Christ comforts his disciples. (Verse 1-11.)
He further comforts his disciples. (Verse 12-17.)
He still further comforts his disciples. (Verse 18-31.)
1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Where is the Father? In heaven. So where would his house be? In heaven. Since there are many mansions in the Father’s house then those mansions would be located in heaven.
Was Jesus saying that Jews that believed in him would now go to heaven after Israel had heard for the last 2,500 years that they would be resurrected and enter into the kingdom here on earth?
No! In the kingdom the city of new Jerusalem will come down to earth, and in that city (the house of the Father), are many mansions, and Jesus was going to prepare a place for a place in his Father’s house for those that had followed his Son.
4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
[1st John 5:20, Rev 3:7]
note the exclusiveness of Jesus’ claim – he said that he was THE way, THE truth, THE life and that there was no other route to the Father except through him. Whether we like it or not, all religions do NOT lead to God. There are not 10,000 different paths to God, but only ONE! The person attempting to get to God by some way other than Jesus Christ will die in his sins and not go to heaven see 8:21.
7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
this verse again illustrates some of the difficulties of the human mind in comprehending the doctrine of the trinity. Jesus Christ and the Father are one (see John 10:30) and yet can be in different places at the same time (John 12:28); though the Son is on earth positionally and the Father is in heaven, they are spoken of as together in John 16:32. No man has ever seen the Father (John 1:18) and yet Jesus declares in this verse that “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father…” Hebrews 1:3 declares Christ to be the “express image” of God the Father’s person while II Corinthians 4:4 says that Jesus is “the image of God.” Paul states in I Timothy 3:16 however that Jesus is God “manifest in the flesh.” In the same verse Paul aptly calls this entire concept the MYSTERY of godliness!
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
this verse is very often misused by the modern Charismatic movement as a basis for their supposed miraculous activities. The idea they set forth is that Jesus promised that those who believed on him would be able to do the same works he did and even greater works than he did. Let us notice several facts: 1) the word “works” in the verse is definitely referring to miraculous, supernatural feats as in healing lepers, healing the blind, raising the dead, etc. – see verse 11; 2) the one who believes SHALL do these things – there was no doubt or possibility of not joining in on this promise; and 3) the vast majority of those Christians alive today who truly and sincerely believe in Christ can NOT do the same miraculous works that Jesus did, let alone the promised “greater works.” Even the Charismatics who profess to do the miraculous, when put to the test, fail miserably to duplicate the miracles of the Lord. What is going on here? Either Jesus has failed to keep his promise or some factions of the Charismatic movement have failed to interpret the passage correctly.
First of all, Jesus can not break a promise because he is God – the passage must therefore stand as it reads. The key to the meaning of this verse is in the context. Read the first 14 verses of the chapter again and note very carefully who Jesus is talking to. Note how vs. 13 starts with the word “And,” tying it in with vs. 12, and then goes on to use the word “ye.” Jesus here is plainly talking to his disciples. It is the disciples who are given the promise of being able to do the same (and even greater!) miraculous works that Jesus did. This is demonstrated in the book of Acts. Two of the most common mistakes that occur while interpreting the Bible are to take a verse out of its context and to apply verses to yourself that do not apply – the Charismatic who seeks to justify his supposed miracles from this verse commits both errors. There is not a “miracle worker” alive today who can do what Christ did, let alone greater miracles. The excuse that we can not do these works because we lack faith is simply not in the passage. Christ simply made a promise to his apostles.
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
[Matt 7:7, Matt 21:22, Mark 11:24, Luke 11:9,10, Luke 18:1, John 15:7, John 16:23, 1st John 3:22]
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
these verses are much like verse 12 in that Christ is giving a promise to his disciples – note the use of the word “ye.” The fact that multiplied thousands of Christians have asked for things in Christ’s name and not had the prayer request come to pass should prove ample evidence that the verse is not a promise to Christians. In this verse “faith” and “belief” are not even an issue or a condition for answered prayer. For the disciples it was merely a matter of asking and the Lord did it!
