Hey everybody. I’m Arielle and I will be your guide for John Ch. 14 this evening (morning, afternoon. Whatever floats your boat.) Katie was nice enough to let fill in for her this time :) So let’s get started shall we?
I want to say right of the bat that Chapter 14 is a continuation of 13. (I know, so obvious right?) What I mean by this is that there is no time lapse between the end of chapter 13 and the beginning of 14. I know for me the end of a chapter usually marks the end of a series of events. So I wanted to clarify that this is not the case. Jesus just dropped a major bombshell about future tragedy and betrayal and the disciples are shell shocked right now. Cue second act.
Chapter 14 begins with comfort and a promise.
“14 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
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.
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.
4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”
In the previous chapter Jesus revealed to Simon Peter that he was going to flake out on him not once but three times in the near future. I’m sure at this point Peter was quite upset. Jesus understood this. Verse one is Jesus telling Peter not to worry about it, He doesn’t doubt his faith. (For me this is more evidence of Jesus forgiving nature)
Verse two immediately dives into a promise. “I go to prepare a place for you; Where I am, there you will be as well.” Jesus is still speaking directly to Peter at this point. It’s a promise telling Peter that he still has a place at Jesus’ side despite everything that will be happening shortly. Verses two through four set the tone of comfort and reassurance for the rest of the chapter. A promise of not being abandoned.
The first four verses Jesus is laying to rest the fears of his followers. The next ten (5-14)
Jesus is preparing to shift the mindset of his disciples. When I read this the first time I shook my head because I love it when Jesus sasses the twelve. (It gives me hope for me own attitude some days) Thomas and Phillip both say things that at first made me want to bash my head against the wall. Thomas first with his question “How can we know where to go when we don’t know where you’re going?” Then Phillips arrogant (I felt) demand of “show us the father and it will be good enough for us. I really thought I understood Jesus’ exasperation with these two (vs. 7 and 9) But then I realized that my perspective is aided by hindsight. In the year of 2018 we have always had the benefit and presence of the Holy Spirit and the knowledge of Jesus’ death and resurrection. For us it’s like watching a movie when you’ve already read the book. We already know.
This isn’t true for the disciples. At this point in their lives everything pertaining to their faith has been tangible. Before Jesus arrived on the scene they had to give sacrifices and strictly observe the Sabbath and other holy holidays. Then when they met Jesus they witnessed first hand his power. Presented with such concrete evidence they had no reason not to expect anything else. So the idea of no longer having a physical presence to follow was actually pretty hard to swallow. Furthermore at this point they had very little interaction with the Father and absolutely none with the Holy Spirit. Jesus is mentally prepping the disciples for this dramatic shift in their faith because it was a major step forward for them. This also cements how Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are one and the same. (I think Jesus’ life motto is forewarned is fair armed.) Jesus has already dropped several hints before this (not to mention flat out statements) to this effect but it still hadn’t fully sunk in. (Hence sassy Jesus)
The latter half of the chapter focuses on (vs. 15-31) future events. Verses 15-18 is a more in depth explanation of the function and role of the Holy Spirit. The Comforter that will abide with us and in us forever. An entity especially for all believers. Basically the Holy Spirit is stepping into the vacancy that Jesus will leave behind. Once he explains the function of the Spirit to the disciples Jesus begins to outline his future plans in exact detail. How he will be back but only for a little while. What I think is hilarious is how Jesus specifically tells the disciples all of these things with the express purpose of being able to say “I told you so” later. (19-20)
Judas NOT Iscariot asks an important question in verse 22. “How will you manifest to us and not the world?” (verbatim) Jesus answered by saying if you love him you’ll keep his commandments and in turn the Father will love you and abide with you. And vice versa. Now this sounds very conditional “I’ll love you if you love me” but I don’t think that is the case. I think that our love for Christ is His manifestation. Have you ever met someone and after only a few minutes of being with them you realize beyond a shadow of doubt that this person loves Jesus? You just want to stand next to them and bask in their zeal for the Lord because it feels so wholesome. God’s love for us is unconditional but it’s only truly felt when we open ourselves up to it. That’s the impression I’m left with anyways. (Feel free to comment your opinions!) (22-25)
I have to tell you, verse 26 is extremely comforting for me. The Comforter will be sent and he will teach you ALL things. Not just teach you but also brings things to your remembrance. Basically the Holy Spirit is your daily reminder for all things important. I appreciate this so much simply because brain farts are my worst enemy. I live in South Korea and am attempting to learn the language. I have sat in classes. I have textbooks and podcasts. None of that does me any good when I’m staring the cashier in the face and cannot for the life of me remember the word for trash bag. It’s hard. So the promise of not just being taught but reminded when I need it is incredible. (disclaimer: Being reminded doesn’t do you any good if you ignore it. Kinda like turning off your alarm and rolling back over to sleep.)
What really stood out to me at the end of this chapter is Jesus’ care and consideration for his followers. At this point he was literally days away from being hung on a cross but he used his remaining time to care and soothe the twelve. Verse 27 to the end of the chapter Jesus is reassuring them. He is promising them peace; not just any peace or peace as we understand it but His peace. (The best kind) Naturally this is followed by the encouragement to not be afraid.
He finishes his speech (and meal) by bringing everything full circle.
“ 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.
29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
31 But 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”
“Yes I’m leaving. Yes I’ll be back. Yes I’ll say I told you so. (with love of course) Don’t panic, It’s all under control. Jesus’ message in a nutshell. It still applies today though. It might not feel like it some days but Jesus has given us everything we need to follow him. He really is the ultimate teacher. He answered all of his disciples questions. Gave them opportunities to grow and reassurance that everything will be ok; because of this we should confidently live our lives in Christ.
P.S. Guys when I asked Katie if I could write this commentary for her I thought it would take me two days tops. A week and a half later I finally finished. This was super hard so mad props to Katie for everything she has done for us.