You are on page 1of 7

Parting Promises

John 14:15-26
Introduction

Earlier in chapter 14:8 Philip made the statement Lord, show us the Father and we will be
satisfied. Show us God.

The answer Jesus gave shocked and stunned the listening friends. Jesus is the embodiment of
God (v.9). Jesus has made good His claims of Deity by the signs of His ministry (turning water
into wine; healing the noblemans son; healing the paralyzed man; feeding the five thousand;
walking on water; healing the blind man; raising Lazarus from the dead). Jesus asks His
disciples to believe His claims (vv.10-12); He has come from God and the person who believes
Jesus will find new power both to do great works and receive answers to prayers (vv.13-14).

The disciples were distraught over the stunning revelations of betrayal by trusted friends and the
impending departure of Jesus. How could Jesus leave them? The disciples loved Jesus and had
grown to depend upon His presence. Now Jesus, faced with the prospect of His own impending
death desires to relieve the fear and anxiety that gripped the disciples souls. Jesus will now make
promises, gracious promises; about how to deal with fear; and how to reduce anxiety; and
how love for the Lord Jesus Christ releases guilt.

In the Law there is a concept known as Dying Declarations. A Dying Declarations is;

A statement by a person who is conscious and knows that death is imminent concerning what he
or she believes to be the cause or circumstances of death that can be introduced into evidence
during a trial in certain cases.

A dying declaration is considered credible and trustworthy evidence based upon the general
belief that most people who know that they are about to die do not lie. (<a href="http://
law.jrank.org/pages/6330/Dying-Declaration.html">Dying Declaration</a>).

The statements in John 14 are Christs dying declarations. Jesus has promised to prepare a
place for them (vv. 1-6). Jesus has promised to reveal the Father (vv. 7-11). Jesus has promised
to give them a new privilege in prayer (vv. 12-14). Jesus now promises to send the Holy Spirit.

There are many passages of Scripture that deal with the doctrine of the Holy Spirit at great
length. Here (John 14:15-26); in John 16:7-15; and in Romans 8:1-17. Here Jesus reveals the
Holy Spirit, His identity; His work. In this passage we learn many important things about the
Holy Spirit; He is the Comforter, the other Helper (v.16); the Spirit of Truth (v.17); He is the
presence of God in a personal way; and the Holy Spirit is our Teacher.

We will certainly talk more about the Holy Spirit; but right from the start our discussion takes
place in an overwhelming context; it is in the context of need, of broken hearts and dark
shadows; the disciples need comfort, they need help, they need the truth, they need the very
presence of God.

1
Parting Promises
John 14:15-26
The Presence Of Obedience In Your Life (v.15)

John 14:15; If you love Me, keep My commandments.

The words of Jesus had a lasting effect on the Apostle John. Obedience is the ultimate test.
Clearly Jesus points out obedience is not an option. Jesus showed His love to His Father by
obeying His Father. The person who really loves Jesus will keep (tereste). We are not talking
about obedience to earn favor or love; but rather obedience that proceeds from a loving
relationship.

C.K. Barret writes; John never allowed love to devolve into a sentiment or emotion. Its
expression is always moral and is revealed in obedience. Sentiment is emotion without
commitment; and clearly there is an emotional component to love; but love is not rooted and
grounded in emotion and feeling. Feeling good does not constitute loving Jesus; and feeling bad
does not constitute not loving Jesus. William Barclay points out the hypocrisy of people who
love with words; but who bring pain and heart-break in their selfish actions. From the
perspective of Jesus; real love is not easy. The person who claims to love Jesus in their heart
but refuses to obey Him in their lives is engaging in the worst form of deceit.

Albert Barnes wrote; It does not require great learning to be a Christian and be convinced of the
truth of the Bible. It requires only an honest heart and a willingness to obey God.

John Owen the great puritan preacher said; Then we are servants of God, then we are the
disciples of Christ, when we do what is commanded us and because it is commanded us.

Obedience does not cause salvation (see John MacArthur; Commentary 12-21; pp.117-118).

Romans 3:20; Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the
law is the knowledge of sin.

John 13:34; A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you,
that you also love one another.

The Presence Of The Holy Spirit In Your Life (vv.16-17)

John 14:16; And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide
with you forever.

The very promise of a Helper means we need help. The word Helper is the Greek noun
Parakletos. Parakletos is rich and textured; one word quite frankly does not do the word justice.
The word itself means one who is called alongside to render help, or aid, or comfort. I think of
Parakletos as a supernatural first responder. The parakletos is the person who is called in; but it
is the very reason the person is called in that gives the word such rich texture.

2
Parting Promises
John 14:15-26
In the ancient world the parakletos could be called in to render testimony in a court concerning
the condition of an individual; the parakletos might be an expert called in to give advice in a
difficult situation; Barclay refers to the parakletos in the role of a chaplain, where a company of
soldiers who are depressed and dispirited are given new courage in both mind and heart to face
the battle. Always, always, always, the parakletos is called in time of trouble or need (see
Barclay p.167).

