The disciples have just come out of a very perplexing and depressing chapter 13. Jesus had just announced that Judas would betray Him, that Peter would deny Him, and that He was going away to a place where His disciples could not follow. However after this rather dismal chapter, Jesus seems to transition into an accelerated training program for the disciples, filled with words of hope and peace. As the crucifixion nears, Jesus must fill the disciples with knowledge of the Father’s love and glory, His own return, and the coming Helper who “dwells with you and will be in you” (14:17).
Perhaps the most striking element of John 14 is its repeated theme of peace. The chapter opens with Christ’s words, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me” (verse 1). Again in verse 27, Jesus tells his followers, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world give do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” So, what is exactly is the difference between the peace that Jesus gives us versus the peace that the world gives? I like to think of it this way: Jesus’ peace is not the absence of problems and trials, but power in the midst of them! I am also reminded of Philippians 4:6-7:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Now, let’s spend a little bit of time dissecting verses 15-18. Here, Jesus promises to give another Helper, that He may abide with us forever (verse 16). Involved in this promise are a series of conditions and sequential steps:
1.) We pray in His name (verses 13-14)
2.) We love and obey Him (verse 15)
3.) Jesus will pray (or intercede for us) to the Father (verse 16)
4.) The Father will provide the Helper (verse 16)
5.) The Helper will then abide in us and lead us into all truth (verses 16-17)
Me…Jesus…Father…Helper…Me. We can get connected to this Great Source and it’s free! Our hurdle is allow enough room in our heart for the Spirit of Truth to convict our minds. Let’s pray and obey so that we may become connected to the Holy Spirit’s power! And Jesus will teach us more about how to do that next time in John 15.