John 14:8-31

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John 14:8-31 Inductive Bible Study

Outline:

  1. Jesus and the Father are one (8-11)

  2. Jesus will strengthen the disciples to do great works and answer their prayers (12-14)

  3. The Father will give the Spirit to help the disciples (15-17)

  4. The disciples would see Him after His resurrection (18-20)

  5. God will dwell with the one who truly loves Him (21-24)

  6. The Holy Spirit will teach them (25-26)

  7. Jesus gave them supernatural peace (27-30)

Cross-references:

John 12:45 – He who sees Jesus sees the Father.

Colossians 1:15 – Jesus is the image of the invisible God.

Hebrews 1:3- Jesus is the exact representation of the Father’s nature.

John 1:1-3 – The Word was with God and the Word was God.

John 10:38 – A previous time Jesus said to believe in Him because of His works.

Mark 16:17 – Believers will cast out demons and do signs.

Acts 2:41 – In one day 3000 men believed what Peter was teaching and became true disciples.

Matthew 7:7 – Seek and you will find. Knock and etc…

John 16:24 – Assurance of answered prayer.

Romans 8:26-27 – The Holy Spirit intercedes for us in our prayers.

Acts 13:52 – The Holy Spirit brings joy into our lives.

Galatians 5:22-23 – The Holy Spirit produces godly fruit in our lives.

John 16:8 – The Holy Spirit convicts of sin.

Ephesians 1:13-14 – We are sealed in the Holy Spirit.

John 11:25 (19) – Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in Him will live though they die. It’s made possible only because He died and yet lives.

1 Corinthians 2:14-16 (22) – To a person without God, the things of God are foolishness.

Philippians 4:6-7 (27) – A peace that passes understanding.

Teaching Points –

  1. Jesus and the Father are One (8-11)

What does it mean that Jesus is in the Father and the Father in Him?

John 12:45 – He who sees Jesus sees the Father.

Colossians 1:15 – Jesus is the image of the invisible God.

Hebrews 1:3- Jesus is the exact representation of the Father’s nature.

John 1:1-3 – The Word was with God and the Word was God.

One can see why Jesus felt the need to discuss His unity with the Father so many times. Although it had been a continuing theme of His teaching, even His close disciples still didn’t get it! Jesus gently rebukes Philip for still not understanding though he had heard Jesus’ teaching on it so many times.

Jesus is God in the flesh. If a person actually saw God the Father He would die. Because Jesus came as a human it let humans actually see God living in this world, hear God’s teachings, know God’s ways, see God heal people, and see how God responded to different situations and questions that we also face. Read and discuss the cross-references above.

We need to understand the unity of Jesus and the Father. They are One. The words that Jesus spoke are exactly the same words letter for letter that the Father would speak if He were physically present there. The works that Jesus did also the works of the Father, which He did through Jesus.

So what kind of point or application can we get from this? I think what Jesus was telling Philip was that he didn’t need to see the Father. It wasn’t necessary. Everything Philip needed to see, Jesus showed him. If people ask “where is God” or doubt because they haven’t seen Him, we can point them to Jesus, God in the flesh. If people wonder what God would do or say we can point them to Jesus, God in the flesh.

And finally, if someone says, “how can we know that Jesus’ words and deeds were God’s?” we can answer, “look at His works”.

  1. Jesus promises to strengthen the disciples. (12-14)

Mark 16:17 – Believers will cast out demons and do signs.

Acts 2:41 – In one day 3000 men believed what Peter was teaching and became true disciples.

Matthew 7:7 – Seek and you will find. Knock and etc…

John 16:24 – Assurance of answered prayer.

How can we possibly do greater works than Jesus did? What does this refer to?

And what connection does Jesus going to the Father have to do with us doing great works?

Then Jesus moves from the foundation (His equality and unity with God) to how this would impact the disciples. Jesus gives a two promises and one condition for each promise. The first promise is that believers would do equal and greater works to what Jesus did. The condition is that the person believes in Jesus. How can we do equal works to Jesus? How about greater?

I believe that the equal works were things like healing, casting out demons, and such physical miracles. Believers have done these things throughout history. What can be greater than that? Reaching people’s hearts with the gospel and being used by God to bring them to Christ. Although it doesn’t look as impressive, that work is far greater and the angels in heaven will rejoice every time and unbeliever comes to God. Just the disciples reached a large part of the world during their day. But this “work” is not yet done! The disciples didn’t finish it. They began it. We can still have a part of this great work today. Still 28% of the world is completely without access to the gospel. There is nothing greater than taking it to them. By no means can we become proud and foolishly imagine that we are somehow greater than Jesus. Rather, we should be grateful that He gave us the privilege of such an important task and this should motivate us to faithfully carry it out.

The second promise is the assurance of answered prayer. The condition is that we pray in Jesus’ name. Jesus gave this promise on the eve of His death. Though the disciples might have feared that Jesus left them and could no longer be with them or help them, Jesus reassured them by promising to answer their prayers. He wasn’t forsaking them. Though we can’t see Jesus, He is still just as faithfully answering our prayers today.

