John 14:7-14

Sunday Morning Bible Study

October 31, 2010


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision

Announcements: Thursday night Servant School – it’s not too late to start:

Greg Bird – “Calvary Chapel Distinctives

What’s so different about Calvary Chapel? Examining the core things that define us.

Dave Ritner – “World Religions – Sharing Jesus”

The class will look at Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Mormonism, Catholicism, and Atheism, aiming at helping us to reach others for Jesus.

We are going to Israel next year in November. Start praying. Start saving. It’s a great investment in your understanding of the Bible. First deposits will be due in January.

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

Jesus has told His disciples some pretty distressing things: One of them will betray Him, and He is “going away”

When Thomas asked Jesus the way He was going to, Jesus responded:

(Jn 14:6 NKJV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

14:7-11 Seeing the Father

:7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”

:7 know/knownginosko – to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel

In verse 4&5, a different word was used:

(Jn 14:4 NKJV) And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

:4 knoweido – a knowledge based on a clear and purely mental perception.

Here, the word (ginosko) is the one that speaks of knowledge grounded on personal experience and not the one that’s just based on a mental perception.

Jesus is saying that up to this point, their “knowledge” of Him and the Father have been “head” knowledge.
But that Jesus wants for them is an experiential knowledge, a deeper knowledge.
I may know who Napoleon Bonaparte was, but don’t “know” him.
I do however “know” many of you because I’ve actually met and talked and fellowshipped with you.
You might think that these guys really “know” Jesus if they’ve lived with Him for three years. But because they don’t quite understand the relationship between Jesus and the Father, it shows they really don’t know Him as well as they should.

:7 seenhorao – to see with the eyes; to see with the mind, to perceive, know; to see, i.e. become acquainted with by experience, to experience

:8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”

:8 showdeiknuo – to show, expose to the eyes; to give evidence or proof of a thing

Philip seems to be saying that he would like Jesus to show who this “Father” guy is.

:8 show us the Father

In a sense, this is man’s greatest goal, to see God. Moses said,

(Ex 33:18 NKJV) —18 And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.”

:8 sufficientarkeo – to be possessed of unfailing strength; to be strong, to suffice, to be enough; to be satisfied, to be contented

:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

:9 been with you … you have not

The first “you” is plural (“you all”), the second is singular.

“Have I been with you all so long, and yet you, Philip, have not known me?”

:9 knownginosko – knowledge grounded on personal experience

:9 seenhorao – to see with the eyes; to see with the mind, to perceive, know; to see, i.e. become acquainted with by experience, to experience

There is no shortage of people who will try to tell you what God is like.

Some people get confused when we call God our “Father” because the word “Father” brings fear and terror to them.

God is not like your earthly father.

If you really want to know God, all you have to do is look at Jesus.

Jesus already said,
(Jn 12:45 NKJV) And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.
John wrote,
(Jn 1:18 NKJV) No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

The Father is in Jesus, and Jesus perfectly reveals the Father to us.

The Bible says that Jesus is …
(Heb 1:3 NKJV) …the express image of His person.
Paul wrote,
(Col 1:15 NKJV) He is the image of the invisible God…


Do you know Him?

Philip had been with Jesus for three years.
He knew a lot about Jesus.
But he didn’t know enough.
Until you understand the relationship between knowing Jesus and knowing the Father, you really don’t know Jesus.
Jesus is the only way to know God.

He is the only one who died to pay for your sins, to remove the thing that keeps you from knowing God.

You absolutely cannot know God for real without knowing Jesus first.

:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.

Don’t think that Jesus is saying the He IS the Father.

He is a separate person from the Father.

But He is IN the Father, and the Father is IN Him.

:11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

:10-11 believe … believe

In verse 10, the verb is singular, Jesus is addressing Philip directly.

In verse 11, the verb is plural, Jesus turns to address the entire group of disciples, telling them all to believe that the Father is in Him.

The proof of the union of Jesus and the Father lies in two things:

1) The Words

Jesus said His words came from the Father.
He’s said this before:
(Jn 7:16 NKJV) Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.
(Jn 12:49–50 NKJV) —49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.

