The Gospel of John – Lesson 38 – John 14:15-31
15 “If you love me, hold on to my commands. 16 I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it does not see him or know him. You know him because he stays with you and will be in you. 18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. 19 In a little while the world will see me no longer, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 The one who has my commands and holds on to them is the one who loves me. And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father. I too will love him and show myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, what has happened that you are going to show yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will hold on to my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 The one who does not love me does not hold on to my words. The word that you are hearing is not mine, but it is from the Father who sent me. 25 “I have told you these things while staying with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I told you. 27 “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not let it be afraid. 28 You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29 “I have told you now before it happens so that, when it does happen, you may believe. 30 I will not speak with you much longer, because the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me. 31 But I want the world to know that I love the Father and that I am doing exactly what the Father has instructed me. “Get up. Let’s leave this place.”
Jesus made it clear to his disciples they were not to be idle after he left them to return to his heavenly Father. If they truly loved him they would show their love. That doesn’t apply only to this little band of men who gathered with Jesus the night before he died. The Christian life is an active life. Our Lord wants all his disciples in every age to continually show their love for him. Jesus made it clear how we show our love to him. Those who love him will keep his commands. God gave his commands to his people when he gave the Law at Mt. Sinai. (See Exodus 20) It is true that Jesus fulfilled God’s commands for us perfectly. But that doesn’t mean that the Ten Commandments have been abolished. They are God’s commands to all his people for all time. But because of Jesus, these commands have a new purpose for us. We don’t keep God’s Law out of fear that God will punish us. We keep them to show our love to him for all he did for us.
Jesus promised to give us some special help that is necessary for us to keep his commandments. He promised that he would ask his heavenly Father and he would give us a special Counselor who would be with us forever. This Counselor is “the Spirit of Truth.” (The Holy Spirit) The Spirit comes to us through the Gospel in Word and Sacrament. As he comes to us through these means, several important things will happen.
Jesus said that soon the world wouldn’t see him any longer. But his disciples would see him. We don’t see Jesus with our eyes. But we do see him through the eyes of faith. The Spirit creates this faith in us through Word and Sacrament. Through this faith, we believe that Jesus is true God, just as our heavenly Father is true God. We believe that Jesus came from the Father to carry out the work of our salvation. Jesus said that those who love him will hold onto his Word. Through the Word and Sacrament to Holy Spirit will also daily work to keep us in faith in Jesus Christ. Even though we don’t physically see Jesus, we believe that he is always working for the good of all his people.
As we hold onto our faith in Jesus he promises he will give us peace. The peace Jesus gives isn’t worldly peace. In this world peace is only temporary. Two nations that are at war, sign a peace treaty to end hostilities between them. But that peace only lasts as long as both sides maintain their end of the deal. The peace Jesus gives us is different. Jesus called it “my peace.” God’s peace is perfect, just like everything else about God is perfect. Jesus gives us perfect peace with God by removing all our sins. Sin put us in a state of war with God. With our sins removed all our hostilities with God are ended. God forgives us completely for the sake of his Son. Our peace with God is a lasting peace because Jesus is the source of our peace.
Jesus closed this portion of his message to his disciples by telling them “the ruler of the world is coming.” He was referring to Satan. How can Satan be the ruler of this world? Certainly God is in full control of all things. But Satan ensnares many people with his lies and temptations. Even powerful nations submit to his will. But the devil has no power over Jesus. He was about to do his worst to the Son of God, by tempting people to arrest Jesus, torture him, and finally kill him. But all this would play into God’s hands. Our Lord would use these events to fulfill the promise that the offspring of the woman (Jesus) would crush the head of the serpent (Satan). (Genesis 3:15) The Holy Spirit works in us so that we know Jesus has triumphed over the devil for us. He will not overcome us as long as we remain in Jesus. With that, Jesus told his followers it was time to leave the Upper Room in Jerusalem and begin the final battle that would result in forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation for us.
1 – What will those who love Jesus always want to do?
We will want to obey his commands. God gave us the Ten Commandments to show us what his will is. His commands are summarized this way. God wants us to love him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. He also wants us to love our neighbor as much as ourselves.
2 – What special helper does God send to be with his believers?
Jesus called him the “Counselor” and the “Spirit of Truth.” The Holy Spirit comes to us and continually reminds us of the things Jesus taught us. He uses the Means of Grace (The Gospel in Word and Sacrament to lead us to faith in Jesus and to keep us in that faith always.
3 – Why should Jesus’ followers be glad he returned to the Father?
This would indicate that Jesus has completed the mission he came to earth to accomplish. He completed the work of our salvation by his death and resurrection. Our Lord Jesus has now moved on to the next part of his work, which is to rule over everything for the good of his people. Even though we don’t see Jesus, he is daily protecting us and working in everything for the good of those who love him.
4 – What did Jesus want his disciples to know about his impending separation from them?
A time of trouble was coming. Satan would seem to be in control, as the enemies of Jesus would arrest him and put him to death. But Jesus made it clear that the devil had no power over him. Jesus would use his suffering and death to defeat his enemies and to give eternal life to all who trust in him. Jesus loved his heavenly Father and us so much that he was willing to undergo any suffering in order to carry out his Father’s will.
If you have any questions about the Word of God we studied in this lesson please contact Pastor Greg Tobison. You can send your questions to: