About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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 Jesus Promises The Holy Spirit (ch. 14:15-31)

 

When singing any hymn or Christian song with the words "I love you Jesus" in it, Iím always reminded of the words of Jesus in verse 15.  As a matter of fact, I donít really sing those words in a worship service.  I think we should consider what weíre singing and act appropriately.  Jesus says here that if you love Him, you will obey Him.  How many people sing these words on a Sunday morning but donít do as Jesus tells them.  Iím not sure we have the right to tell Jesus that we love Him if we neglect what He tells us.

 

When we give ourselves to Jesus, when we trust Him with our lives, we are saying that we want to obey Jesus.  I know obedience is a process.  It's also a struggle, but obedience should be our goal as a Christian.

 

Love is not an emotion.  It is an action.  If there is no visible actions associated with the love you claim to have; you just don't love.  It is as simple as that. 

 

In verse 16 Jesus said the following.  "I will give you another Counselor to be with you forever Ė the Spirit of Truth."  Jesus was leaving these men, but He was not forsaking them.  Someone else was taking His place.  Note Jesus said that it was ďsomeone elseĒ, not ďsomething elseĒ.  The Spirit of Truth is the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is not an "it".  He is a "He".   Jesus has just told these men that He was truth, and now He says that He will ask the Father to give them the Spirit of Truth.  In actuality the Holy Spirit of Truth is Jesus in another form, yet, at the same time the Holy Spirit is distinct from Jesus since Jesus is at the right hand of God right now. We know that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ because the Bible says so in Romans 8:9 and 1 Peter 1:11.    

 

We need to note that Jesus calls the Holy Spirit a counselor.  One who counsels is one who helps us with the understanding of truth and how to apply the truth in our lives.  This is one of the jobs of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers. 

 

Note the word "another" in this verse.  There are two Greek words that are translated into English as "another."  They mean, another of a different kind and another of the same kind.  In this instance the another used is "another of the same kind."  This is important because Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one.  They are not another of a different kind.  They are another of the same kind.

 

Note that the NIV uses the word "counselor" here.  The JKV uses the word "comforter" which is not the best translation of the Greek word "paraklatos" which means "called to one's side."   

 

Jesus says that the world "cannot accept" the Holy Spirit because it does not know Him.  Only those who have given themselves to Jesus in a trusting relationship can receive the Holy Spirit in their lives. 

 

Also in verse 17 Jesus tells the Eleven that they will receive the Spirit.  In fact Jesus says that the Spirit lives "with them" but will be "in them."  How did the Spirit of God live with these men?  The Spirit of God is the Spirit of Jesus.  Jesus was with them at the present moment but in a few short weeks, Jesus, by His Spirit would live within them.  No other religion makes this claim.  Receiving the Holy Spirit into one's life is fundamental to being a Christian.  Romans 8:9 says that if you don't have the Spirit of God you do not belong to God.  You can't get it any clearer than that. 

 

As I've said, the Spirit of God living within the Christian believer is something that is not common among the world religions.  An example of this would be to talk with a Jehovah Witness.  They have no concept of the Spirit of God living in the believer.  The best they have is that hopefully they will be guided by the Spirit from above or outside of them.  They get bogged down in any discussion of the Holy Spirit living within us because they are not taught about this truth. As a matter of fact many donít even know what took place in Acts 2 if you ask them.

 

Verse 18 is interesting.  Jesus says, ďI will not leave you as orphans, but I will come to you."  How is He going to come to these men?  He comes in the form of the Holy Spirit.  Once again, in one real sense of the word, the Holy Spirit is Jesus in another form.  He is the Spirit of Christ as well as the Spirit of God.

 

In verse 19 Jesus tells the Eleven that "before long the world will not see Him."  These words are in reference to Jesusí ascension into Heaven.  Then He goes on to say that these disciples will see Him.  The world wonít but they will.  They will see Jesus through the Holy Spirit.  The world cannot see Jesus through the Spirit because they cannot receive Him.  Thus, another job of the Holy Spirit is to unite us with the living Christ who is now seated at the right hand of God.  In the Spirit we can see Jesus. 

 

Verse 19 says, "because I live, you also will live."  Jesus was about to die, but He would soon rise from the dead.  His resurrection did not end by Him coming out of the tomb.  His resurrection was fully realized in His ascension into Heaven.  I believe the life Jesus is speaking of here is eternal life.  Since Jesus lives right now in Heaven, in eternity, those who have received the Holy Spirit will live forever as well.  It's all because we have the eternal Holy Spirit living within us.

 

In verse 20 Jesus says that "on that day you will realize that I am in the Father, you are in me, and I in you."  That day refers to the Day of Pentecost.  It is that specific day when Jesus by His Spirit came to live within these men.  The Holy Spirit brings a union between us and Jesus to the degree that Jesus can say that He is in us and that we are in Him.  It is similar to the union that Jesus has to His Father, and that is why He says so here.  The problem is that our humanity constantly interferes with this union, but someday that will not be a problem   

 

This paragraph ends in verse 21 with Jesus saying that whoever has my commands and obeys them is he who loves me.  This person will be loved by Jesus and the Father, and, to the person who obeys Jesus, He will show Himself to that person.  Thus we now know why many of us seldom really see Jesus working in our lives.  It is because we do not obey Him.  The proof of our love for Jesus can only be seen in our obedience to Him.

 

In verse 22 we see the other Judas among the Eleven.  He asks why Jesus would show Himself to them but wonít show Himself to the world.

 

As in many cases, Jesus does not seem to directly answer Judasí question.  He in fact in verse 23 repeats Himself by saying that if you love me you will obey my commands and then I and the Father will come and live with you.  Note a new addition of thought here.  When the Holy Spirit comes to live in us, both Jesus and the Father comes as well. This shows us the triune nature of God, although being distinctly separate they are one.

 

I don't believe many Christians have seen this point.  When you receive the Holy Spirit into your life, both the Father and the Son come into your life as well. 

 

I think that Jesus is implying an answer to Judasí question.  I think what He is saying is that He will not show Himself to the world because the world will not obey Him.  Our first step of obedience to Jesus is to trust Him and give ourselves to Him.  Unless you do this, Jesus will not give Himself to you.  

 

In verse 23 Jesus says something that is often overlooked in Christian circles.  We all believe that the Holy Spirit comes to live within the believer, but, in this verse Jesus also says that both He and the Father will come and live within the believer. This obviously speaks to the concept of the Trinity.  

 

In verse 24 Jesus says just the opposite.  Those who do not love Him will not obey Him.  Once again, it's simple.  Love for Jesus demands obedience.  Love for Jesus is proven by your obedience to Him.  This obedience will be visible in your life.  People will see your obedience.

 

In verse 25 Jesus simply says that He is speaking these things to them while He is yet with them, but, as seen in verse 26, Jesus says that the Father will send the Holy Spirit in Jesusí name.  What does this mean, especially in light of Acts 2:33 where Peter says that Jesus received the Spirit from the Father and poured Him out on the believers?  Also, in John 15:26 and 16:7 Jesus says that He sends the Holy Spirit.  Who then sent the Spirit, Jesus or the Father?

 

Jesus said the Father sent the Spirit in Jesus' name.  If Jesus and the Father are one, then both send the Holy Spirit into the lives of the believer.

 

Once again we need to understand what "the name of Jesus" means.  When we do anything in the name of Jesus, we are doing it for Him, on His behalf.  God the Father was thus sending the Spirit on the behalf of Jesus, thus in one sense of the word Jesus was sending the Spirit because He was sent by the Father in the name of Jesus.

 

To be technical, all that Christians do in the service of the Lord is in the name of Jesus.  We bare his name.  We represent Him and His good name to the culture in which we live.  The phrase "in the name of Jesus" is more than just a way to end a prayer.  

 

In verse 26 Jesus says that the Holy Spirit "will teach you all things."  All that we really need to learn about God is taught to us by the Holy Spirit.  He may use people to be His mouth piece, but we will never properly understand what the mouth piece means without that inner working of the Holy Spirit in our heart.  It is the Holy Spirit that gives us the proper understanding that we need.  The Holy Spirit is vital in our understanding of Jesus. 

 

Many Christians have taken verse 28to say that they don't need anyone to teach them about God, Jesus, or Biblical issues, but that is not correct.  Even the briefest reading of the New Testament shows us that teachers are a valid ministry in the Body of Christ.  Of course, these teachers are Holy Spirit inspired teachers.    

 

Then Jesus says that the Holy Spirit will remind these men of the things He has told them.  This too is vital because much of what Jesus has told them was not understood by them, but, when the Spirit came into their lives He would remind these men of what Jesus said, and then help them understand what Jesus said.  Thus we see yet another job of the Holy Spirit.  That is to teach and remind us of the things that Jesus said.

