The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, March 8, 2015, is from John 14:15-31. Please Note: Some churches will only study John 14:15-26. This posting includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson. The International Bible Lesson Commentary is now available in five different Bible translations on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website: these versions are the English Standard Version (ESV), King James Version (KJV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), New International Version (NIV), and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary. The Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website along with the International Bible Lesson that you may want to read to your class as part of your Bible study using the easy printable lesson. To help your class review the lesson, an easy printable Word Search Puzzle, a Crossword Puzzle, and a True and False Test are also available below. To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.
International Bible Lesson Commentary
(John 14:15) “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
When we love someone, we want to do and say things that will please them and make them happy. Likewise, if we love our heavenly Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we will obey them and their commandments out of a desire to express our love for them and bring them happiness.
(John 14:16) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.
Jesus was teaching His disciples, but He does not restrict this promise only to the original 12 Apostles. When we love Jesus, we do what Jesus says, and as a result we can enjoy a relationship with another Advocate that the Father will send us, even as the Father sent His Son into the world with the Holy Spirit. Jesus will make the request in our behalf and the Father will send the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit will be with us forever.
(John 14:17) This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
Jesus declared that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. As He spoke to His disciples, He was abiding with them and they knew Him (though not as fully as they would come to know Him in days to come after He indwelt them). The Spirit of Truth was with them because the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, remained in Jesus. Soon, the Holy Spirit would be within them as He was within Jesus. Because those of the world do not love and obey God, they do not see or know and cannot receive the Spirit of Truth.
(John 14:18) “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one true God in three Persons; therefore, the “Spirit of Truth” relates to each Person. When Jesus ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of His Father on the throne of God, Jesus did not abandon His disciples and other followers. He sent them the Spirit of Truth to remain in them, and by doing so He came to them to abide within them too; whereas, previously Jesus had been beside them or near them as He walked and talked with them.
(John 14:19) In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live.
After those of this world crucified and buried Jesus, they never saw Him again. Jesus only appeared to His followers and even 500 of His followers at one time. They saw Jesus exactly as He promised them. Because Jesus never died spiritually (only His physical body died on the cross), He rose from the dead and all of His followers will also live even after their physical bodies die. They too will rise from the dead when Jesus returns to earth as visible and reigning King.
(John 14:20) On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
The “day” refers to the day that they would receive the gift of the Father, the Spirit of Truth or Advocate. On that day, they would know by personal experience that Jesus was God, the Son of God. They would also experience the personality of Jesus (a personality they very well knew) within them as the Spirit of Truth indwelt them. Jesus’ disciples are so united with Him spiritually that He could say they would be in Him too.
(John 14:21) They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”
True faith in the true God and in what the Father and the Son have done through Jesus’ coming into the world should lead every true believer to love God the Father and God the Son. True love for them should also inspire and motivate us to want to do everything they have taught and commanded us to do. This love involves a mutual relationship between God and us, and a mutual love for one another. Mutual love leads to learning more about Jesus and His truth as we obey Him daily.
(John 14:22) Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?”
Judas knew that wherever they went everyone could see Jesus heal people and hear Him teach. He did not understand how Jesus could begin going places with them and those of the world not see Him when they could see Him. He did not yet understand what the Scriptures taught about the resurrection of Jesus.
(John 14:23) Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
Jesus replied by emphasizing His spiritual answer. Those of the world did not love the Father or Him, nor did they honor and seek to obey the Scriptures or them. Only those who love Jesus will cherish His teachings and His commandments in their hearts with an intention to obey and follow Jesus wherever He leads. The Father will love those who love His son; therefore, both of them will make their home with those who love Jesus. When the Holy Spirit indwells believers, the Father and the Son are present in them too.
(John 14:24) Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.
Jesus always emphasized that He and the Father spoke with one voice. They spoke and acted in perfect harmony. Jesus always glorified the Father and the Father always glorified the Son. The Son always did what the Father willed, and the Father always did whatever Jesus asked of Him, because they always thought alike as God. If a person loves Jesus, they will do what Jesus says. Disobeying Jesus shows a lack of love for Jesus. Love for Jesus leads to honoring Jesus and His words by the way we live.
