In John 14:16-18 Jesus said, "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you."
This part of John Chapter 14 is a continuation of the things that Jesus was teaching the disciples right after the Last Supper. Jesus was preparing the disciples for His death and departure from them. For three years Jesus had been the source of their comfort. His teachings and His presence were all that they needed. But now Jesus was going away. How would the disciples survive in the sorrows and trials of life once Jesus was taken away from them? How would they be able to hold up when they had to bear the sorrow of His death and the obstacles that would surely be before them?
Jesus would no longer be with them in bodily form. For three years they had relied upon Jesus. Who would they rely on now? For three years the teachings and the presence of Jesus were a great comfort to them. Who would comfort them once Jesus was gone? In these few verses Jesus is giving the disciples the answer to these questions. Jesus said that the Father would give them another Comforter, even the Spirit of truth. In place of Jesus being present in flesh and blood, the believers in Jesus would have another Comforter, and that Comforter would be the Holy Spirit. Here is one of many places in the Bible where the trinity is mentioned: the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. As always they are revealed as being both distinct and united as One at the same time.
One of the great gifts that God has given to us who believe is His Spirit. The Spirit of God enters into every believer at the moment of their initial salvation. Thatís why Jesus said that being born again is a spiritual birth. The book of Romans says that every child of God has the Spirit of God within them. Rom. 8:9 says that "if anyone have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." The book of Ephesians tells us that the Holy Spirit is the down-payment. In other words the Holy Spirit is the first evidence and the first gift of all the gifts that will be given to us until the time that we enter the Kingdom of God.
Only the believers in Jesus have the Spirit of God within them. According to Jesus, the Spirit of God is the Spirit of truth: He guides us into all truth. The Word of God and the Spirit of God must go together. If you try to use the Bible without the Spirit of God, then you will not understand it because the Bible is a spiritual book and can only be understood by the help of the Spirit of God. If someone tried to read the Bible without the Spirit of God to guide their understanding, then the Bible would be a dead and a very uninteresting thing to them. This is one of the reasons that there are false cults. False religions will use the Bible in the wrong way because they do not understand the Bible, and the reason that they do not understand the Bible is because they do not have the Spirit of God within them. The Spirit of God is the Spirit of truth. Without the Spirit of God, you cannot perceive or understand the truth. If you are not guided by the Spirit of God into truth, then you will be guided by the spirit of the world into darkness and falsehood.
Jesus emphasized the fact that the Holy Spirit will be a comfort to the believers. The Lord knows that we need to be comforted. The spirit of God comforts us by His constant presence with us and in us. Jesus said in John 14:17, "for he dwells with you, and shall be in you." One of the great sources for agony and torment and sorrow and suffering for human beings is loneliness. Even though we live in a time when there are more people on the earth than there have ever been before, there is also more loneliness than there has ever been before. But if you are a believer in Jesus, you donít have to be lonely because youíre never alone. You have a friend that sticks closer than a brother, and you have a companion that will always be with you. You may move from one city to another, and you may become separated from family or old friends, but you will never be alone if you are a believer in Jesus because Jesus has given you the Spirit of God to be your companion and your comforter.
If you are not comforted in the midst of whatever you must go through, then maybe you are looking in the wrong place for the comfort that you need. You have to wonder about people who claim to be Christians and yet seem to never be comforted, because the ones who do not have the Comforter are the unbelievers. If you are never comforted, then maybe you donít have the Comforter. Jesus made it very clear. He said, "I will give you another comforter." And Jesus said, "I will not leave you comfortless." The greatest things that God has given to us are not material things, but they are spiritual things. He has given us things that money cannot buy. He has given us the Comfort of the Spirit, who can comfort us in any trial.
In John 14:19-21 Jesus said, "Yet a little while and the world sees me no more; but you see me: because I live you shall live also. At that day you shall know that I am in the Father, and you in me, and I in you. He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." Jesus is making it very clear that even though He will no longer be present on the earth in a bodily form, human beings can still know Him. We can still have a relationship with Jesus just like the one that the disciples had. The principle characteristics of the relationship with Jesus have to do with two things: love and obedience. Jesus used the word "love" four times in verse 21. He talked about Himself and God the Father loving us and us loving Him. You should never doubt that God loves you, because of the things that He has done for you and because of the number of times that you are told in the Bible that God loves you. According to Jesus, the way that you can show that you love God is by keeping His commandments. One of the primary reasons that you should make it your goal to obey God, is so that you can prove to Him that you love Him. Do you love God more than your own selfish ambitions? Do you love God more than your own selfish desires? How you respond to temptation will prove how much you love God.
Notice the reward that Jesus says will be given to those who love Him. Jesus said at the end of John 14:21, "I will love him and will manifest myself to him." A closer walk with God and a deeper understanding of His presence is the reward for loving and obeying God. The Psalmist understood the value of such a reward because he said, "Renew unto me the joy of my salvation." Bernard of Clairveau also understood the value of having Jesus manifested to him. He wrote:
Jesus, the very thought of thee with sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far thy face to see and in thy bosom rest.
But what to those who find? Ah! this nor tongue nor pen can show
The love of Jesus, what it is none but his loved ones know.
When Jesus told the disciples about manifesting Himself, one of the apostles did not understand Him. He did not understand how Jesus could be revealed to some people but not to others. The question and the answer that Jesus gave are recorded in John 14:22-26. It says, "Judas said to him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself unto us, and not unto the world? 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. He that loves me not keeps not my sayings: and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Fatherís which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, 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."
Notice that Jesus came in the name of the Father and to bring glory to the Father, and the Spirit comes in the name of Jesus to bring glory to Jesus. In verse 16 Jesus called the Holy Spirit the spirit of truth. This means that the Holy Spirit must enlighten us to be able to understand the Word of God. It also means that the Holy Spirit inspired the writing of the Word of God. Jesus told the apostles that the Holy Spirit would teach them all things and that the Holy Spirit would bring to their remembrance all the things that He taught them. Thatís why the scriptures are infallible, and thatís why the scriptures are without error. "Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." Your education about life is not complete if you do not thoroughly understand the Word of God. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be complete, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
In John 14:27 Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." In verse 1 of this chapter Jesus also said, "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." Evidently, itís important to Jesus that His believers understand that they do not have to be troubled or afraid. Itís a very common malady for the members of the human race to be both troubled and afraid. Human beings will do many things to try and escape their troubles: itís one of the main reasons for the abuse of alcohol and drugs; not to mention the source of many emotional and psychological problems. Instead of being troubled or afraid, the believer in Jesus can have peace.
There are many tormented souls who would do anything if they could only find peace. Perhaps they will find the peace that Jesus can give. Jesus told us how we acquire His peace. He said, "My peace I give unto you." Like many other things in the Christian life, peace is a gift. You cannot earn it or buy it. You obtain peace from Jesus by believing in Him and trusting Him. The amount of peace that you have will be a good indicator of how much you are truly believing the Lord.
Believing in the Lord results in peace because how can you be troubled about things if you are believing that the Lord loves you, and that He is using His power to control all things for your good and for His glory? If you can die to your own will, and truthfully say, "May the will of the Lord be done," and believe that the will of the Lord shall be done, then you will have peace. And if you can confess your sins and believe that the Lord has forgiven you, you can have peace.
There is one characteristic that Jesus emphasized about the peace that He gives. He said, "Not as the world gives, give I unto you." How does the world give, that is different from the way that Jesus gives? For one thing, the world does not give something for nothing, but Jesus does. For another thing, what the world gives will often harm you; but what Jesus gives will fulfill your deepest needs. Whatever you get from the world, it wonít last long. You will soon have to go back for more. But what Jesus gives you will last forever. "He that drinks of the river of the water of life shall never thirst again."
In John 14:28-31 Jesus said, "You have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, you might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world comes, and has nothing in me. 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 from here."
Jesus told the disciples that the prince of this world was coming. Of course, the prince of this world is the devil. The devil was going to try to destroy Jesus, because the devil always opposes God and opposes that which is good. Earlier in His teachings Jesus had said that the devil was a murderer from the beginning. Humans commit murder, but they do it when they are motivated by the spirit of evil. The devil will give you death because he was a murderer from the beginning, but Jesus will give you life.
When the devil came to bring death to Jesus, Jesus said that He accepted His fate because He loved the Father and He therefore wanted to obey the commandment of the Father. Jesus came into the world to die, and He did it because it was the commandment of the Father for Him.
Jesus did something that none of us could ever do: He defeated the forces of evil. Notice how Jesus defeated evil. First, Jesus had a willingness to obey the Father. He did not go His own way and He did not do according to His own will: He surrendered to the will of the Father. We are in big trouble whenever we fail to surrender to the will of God.
The devil came to destroy Jesus, but it was the devil who was destroyed; because once Jesus died for the sins of the world, the deadly work of the devil became nullified and done away with. Through faith we enter in to the victory that Jesus accomplished for us. Throughout eternity we will praise and honor Jesus Christ for His obedience to the Father, and for the victory that He won for us on the cross.
Copyright; 2000 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved