Greater Works that These
Tim Temple


Open your Bibles to John, chapter 14. We have been working on a study of the Gospel of John for some months now, and we have been looking at John, chapter 14, for several weeks. In this lesson, we want to look at the last portion of the chapter, beginning with verse 16 and going through the end of the chapter.

Wouldn't it have been great to be alive and living in Israel when Jesus was on earth? Throughout the years many Christians have thought that and have even used it to excuse their sin in some cases. Since Jesus isn't here, it is just so hard to live the Christian life.

In John, chapter 14, Jesus Himself said that just the opposite is true. A better time to be alive would be after He had gone back to Heaven—in other words, the very day in which we live and in which all believers have lived since that time nearly two thousand years ago when He ascended into Heaven.

In verses 1-4, Jesus made the announcement that He was departing the earth and going back to Heaven. As might be expected, the disciples were agitated, and we talked about that agitation in verses 5-11. In verses 12-26, Jesus explained that there would actually be some advantages in His departure.

He said in verses 12-15 that the first advantage was that they would have greater power after He was gone. We talked about those verses in our last lesson and saw that that greater power was because each of them individually would be able to ask Him to do whatever they wanted Him to do that was in line with His will and that was in line with all that His name involves. We talked about the fact that while He was on earth, only those disciples who could get within earshot of Him and get His attention could ask Him to do things. Everybody was clamoring for His attention, and of course, He could only be in one place at one time, but He said that after He was gone, everybody would be able to address Him; and because He would be in His glorified body and sitting on His throne in Heaven, He would be able to hear everybody at the same time and do all of those things that believers ask Him to do in His name.

That was one of the advantages of His being gone. They would have greater power than those disciples while He was on the earth ever had because of sheer numbers of Christians faithfully asking Him to do things.

A Greater Provision for Believers

We ended our last study with that point. We want to pick up in the next section of the chapter. Not only would they have greater power, but another reason that believers can do more than Jesus did while He was on earth is the greater provision that He is going to make for believers. This is described in verses 16-17. These verses that we are getting ready to talk about are some of the key basic truths in all of the Word of God having to do with the Christian life. Most of you are familiar with these things, but it is good to review them again. Perhaps some of you will be hearing them for the first time, but they are vitally important verses. Notice in verse 16:

John 14

16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17Even 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.

We touched on these verses in our last lesson, but I want to go back over them in more detail. Here is the first promise of the Holy Spirit recorded in the New Testament. Notice some of the characteristics of the Holy Spirit. First, He says that He will be another Helper. There was no question that Jesus was a helper to the disciples while He was here on earth. He helped them tremendously, but now He is going away, and because of His help, they were agitated in the ways that we talked about in the previous verses. He is going away, but He comforts them by saying that He is going to send another Helper. Notice how He lovingly includes the fact that this Helper will be with you forever. The disciples would never again have to hear an announcement of His departure like they had just heard a few sentences before. This Comforter will be with them forever.

I think that Jesus added that phrase just because of the agitation that He knew was going on in their hearts as He was getting ready to leave them, so it was a very loving thing for Him to say: “I have to go away, but the One whom the Father will send will be with you forever. You will never have to go through this again.”

Another aspect of this Comforter is something that is really brought out in the Greek text. He says, “The Father will send you another Comforter.” The word another there is a translation of a Greek word that means “another of exactly the same kind.” It is the Greek word allos , and it means that this Comforter will do all of the things that Jesus could do with the exception of physically being with them. As we have talked about before, there was a certain sense in which that physical presence was a limitation, so this Comforter would be just as real, just as much God, just as powerful, just as available and more so. Just about anything that you could think of about the Lord Jesus Christ and His presence with those disciples is true of this new Comforter, this other Comforter.

In fact, this verse is one of the many verses from various places in the Bible that caused us to develop the doctrine of the Trinity. As you probably know, the word Trinity is not in the Bible anywhere. In fact, the statement that God is a Trinity is not in the Bible anywhere, but by looking at the various things that God says about Himself and the various ways in which He manifests Himself, we know that God is one God in three Persons: God in the person of the Father, God in the person of the Son, and God in the person of the Holy Spirit. Each of these are referred to as God in various places in the Scripture, and then this little phrase allos parakletos —“another Comforter”—is sort of a chord that wraps around all those other comparisons because it tells us everything we know about Jesus. All the Scriptures we might look at to establish the deity of Jesus can then be automatically transposed to proving that the Holy Spirit is God, because the Holy Spirit is another of exactly the same kind.

I pointed out in our last lesson that there is another Greek word for another , and that is a word that is of a much more general term. It means “another similar.” There is even a third word that is not used very often. In fact, it is hardly used at all in the New Testament, but in secular Greek, it is used some. It means “another of a different kind,” but there are other ways to express that in Greek so that word is not used very much. This word means “one of exactly the same kind.” He said, “I am going away, but I am going to send another of exactly the same kind.”

Peter's Example

Peter is a good example of how this promise worked out. Peter, more and more, is one of my favorite characters. Of course, I have heard about him all of my life, but the more I study the New Testament, the more I identify with Peter in a lot of ways. I know that most of you do, too, and I think that is why God has included him in the Scripture. He is so much like us. Peter is a before and after study that demonstrates some of the provisions that we have because of the Holy Spirit. When Peter was going around with Jesus, he discovered little by little that when he was with Jesus, the supernatural happened. Not only did the supernatural happen, but he was involved in the supernatural. When he was with Jesus, he had great boldness.

There are several illustrations of that, but the one that comes to mind is the time that the disciples were in the storm and the wind was fierce. They didn't know where Jesus was and all of a sudden He came to them walking on the water. As I have pointed out many times before, they had never heard this story in Sunday School. They had never seen anybody walking on water. They had never heard all of those jokes, and here came Jesus walking on the water. Remember, Peter was so thrilled and impressed with what Jesus was able to do that he said, “Lord, since it is You, bid me come to You on the water.”

Our English text says, “If it is you…” but that word is written in the Greek in a way that would indicate that it could be translated, “Since it is you…” Peter felt that if Jesus could do this, He could give Peter the power to do it, and he was just silly enough and just uneducated enough and just gregarious enough to ask Jesus to let him do it: “Since it is you, Lord, let me come to You on the water.”

You remember the story of how Peter got out of the boat and stepped out on to the water and walked on the water to go to Jesus. He was able to do the miraculous only because He was in the presence of Jesus. The story tells us that somewhere along the line, it suddenly dawned on him, “What am I doing? I'm walking on water. I can't do that.” He began to look at the waves, and he sank when he took his eyes off Jesus. Of course, Jesus reached out to him and picked him up and pulled him out of the water and they got to the boat all right.

There is a lesson in that. Even though God allows us, in this time when we have the other Comforter with us, to take part in or be witness to miraculous things from time to time, even in those kinds of situations, if we take our eyes off Jesus, we will sink, too. Most of us have learned that by sad experience. In fact, whether it is in a miraculous situation or not, as long as we keep our eyes on Jesus, we can get through anything that God allows to come into our lives. The problem is when we start looking at the problems that we are walking on top of and that He is walking on top of. When we take our eyes off the Lord and start looking at the problems, we are going to sink just like Peter did.

He also discovered that when he was in the presence of Jesus, he had supernatural insight to spiritual things. Remember the time that Jesus gathered the disciples together and said, “Who do men say that I am?” They reported what they had been hearing. Some were saying, “You are Moses or Elijah or one of the prophets,” and He said, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter, speaking for the others, as he usually did, said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Remember what Jesus said to him? He said, “Blessed art thou, Simon. Your human abilities have not revealed this to you, but God has revealed this to you.” Peter understood things that those who did not know Jesus could not understand. When he was with Jesus, he had supernatural insight.

When he was with Jesus, he discovered a little later that he had supernatural courage. An illustration of that was when they came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of His betrayal. You remember how, when they came, one of the guards who was with the high priest was starting to take Jesus, and Peter took out his sword and cut off the guard's ear. John tells us his name was Malchus , and he also tells us it was Peter who did it. The other Gospels don't tell us it was Peter, but John tells us it was.

When I was a little boy, I used to wonder why he cut off his ear. What was the purpose of that? Was that some Jesus ritual or something? Later, I realized that Peter was aiming for his head. He wasn't trying to cut his ear off; Malchus just had good reflexes, and Peter missed and only got his ear. The point is, and the reason that I am going into that is, that Peter had enough boldness and courage when he was in the presence of Jesus and when he thought that he was defending Jesus to be willing to kill another person at the risk of being killed himself. He had supernatural courage because he was in the presence of Jesus and acting in response to his love for Jesus. He was making a wrong decision and he was mistaken in what he did, but he was sincere. He was courageous in it. But not long after this, when he was a hundred paces outside the presence of Jesus, he denied Jesus with an oath. He swore that he didn't know Him.

The next major item on the agenda, calendar wise, is the Resurrection. You remember that Jesus sent for the disciples and said, “Go tell My disciples and Peter…” Peter thought that it was all over. He had gone on back to his former life, and Jesus lovingly told Mary to tell the disciples and Peter that He wanted to meet with them. Jesus spent those forty days with the disciples. We don't have much detail of what went on during those days, but on the day of Ascension, Jesus went back into Heaven, as He had told them here in John, chapter 14.

We would think that if Peter denied the Lord at one hundred paces, what is he going to do now? He is going to be worthless now. His power came from being with Jesus, and when he wasn't in the physical presence of Jesus, a little teenage girl scared him off. What is he going to do now with Jesus eons away in Heaven?

The latter part of Acts, chapter 2, that tells about Jesus' ascension finds Peter standing before thousands of Jews who were gathered in Jerusalem from all over the world and he said, “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested of God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst as you yourselves know, Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands and have crucified and put to death.”

Jesus was gone, but now Peter has that boldness to speak directly to the people who had crucified Jesus and to tell them to their faces that they were guilty. The next verses and chapters of the book of Acts find him exhibiting all of those same characteristics that he had had when he was with Jesus—boldness in his sermon at Pentecost, which we just quoted from, and insight into the true nature of things spiritually.

After this, Peter and John were involved in the healing of the lame man at the gate of the temple in Acts. No doubt, it was a thrilling experience for them, but when the leaders called them in to question them about it in Acts, chapter 3, verse 16, Peter said, “We haven't done anything. This man, by faith in Jesus' name, has been made whole.” Peter had the spiritual insight to know that he and John hadn't done anything. Only God had healed this man. Peter had courage, just as he did when he was physically present with Jesus.

In chapter 4, when the Jewish leaders were trying to figure out how to handle this situation of their healing this lame man, they decided to tell them not to preach in Jesus' name any more. They thought they were through with all that when Jesus was gone. They weren't going to have those headaches any more of the crowds seeing Jesus do these miracles, and now, low and behold, here were two of His followers doing the same kinds of things, and they were upset.

Remember, these were the men who had worked things around to the point that they had actually gotten Jesus crucified. These were the men who literally had the power of life and death over Peter and John and the other disciples, and when they made that announcement that they were to no longer preach in the name of Jesus, Peter, exhibiting tremendous courage, said, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

What happened? Peter was just like he was when Jesus was around. He had courage. He had boldness. He had insight, but we skipped over a very significant thing. Before any of this took place, Acts, chapter 2, verse 4, speaking of the disciples and speaking of all the believers there who had trusted Christ that day, says:

Acts 2

4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit…

You see, that is the difference. Peter had the allos parakletos . He had the other Comforter. So everything was the same as it had been when he was in the physical presence of Jesus Christ. When Peter had the Holy Spirit, he did the same things that he did when he was physically present with Jesus.

That is extremely significant because we have that same Holy Spirit in this day in which we live. Being filled with the Spirit, walking at the direction of the Holy Spirit can be correctly said to be simply practicing the presence of Christ in our lives, because He is still with us in the Person of the Holy Spirit. The same thing can be true for any believer.

It seems so simplistic to say; it seems to be so often misunderstood that we move through life with the Person of God with us. Saint Augustine said to a Christian who had fallen into sin, “Does thou not realize that thou art carrying God around with thee?” In so many words, he was saying, “How could you have done this?” Saint Augustine or the Holy Spirit could say that same thing to many of us, couldn't He: “How could you live the way that you do? How could you do that? Don't you realize that you are carrying God around with you?”

I need that rebuke as much as anybody, and I have had that rebuke from God a number of times. We are in the presence of God; we are in the presence of Christ, just as much as those people who lived during the life of Jesus on earth.

The New Helper is the Spirit of Truth

Coming back to John, chapter 14, another characteristic of this new Helper is that He will be a Spirit. This has been woven in with what we have been saying, but notice verse 17 says, “He is the Spirit of Truth.” Up to this time, they didn't know who this other Comforter was going to be, but now Jesus tells them that He is going to be a Spirit of Truth. Remember back in verse 6 that Jesus had said that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no man comes to the Father but by Him. We talked about a lot of the implications of that statement, but notice what He says here: “This new Helper is the Spirit of Truth.” Jesus said, “I am the Truth,” so what He is saying again is that this new Helper is the essence of all that Jesus is.

Many times when we talk about a football team, we talk about the spirit of the team or we talk about the fact that that team is the spirit of their school or that they are the spirit of a winning tradition. We use the term spirit in those ways. We are saying that all that that school stands for and all that that tradition stands for is wrapped up in that idea of the spirit of the tradition or the spirit of the school. That is what Jesus is saying here: “This new Comforter is the very spirit, the very essence of all that you know of Me. He is the Spirit of Truth.”

Jesus is going to say in verse 26 that the Holy Spirit will guide them and us, as latter generations of disciples, into all truth and that will be simple to do since He is the very Spirit of Truth. We believe that the Bible is God's truth to us in written form, but here is a very important thing to keep in mind. It is very wise and helpful any time we look at the truth of God that is written down in His Word to ask the Spirit of Truth to reveal the truth to us. You see what we have here. We have the very Author of the Book dwelling with us as we read the Book, so we would be very wise to remember that He guides us into the truth and that He is the very truth Himself. We should never just try to understand the Book in our own strength.

The New Helper Dwells In Us

Another characteristic of the New Helper is in verse 17:

John 14

17…for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Coming out of that characteristic is a distinction in the last part of verse 17. He says, “The world (the unsaved) will not be able to see Him.” They would not be able to see Him like they had seen Jesus, leading to a great deal of misunderstanding of Christians and their actions. When people were with Jesus when He was physically on the earth and they began to say things that seemed strange to the unsaved or to do things that seemed strange to the unsaved, they could just chalk it up to that lunatic Jesus whom they had started hanging around with. But there is a warning, in a sense, that Jesus is making to the disciples: “The New Helper is going to be within you. People won't be able to see Him as they have been able to see Me, and you are going to probably have to take the brunt of the attacks that have been directed at Me when I have been physically with you.”

It also means that He will be constantly available to every believer, not just to those who could crowd into Jesus' physical presence. These truths about the Holy Spirit taken together explain why Jesus could say in verse 12 that the disciples would be able to do greater works than He had done because of the ability to talk to Jesus in prayer and the ability and the power of being in the very presence of Jesus by means of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Obviously, no single disciple of Jesus would be able to do greater works than Jesus did, but taken together, they would do far more. That is the responsibility that you and I as Christians have today. You have heard the old saying that God has no hands but your hands and no eyes but your eyes. For whatever reason, God has chosen to work in that way. He works through us in the world today and working together, utilizing the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we together can accomplish more than Jesus accomplished while He was on earth.

That is a hard thought to grasp, even after we have been talking about how it could be possible, but that is what God says. But, notice carefully, this is only from the power that comes from the Helper Who is within us. It is not because we find some way to mobilize our strength together and form some kind of Christian union or something. It is because individual Christians recognize the power of God within us and utilize that power.

Greater Perception and Understanding Because of His Return

Jesus is talking about the advantages of His departure. He said there would be the advantage of greater power and the advantage of greater provision, but in verses 18-26, He carries it a step further and says that there will also be the advantage of greater perception and greater understanding. There are four reasons for that. The first reason is because of His return. Look in verse 18:

John 14

18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

Jesus knew that as the disciples thought about His departure, they probably felt like orphans, so He promised them in verse 18 that He would not leave them in that state forever, but He is going to return for them. He had already told them this in verse 3, but He repeated it.

This is an interesting thing to think about: The people who come to the end of their life without having believed in Jesus Christ will never see Him again. The lost will never see Christ in any way, but His promise here in verse 19 is that the disciples will: “You will see Me again.”

There are several ways in which this promise can be understood. It could be a reference to the Rapture as described in I Thessalonians, chapter 4, verses 13-18, that at some point Christ is going to return for the believers who are alive on earth. They will not go through death; they will be caught up together with the Lord to meet Him in the air.

The disciples, as it turns out, died before that point, but when He said this, He could have been referring to the Rapture , as far as anybody knew. It could refer to His coming for them at the time of their death, as He said in verse 3:

John 14

3And 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.

He may be just repeating that promise or He could have been speaking of His coming to them in the person of the Holy Spirit, as we have just been talking about in the past few verses. The fact is that in any of those three ways or maybe all three taken together, they would see Jesus again.

At the Cross, the disciples were orphaned. Their Father was gone and several of them decided to go back to their fishing as they had done before Jesus came into their lives, but at the Resurrection, He appeared to them, and Paul says that during those days that He was on earth, He appeared to more than five hundred other witnesses. Many of them saw Him at the same time. Then He ascended into Heaven.

At the Resurrection, verses 19-20 certainly came true. The disciples saw Him again. They knew beyond all shadow of a doubt, as He says here in verse 19, that He was in the Father and the Father in Him, and they realized that because He lived, they would live also. All of that came true at the Resurrection, but those truths became even more real to them a few weeks later when they received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

Greater Perception Because of His Reaction

Verse 23 brings out a second reason that they would have greater perception after His departure. That is because of His reaction to them and to us. Look at verse 23:

John 14

23Jesus 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.

Here is a beautiful promise not just for the disciples, but for all future disciples right down to you and me. Do you really want to feel the Lord's presence in your life and sense His love for you? Jesus tells us exactly how that is done in this verse. It is something that is so easily overlooked. He says, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me.”

We sing the old hymn Oh, How I Love Jesus , and we sing other hymns and choruses about how much we love the Lord Jesus. What does it mean to love the Lord Jesus Christ? Certainly there is an emotional aspect of it, a sense of thankfulness and appreciation for all that He has done for us. There is that aspect of it, but Jesus says here: “Who is it that loves Me? He that has My commandments and keeps them.” That is who loves Jesus.

You know, that may be a sobering thought to some of us as we think of even the simple, mundane things that Jesus has told us to do—not just the commandments that Jesus Himself spoke, because we know that God expanded on those through the ministry of the Apostle Paul and the various ones who wrote the rest of the New Testament under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. His commandments were expanded into these other things besides just what He said—these other elaborations on them that the Holy Spirit inspired in the Bible. How obedient are we? That is a sobering question to me. That is a searching question to me personally. How obedient are you?

Notice He says in verse 25, “He who has My commandments…” How much of His Word do you actually know? How many of His commandments do you actually know? You can't keep His commandments if you don't know them. You see, that means that knowing the Word of God is a direct link with loving God. Jesus says that love for Him comes from deliberately, out of love for Him, keeping His commandments. This isn't a legalistic drudgery of obedience so that He will love us or because we are afraid that He won't love us if we don't do these things; it is a loving response to the fact that He already does love us. Because He does love us, we are going to do these things that He said verbally while He was here on earth and that are expanded on and given to us in other parts of the Word of God.

Of course, the fascinating thing is that as we do those things and obey those things, our life is so much richer and fuller besides the fact that that love for Christ and His love for us becomes so real in our lives. He said that was one of the advantages of His going away. He said, “I am going to see your love for Me as you obey My Word, and I am going to respond to that.”

Greater Perception Because of His Residence

A third reason that Jesus' departure brings greater perception is because of His residence, according to verses 22-24. Notice verse 22:

John 14

22Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, [there were two Judases] Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

You know, we are so used to all of these things about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that we don't stop to think about this, but this was new to these guys. Judas said, “How is it that you are going to show yourself to us, but other people won't be able to see you?” Then Jesus answered in verse 23:

John 14

23Jesus 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.
24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

Not only will an obedient believer sense the presence of Jesus with him or her, but verse 23 goes on to say that the Trinity will be at home with him. He says, “My Father and I will come to him and make our home with him.” We have just seen in the verses above this that we have God the Holy Spirit resident within us. This is an often overlooked point, but what this says is that as we live in obedience to Him, we have the very presence of the Trinity with us.

Just the opposite is true of the unsaved. They don't know or sense His presence because they don't keep His Word, and the same thing is true of believers who are out of fellowship. We get out of fellowship by not keeping His Word, by doing something that He told us not to do, or by refusing to do something that He has told us to do. So when a person is out of fellowship with the Lord, he still has the Holy Spirit present with him, but he doesn't enjoy that presence.

Of course, this whole section underscores the need for taking in the Word of God on a regular basis. How can we obey His commandments if we don't know what they are? They are so interwoven throughout the Scripture that to really understand all of His commandments, it will take a consistent, thorough reading to get the whole picture.

Anytime I mention this, the immediate reaction is, “I don't have time to read the Bible. I will never be able to read the whole Bible.” God doesn't hold you responsible for the time that you don't have. God knows how busy you are. He really does. He knows how much of that is legitimate responsibility, and He doesn't hold you responsible for time that you do not have, but He does hold us responsible for the time that we do have. To some extent, more than most of us would like to admit, it is partly a matter of time management and priorities as to how much time we could really invest in the study of God's Word. The results are well worth whatever time we invest in His Word—feeling His presence with us, sensing that He is there and sensing His love for us. Besides, as I said a few minutes ago, there are benefits that come to us just from living life according to the manufacturer's handbook.

