12 February 2023 PM – John 14 – Stepping Stones – Scott Childs
Introduction: Jesus had just told His disciples that He was going away (Jn 13:31-33, 36). Jesus had handpicked each of them. For more than three years, Jesus had taught and trained them. They were convinced that He was the Messiah. They thought they would reign with Him in His Kingdom. Jesus knew that the news of him going away crushed and confused them. Thus, to encourage them, six times in this chapter Jesus gave them promises prefaced with the words “I will“.
Transition: God wants these “I will” statements of Christ to be an encouragement to you and me as well. Please look at them with me.
1. I will come again and receive you unto myself, Jn 14:3
a. Jesus calmed their troubled spirits (v.1-2)
1) He urged them to believe upon (εἰς) Him, though they did not understand.
2) He assured them that He was preparing a place for them in His Father’s house.
b. Jesus promised to come again.
1) He will return. He promised! It may be tonight!
2) When He returns, He will receive believers and take them to be with Him.
a) The disciples never saw this in their mortal lifetime. Their bodies are still awaiting it.
b) Today, nearly 2,000 years later, we believers are awaiting His return.
3) Peter wrote, (2 Peter 3:3-4) “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” Keep watching! He’s coming soon!
2. I will answer your prayers asked in my name, Jn 14:14
The task of preaching the Gospel seemed overwhelming, especially without Jesus physically with them. They would need help and so do we.
a. Jesus said that we must pray in His name.
1) We know this is not just tacking “in Jesus’ name” on the closing of our prayers.
2) In the context of verse 12, Jesus spoke of doing the works that He did and even greater works. This He authorised.
b. When we pray in His name, He will answer.
1) Jesus authorised us to use His name when asking for anything needed to do His work.
2) If we ask for anything Jesus already authorised, He promised to do it.
3. I will ask the father to give you another Comforter, Jn 14:16
Jesus knew that believers would need help doing His work. The thought of doing Jesus’ work without His guidance, wisdom and help troubled the disciples.
a. Jesus promised to talk to the Father for them.
1) Jesus knew their concerns, and He knows ours.
2) He directly intercedes with the Father for us.
b. The Father would give them another Comforter.
1) Jesus told them that the Comforter is the Spirit of truth (v.17) or the Holy Spirit (v.26).
2) During the O.T., the Holy Spirit did not permanently indwell believers. He only came upon certain believers for brief times to enable them to serve Him.
3) The word “another” that Jesus used means another of the same kind. He is a Comforter just like Jesus was because they are both part of the Trinity.
4) The Holy Spirit now abides with us and in us all the time.
4. I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you, Jn 14:18
In this verse, Jesus gives us two “I will” promises. He was still calming their troubled hearts.
a. He promised not to leave them comfortless.
1) Underline the word comfortless and make a note in the margin. This word refers to orphans. An orphan has lost his parents and has no one to care for him. It also speaks of those bereft of a teacher, guide or guardian.
2) Jesus promised that believers would not be orphans. They would not be left alone to fend for themselves.
3) If the devil makes you feel all alone in this cruel, dark world, you must remember Jesus’ promise. He will never abandon you as an orphan. (Hebrews 13:5) “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.“
b. He promised to come to them.
1) It is true that Jesus would rise from the dead three days after His crucifixion, but His time with them then would be limited. That is not likely the meaning here.
2) He may have had in mind His promised future return to rapture them to heaven, but as it turned out, that was a long way off.
3) Most likely, Jesus was speaking of coming to them in the person of the Holy Spirit. They were both the same Being.
4) Having the Holy Spirit indwelling in us is like having Jesus with us 24/7. They work together in harmony.
a) (John 14:26-27) “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.“
b) (John 15:26) “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:“
c) (John 16:13) “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.“
5) Sadly, we go through entire days without talking to the Holy Spirit, seeking His wisdom and guidance, depending on Him for help and victory. That ought not to be!
5. I will love and manifest myself to obedient followers, Jn 14:21
a. Jesus loves obedient believers.
1) God always loves us, but Jesus promised a special love for those who learn His commands and keep them.
2) No matter what the topic, learning and obeying always takes desire, commitment, work and devotion. This is especially true for the believer who wants this special love of Christ. This requires focused time alone in Bible study, meditation, prayer, and commitment to live God’s word and share it with others. Let’s be honest. This is not easy. It takes a lot of work.
b. Jesus manifests Himself to obedient believers.
1) Because we have no Scripture record that each of these faithful believers actually saw Jesus after He returned to heaven, we assume that He was not speaking of a physical manifestation.
2) When they spent quality time in the Word and obeyed it, they would sense the presence of the Lord with them.
3) I hope you have had times in your life like that. Such closeness ought to be regular. It ought to be our passion and prayer to sense the closeness of the Lord’s presence every day.
Conclusion: Jesus’ departure was a bump in the road that He wanted His disciples to climb on. It was a stepping-stone, not a stumbling block.
This evening, we have examined six of Jesus’ ‘I will’ promises found in John 14. (Review). He gave these promises to His followers. If you know the Lord and are His follower, they apply to you as well. Claim them and cling to them when circumstances threaten to trouble your heart.