Summary: Jesus gives special encouragement to His disciples the night before His crucifixion. He explains the connection between loving God and keeping His commandments. He also gives the promise of resurrection to believers.
3 27 2016 “Keeping Commandments and Resurrection Promises” John 14:15-21
In John 14, Jesus is giving His disciples teaching and encouragement right before He goes to the cross. Last week we examined two things which happen when Jesus returned to the Father: Believers would have a wider influence in bringing the Gospel to the world and they would pray in the name of Jesus so that the Father would be glorified in the Son (they would pray in accordance to the will of God and His Kingdom purposes.)
We look at John 14:15-21 today: "If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper (or Comforter), that He may abide with you forever-- 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. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. 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. 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 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."
Love and Obedience
Jesus continues to speak exclusively to His disciples; “His disciples” include all those who believe in Jesus alone for forgiveness and salvation, and those who believe in Jesus’ self-revelation and declaration concerning Himself. Verse 15 taught us that there is an uncompromising connection between loving Jesus and obeying the things that He teaches. He is saying: "If you love Me, THEN YOU WILL keep My commandments.” If a person loves Jesus, then that love will be shown in keeping the teachings, of Jesus. Love for Jesus is far more than a sentimental feeling or emotion. Love FOR Jesus is shown in purposeful devotion and willful obedience TO Jesus.
The Promise of the Holy Spirit
Jesus addresses such believers in verses 16-17: “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper (or Comforter), that He may abide with you forever-- 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.”
Jesus will ask the Father to send “another Comforter or Helper”. “Helper” is probably the best translation in this context for the word “parakletos” since the Greek word means “one called alongside to help.” A “parakletos” also included “one who pleads another's cause before a judge, a counsel for defense, legal assistant, an advocate, an intercessor.” During His earthly days, Jesus walked alongside His disciples and now in His absence, as their advocate at the right hand of the Father, “another Helper” is promised and given to believers until Jesus’ second coming at the end of the age.
Jesus’ statement shows that the Son is distinct from the Father in person and at the same time one with the Father. His request is for “another” Comforter. When Jesus leaves, Jesus’ request to the Father is that He would send another of the same kind of Helper who would be “THE SPIRIT (“pneuma) of TRUTH, God’s representative of Jesus to those who believe in Him. His character and essence are TRUTH and you immediately remember Jesus’ declaration in verse 6: “I am the way, the truth and the life.” The Spirit of Truth would bear strict testimony to that of Jesus and it stands to reason that conversion is dependent upon the action of the Holy Spirit to change hearts and lives through the Truth of the Gospel.
The “world” cannot receive the Spirit of Truth because it is unable in its natural power to discern or to experientially know the Spirit of Truth. The spirit of the World stands in opposition and in rebellion to God and His Christ: Although the world was created good, it now stands under God’s judgment and in need of redemption. If the world did perceive the Spirit of Truth, it would cease to be the world. The world is materialistic and willingly skeptical to the truth and nature of Jesus, the Word incarnate, God’s self-revelation, and are blind to the Spirit of Truth…therefore they cannot receive Him.
The believers, on the other hand, know the Spirit of Truth because the Spirit has come to believers as the indwelling presence of Jesus. To the disciples, the very presence of Jesus in the flesh presently stayed with them, but when Jesus would return to Heaven, the Spirit of the Son, the Spirit of Jesus would remain with them. He would come as another Helper or “Paraclete”, walking beside them, or better yet, remaining within them.