John 14:22-31

Henry Mahan

(Vs. 22) Most likely the disciples still had thoughts of a great kingdom of the Messiah, visible to the whole world (Acts 1:6). Therefore, when the Lord Jesus talked of the world seeing Him no more, of returning only to them and to other believers, and of dwelling with them, the Apostle Jude (surnamed Thaddaeus, author of the epistle which bears his name) asked, "How can we see you, know you, and walk with you and the world not see you?" It may be, as some suggest, that Jude was asking not HOW but WHY display His power and kingdom to them alone and not to the public in general.

(Vs. 23) Our Lord answered Jude's question and also confirmed what He said before in Verse 21, "Because you love Me and keep My words." No love, no works of ours (seen or foreseen) are the CAUSE of His eternal love and mercy toward believers (I John 4:10, 19). Yet our love for Him and our obedience to His word are proof of His grace in us and of our part in His spiritual kingdom; and this will result in our eternal good (Rom. 8:28),further manifestation of His grace, and the living God, Father, Son, and Spirit, dwelling in us (I Cor. 3:16; II Cor. 6:16).

(Vs. 24-25) Those who do not sincerely love the Lord Jesus Christ do not love His words, His doctrine, nor His ordinances and will not obey them. These words apply not only to the profane world but also to professors of religion, who do their works to be seen of men and not out of love for Christ. Therefore, Christ will not manifest Himself to them nor dwell with them (John 2:23-25; I Cor. 16:22). This declaration is not mine only (or not mine as a man); but this is My Father's decree. It is not from earth but from heaven. "All these things I have spoken to you, being yet present. After My departure I, through the Spirit, will make them much clearer to you" (John 16:12-13).

(Vs. 26) Between the time that our Lord spoke these words and the time when the Holy Spirit came upon them, think of the significant events that occurred and the vast amount of scriptures and promises of Christ that were fulfilled–the crucifixion, the rent vail, the resurrection, His appearances to them, and the ascension. The indwelling Holy Spirit will more fully and perfectly instruct them in all these things and also will bring to their remembrance all that Christ said to them, things which they could not, under the circumstances, enter into. There are no new truths, only newly revealed truth. We learn the truth as God is pleased to reveal it and as we are able to receive it (I John 2:20, 27).

(Vs. 27) "Peace be to you," was the Jewish salutation (I Sam. 25:5-6). Under that word they comprehended all manner of good to their friends, both when they greeted them or when they departed from them. Christ, about to depart from the disciples, said, "Peace I leave with you." But this peace Christ leaves with you is "My peace," which the world can never bestow, no matter how often they say, "Peace be to you" (Jer. 6:13-14). The peace of this world is at best external and temporary: but the peace of Christ is internal, lasting, based on the sure promises of His word and the merits of His blood, and will strengthen and sustain His people through any trial. Therefore, He tells them, "Do not be troubled at My departure nor be afraid of the dangers you face; for in the midst of it you shall have My presence and My peace!"

(Vs. 28-29) The Lord Jesus had told them again and again that He must suffer these things, that He must die to fulfill all that was written of Him and necessary for our salvation, that He must depart, and that He would come again to them. If the disciples had loved Him as they ought and if they had believed Him as they should, rather than being depressed and troubled they would have rejoiced at His words. Their thoughts were too much on themselves and not for His greater glory. Love rejoices that He has finished His work, He is glorified at the Father's right hand, He has a name above every name, our redemption is complete, and He lives to die no more. "My Father is greater than I"–not in essence (John 10:30); but as a mediator between God and men, Himself man, He is inferior (I Tim. 2:5). He told them all these things before they came to pass so that when they saw them happen, they would not be overwhelmed with sorrow but would believe.

(Vs. 30) He had been talking with them for hours and would talk with them much more after His resurrection, for He was with them for forty days. But He means there will not be much time for teaching and conversation before His death; for Satan, the prince of this world, had already inspired Judas, the soldiers, and the Sanhedrin to arrest Him; and they were on their way. Satan comes: but he would find no fault in Christ, nothing in agreement with his evil designs, nothing in our Representative and God's anointed but complete holiness and submission to the Father's will (John 18:38).

(Vs. 31) Christ offers no resistance (Isa. 53:7) to show all that He perfectly loves the Father and that He came only to do the will of the Father (Heb. 10:7-10). He calmly arises and bids the disciples to follow Him. "No man takes My life from Me; I lay it down" (John 10:18).

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.