Our introduction of the Holy Spirit by Jesus does not focus on a dramatic disclosure of the
theological implications of the Godhead; but the aid rendered by the Godhead for the believer
who is collapsing under the pressure of deep sorrow and what seems like unbearable darkness.
Wycliffe first translated the word parakletos Comforter when the word Comforter meant
much more than it does today. One root portion of the word is fortis which means brave; and the
Comforter helped a person; who was not particularly brave, to be brave.

Our understanding of the word Comfort is almost exclusively in relationship to sorrow. A


Comforter is a person who sympathizes with us in our sorrow; clearly the Holy Spirit does that;
but as Barclay has wisely pointed out to limit his work to that function is sadly to belittle him.
We often talk of being able to cope with things. That is precisely the work of the Holy Spirit. He
takes away our inadequacies and enables us to cope with life. The Holy Spirit substitutes
victorious for defeated living (see Barclay ibid).

In the earlier verse Jesus links love to obedience to His commandments. Now Jesus speaks of
His love for them. How much does Jesus love you? He will pray the Father. The Father will
give the Disciples another Comforter. There are two words in the Greek language that are
translated another; one is heteros; which carries with it the nuance of another different.

We use the word heterosexual to describe someone who is attracted to someone of the opposite
sex. The word translated another in this verse is allos which means another of the same
kind; or the same category. This is the word Jesus uses here. Another (the same)
parakletos (helper, comforter, encourager, counselor, exhorter, intercessor, advocate).

John MacArthur writes; The Holy Spirit is the perfect substitute for the Lord Jesus Christ--the
original Helper (cf. 1 John 2:1, where Advocate translates parakletos). Like Jesus, the Holy
Spirit would teach (John 14:26), strengthen (Eph. 3:16), and intercede for the disciples (Rom.
8:26). Though His departure was imminent, the Lord promised that the Holy Spirit would be
with them forever (John Vol. 2; 12-21; p.113).

John 14:17; 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.

The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of truth.

3
Parting Promises
John 14:15-26
Have you ever heard the expression, Seeing is believing? The material atheist, the
existentialist, the scientific naturalist, cannot, will not see or know the invisible, eternal, Holy
Spirit. The unbelieving, unregenerate person does not know the Spirit of Truth.
We will look at the function of the Holy Spirit later (chapter 16:7-15). We will speak of the
Spirits ministry of convicting and convincing of sin, and we have already spoken of the Spirits
role in regeneration (John 3:5-6). The Holy Spirit reproves, regenerates and restrains (2 Thess.
2:6-7).

For the most part the world is completely ignorant of the Holy Spirit. The world cannot receive
Him. But Jesus told His disciples you know Him. For He dwells with you, and shall be in
you. Later Paul would write;

Romans 8:9; But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in
you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

Does the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of truth, dwell in you? Jesus goes on and
gives reasons for the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit; to insure Christs presence, and Christs
promise.

Why do we need the life giving presence of the Holy Spirit; for the simple but sublime reason;
Christianity is all about Christ. The only one who can live the life of Christ is Christ. The
presence of the Holy Spirit provides the power to live for Jesus and become like Jesus.

Do you know what the Lord expects from you? Failure. Jesus lived a life of perfect
submission, perfect obedience, perfect love. It is through the Holy Spirit that the life of
Jesus is available to us; it is through the Holy Spirit that the power of God, and the
presence of God; the presence of truth, is made available to us! Do you know what the
Lord expects from you in the Holy Spirit? Obedience, joy, peace, power.

John Phillips writes simply but powerfully; The Christian life is a supernatural life. It is the life
of Christ lived out in every believer by means of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Exploring the
Gospels; John p.274).

The Presence Of Jesus In Your Life (vv.18-20)

John 14:18; I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

Clearly Jesus is aware of the future. He knows He will die. He knows the disciples will feel
abandoned; experience fear, anxiety. The overwhelming sense of loss; the dark black hole, the
profound emptiness; the never ending nagging presence of guilt; will be only temporary, Jesus
promises; I will come to you.

4
Parting Promises
John 14:15-26
At first blush the reference seems to be to His resurrection; but Jesus is present and connected to
the Holy Spirit. The physical absence of Jesus would be replaced by the spiritual presence of the
Holy Spirit.

John 14:19; A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me.
Because I live, you will live also.

The apostles who were present during this dying declaration will also be present to witness
Christs glorious resurrection. The world will see Jesus executed. The last the world would see
of Jesus was through the shock and trauma of Joseph of Arimethea and Nicodemos; a dead body,
wrapped in swaddling clothes; mixed with perfumes; placed in a rock tomb; the shadow of a
corpse, disappearing as a stone is placed, and seal set upon the stone.

The resurrection of Jesus does not simply prove the claims of Jesus; but also provides substantial
proof that the disciples themselves will come back to life. Jesus--with death just around the
corner, with the certainty of death breathing down His Holy neck; defies death; Jesus boldly
states; Because I live, you will live also. Jesus uses the dateless, timeless, present tense,
indicating undying life (Phillips p.274).

Paul makes this very point in 1 Corinthians 15:20-21; 35-58.

1 Corinthians 15:20; But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of
those who have fallen asleep. (21) For since by man came death, by Man also came the
resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

Jesus says, but you will see Me. Jesus uses the present tense; which indicates an ongoing
vision; clearly it means the resurrection appearances, but it means more. Those who believe in
Jesus will continue to see Him, over and over again, through the eyes of faith; until when lifes
journey is over, when the race has been run, we see Jesus face to face (Rev. 22:4).

John 14:20; At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

Jesus begins with a word of comfort, and continues with a word of commitment; but comfort and
commitment will cause the dark cloud to lift and the bright lights of comprehension will begin to
shine in the hearts and minds of the disciples; comprehension; At that day you will know that I
am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

Do you remember the Day of Pentecost? Do you remember the upper room? Do you remember
the mighty rushing wind? Do you remember when the Holy Spirit fell upon them?
The Lord Jesus is in the Father; we are in Him, He is in us. The Bible teaches that believers are
in Christ. We are to experience the life of Christ. His life becomes our life; but also His love
becomes our love.

5
Parting Promises
John 14:15-26
The Presence Of God The Father In Your Life (vv.21-24)

John 14:21; 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.

Who loves Jesus? The one who keeps His commandments! Who does the Father love? Why the
Father loves the one who loves the Son. There is an eternal triangle, The Father loves the Son
and both Father and Son love us.

Loves first task is to find out what the pleases the Beloved. Our practical obedience to his
commandments is loves first and sure test. This love is made manifest in character and conduct.
The word for manifest is interesting; it is the Greek verb emphaniso. The idea is to present
something, in a clear and conspicuous way; its the idea of revealing something that was once
hidden. The word is first used of the resurrected saints who pop out of their graves after the
resurrection of Christ; and go off to Jerusalem and appear (emphaniso) to many (see Matt.
27:53).

The Lord is making a very special promise; He will reward those who love Him; Jesus will show
up in a very special way; the Lord God will come and live inside us.

John 14:22; Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to
us, and not to the world?

John 14:23; 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.

John 14:24; He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is
not Mine but the Fathers who sent Me.

Jesus tells the disciples what we all need to hear. First, the knowledge of the truth; the presence
of the Spirit of Truth; removes fear (see verse 20). Think about what Jesus is saying; the
Word of God takes away the superstition and trauma of death; and places it in a context we
can all understand. Jesus tells us that death is not the end for the child of God. The
application of that knowledge reduces anxiety. Note the phrase he who has my
commandments and keeps them (v.21). That means making Gods Word a vital part of our
lives; must also include doing Gods Word! Third, love for the Lord releases guilt (vv.23-24).
Love is the highest of motivations, and when we love the Lord, we desire to please Him (2 Cor.
5:9)(Chuck Swindoll; Following Christ, The Man of God; A Study of John 6-14; p.98).

The Presence Of The Truth In Your Life (vv.25-26)

John 14:25; These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.

6
Parting Promises
John 14:15-26
John 15:26; But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of
truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to speak of Jesus. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to point
people to Jesus. The Bible makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is God. The Holy Spirit is called
the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God. Why do we believe the Holy Spirit is God? Because
the Holy Spirit is called God; He is treated on an equal basis with both Father and Son; The Holy
Spirit has the attributes of God and the Holy Spirit does the work of God.

The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Truth for good reason. The Holy Spirit tells us the truth
about Jesus.

Phillips Brooks pastor and preacher said; Truth is always strong, no matter how weak it looks,
and falsehood is always weak, no matter how strong it looks.

Conclusion

The chapter begins with Jesus promising a place in His Fathers House; a place of joy, a real
place, a loving place, a prepared place, an exclusive place. He continues and reminds the
believer that while we remain on this earth, in our temporary tent; Jesus and the Father will make
their home in your heart and dwell there (v.23). Again Swindoll writes;

Just as the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle in the wilderness, so the Trinity will fill your
heart with their majestic presence. And that light residing in you is sufficient to dispel even the
darkest and most foreboding of shadows! (p.99).

Let me ask you something, has your ignorance of the person and work of the Holy Spirit caused
you to live in fear, or anxiety, or emptiness, or loneliness, or the vicious cycle of wickedness and
addictions? Are you afraid to reach out, even with a trembling hand, even with a skeptical and
jaded eye--to see with faith? How did you receive Jesus? By faith? How do you experience the
power and presence of the Holy Spirit? By faith.

When the Holy Spirit comes to you, Christ comes to you.