Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bible studies - John 14: 23 - 30

My apologies for my delay in producing this blog ( recently working 6am to 6pm)

       John 14: 23 to 31 is in response to a question by Judas. ‘Why not manifest Himself to the world?’      The Lord appears to not answer the question, yet He does.  His primary concern is for the disciples to be well prepared to overcome in the world.  He elaborated on the subject of the world later – Chapter 15:18-25, 16:20, 16:33, 1 John 2:15 etc.
      Verse 23  How stabilising it is to have His word and His presence. When we respond to His love by loving Him, the abiding presence of the Father and the Son by the Holy Spirit is heaven begun on earth. Link this with the teachings of 1 John, and it is evident that the love of the world is not compatible with the love of the Father. Also see Revelation 3:20

     Verse 24 highlights a very solemn note – to reject His word is to reject the Father! This is the characteristic of the world then and now.
     Verse 25 It is very important to study the words of Christ prior to His death, concerning His death. It shows that the cross was no accident. It shows that He knew all things. It gives understanding about the cross and it gave help to endure the conflict of the cross. A beautiful study is to highlight the foretelling of Christ in Luke 22. The apostles expounded the meaning of the cross and its relevance to us.

      Verse 26 In this world of darkness, ignorance and unbelief, it is perhaps one of the most helpful things, to learn from the Holy Spirit that God knows what He is doing in this world. This is the chief function of the Helper, the Holy Spirit – to reveal truth.  Note, He is the one to bring back the words of the Lord Jesus. This is why we can take the Gospel records as accurate – not up to failing memories.
     Verse 27 In the world there certainly is unceasing turbulence, and the Lord wants His own to enjoy peace. Not so much the stilling of the storm, although He may, but rather His peace. Sometimes we get peace when we know what is going on in difficult times, but HIS peace is the implicit trust that believes in HIM even when we do not understand what is going on. Job had no idea what was going on, yet He trusted in the Lord to see him through.

      Verse 28 The idea of His going away did not register with the disciples as a good thing largely because they were preoccupied with prominence  and place in the hoped for kingdom (prosperity gospel). The teachings of the Lord were full of references to eternal things, spiritual things, but how slow they were, how slow we are to connect with the greater values. For the Lord of glory, going back to the Father was going HOME to a better country.
‘My Father is greater than I’  How shall we explain this statement in the light of others in John eg Chapter 10 “I and My Father are one”  One could spend a lot of time interlinking many verses, but I shall just illustrate what I think is the point.  We are body , soul and spirit. Each has a function, and yet each is really ‘ME’.  The spirit is higher, giving intelligence to conscience and wisdom to will and way. The soul responds as the personality to make decisions and react with feelings. The body is most times subject to the direction of the will, but is the most visible part of the person.  My point is differing functions, so the Father administers His will for the Son to express visibly the purpose of the Godhead! In that sense the Father is greater.

      Verse 29 Knowing truth should inspire faith. So he would prepare them. It was the angels by the empty tomb who said “ remember the words which He spoke while He was with you”.   How important to let the Holy Spirit remind us of truth previously revealed.

     Verse 30 The ruler of this world I take to be Satan. Many other verses show the deceptive control of the evil one. (see Ephesians 2, Luke 3, John 8, Revelation 20 etc) Now He says “He has no claim on Me”.  Rejoice in it this way:
1 Jesus is not fallen in Adam
2 Jesus is not fallen in temptation
3 Jesus is not given over to world values
4 Jesus was not driven by selfish ambition
5 Jesus was not subject to death
6 Jesus is the conqueror of Satan, sin and death.

Verse 31 is wonderful in meaning and implication – I will explain next time

John McKee 

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