Who is Jesus talking to? You and I in the body of Christ? No! He is talking to Israel with their kingdom hopes in view. Can you receive whatsoever you ask for in Jesus name today? No you can’t! This promise wasn’t given to the body of Christ, it was given to Israel!
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
This verse is the logical contrapositive of Matt 24:12.
many today have a twisted view on loving God. A person can say that they love God and not be telling the truth. Jesus says that love for God is manifested by obedience. We read in I John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments….”
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
the “Comforter” refers to the Holy Spirit. Throughout the OT, the Holy Spirit would temporarily “come upon” people or would temporarily “dwell in” people for specific tasks. Christ here makes a promise of a permanent abiding. Later in the NT Paul reveals that at salvation the Spirit permanently seals the believer and dwells in him forever, making it impossible for him to lose his salvation.
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
note that NOT every one is loved by the Father. Being loved by the Father is conditional upon you loving Jesus Christ. It is true according to John 3:16 that God loved the whole world, but this love was manifested by sending Jesus to die on the cross for the sins of all mankind. This love of the Father for any individual extends beyond the cross of Christ only for those who believe in his Son as their Saviour. Those who reject Jesus as Saviour are not loved by the Father; they are in fact presently under God’s wrath according to 3:36.
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
Jesus had two disciples by the name of Judas – Judas Iscariot who betrayed him and Judas the brother of James.
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
[Rev 3:20, Matt 12:50, John 15:14, Heb 2:11]
the Christian has both the Son and Father living inside him; vs. 17 says that he has the Spirit dwelling in him as well.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
notice that the crucial point is what a person does with Christ’s “words” and “sayings.” It is vitally important that we do not change Christ’s words, but accept and keep them just as they are found in the Bible.
25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26 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.
27 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.
28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
[1st Cor 11:3]
this verse provides us with another nugget which is often pulled from its context and abused by the Jehovah’s Witnesses and other groups who seek to prove that Jesus was not God. The phrase in question is where Jesus declares that “my Father is greater than I.” If the student will pause to consider the context, he or she will note that Jesus is speaking of leaving his disciples and going back to the Father in heaven from which he came. When Jesus left the glory of heaven, he “humbled himself” and took upon himself human flesh (Phil. 2:8). He left all of the splendour of heaven that and became a servant on this sin-filled planet. The contrast which Christ draws between himself and the Father is not concerning his nature (ie. God and a lesser god) but a contrast of position (ie. the Father is in heaven and the Son was down on earth). Christ was not inferior in “Godhood” but was only inferior in position – compare 5:18. He had become man in a sinful world while the Father sat on a throne in the perfection and holiness of heaven. Compare this verse with 16:28.
29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
“prince of this world” = Satan; he is also called “prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2) and “god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4)
31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
Nothing could be plainer to understand but the people stumbled because of their own disbelief and because of the darkness in their own life.
They did not really want a purely righteous kingdom to begin while they still had some wild oats to sow and some money to make. What about you? Are you waiting to serve him?
Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.
Verse 1-11 – Here are three words, upon any of which stress may be laid. Upon the word troubled. Be not cast down and disquieted. The word heart. Let your heart be kept with full trust in God. The word your. However others are overwhelmed with the sorrows of this present time, be not you so. Christ’s disciples, more than others, should keep their minds quiet, when everything else is unquiet. Here is the remedy against this trouble of mind, “Believe.” By believing in Christ as the Mediator between God and man, we gain comfort. The happiness of heaven is spoken of as in a father’s house. There are many mansions, for there are many sons to be brought to glory. Mansions are lasting dwellings. Christ will be the Finisher of that of which he is the Author or Beginner; if he have prepared the place for us, he will prepare us for it. Christ is the sinner’s Way to the Father and to heaven, in his person as God manifest in the flesh, in his atoning sacrifice, and as our Advocate. He is the Truth, as fulfilling all the prophecies of a Saviour; believing which, sinners come by him the Way. He is the Life, by whose life-giving Spirit the dead in sin are quickened. Nor can any man draw nigh God as a Father, who is not quickened by Him as the Life, and taught by Him as the Truth, to come by Him as the Way. By Christ, as the Way, our prayers go to God, and his blessings come to us; this is the Way that leads to rest, the good old Way. He is the Resurrection and the Life. All that saw Christ by faith, saw the Father in Him. In the light of Christ’s doctrine, they saw God as the Father of lights; and in Christ’s miracles, they saw God as the God of power. The holiness of God shone in the spotless purity of Christ’s life. We are to believe the revelation of God to man in Christ; for the works of the Redeemer show forth his own glory, and God in him.
