18th July 2019

John: Week 25 (Thursday, July 18 2019)

(from www.insightforliving.org.uk)

 

Chapter 14: 1-24

 

LET’S BEGIN HERE

The disciples’ hearts were troubled . . . understandably so! Jesus had just told them He would remain with them only a little while longer and that where He was going, they could not follow (John 13:33). Worrisome questions swirled through their minds: Where is He going? Why can’t we follow? What are we to do now? For about three years, they had devoted their lives to following Jesus. They had abandoned their jobs and left their families

when He had said to them, “Follow me” (1:43), and now He said they couldn’t follow Him? The next words from Jesus must have sent shivers up their spines. Upon hearing Peter’s bold pledge of loyalty, Jesus predicted Peter would deny Him—not

once but three times (13:36–38)! If the bravest among them was going to break

under pressure, what would be their fate? Sensing the troubled hearts within His disciples, Jesus calmed the men with tranquil words that turned their thoughts toward a place of safety and love— the presence of God in His heavenly home. Let’s take a deeper look at Jesus’ words and discover six consoling truths that we can apply to our troubled hearts.

 

YOUR TURN IN THE SCRIPTURES

What circumstances, people, or problems are troubling you? As we begin this study take the pulse of your anxious heart, and let these words from Psalm 73 focus your mind on God and His strength.

Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. . . .

Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand.

You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. (Psalm 73:21, 23–26)

Write a prayer to the Lord, expressing your concerns to Him and your desire to hear from His Word today.

 

Observation: Tranquil Words for Troubled Hearts

Let’s make some initial observations of John 14:1–24. In this study, we’ll use the Searching the Scriptures method of Bible study to observe, interpret, correlate, and apply the text. Chuck Swindoll’s book, Searching the Scriptures: Find the Nourishment Your Soul Needs, explains these methods in more detail. You can purchase a copy at Insight for Living Ministries’ online store.

Also, you may wish to check out Chuck’s commentary

on John’s gospel.

 

Searching the Scriptures Tool

Observation is a critical beginning technique to putting together the pieces of a passage of Scripture. Read the passage carefully, noticing features such as contrasts, comparisons, repeated words, cause-and-effect, and emphasized words. Particularly notice imperatives (commands) and verbs (action words), which are like tree limbs. All the ideas in the paragraph, like branches and leaves, connect to these words.

Observe Key Words and Phrases

Read John 14:1–24. Note the following key words and phrases, and, if you write in your Bible, identify them according to the following marking scheme. If you prefer, you can print a separate copy of John 14:1–24 and mark the paper rather than your Bible.

• Circle the words God and Father.

• Underline the words trust or believe (depending on your Bible).

• Double underline the phrases that describe Jesus going and coming again.

• Draw a box around the phrase that speaks about us being with Jesus or the Father.

What stands out as you observe your markings?

Observe Key Questions

You probably noticed the questions the disciples asked. These questions form natural breaks in Jesus’ dialogue. Jesus opened with a statement (John 14:1–4), which prompted the first question (14:5). His answer (14:6–7) prompted the second question (14:8), and His next answer (14:9–21) prompted the third (14:22).

In the following chart, write down Jesus’ statement or answers that prompted the disciples’ questions. Also record the questions, noting who asked each question. Then write what you think was the troubling thought behind each man’s question.

 

table with 4 columns and 4 rows

Disciple’s Name

Jesus’ Statement/Answer

Disciple’s Question

Troubling Thought   

table end

 

Before we interpret the text, let’s make one more observation.

Observe New Teaching about the Holy Spirit

In the middle of this passage, Jesus revealed a new truth that He elaborated on throughout the rest of His discourse. John hinted at this truth in chapter 7. What did Jesus say then, and what did John explain in John 7:38–39?

What did Jesus promise in John 14:16–17?

Having identified key words, phrases, questions, and a central teaching about the Holy Spirit, let’s explore Jesus’ meaning when He offered tranquil words to His disciples’ troubled hearts.

 

Interpretation: Six Truths That Quiet the Heart

John 14:1–24 stitches together a quilt of counsel so strong that it will keep us warm and secure through even the most inclement of circumstances.

Personal Faith in a Personal God Brings Personal Strength

The first truth is the centerpiece of Jesus’ teaching on overcoming fear: “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me” (John 14:1). Jesus’ first command, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled,” is

negative and passive. This command could be accomplished by obeying His next two commands, which are present tense and imply continuous action. In the Greek text, the word for “trust” bookends the sentence for emphasis, which literally reads, “Keep on trusting in God, and in me, keep on trusting.” What meaning do you glean from this insight into the Greek words?

To trust is to rely on something to hold you up, such as the chair you’re sitting on. Spiritually, we initially rely on God to save us through Christ. Then we rely on God to hold us up as we walk with Him—like Abraham trusted God when he journeyed to the Promised Land (Genesis 12:1–6) and the Israelites trusted God to get them safely through the Red Sea (Exodus 14:15–31). While Preparing a Place for Us, Jesus Is Preparing Us for That Place Jesus promised to “prepare a place” for us in His Father’s home (John 14:2–4). What did He mean?

Chuck Swindoll says that while Jesus is preparing a place for us, He’s preparing us for that place. What tools does God use to fashion us for heaven (Romans 5:3–4; James 1:2–4)?

Jesus’ answer to Thomas, “‘I am the way, the truth, and the life’” (John 14:6), is the sixth of Jesus’ seven “I am” claims (6:48; 8:12; 10:9, 11; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1). Here, in a nutshell, is what we believe about Jesus. Jesus doesn’t just point us to salvation; He is our Savior. He doesn’t just teach us the truth about God; He is God. He doesn’t just tell about life; He is the source of all life. How do you interpret His statement, “No one can come to the Father except through me” (14:6)?

The Sovereign Hand of God Is at Work

What does Jesus teach in John 14:7–11 about His relationship with the Father and how the Father is at work in Him . . . and in us through our faith in Christ (Philippians 1:6; 2:13)? How is this a comfort for Jesus’ followers?

Throughout John, Jesus repeatedly said the Father sent Him, that He spoke only what the Father told Him, that He did only what the Father instructed Him to do, and that He and the Father are one.

Greater Things Occur When We Pray in Jesus’ Name

The fourth truth is about prayer. Read John 14:12–14, and write down what it means to pray in Jesus’ name. For an online source, read Chuck’s Insights on John, page 270. Constable’s notes at lumina.bible.org can also help with this answer.

You Are Not Alone; You Have an Inward Helper

What did Jesus promise the Holy Spirit would do for us, according to John 14:16–18? And what reassurance does His presence bring?

Your Life Is Inseparably Linked to Christ Himself

Jesus invited us to look for Him with our faith-trained eyes, and He promised we’ll see Him alive and at work in us and through us. The following promise anticipates His resurrection, “Since I live, you will also live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (John 14:19–20). What does this mean?

Jesus began calming His disciples with hopeful words about His Father’s house. While in this world, they would not be alone. The Spirit, the Father, and He would always be with them, indwelling them and working through them. What reassuring promises!

The roots of Jesus’ words sink deep into the soil of Old Testament prophecy. Let’s dig into the past to find the source of Jesus’ teaching.

 

Correlation: The Promised Holy Spirit

Correlation is the Searching the Scriptures study tool that compares passages to aid our understanding. In this way, we let the Bible explain itself. Write down what you find in the Old Testament prophecy of the Holy Spirit in Ezekiel 36:25–27.

The New Covenant held out the hope that God would put the power His people lacked in their hearts so they could obey His commands. How does this prophecy relate to Jesus’ teaching in John 14:15–17, particularly His emphasis on obedience?

The promised day had come when Jesus offered the Holy Spirit to His disciples, an offer that was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost when the Spirit filled the disciples with power (Acts 2:1–21). You can read more about the significance of Jesus’ offer of the Spirit in Chuck Swindoll’s commentary, Insights on John, on page 272. Read Constable’s notes on John 14:15–17 at lumina.bible.org.

Do a little digging, and write down what you find out!

 

Application: Strengthening the Heart

Chuck Swindoll sums up the application of this passage with three easy-to-remember principles:

• Knowledge of the truth removes fear. Jesus faced death, the most fearful of all adversaries, with peace because He knew He was secure in the Father’s love. Truth steadies the nerves.

• Application of knowledge reduces anxiety.Obeying Christ’s commands through any trial keeps our hearts calm and focused.

• Love for the Lord releases guilt. Peter released his guilt when, later, he declared his love for Jesus (John 21:15–17). When we’ve strayed from the path

of righteousness, the way back is declaring our love for the One on whom our life depends.

Write down your own principle from the passage, a truth you learned that you can apply.

Now write down how you intend to put that truth into practice regarding the trouble you expressed to the Lord at the beginning of our study.

In prayer, “give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7).

 

A FINAL PRAYER

Father, the troubles I face today are tools in Your hands to work Your will through me. Glorify Your name through my trials as I rely on You each step of the way. When I feel abandoned, I trust You are with me. When I fear failure, I trust I am always loved. When I don’t know where to turn, I recommit myself to follow Jesus and take another step on the path of obedience. This is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.


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