Wednesday, March 5, 2014

John 14:15-20 Bible study

Bible Study  John 14:15—21

              This section of the teaching of the Lord Jesus, is mainly about the promise of the Holy Spirit. The Lord said that the Holy Spirit would be in them that believe.  Those who do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, don’t know what they are missing and cannot understand why Christians are so interested in the invisible things of God.

         For those following this Bible study, let me interrupt with this comment. The writings of Paul are laid out logically, and can be analysed fairly easily.
 The writings of Peter are largely linked to the experiences of the people. 
   The writings of John are different.  He brings forward many analogies in the teachings of the Lord Jesus eg Chapter 6 – the feeding of the 4000 related to the bread provided from heaven – Jesus. Chapter 15 the vine and the branches. This analogy approach apparently was quite common among the Jews from the east.  John’s writings have been described as concentric circles. You will notice in these chapters and his epistles that several subjects are revisited with added meaning. For example in our present study, the giving of the Holy Spirit is outlined.
14:26 the purpose of the Holy Spirit is expanded
15:26 the  empowerment for witness by the Holy Spirit is explained.
16:7-10 the work of the Holy Spirit in the world is explained
16:12 the focus is explained.
Please take time to read these verses and check out what I have suggested.

        Returning to our study of chapter 14:15 – Another theme comes up – love. He did present the challenge of loving one another in 13:34 Now he develops love for Himself and the Father.
The ESV translation is helpful “If you love me, you will keep my commandments”. This gives the true sense that love will be seen in action and obedience, just like living faith will be seen in doing God’s works (James).

     14:16 It is good to note  the interactions in the Godhead, between the Father and the Son. We glimpse the communications and activity in this wonderful “He asks the Father” – God is not a distant, cold calculating judge. As He drew near in the person of Immanuel (Jesus), so he draws near today in the person of the Holy Spirit (Comforter, helper, counsellor). Verse sixteen ends with this profound statement “He will never leave you”. This stands in contrast to the happenings in the Old Testament. This stands as a promise achievable only by the death of the Good Shepherd who died for the wandering sheep.

     14:17 In a previous blog I tried to explain the difference between the spiritual and the natural. This verse supports the idea that the Holy Spirit operates in our mind and intellect rather than gut feelings or emotional outbursts. He communicates ‘truth’. This may be direct to an apostle, or via the writings of scripture, or the teachings of His servants. As we discover the Lord’s emphasis on letting ‘His words fill our minds’, we then appreciate how the Spirit  speaks to us. There are occasions where the Holy Spirit communicates ‘new things’ like prophecy, but in verse 26 He reminds the disciples of Christ's words and 16:15 He focuses on the person of Christ revealed – past present and future.

     14:18&19  In these verses, He gives a foretelling of His impending death and resurrection. I love the simple yet sublime statement “I will live again” NLT  “Because I live you shall live also”
The blessings of his resurrection are many, but  here he identifies two.
1.      1  Their life in the present and the future is assured because Jesus lives.
2.   2     Resurrection would  vindicate His claims to knowing the Father, and then assure His disciples of their part in Christ and the Father. You may recall His message to the fearful disciples that resurrection morning – “Go tell My brethren that I ascend to My Father and your Father” (John 20).  Thus He binds the fearful, unworthy disciples to both Himself and to the Father. This is Grace upon Grace granted to all who believe in Him.
 More in the next blog

John McKee

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