John 14:28-31

Sunday Morning Bible Study

September 8, 1996


We are on the Thursday evening before Jesus is crucified, at the event known as "the Last Supper".

Jesus is alone with His disciples in the upper room.

:28 I go away, and come again unto you

Jesus has told them several times about how He was going away.

He was going away.

He was going to leave the disciples

He was going to die on a cross.

He is coming again.

He wouldn't be staying away for good, but would be coming back.

:28 If ye loved me, ye would rejoice

The reason they were bummed out at His leaving was purely selfish.

After all, they were going to see Him again, so what should they have been worried about?

But they were worried because they were going to miss Him.

He wasn't going to be around for them like He was before.

They were more concerned on how His leaving would affect them personally, rather than thinking about what it was going to do for Jesus.

If they loved Jesus, they should really be throwing Him a party.


When you finally get to the end of your senior year in high school, and you are facing your graduation, is it a time for sadness, or parties?

Jesus is graduating into heaven!

This is not too unlike what we face when someone close to us is going to die, or does die.


Handling the death of loved ones

How are we to react when a loved one dies?

Do they know the Lord?

The things I want to talk about are in the context of when a loved one who knows Jesus dies.

Because they're going to be going to heaven.

But if they don't know the Lord, we have to pull our head out of the sand and not hide from the truth.

Somehow we like to think that everybody that dies is going to go to heaven.

When you conduct a few funerals, you find this out.

The world thinks that as long as you have a few people that will stand around at your funeral talking about what a good person you are, that you must be okay.

But the truth is that the only way into heaven is if your record on earth is perfect, and the only way your record can become perfect is if you have allowed Jesus to pay for your sins, and give you His ticket to heaven.

For those of us who have loved ones who don't know Jesus yet, it needs to be our priority now, while they are living, to introduce them to our Savior.

After they die (and they all will) it will be too late.

Is it okay to weep?

There's a place for grief.

At the death of Lazarus, Jesus wept (John 11:33-36).

Some try to say that Jesus was weeping for the unbelief of the people, but the Bible doesn't tell us why Jesus wept.

It just says He wept.

But why are you weeping?

It's not because it's so "tragic" they're dead.

After all, they're in heaven!

It's because we're going to miss them, and we won't see them until we get to heaven.

We weep, but we weep for our loss, we weep for ourselves.

Learn to rejoice and be comforted

They're in a better place!

They're with Jesus! (Phil.1:23)

They're in heaven, you're not.

You ought to be happy for them. Maybe even a little jealous.

You'll see them again

You'll see them again when you join them in death, or else you'll see them at the Rapture, when Jesus comes to take His church to heaven before the Great Tribulation (1Thess. 4:13-18)


Death is compared with sleep for the Christian.

It's strange how our attitudes toward sleep change.

For a young child, one of the worst words you can utter is the word "nap".

If my wife were to tell Timothy to go take a nap, he wouldn't be too happy about it.

Yet when you get older, I kind of like the idea of a nap myself.

If my wife told me to go take a nap, I'd be pretty thrilled about it.

I think that as we mature as Christians, our attitude towards death changes as well.

Death may seem scary at first.

But the more we understand it, the better it begins to look!

Jesus is saying to His disciples that if they really cared about Him, they wouldn't be so bummed at His departure, but maybe even a little happy for Him!

:28 because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

Jesus gives two reasons for why they should rejoice:

1) Because He goes to the Father.

2) Because the Father is greater than He is.

I go unto the Father

Jesus is on His way to heaven, where the Father dwells.

Is not this a good thing?

my Father is greater than I

We have to be careful to clarify what Jesus means by this.

He does not mean that the Father is greater in nature than Jesus.

We've already seen pretty clearly that Jesus Christ is equal with God. Here's sample:

He claimed the right to receive the same honor as the Father:

John 5:22-23 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

He claimed to be the great I AM, God's unique name for Himself:

John 8:56-59 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. 59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

He claimed to be equal with the Father:

John 10:30-33 I and my Father are one. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

Jesus is lesser than the Father in two aspects:

1) Willing submission

Jesus has willingly submitted Himself to the will of the Father.

He said,

Joh 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (AV)

When one person chooses to do what another person says, it may be because they are truly inferior to the person giving the orders, but it could also be simply because they have choosen to submit to the other person.

With Jesus, He isn't inferior in nature, because He's God.

But He chose by His own will to obey the Father, placing Himself under the Father's authority.

2) Temporary job assignment

Though Jesus is fully God, He temporarily took on the form of a man and at the same time became fully human.

This is definitely a setback when being compared with the Father.

While Jesus is in the form of a man, He is "a little lower than the angels". (Heb.2:7)

But it's only a temporary assignment:

Philippians 2:6-11 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

It's in this vein, that Jesus is going back to His home in heaven, and going back into His glorified state like the Father's, that should be causing the disciples to rejoice and be glad for Him.

:29 I have told you before it come to pass

Told them about His departure and return.

:29 when it is come to pass, ye might believe

Jesus is telling His disciples ahead of time what is going to happen, so when it happens, it doesn't catch them off guard, but instead causes them to believe even more.

:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you:

The time that Jesus has had with the disciples for the last three years is coming to a close.

We have a few more chapters that cover the rest of the Thursday night, but after that, Jesus will be arrested and crucified.

After His resurrection, He will appear many times to His disciples, but there won't be anything like the time they've already had with Him.

:30 for the prince of this world cometh

prince of this world

This is a term used often by the Jewish writers, and they use it to refer to an angel.

This is talking about Satan.

archon - a ruler, commander, chief, leader

He is the one who is ruling over the powers of darkness in this world system. (Mat. 4:-9)

... cometh

Satan is about to unleash his plot against the Messiah.

We've known from the very first prophecy concerning the Messiah, that the devil would be trying to get Him:

Ge 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (AV)

Satan would try to get the Messiah, but in bruising His heel, Satan would get stomped on the head.

Perhaps ...

... Satan was wanting to tempt Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane not to go through with the cross.

... Satan thought he would destroy Jesus on the cross.

Either way, Satan's plot is underway.

:30 and hath nothing in me.

lit. - "but in me he has nothing"

He has no hold on me, (NIVUS)

He has no power over me; (NRSV)

No matter what Satan would try to do, he had nothing to use in Jesus' life.

Though he tempted Jesus in all things, Jesus never gave in. (Heb.4:15)

Satan had no foothold in Jesus' life.

The "accuser of the brethren" had nothing to accuse Jesus of.


We need Jesus' help with Satan.

We're not quite like Jesus.

Satan has lots of little buttons and levers he pushes in our lifes.

He knows all our greatest weaknesses.

He knows all about our latest sins, and all the things that can make us feel really guilty and condemned.

Without Jesus, we're practically helpless in front of Satan.

That's why we need Jesus.

The Bible says:

1Jo 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (AV)

Without Jesus, Satan will accuse you of all kinds of sin.

And he doesn't even have to lie about most of it, because we're such sinners.

And his accusations tend to drive us far away from the Lord.

When we're walking with Jesus, Satan will still accuse us.

And most of it can still be true.

But we don't have to stand before God condemned, because we don't stand before God because of what we've done, but because of what Jesus has done.

We can agree with Satan, "Yes, that's right, I am a sinner, but Jesus Christ has paid for my sins, and He's given me His righteousness"

2Co 5:21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (AV)


When you feel like Satan has come to your house and is standing at the front door knocking,

Just answer the door, turn and say, "Lord, it's for YOU!"

The Bible says:

(Heb 2:17-18 NKJV) Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. {18} For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

:31 that the world may know that I love the Father

Satan may be trying his best to tempt Jesus, but instead of giving in, Jesus is going to show everyone that He loves the Father.

:31 and as the Father gave me commandment

The commandment of the Father for Jesus to die on a cross and pay for the sins of the world.

Not exactly a pleasant thing to be commanded.

:31 even so I do.

It would be Jesus' obedience of going to the cross and dying for our sins that would show the world that He loved the Father.

It's an example that we can learn from.


The key to obedience is love.

The one you obey is the one you love.

Are you having a hard time obeying the Lord?

The key to obeying the Lord is loving the Lord.

The more you love Him, the more you'll obey Him.

Jesus said:

Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. (AV)

If you're having trouble obeying the Lord, don't get all condemned about it, hanging your head and saying, "Well, I guess I just must not love the Lord enough ...".

Confess your lack of love for the Lord.

And ask Him to help you love Him more and more!

The answer is to get closer to the Lord and fall deeper in love with Him, not draw away from Him.


From "Why Grace Changes Everything" (pg.162), by Chuck Smith:

"Those who have read the classics are probably familiar with the story of Ulysses. During his travels, this ancient adventuer heard the stories of the island of the sirens - deadly enchantresses who made such beautiful music that any sailors passing by would turn their ships toward shore and be dashed upon the rocks. No one had ever heard the song of these sirens and lived. This sounded like a worthy challenge to a daring man like Ulysses. He decided to become the first to hear this music and survive.

In order to achieve his goal, Ulysses put wax in the ears of his crew and instructed his men to tie him securely to the ship's mast. As they rowed past the island of the sirens, the seductive music began. Ulysses began to strain against the ropes, struggling to get loose so he could swim to shore. He cursed at his sailors to turn the boat toward the rocks, but the wax prevented them from hearing his cries. Ulysses continued to fight against his bonds until the ship moved out of range and into safety. Ulysses had heard the song of the sirens and lived - yet ever after he was haunted by the memory of the beguiling music.

Greek myths also tell of another ship that passed this island and yet survived. As it's crew was being drawn by the deadly melody to disaster on the shoals, a gifted man on board named Orpheus grabbed a lyre and began to play. The music of Orpheus so far surpassed that of the sirens that the men turned away from the rocks and sailed to safety, enraptured by these new, exquisite melodies that gave life."

We often face all kinds of dangerous situations where we are tempted by the enticing music of the world.

We can try to face it like Ulysses, and tie ourselves up with guilt, rules, and legalism.

We may get through a few temptations, but it's agonizing business!

And even after the temptation, we're still haunted with fears of falling into sin.

Or we can handle it like Orpheus, and listen to the sweet melody of the Lord's love for us.

As we fall deeper in love with Him, we find that the world's temptations don't have the same kind of pull anymore.

We find ourselves sailing right past the temptations, they no longer have a pull on us.

Just get a little closer to Him., just fall in love a little deeper.

:31 Arise, let us go hence.

Apparently, it's at this point that Jesus and the guys all get up from dinner, leave the room, and begin their walk towards the Garden of Gethsemane.

It seems that the next few chapters take place on the way to the garden.