This is the manuscript for the sermon I preached at West Bradenton Baptist Southside on Sunday, February 23, 2020.
Last week we looked at Jesus’ introduction of the Holy Spirit to the Disciples in his farewell discourse found in John 14. He spoke of the Father sending another Counselor (Advocate, Helper, Comforter or as he later calls him the Spirit of truth) to call alongside to encourage and exhort the disciples. He tells them this so when he is gone from their midst, they can be assured that they will not be left alone but another (the Holy Spirit) will come and dwell or manifest himself to them.
We will continue in John 14:22 – 31 as we continue to look at the farewell sermon Jesus gives to his disciples where he instructs them on how they should live as he prepares to go to the cross and face his impending death. He is preparing his disciples for the tribulation and hardship that lie ahead of them as they watch their leader, teacher, Lord and Messiah die a horrific death on the cross.
(Read John 14:22 - 31)
The Counselor Continued…
Verse 22: Judas (who John tells us is not the same Judas who betrays Jesus) is confused by Jesus’ talk about the Counselor and how He will manifest himself to the disciples. He wonders how Jesus can make himself known and seen to only the disciples and remain unseen by the world at the same time. He possibly has a picture in his mind of Jesus returning as the victorious conquering Messiah to Israel which they knew would and hoped would be a very public display.
Now, we know the Scriptures are very clear that Jesus will indeed return and manifest himself to the whole world as the victorious Messiah at his Second Coming. We are also told that everyone will bend the knee before and bow before him as Lord and Savior of all. However, this is not what Jesus is speaking about. He tells the disciples that he will come back to them after his death and He will in fact manifest himself to them. He will physically return to the disciples after his death in his resurrected body.
Verse 23: However, Jesus responds to the question and for the second time references the importance of obedience to His words and commandments. Jesus says that love and obedience go hand in hand. He says here, “If you love me you will keep my Word (or commandments).” We see in his words that obedience is the outward expression of true love for Jesus. Jesus says, “If you love me you will…
Verse 24: Disobedience on the other hand is the evidence of unbelief and rebellion towards God. A person who has rejected Jesus obviously does not love Him. One who is disobedient will…
Verse 25 - 26: These are important words Jesus wants his followers to hear. He speaks to them while he is still here on earth.
However, the time is drawing near for his departure and he will not physically be around to teach and remind his followers of the words he has spoken. Thus, the Father will send The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, to teach them all they need to know and remind them of his words. When Jesus and the Father dwell in the believer through the Holy Spirit the believer will then be guided by the Spirit. The Spirit will become the teacher, He will be the one to bring to remembrance the words Jesus Spoke, and He will guide them in all truth. As followers of Jesus Christ we must allow the Spirit to be our teacher, our reminder and our guide in truth. When we are in Christ, the Spirit works in us and He does teach us the things we may not understand. He does guide, comfort and counsel us through times of dismay and difficulty. He does guide us in truth, so we have discernment and discretion regarding spiritual things. This does not discredit the teachings of men, there are many great men of faith that have been empowered by the Spirit to speak, and write spiritual truths, but ultimately the Holy Spirit is the one who must the teach, remind and guide in our daily lives.
Jesus gives words of comfort to the disciples because when he leaves this world the disciples will be left on earth to be His representatives. The world (as we see throughout the scripture) is usually depicted as hostile towards God. The world represents the created order and the people who live in it as hostile to God. Many of whom have rebelled against God and they have no cares whatsoever about God and His Kingdom. The disciples, while still on earth, (and believers throughout history) must depend on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God. The Spirit will be in the believer to help, comfort, exhort, encourage and empower as they (we) dwell here on earth to be true representatives for Jesus Christ. The Spirit is given for our benefit and for God’s glory.
Verse 27: The next promise Jesus gives is peace. Peace (shalom) – The peace Jesus speaks of has a deeper meaning than what understand peace to represent in modern history. We generally think of peace as the absence of conflict where everybody gets along, but this is the fragile peace the world has to offer. Those of you who lived in the 60s and early 70s are aware of the temporal and faux peace the world desired and spoke of. The hippy movement spoke of peace, love and happiness but everything about this peace, love and happiness everyone rallied for was temporary, selfish and disingenuous.
The peace or shalom Jesus speaks of is a peace that surpasses all understanding and is rooted in our salvation. Shalom speaks of inward peace, peace of mind, security in knowing your future destiny. It’s a peace that comes when you know you have been forgiven of your sins, where you can lean on the promise of the indwelling of the Spirit, have security in knowing you are redeemed and will be restored, and having the sense of security in knowing whether in danger or safety you are in the arms of the Father.
Jesus not only leaves us peace, but he gives us peace. He tells his disciples (and us) that we are to take comfort in this. He tells the disciples not to let their hearts be troubled or lend your hearts towards cowardice. Tumultuous times are ahead for them and after his death their persecution will increase. He encourages them to take hold of this peace and let it reign in your hearts.
We have this same promise given to us. Jesus has left us with and given us his peace that is far greater than the artificial peace of this world. We still live in tumultuous times… Life is uncertain, and our future as a nation feels divided and contentious We are reminded even today (September 11, 2011) nine years after America was attacked by terrorists to the fragile state of life and the reality of how unsafe our world is. We are reminded that we are vulnerable. We are reminded that we do not have control over all things… In fact, we have very little control in our lives… Yet we should not allow our hearts to be troubled, nor bent towards cowardice. We are to rest in the peace that Jesus has left and given us. As followers of Jesus we can know true (shalom) even during uncertainty, persecution and turmoil.
Verse 28: Jesus re-assures and reminds his disciples again that he is leaving. If the disciples truly understood this, they would be rejoicing with him. If they knew the reality of what Jesus was going to do, then they would be behind him 100%. They would know that through his death and resurrection Jesus will be beginning the restoration process of all creation, bringing salvation through faith to all who believe and going back to his rightful place with the Father and this is cause for celebration and not sadness.
Verse 29: He tells them this beforehand so when the time of his crucifixion comes and when he raises from the dead their faith would remain strong. I am sure there were times of doubt among the disciples as Jesus hung on the cross and now he tells them, “Remember what I am doing and why I am doing it and let this strengthen your faith.”
Verse 30, 31: The ruler of this world could refer to Caesar but probably refers more to the one who is behind the act of evil that is coming up... Satan. Jesus assures that this ruler has no claim on him. Satan is the accuser and he has nothing on Jesus. His plan is to try and destroy the works of God but will not succeed.
Just as the believer shows love to Jesus by faithful obedience, Jesus shows love to the Father through faithful obedience. God has called Jesus to the cross of Calvary and He goes voluntarily and obediently because he loves the Father. His obedience (even obedience to the cross) will speak volumes of his love for the Father.
As we conclude today, we are reminded of the many promises of Jesus.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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