Verse 12-17 – Whatever we ask in Christ’s name, that shall be for our good, and suitable to our state, he shall give it to us. To ask in Christ’s name, is to plead his merit and intercession, and to depend upon that plea. The gift of the Spirit is a fruit of Christ’s mediation, bought by his merit, and received by his intercession. The word used here, signifies an advocate, counsellor, monitor, and comforter. He would abide with the disciples to the end of time; his gifts and graces would encourage their hearts. The expressions used here and elsewhere, plainly denote a person, and the office itself includes all the Divine perfections. The gift of the Holy Ghost is bestowed upon the disciples of Christ, and not on the world. This is the favour God bears to his chosen. As the source of holiness and happiness, the Holy Spirit will abide with every believer for ever.
Verse 18-24 – Christ promises that he would continue his care of his disciples. I will not leave you orphans, or fatherless, for though I leave you, yet I leave you this comfort, I will come to you. I will come speedily to you at my resurrection. I will come daily to you in my Spirit; in the tokens of his love, and visits of his grace. I will come certainly at the end of time. Those only that see Christ with an eye of faith, shall see him for ever: the world sees him no more till his second coming; but his disciples have communion with him in his absence. These mysteries will be fully known in heaven. It is a further act of grace, that they should know it, and have the comfort of it. Having Christ’s commands, we must keep them. And having them in our heads, we must keep them in our hearts and lives. The surest evidence of our love to Christ is, obedience to the laws of Christ. There are spiritual tokens of Christ and his love given to all believers. Where sincere love to Christ is in the heart, there will be obedience. Love will be a commanding, constraining principle; and where love is, duty follows from a principle of gratitude. God will not only love obedient believers, but he will take pleasure in loving them, will rest in love to them. He will be with them as his home. These privileges are confined to those whose faith worketh by love, and whose love to Jesus leads them to keep his commandments. Such are partakers of the Holy Spirit’s new-creating grace.
Verse 25-27 – Would we know these things for our good, we must pray for, and depend on the teaching of the Holy Ghost; thus the words of Jesus will be brought to our remembrance, and many difficulties be cleared up which are not plain to others. To all the saints, the Spirit of grace is given to be a remembrancer, and to him, by faith and prayer, we should commit the keeping of what we hear and know. Peace is put for all good, and Christ has left us all that is really and truly good, all the promised good; peace of mind from our justification before God. This Christ calls his peace, for he is himself our Peace. The peace of God widely differs from that of Pharisees or hypocrites, as is shown by its humbling and holy effects.
Verse 28-31 – Christ raises the expectations of his disciples to something beyond what they thought was their greatest happiness. His time was now short, he therefore spake largely to them. When we come to be sick, and to die, we may not be capable of talking much to those about us; such good counsel as we have to give, let us give while in health. Observe the prospect Christ had of an approaching conflict, not only with men, but with the powers of darkness. Satan has something in us to perplex us with, for we have all sinned; but when he would disturb Christ, he found nothing sinful to help him. The best evidence of our love to the Father is, our doing as he has commanded us. Let us rejoice in the Saviour’s victories over Satan the prince of this world. Let us copy the example of his love and obedience.