John 14:15-24

Sunday Morning Bible Study

November 7, 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

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

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

John 13-17 are the last things that Jesus will say to His disciples before His death.

Because Jesus knows He is going to die, you might call this a “dying declaration”.  In the courtroom, this would carry a lot of weight.  Pay attention.

14:15-24 Loving God

:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.

:15 love … keep


Obedience is important

There is a clear connection between loving Jesus and obeying Jesus.
(1 Jn 5:3 The Message) The proof that we love God comes when we keep his commandments and they are not at all troublesome.
(1 Jn 5:3 NKJV) —3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

:3 not at all troublesome

Even with our flawed human love we understand this.  If that girl you are head-over-heels in love with says to you, “Honey, I sure wish I had a Starbucks Carmel Macchiato”, wouldn’t you jump to get her one?  It’s no trouble because of your great love for her.

You are going to have a hard time even saying that you “know” God is you are not doing the things that God says to do.
(1 Jn 2:3–4 NLT) —3 And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments.4 If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth.
(1 Jn 2:3–6 NKJV) —3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that because you are saved by God’s grace through believing, that it’s not important for you to live a life aimed towards obeying God.
Our salvation isn’t dependant on our obedience.

Our salvation is based on Jesus paying for our sins.

Our obedience isn’t always going to be perfect.

We are still sinful, flawed people.

But the ship we call our lives ought to be pointed in the general direction of God, even if from time to time we get off course.

(Mt 7:21–23 NKJV) —21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

The greatest evidence you have that you know Jesus is whether or not you obey Him.

:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—

:16 anotherallos – another, other; another of the same kind

:16 Helperparakletos (“alongside” + “called”) – one called alongside to help; helper, assistant, intercessor, comforter (no, I didn’t say “parakeet”)

The Muslim world takes this verse as a prophecy of the coming of Mohammed.  They consider Mohammed to be the other “Helper”.

:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

:17 the Spirit of truth – Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit who would be poured out on the day of Pentecost, not Mohammed.


The Holy Spirit

We have several important truths about the Holy Spirit given here.
Jesus has been with the disciples continually for the last three years, helping them, guiding them, even rescuing them. 
The Holy Spirit is a Helper of the same kind.  He is there for us to do the very same things.
truthaletheia (“not” + “hidden”) – what is true in any matter under consideration
This can be talking about the objective truth of God – doctrine, who God is, what God requires, how a person can know God.

The Holy Spirit is not going to be leading people into bad doctrine.  If a group claims to have a lock on the Holy Spirit, yet what they teach contradicts the clear truth of Scripture, the Holy Spirit is not the one in control of that movement.

This can also be talking about the basic idea of truth, honesty, what is open, what is not hidden.

When the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives, He is all about doing a work of truth in us.

There is nothing we have to hide from others.  We are not afraid that people will find things we’ve hidden, we welcome exposure and openness.


A pastor ended one Sunday morning service by instructing his people, “I would like all of you to read the 17th chapter of Mark’s Gospel before next Sunday.”

The following Sunday, true to his word, he asked the congregation, “How many of you actually read the 17th chapter of Mark’s Gospel this past week?” Almost everyone in the pews raised their hands to signify they had indeed read that 17th chapter.

The pastor then stunned his people by announcing, “Ladies and gentlemen, there is no 17th chapter of Mark.” Then he proceeded to preach his Sunday morning sermon, which happened to be on lying.

In you
For the non-believer, the Holy Spirit is alongside them, nudging them, convicting them, trying to move them toward Jesus.
When you come to the place where you have opened your heart to Jesus and you ask Him to save you, to pay for your sins, and to guide your life, the Holy Spirit comes into our lives.
Paul says if the Holy Spirit isn’t in your life, then you aren’t even a Christian:

(Ro 8:9 NKJV) …Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

:18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

:18 orphansorphanos – bereft (of a father, of parents); of those bereft of a teacher, guide, guardian



It’s one of the hardest things to deal with in life.
Have you ever been in a room full of people and still felt incredibly lonely?
I know that feeling.  Some of you may be feeling it this morning.
As Christians, we have learned that God has now adopted us into His family.  Coming to church should be all about enjoying the family.
But sometimes we still feel alone, even at church.
We might think that when we feel lonely, that there’s something wrong with us.
In reality, some of the most successful people are also the loneliest people.

A few years ago a letter surfaced at Sotheby’s auction house.  It was written by Elvis Presley, apparently penned a few days before he died.  The letter was eventually purchased by Elvis’ friend Wayne Newton, who used the lines in the letter to write a song.

PlayNewton’s Elvis Letter” clip.

Look at how Jesus addresses the “loneliness” issue.
He did not say,

“Hey guys, I’m going to leave, but I’m not going to leave you as orphans, you’ll have each other ...”

But He did say,

I will come to you

When we're feeling lonely, I think we ultimately need to focus on finding fulfillment in Jesus.
Yes, we do have each other.
Yes, as the Body of Christ, we belong to each other, and need each other.
But in reality, people are going to fail you.  Church will even fail you.
The deep inner loneliness can only be met by Jesus.
Jesus said He’d be with us.
(Mt 28:20 NKJV) …and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
(Heb 13:5 NKJV) … “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
We need that breakthrough in our lives where we grow in our awareness that we are not alone. David wrote,
(Ps 16:8–11 NKJV) —8 I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. 10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. 11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

:19 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.

:19 you will live also

This is the hope of the resurrection.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is one of the best attested facts in history.
I can know for sure that there is life after death for all who believe in Jesus because of the fact that Jesus rose from the dead.

(Jn 11:25–26 NKJV) —25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

:20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

:20 I am in My Father, and you in Me…

Jesus has been talking about the connection that He has with the Father.

(Jn 14:10–11 NKJV) —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. 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.

At the resurrection, we will have no doubt of Jesus’ connection with God, nor our connection with Him.

:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

:21 manifestemphanizo – to manifest, exhibit to view; to show one’s self, come to view, appear

It’s a word that speaks of bringing something into the light.

The word doesn’t just mean that mentally we’ll understand more about him, but that there is a sense in which we will see Him better, know Him more.

NAS - I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him
NIV - I too will love him and show myself to him
NRSV - I will love them and reveal myself to them

Jesus is talking about closeness with this kind of believer.

:22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”

:22 Judas

He is also called Thaddaeus or Lebbaeus (#Mr 3:17; Mt 10:3) and the brother (or son) of James (#Jo 6:15; Ac 1:13).

To teachers of small groups:

Notice how Jesus is interrupted by His disciples as they keep asking Him questions, asking Him to clarify Himself.

Peter interrupted (John 13:36), then Thomas (John 14:5), then Philip (John 14:8), and now Judas.

:22 not to the world

For now, God restricts the most intimate parts of His self revelation to those who love and obey Him.

The world has a form of revelation about God through creation.
(Ro 1:20 NKJV) —20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

This is enough of a revelation of God so that man is without excuse.  All man has to do is open his eyes and see the incredible creation around him to realize that there is indeed a Maker, a Creator.

There will be a day when even the unbelievers will see Him.
(Re 20:11–15 NKJV) —11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

:24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

:23 My Father will love him … make Our home with him

Jesus has been describing the pathway to intimacy with God.


Intimacy with God

Jesus gives us a formula here:
Intimacy = Love + Obedience
What is intimacy?

For a married person, you might think beyond sexual intimacy and think in terms of the closeness you experience with your spouse over time as two very different people learn to live together. 

PlayBranyon – Adam & Eve” clip

Isn’t it amazing that two very different people can develop intimacy?

For a mother, there is a special bond that develops with your nursing baby, a connection that not many others know about.

It might be a close friend, a communion where you share your heart with another person.  You know you can trust them with your deepest secrets and they in turn share themselves with you.

Jesus said this intimacy with God involves:

Being loved by Him (vs. 21)

He is manifested to us (vs. 21)

He is at home in us (vs. 23)

Spurgeon:  “In the biographies of eminent saints, you will find many instances recorded in which Jesus has been pleased, in a very special manner to speak to their souls, and to unfold the wonders of His person; yea, so have their souls been steeped in happiness that they have thought themselves to be in heaven, whereas they were not there, though they were well nigh on the threshold of it—for when Jesus manifests himself to His people, it is heaven on earth; it is paradise in embryo; it is bliss begun.”
God wants you to know intimacy with Him.
We love God in response to His love for us.

(Jn 3:16 NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

(1 Jn 4:19 NKJV) We love Him because He first loved us.

Our love is simply in response to His great love for us.

Our love for God will be reflected in how we love others.

(1 Jn 4:7–8 NKJV) —7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

(1 Jn 4:20–21 NKJV) —20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.


Brother Lawrence (1600’s) was a cook in a monastery.  He learned to press meaning into virtually every action of his day.  Listen to the profound things this simple cook wrote about:

 “I turn my little omelet in the pan for the love of God.  When it is finished, if I have nothing to do, I prostrate myself on the ground and worship my God, who gave me this grace to make it, after which I arise happier than a king.  When I can do nothing else, it is enough to have picked up a straw for the love of God.  People look for ways of learning how to love God.  They hope to attain it by I know not how many different practices.  They take much trouble to abide in His presence by varied means.  Is it not a shorter and more direct way to do everything for the love of God, to make use of all the tasks one’s lot in life demands to show him that love, and to maintain his presence within by the communion of our heart with His?  There is nothing complicated about it.  One has only to turn to it honestly and simply.

Worship is more than just singing a song.
John wrote,

(1 Jn 2:5 NKJV)  But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.


A recently licensed pilot was flying his private plane on a cloudy day. He was not very experienced in instrument landing. When the control tower was to bring him in for a landing, he started thinking of the hills and the towers and buildings in that area and began to get panicky. In a calm but stern voice the command came, "You just obey instructions; we'll take care of the obstructions."

-- David Seamands, Living With Your Dreams, p. 79.

Don’t confuse God’s grace with an excuse to disobey God and live any way that you want.

(Ro 6:1–2 NKJV) —1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

Jesus wrote a letter to the church of Ephesus about their first love:
(Re 2:4–5 NKJV) —4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.

Notice the relationship between “love” and obedience.

Jesus told them they had “left their first love”.  The way back to their first love was to turn around and “do the first works” – to get back to obeying Him.

His threat to them was to remove the lampstand from its place, from His presence.  Loss of first love is a loss of intimacy with God.

Looking for intimacy with God?  Here’s a prescription:
Love Him.
Obey Him.
Repeat as needed.