ought to be a subject of joy to us. Let us bless Jesus that he is not here. If he were here in his former state he would be in his humiliation; but now he has gone to his glory. Let us rejoice in this.

John 14:29. And now I have told you before it came to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

Jesus warned his disciples of all that was to happen in his death and in his departure. I believe that the Spirit of God often gives inward warnings to God’s people of troubles that are to come,-monitions, so that they may be prepared for the trouble when it comes, and may feel as if he had told them before it came to pass.

John 14:30. Hereafter I will not talk much with you; for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

He would have very few words, for he was going to the bloody sweat and scourging and death: his words might well be few, for his actions would speak more loudly than words.

John 14:31. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

And they left the supper-table to go to the garden, the garden of his agony. Let us be willing to go wherever God calls us.


Verses 21-31

In this “sacred farewell” talk of our Lord’s, he gives us many a revelation of the soul’s way of intercourse with him.

John 14:21-22. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them. he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

Many a time have we asked that question with great admiration of the special sovereign grace of God, that he should manifest himself to us, and not to the world. It is an unanswerable question. It is “even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.”

John 14:23. Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Where the grace of God has created love between us and Christ, there is a window through which Christ can manifest himself to us. Why he gave us that love we do not know, but when he has given us that love he will not deny us communion with himself.

John 14:24-26. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost 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.

The Holy Spirit does not teach us any new doctrine. Fix that in your minds, for in the present age we have numbers of persons who talk about being inspired with the Holy Ghost, and who come with all kinds of crudities and fooleries. Believe them not. The Holy Ghost says no other and no more than the Lord Jesus Christ himself said, “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said to you.” The canon of revelation is closed. None can add to it without a curse. Do not accept any testimony that would add to it. Keep you to what is here found, and pray the Holy Spirit to lead you into the clear understanding of it.

John 14:27-28. 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. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

Christ had himself less than the Father in his state of humiliation, and now he is returning to the Father to be re-clothed with honour and majesty. Should we not rejoice in that?

John 14:29-31. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so do I. Arise, let us go hence.

And he went; to his death bravely determined, to do the Father’s will, though it meant the drinking up of that bitter cup, which made his very soul to tremble within him. God give us such love to Christ as Christ had to the Father.

 


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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on John 14:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/john-14.html. 2011.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, September 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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