  1. The Father will give the Spirit to help the disciples/believers (15-17)

How was Jesus going to help them after He left (prayer, Spirit)?

What’s the connection between love and obedience?

Who is the Helper?

Why is He called the Spirit of truth?

What does the statement “He abides with you and will be in you” show about how the Spirit interacted before and currently interacts with believers?

Romans 8:26-27 – The Holy Spirit intercedes for us in our prayers.

Acts 13:52 – The Holy Spirit brings joy into our lives.

Galatians 5:22-23 – The Holy Spirit produces godly fruit in our lives.

John 16:8 – The Holy Spirit convicts of sin.

Ephesians 1:13-14 – We are sealed in the Holy Spirit.

Mixed in throughout this passage is Jesus’ promises to His disciples. Promises to strengthen them, to answer their prayers, to be with them, to give them life, to give them the Spirit, etc. Mixed with these promises are several verses with what Jesus expected from the disciples. These were their responsibilities. The main one that Jesus mentioned is love and He brought it up several times in this last extended conversation on the eve of His death.

How do we know if someone really loves God? How do we know if we love God?

Do you love God? Do you generally obey God?

This brings out a great aspect of love. What is that? Obedience. Love and obedience can’t be separated. Jesus makes it clear that if we love Him we will obey Him. If you are not practicing obedience to God, you are a hypocrite if you say that you love Him. We really need to consider our lives to examine if we really do love Him or not. Saying it with our mouth is not enough. Perhaps it was a verbal expression of love by one of the disciples that prompted Jesus to say this sentence. When we sing out our love to God, we should repeat this sentence to ourselves. Jesus is saying, “Words are not enough. Show me by action.” And some will say, “I don’t love God like I should all the time, but I do a lot of the time.” Do you think this is what God wants? Imagine that Christy and I are talking. She is pointing out some ways I failed to love her and I say, “Come on. I listen to you at least half the time. I don’t track mud onto the floor at least half the time. I respond to at least half of your questions. I don’t throw my dirty clothes on the floor at least half the time. I am there for you half the time. I’ve only broken 40% of the dishes.” Will any wife be happy with that? It’s not really love if we only do it half of the time. We need to make a practice of obeying God. Christians should not have multiple personalities/schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. We need to consistently obey God.

Now let’s move on to another of Jesus’ comforting promises He gave to the disciples. This is the promise of the Holy Spirit. Read and discuss cross-references.

That is the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Before Pentecost He would rest on or abide with people for a while, but afterwards He lives in us forever. He intercedes for us, convicts of sin, comforts us, gives us joy, enlightens our heart to God’s word, seals us for the day of redemption, and produces godly fruit in our lives. But I don’t want to just talk about the DOCTRINE of the Holy Spirit. Too often we reduce His presence in our lives to a series of facts and doctrines. This is what He does. This is why, etc. I want us to think about the REALITY of His presence! Think of it for a minute. The Spirit of God is dwelling in your heart, strengthening you and helping you to face to the world and have victory. This is incredibly comforting and confidence building. We don’t need to fear anyone because God is literally with us. We can have victory in any situation if we don’t suppress the Spirit. The Spirit is in our lives. Sometimes when I sin, I realize it is because I quenched the Spirit. 1 Thess 5:19. In my heart I knew something was wrong, warning bells went off. Instead of listening I try to block the alert out of mind and go ahead and do the wrong thing. Do not quench the Spirit. Be filled with the Spirit. Praise God for giving us the Spirit. Remember that Jesus said it is for the disciples good that He leaves, so that we can receive the Spirit! So remember, don’t just consider the Holy Spirit as a doctrine. He is a very real presence in our lives and if we let Him will have a very strong and real impact.

  1. The disciples would see Him after His resurrection (18-20)

What event does Jesus refer to in verses 18-20?

I believe this refers to Jesus’ resurrection. There is no record that after He arose He appeared to unbelievers (they had already rejected Him, He shows Himself far more to the people who have faith). But He did appear to more than 500 of His disciples. The phrase “because I live, you will live also” is significant. John 11:25. If Jesus didn’t arise, everything else would be meaningless. His resurrection was the key point, the foundation for everything else. Not only would we have spiritual and eternal life, but His resurrection was also the first fruits of the resurrection from the dead, meaning that we will also receive a new body as He did. All of this is because He lives!

V. God will dwell with those who truly love Him (21-24)

Did Jesus’ answer Judas’ question? What did His answer mean? Why would Jesus disclose Himself to believers, but not those in the world and how would He do it?

1 Corinthians 2:14-16 (22) – To a person without God, the things of God are foolishness.

Once again we see here the importance of loving God and obeying His commandments. Here Jesus also tells another important promise connected to loving God. If we do love Him and obey Him He will also love us in a special way and show Himself to us even more (He showed Himself to those who loved Him after His resurrection). Judas asked a reasonable question. Basically, why would Jesus show Himself to some and not others. Jesus basically answered that He would show Himself to those who loved Him and belonged to Him. He would live with those who believed in and accepted Him. The others don’t love Jesus, don’t obey Jesus, and don’t listen to His word. Jesus wasn’t going to cast His pearls before swine by disclosing to those kind of people more about Himself. If a person hasn’t had faith in what God has already revealed and miraculously done they aren’t likely to have faith in future revelations or miracles.

Read and discuss the cross-reference.

Verse 23 also gives a hint of the Trinity with Jesus using the plural “We” and “Our”.

  1. The Holy Spirit will teach them (25-26)

How would the Spirit teach the disciples? Us?

How was the promise that the Spirit would help them to remember the things Jesus told them fulfilled?

This verse is applied to the apostles differently than to us. How so? The Holy Spirit still exercises the role of teacher, but now it is primarily in regards to enlightening our hearts to understand the Bible. At that time, the Bible wasn’t yet complete. The Holy Spirit would give the apostles the divine revelation of God so that they could understand it, teach it to others, and record it for us. Several times in the gospels John and others mention that they didn’t understand something at the time, but at some point later after Jesus’ resurrection they understood it. That is a specific fulfillment o the promise that the Holy Spirit would “bring to [their] remembrance all that [Jesus] said to [them]”. Read John 12:16.

  1. Jesus gave them supernatural peace (27-30)

What is the difference between the peace that Jesus gives and the worlds?

Is the love in verse 28 just obedient love? If not, what does this teach us about the love we should have for God?

What is a major purpose for prophecy?

Who is the ruler of the world? What does it mean that he has “nothing on” Jesus?

Ephesians 2:13-17 – Jesus brought true peace.

Philippians 4:6-7 (27) – A peace that passes understanding.

Here is another great promise of comfort from Jesus. Though He was leaving they didn’t near to fear or be troubled. They could have peace. What is the difference between the peace that Jesus gives and the peace that the world gives? The world’s peace is very superficial and artificial. Basically it means the absence of conflict. If two countries or people are not fighting they are said to be at peace with each other. Sin causes continual conflict and continual violence and continual fighting. So any peace offered by the world is very short-term. People wonder how long it is going to last and so even in the midst of peace live in fear. At creation, there was peace. When sin came, peace vanished. People no longer have peace with God. They no longer have peace with each other. And they no longer have peace with the earth. But Jesus promises true peace. What does it mean?

Firstly, He promises to give us peace with God. Jesus came to reconcile sinners to God, to break down the barrier of enmity. Read and discuss Ephesians 2:13-17. This is the first and most important kind of peace. We don’t have to fear judgment or hell, but are safe in the loving arms of God.

Second, He gives harmony with other believers. He gives us true fellowship with other believers so that we can have peace with others who follow Christ.

Thirdly, He doesn’t necessarily take away all conflict, but He gives us peace in the midst of conflict. Php 4:6-7. The believer will face some troubles and problems, but unlike those in the world we can face them with peace in our hearts knowing that God is in control and has good plans for us. This is the peace that let’s believers about to be martyred by being torched or eaten by lions sing songs of praise to God and pray for their murderers. This is the peace that enables us to respond gently and calmly to those who slander us and scream curses at us. This is the peace that enables us to give a blessing to others instead of returning evil for evil. This peace is a safe and calm confidence in God’s power and plan for our lives enabling us to respond to others in a gentle and humble way.

28 – Here I want to make another point about love. It is NOT ONLY obedience to God although obedience is a necessary component. Here we see that those who love Jesus would rejoice to see Him go to the Father. What does this mean? It shows us that there is also an emotional connection that comes from our intimate relationship with God and causes us to truly want what He wants, to want His glory to be spread and be happy when He is happy. For example, there is a command to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Let’s say someone is getting married and we are kind of jealous that God hasn’t given someone to us yet. Obedience says, “Ok, I’m not really that happy about this, but because God commands it I will say congratulations and act happy.” But God wants us to truly be happy for that person. If we love them we will not think about ourselves, but will truly be joyful for them. Same thing for some one who is grieving. The Ephesian church was pretty good about obeying God, yet Jesus still said that they lost their first love. Let us not be like that.

29 – Prophecy was for a purpose. It was used for a sign to build faith in God.

30 – The ruler of the world is Satan. Jesus uses a Hebrew idiom to show that Satan’s accusations would all be false. Therefore Satan could not hold Him in death, but Jesus would destroy Satan.

Main Points

  1. Our Responsibility: Love. Love is more than saying something. It is obedience. But it is obedience from the heart. It is wanting what God wants, rejoicing about the things God rejoices in. Let us truly love God this week and not just say we do.

  2. God’s Promises: Though Jesus left, He comforts us with many promises. Promise of answered prayer. Promise to strengthen us to do His work. Promise to send us the Holy Spirit. Promise to love us. Promise to give us peace. Let us claim these promises for our own and experience them in our own lives, because they are not just doctrine talking points.

Study John 15:1-8

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