Do you love Jesus? How do you express it? Do you have the Holy Spirit, or need clarification of who the Spirit really is? Do you want to understand the kind of peace that God enables us to have? These verses offer us insight.
Jesus continues to speak with the disciples and prepare them for his absence. All of John 14 is difficult to summarize, so I gave up trying to doing so. I removed a couple of verses that I found repetitive or insignificant in the setting of a core study. I’ve added helpful notes after the remaining verses in the chapter. Most are taken from the Life Application Study Bible. If you are trying to learn the Bible, know God, and do what it says, it makes a huge difference to have a study Bible, especially if it is a version for life application. It can be rather confusing if you have never read it. Of course, there are always Bible commentaries available, but having one in your hands, in your home, for clarification and background information, increases your understanding of who Jesus really is and what God wants you to do. Well, here’s the “Bible Express Study” for John 14:15-31.
15 “If you love me, obey my commandments.
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.
19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. 20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”
23 Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. 24 Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me. 25 I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. 26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. 28 Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. 29 I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.
30 “I don’t have much more time to talk to you, because the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over me, 31 but I will do what the Father requires of me, so that the world will know that I love the Father. Come, let’s be going.
NOTES AND APPLICATIONS:
v. 15 #This statement is not so much a promise that the one who loves him will keep his commands as it is a definition of love itself. John will instruct his disciples later, saying, “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did” (1 Jn 2:6; cf. 1 Cor 4:17), which means complete dependence on and obedience to the Father, only doing and speaking what he received from the Father. Jesus himself has modeled the life of love he describes here in terms of obedience.
v. 16 *Jesus was soon going to leave the disciples, but he would remain in them. How is that possible? The Advocate – the Spirit of God himself-would come after Jesus was gone to care for and guide the disciples. The Holy Spirit is the very presence of God within us and all believers, helping us live as God wants and building Christ’s church on earth. By faith we can appropriate the Spirit’s power each day.
*The word “Advocate” combines the ideas of comfort and counsel.
v. 17 – *The Holy Spirit has been active among people from the beginning of time, but after Pentecost (Acts 2) he came to live in all believers. To those who hear Christ’s words and understand the Spirit’s power, the Spirit gives a whole new way to look at life.
Pentecost was also called the Festival of First Harvest. On the day of this festival, 50 days after the Resurrection and 10 days after the Ascension, the believers present at the Pentecost were filled with the Holy Spirit.
v. 18 – To have the Holy Spirit is to have Jesus himself.
v. 21 – Another reminder that love is expressed by obedience. Prove it by obeying what Christ says in his Word. And don’t pick and choose. For some, being a loving, forgiving, unjudgmental person makes sense to them, and it’s easy. Making a commitment to premarital abstinence is different. Fulfilling the role Christ intends for those who are married, as described in Ephesians 5:22-28, isn’t easy or desirable, perhaps. Limitations on obedience imply limitations on our love for Jesus.
The obedience doesn’t happen overnight. After more than nine years as a Christian, I recently understand and trust God in what He is telling us in Ephesians 5:22-28 about the roles of the wife and the husband. I’m planning to write about this in a forthcoming post.
v. 22-23 – *The disciples were still expecting Jesus to establish an earthly kingdom and overthrow Rome, so they had difficulty understanding why he did not tell the world at large that he was the Messiah. Not everyone could have understood Jesus’ message. Ever since Pentecost, the Gospel has been proclaimed to the whole world, but not everyone is receptive to it.
v. 26 – As we study the Bible, we can trust the Spirit to plant truth in our mind, convince us of God’s will, and remind us when we stray from it.
V. 27 – *Unlike worldly peace, which is usually defined as the absence of conflict, this peace is confident assurance in any circumstance; with Christ’s peace, we have no need to fear the present or the future. The peace of God moves into our hearts and lives to restrain hostile forces and offer comfort in place of conflict.
v. 30-31 – *Although Satan, the ruler of this “world” (our earthly society), was unable to overpower Jesus , he still had the arrogance to try. Satan’s power exists only because God allows him to act. Because Jesus is sinless, Satan has no power over him. If we obey Jesus and align ourselves closely with God’s purposes, Satan can have no power over us.
v. 31 – *“Come, let’s be going” suggests that chapters 15-17 may have been spoken en route to the Garden of Gethsemane (where Jesus is taken by Roman soldiers).
*From the Life Application Study Bible.
# Bible Gateway.com – Commentary from Christopher Coffman.