2) The Works

The amazing miracles that Jesus has done ought to demonstrate that God is at work.
The Gospel of John was structured around John choosing out some of the miracles that Jesus did in order to make it clear just who He was. John wrote,
(Jn 20:30–31 NKJV) —30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
Jesus did amazing things.
He turned water into wine. (John 2)
He healed the nobleman’s son in Capernaum while He was in Cana, almost 20 miles away. (John 4)
He healed the man who had been paralyzed for 38 years (John 5)
He fed five thousand with just a few fish and bread (John 6)
He walked on water (John 6)
He healed the man who had been born blind (John 9)
He raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11)


Our proof

Is there a test to see if we are connected to God like Jesus?  Sometimes we test or “prove” things incorrectly.

NASA engineers build a cannon that launches dead chickens at the windshields of airplanes, military jets and such to test the strength of the windshields against collisions with airborne fowl. British engineers are eager to test it on the windshields of their new high-speed trains. Arrangements are made, and a cannon is sent to the British engineers. When the cannon goes off, the engineers stand shocked as the chicken crashes into the shatterproof shield, smashes it to smithereens, blasts through the control console, snaps the pilot’s backrest in two, and embeds itself in the back wall of the cabin. The horrified Brits send the Americans a report of the disastrous results, along with an urgent request for suggests on improving the windshield design. The American engineers respond with a one-line memo: “Thaw the chicken.”

We should be able to stand the test if done correctly.  Is God real?  Is He at work in us?
Our Words
What do you say about Jesus?

(Ro 10:9 NKJV) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Our Works
The way we live our lives will show people whether or not God is real in our lives.

(Mt 5:16 NKJV) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

14:12-14 Greater Works

:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.

:12 Most assuredly – the Greek here is amen, amen, or, “truly, truly”.

This is something Jesus says when He is saying something important. Take notes, boys.

:12 greater worksmegas – great; of size or quantity

How can we do “greater works” than Jesus?

I have to admit that I’m not sure I know of anyone who has done things greater than Jesus. Raising a guy from the dead four days after he dies? I think the key to understanding these “greater works” is looking at the last phrase.

:12 because I go to My Father

What impact does this phrase have on the works we do?

After He rose from the dead, Jesus going to the Father in heaven was the thing that would bring the Holy Spirit.

(Jn 16:7 NKJV) Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.
This is what would happen in the book of Acts on the day of Pentecost, when the early church was filled with the Holy Spirit.


Greater Works

How could we do greater works?
1) Greater in number.
When the Holy Spirit came upon the early church, it was no longer just one miracle worker, but a whole bunch of miracle-workers, there were a greater number of miracles.

(Ac 5:12 NKJV) And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people.

Does God still do miracles today?

Absolutely. We pray for miracles. We should not be surprised when God does miracles.

2) The greatness of conversion.
Look at what Jesus said would happen when the Holy Spirit came on the early church:

(Ac 1:8 NKJV) But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Because of the Holy Spirit’s power, the disciples would have power to be His witnesses.  They would preach.

Healing a blind person is a good and awesome thing. I don’t want to minimize how awesome a healing can be.

But think about it. Isn’t it greater when someone is born again, had their sins forgiven, given a new life, and is now going to heaven? Forever?

When Peter preached on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), 3,000 people got saved. That’s pretty cool.

Billy Graham has brought hundreds of thousands to Christ.

:13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

:13 that the Father may be glorified in the Son

The reason why Jesus will answer prayer.

:14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

:14 you askaiteo – to ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require; a request of the will

This is you expressing your desires, your “will” to God.

This is how miracles take place. Prayer is how the “greater work” takes place.

E.M.Bounds (The Possibilities of Prayer, pg.131) wrote:

“And when the records of eternity are read out to an assembled world, then will it appear how much prayer has wrought in this world. Little is now seen of the fruits of prayer compared to all that it has accomplished and is accomplishing.”

E.M.Bounds (The Possibilities of Prayer, pg.118):

“Our Gospel belongs to the miraculous.  It was projected on the miraculous plane.  It cannot be maintained except by the supernatural.  Take the supernatural out of our holy religion, and its life and power are gone, and it degenerates into a mere mode of morals.  The miraculous is divine power.  Prayer has in it this same power.  Prayer brings this divine power into the ranks of men and puts it to work.  Prayer brings into the affairs of earth a supernatural element.  Our Gospel when truly presented is the power of God.”


Answered Prayer

Praying is a little like cooking.  It helps to get the recipe right.
PlayPrairie Home Sausage
Now does that sound appetizing?  When our prayers don’t follow the right “recipe”, they aren’t all that appealing to God.
1) Faith
These promises come to those who believe in Jesus (vs. 12)
The Bible says,

(Heb 11:6 NKJV) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

I have a hard time seeing “faith” as some kind of compound that God measures to see if you have enough of it.

You either believe in Him or you don’t.

If you don’t believe in Him, this particular promise about prayer doesn’t belong to you.

Without faith, you have no connection with God.

It would be like trying to make a cell phone call without having a battery or a sim card in your phone.

You can dial the right numbers.

You can say the right things into the phone.

But the message isn’t going to make it.

2) Ask
It might sound obvious, but sometime we still don’t get it.
How many times have we gone without the very things that God wants for us, simply because we never bothered to ask?
The Bible says:

(Jas 4:2b NKJV) …you do not have because you do not ask.

That old hymn:

“Oh what peace we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer”

In our crazy, fast-paced world, we sometimes get into the mode where we want to have things done for us to make life easier.

We hire a gardener so we don't have to spend so much time mowing the lawn.

We hire a housekeeper so we don't have to spend so much time cleaning the house.

We buy computers … and end up spending so much time learning, fixing, and playing games that I’m not sure it all really helps that much …

But nobody can do your praying for you.

Only you can pray your prayers.

3) Name
Too often we take this phrase of praying “in His name” as some sort of magic formula. We can think that as long as we tack on the phrase, “in Jesus’ name”, then we will have our prayers answers.
What does this phrase mean?
His representative

If the President sends the Secretary of State to Russia to negotiate a new arms treaty, he sends her in “his name”, as his representative.

The Secretary of State is supposed to negotiate just as if the President himself were there doing the talking.

It’s the idea of standing in His place, asking what He would ask

The disciples are His representatives.

How do I know if I’m His “representative”? Look at the next verse:

(Jn 14:15 NKJV) “If you love Me, keep My commandments.

A key to understanding whether this promise is going to work is to ask yourself, “Am I keeping His commandments?”

How well do I represent Him as I’m asking this?

PlaySmart Dog

Can you tell who that dog belongs to?  Who is its master?

Don’t misunderstand – don’t think that you “earn” God’s answers to prayer by doing good things or earning brownie points.

But doing the right things, learning to walk in obedience to Christ, shows that you love Him, and it shows that you are authorized to take advantage of this promise.

Identity Theft is one of the biggest crimes these days.

Somebody “steals” your identity and tries to buy lots of stuff using your name and you get charged for it.

Some people “steal” God’s identity by claiming to be Christians, misusing God’s name, by not taking His commands seriously.

They should not be surprised when God doesn’t answer prayer.

You may have screwed things up in your life, but if you repent and turn to Jesus, you will find yourself authorized.

If you continue to walk in rebellion to God, don’t expect God to pay much attention to your prayers.

4) Glory
Jesus said that His whole reason for answering our prayers this way was so that glory would go to God.
Will this prayer and its answer really bring glory to God?

Or will is just make you a little more comfortable for awhile?

Will God be glorified?

Or is it your name that people will remember?

Are you willing to place God’s desires and will above your own?

George Atley served with the Central African Mission.

There were no witnesses, but the evidence indicates that Atley was confronted by a band of hostile tribesmen. He was carrying a fully loaded, 10-chamber Winchester rifle and had to choose either to shoot his attackers and run the risk of negating the work of the mission in that area, or not to defend himself and be killed.

How must he have prayed? Lord, deliver me?

When his body was later found in a stream, it was evident that he had chosen not to shoot. Nearby lay his rifle—all 10 chambers still loaded. He had made the supreme sacrifice, motivated by his burden for lost souls and his answering devotion to his Savior. With the apostle Paul, he wanted Christ to be glorified in his body, “whether by life or by death.”

These are some of the elements that make up a healthy prayer.
Am I always going to get it right?  No.  Prayer is a lifelong growing discipline.  But you can’t grow if you don’t keep praying.