John 14:23-29

The other disciple named Judas (ie not Judas Iscariot) had asked Jesus why He planned to show them who He was, but not show the world. Jesus replied that He would be revealed through the love, obedience and unity of the disciples with the Father and the Son. Those who loved Jesus as He instructed would have the Father and Son with them. He emphasized, once again, that He was speaking the Father’s words who instructed Him what to say.

Jesus promised the disciples that as He left them He would ask the Father to send them the Holy Spirit, the Helper and so not leave them alone. The Spirit would come in Jesus’ name and would continue the teaching and guiding of the disciples in future. Here is proof of the truth of the Trinity, working hand in hand with God’s people.

Jesus’ blessing for His disciples when He offered them peace was a common farewell greeting, just as we today say goodbye to one another. We rarely say it with the full phrase ‘God be with you’. But Jesus wanted them to know it was more than a casual leave-taking. His parting gifts to His disciples were the power of the Holy Spirit and true peace. The shalom He offered meant the highest good, not just an escape from lack of trouble or a refusal to face bad news. In this way those who follow Him can have untroubled hearts.

Jesus’ departure was not a cause for sadness but for rejoicing. He was leaving them for their own sake and for the sake of the world. It was good news. He was going back to the Father who, He said, was greater than He was. Jesus always deferred to the Father, even though they are one in essence.

Jesus knew that Judas was arranging His arrest which would take place later that evening. Yet He was still concerned about His friends. Jesus assured them that even though Satan was coming for Him, he could not force Him to go to the cross. He went willingly because He loved and obeyed the Father and did it for love of the world.

The disciples now prepared to leave the Upper Room and make their way to the Garden of Gethsemane. Instead of seeking time alone with God on the walk to the Garden, Jesus could not leave His friends alone and so they went there together.

Points to Ponder

  • How big is your church? How active is it? Does its size affect the work it does for Jesus? What impact does it have on the surrounding community? What one change would you like to happen in your church to make it more effective? How can you help to implement that change (other than just telling your minister or one of the church leaders about your ideas)?
  • Who would you like God to bless in special ways today? Name these people to one another (and so to God) and spend time asking Him for His blessing upon them. Take it in turns to do this. Do not specify what you want the blessing to be. Leave that decision open to God who knows what is best and who loves them even more than you do. Watch, in the coming days, for answers to the prayers you have prayed together.
  • Describe your idea of heaven. Why do you think it will look like this? Does each person’s description differ in some way? Why would that be? We do not know exactly what it is like, so respect one another’s descriptions.

John 14

  • When you are facing a difficult challenge would you rather face it alone or do you take a few friends with you, Why? How does the support of your friends change the situation for you? How much do you rely on Jesus in such a situation? What happens when Jesus’ shalom fills you as you approach such a challenge? What difference does it make to you?

Bibliography

Bible Commentary

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