 

In verse 27 Jesus tells these men that He is leaving them with peace.  It is not the kind of peace that you can find in the world, if you can actually find peace in the world.  It is an inner peace that comes from knowing Jesus.  Our lives may not always be easy.  There may be turmoil and depression, yet there is a peace of God within the real Christian that can pull us through anything if we allow it.

 

In Biblical terms, there are two kinds of peace.  There is peace with God.  This means we are on His side.  We are no longer enemies of God.  Then there is peace in God, which I believe we see here.  Peace in God is that inner peace we have because of the Holy Spirit living within us.

 

In verse 27 Jesus tells the disciples, and us to, not to be troubled or afraid.  This clearly suggests that if we are walking as we should with Jesus, we should win the battle over fear when it comes our way.   

 

In verse 28 Jesus repeats that He is going away.  This time He says that if these men loved Him they would be glad that He was going away.  It is clear that the disciples arenít that glad about Jesusí departure.  Most of all, they are confused because of lack of understanding. To me, love has a lot to do with understanding.  If we can understand those we need to love, it makes it easier to love.  These disciples loved Jesus to the best of their understanding, but since their understanding was incomplete, their love was deficient, therefore Jesus could say, "if you loved me."

 

The reason why Jesus says these words is because of their lack of rejoicing at the mention of His leaving.  This is the part of understanding that the disciples are missing.  They miss the point that once Jesus leaves He and His Father will send the Holy Spirit to them which was Godís plan all along.  Godís plan was never to have Jesus stay on earth forever, at least not this time around.

 

Jesus also says that He is going to the Father who is greater than He.  How is the Father greater than Jesus?  In His humanity Jesus is limited in all that He is.  His desire as seen in His prayer of John 17 is to go back to the Father and be glorified or united with Him.  At that point He will no longer be limited with humanity.  In this sense of the word, as Jesus says these things, the Father is greater than Him in all respects. 

 

There may be another way that the Father is greater, and this may be debatable.  The Father sent Jesus in the first place.  This may suggest that the Father is above Jesus in authority.  At the moment Jesus is central to all things because He is in the process of putting all things under His feet.  At some future point Jesus will put all things under His feet, including death, and then, He will hand all things back to the Father, including He Himself (1 Corinthians 15:20 - 29).  This may suggest a subservient and positional nature of the relationship between the Father and the Son.  Yet even as I say this we cannot underestimate who Jesus is.  He is in fact God and part of the triune nature of God. 

 

In verse 29 Jesus tells the Eleven that He is telling these things to them before they happen.  Yes, they donít completely understand, but Jesus must tell them about His departure.  After it is all over and they receive the Holy Spirit, all that Jesus says will come to mind with complete understanding.  When the things Jesus is telling them now come to pass, it is certain that they will believe.  The fulfillment of prophecy is one huge faith builder. 

 

In verse 30 Jesus tells the Eleven that He will not speak much longer with them because "the prince of this world is coming."  The devil is about to have what he thinks is his hour of power.  The arrest and killing of Jesus is the hour of darkness that He has mentioned before.  The hour of darkness is when the devil has His way, but as we also know, the devil was really the tool of God.  It was Godís will that Jesus die.  All that would take place in the days to come, no matter how dark things got, was the will of God.

 

In verse 30 Jesus says that the prince of the world, the devil, has no hold on Him.  Satan has absolutely no effect on Jesus.  He can temp Jesus all he wants, but will fail each time.

 

In verse 31 Jesus says that the world must learn that He loves the Father and that He obeys Him implicitly.  How would they know this?  They would know this through His death.  Jesus obeyed His Father, even unto His death.  Isaiah 53 clearly shows us that it was God's will for Jesus to suffer human death.  As a human, Jesus obviously struggled over that, but, when He hung on the cross, all watching, whether they understood it or not, saw the ultimate demonstration of obedience.  

 

The last sentence in this chapter says, "come now, let us leave."  Some suggest that they left the upper room at that point and the things Jesus says in the next two chapters happened somewhere else.  Others suggest that the next two chapters actually took place as they were getting ready to leave.  It is quite possible that Jesus tells the Eleven that it is time to leave, but before they actually do leave He says some more things as they stand and talk.

   

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