Greater Perception Because of His Remembrance

Finally, in verses 25-26, we have the fourth reason that His departure would bring greater perception to the disciples and that is because of His remembrance. Look at verse 25:

John 14

25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26But 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.

What a beautiful promise! Here He gives the formal name of the other Comforter. He clearly spells out Who He is talking about. So many times we feel like we will never learn all the Bible or that if we do learn it, we will not be able to remember it. There is no direct command in the Bible that says, “Thou shalt memorize Scripture,” but most of us know from experience that the best way to meditate on the Word of God, and there is a direct commandment to meditate on the Word, which is repeated many times in the Scripture, is to store it up in our memory.

I grew up, and some of you did, too, being made to memorize Scripture. I was not happy about it most of the time, but I had to do it. One of the excuses that I used is, “I'll never remember all of this stuff, anyway.” Let me tell you something. When we were in grade school, we were memorizing twenty-one Bible verses a week. Later on Bible Memory Association cut that down to twelve or so, and we thought that the younger kids were going to have it so easy. Now you talk about memorizing twelve verses a week and it blows people's minds unless they are in AWANA . Some of those kids learn a lot of verses, but the standard response to memorization or just a Bible study is, “I'll never remember all of that.” Well, God has you dead to rights on that because here in verse 26 He says, “He will teach you all things, and He will bring to your remembrance all things that I have said to you.”

I am not real good with the references. Some of you have found that out, and I have gotten to where I am not even apologetic about that because the references aren't inspired. Paul himself said, “As one said in a certain place,” and quotes a passage of Scripture, but I can tell you from experience that over and over and over again, as I am studying, preparing for a message, or when I am studying for my own benefit, God brings to my mind some verse of Scripture that if I take the time to analyze, I realize I learned it as a little kid in Bible Memory Association . I learned it simply because my mother and dad made me do it.

I said something like that one time in a Bible Memory Assocatiion meeting, and a woman came up to me afterwards and said, “You just can't make kids do that. You can't make kids memorize Scripture.” I was an adult at the time and I said, “Where were you when I needed you? My mother and dad didn't know that. They thought you could make kids memorize Scripture, and what's more, I thought they could, too.” Whatever motivation you have, whether you are being made to memorize Scripture or whether you see the real value of it or if you aren't memorizing but just studying the Word of God and want to retain those principles, God's promise is that when you have need of it, He will bring it to your memory. That is a wonderful promise. That is where the Holy Spirit comes in. If we will be faithful to take in the Word of God, He will be faithful to remind us of it when we have the need for it.

Notice carefully what the function of the Holy Spirit is. It is to teach us the Scripture as we study it, then to remind us of it when we need it. We are not dependent on our own understanding. But you can't remember what you haven't studied or what you haven't learned. You can't learn it without taking the time to sit down and take it in. The Holy Spirit is indispensable to our obedience to the commandments of Jesus. The point of this whole chapter is that this perception is greater for believers today than it ever would have been for those believers who were on earth when Jesus was alive. This was another advantage of His departure.

Admonitions About the Departure

The chapter closes with two very beautiful admonitions about the departure in verses 37-31. They more or less speak for themselves. First, He says, in verses 27-28:

John 14

27Peace 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.
28Ye 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.

After working our way through Jesus' teaching in the past few verses, we can see why He said that they would rejoice when He said He was going to His Father, can't we? They were really going to be better off if He went to the Father. He said, “Don't be troubled,” and then in verses 29-31, He said for them not to be traumatized. Notice:

John 14

29And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
30Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
31But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

I wonder how many of us could make the statement that Jesus makes there in the last part of verse 31: “The Father gave Me commandments, so I do them.” Jesus could say that. He is the only One Who could ever say that perfectly, but that is the kind of thing that He was talking about earlier in keeping commandments: “If God said it, I am going to do it.”

Jesus knew that the days ahead were going to be very tough for the disciples. They were going to see suffering, agony and disappointment like they had never seen in their lives, because the ruler of this world, as Jesus calls him, was about to spring into action. He is talking about Satan. He reminds them that He has told them in advance what to expect so they would not be traumatized by all that.


He has done that for us in His Word. He has told us what to expect, at least in a general sense, in this world that we live in. We are seeing a lot of that come to pass, and we are seeing a lot of things fall apart around us just exactly as God said they would. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't be concerned, but it does mean that we don't have to be traumatized. We don't have to be troubled about these things. He has told us in advance.

What a gracious, loving God we have, and He is personally present with each of us who know Him as Savior. Praise His name!

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