(John 14:25) “I have said these things to you while I am still with you.
Toward the end of Jesus’ public ministry, Jesus began to prepare His followers for His coming death, resurrection, and departure for heaven. Jesus foretold these truths as the prophet of God. He told them in advance so when these truths became facts of their experience they would understand and have more reason to trust and love Jesus.
(John 14:26) But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.
The Advocate would endorse and promote Jesus’ teachings when He came and indwelt His followers. He would never contradict Jesus, but would speak in unison with the Father and the Son, because all three Persons are the one true God. He would teach them more about Jesus and the meaning of His coming as well as remind them of what Jesus taught; therefore, we can rely on them and the books we have from them in the Bible.
(John 14:27) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
As Jesus prepared to depart from them immediately after His death and burial, His disciples naturally became afraid for their lives and troubled about what might happen to them since their early expectations about what Jesus the Messiah would do when He came were not according to God’s plan. They saw the peace Jesus had that the Father and He enjoyed. Jesus promised that He would give them this peace (which would also flow from the Holy Spirit within them). The world’s peace is usually for a short time, a brief respite from hostilities before the next conflict or war.
(John 14:28) You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.
Once again, the Son honored the Father. If we really love someone, we will rejoice when they go to the Father and Jesus, though we will always feel deep sorrow as the disciples did when Jesus was crucified and buried. We will miss the ones we love. Jesus emphasized that He was both “going away from,” and “coming to” them. He would “go away from” them at His death and burial. He would “come to” them at the resurrection. He would “go away from” them at His ascension into heaven. He would “come to” them when the Father sent the Spirit of Truth into them. He would “come to” them again when He came to take them to heaven, to the place He had prepared for them. He would “come to” His followers again when He came back to earth again as King of kings.
(John 14:29) And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.
Jesus is our Prophet, Priest, and King. As our Prophet, He foretold what He would do and what would happen before and after His death and resurrection. The fact that Jesus fulfilled what He foretold would happen after His death and resurrection are additional reasons to believe in Jesus and everything He taught.
(John 14:30) I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me;
Jesus would not talk much to them after His Last Supper with them. He would pray with them in the garden before His arrest and trial and crucifixion. He would speak to them again in some post-resurrection appearances. Jesus maintained His absolute control surrounding all of these events, but the time for the “ruler of this world,” the devil, to inspire Jesus’ betrayer and arrest was nearing. However, the devil had no power over Jesus. The devil still has no power over Jesus. The devil has no power over Jesus or the Spirit of Truth who indwell those who trust and love them.
(John 14:31) but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way.”
Jesus loved the Father, so Jesus did everything the Father commanded. Jesus lived a perfect human and divine life on earth. The world would see His death on the cross and would know that He died because He loved the Father, but the world, under the influence of the ruler of this world, would misinterpret the meaning and value of what Jesus did for love of the Father (and for the love that God has for the world – see John 3:16).
Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further
1. What are some of the things you can do if you love Jesus?
2. Who is the Advocate and what will He do?
3. Why does the world not receive the Advocate?
4. Why do some people neglect or refuse to keep Jesus’ words?
5. What is the result of loving Jesus and keeping His word?
Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.
The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.
Word Search Puzzle
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.
True and False Test
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class
International Bible Lesson
Obeying God Is Not Optional
“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23—KJV).
“Jesus answered him, ‘Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them’” (John 14:23—NRSV).
Some people believe that because Jesus Christ died for their sins that obeying God is now optional for Christians. They think the laws of God no longer apply to believers, because they are forgiven for all of their sins. Today, some people only follow the very general teachings of the Bible that seem consistent with the ideas of the most vocal in society. However, Jesus taught that His true followers would keep His commandments and heed His words, and they would obey Him because they loved Him. Jesus endorsed the 10 Commandments, and in His Sermon on the Mount Jesus applied the commandments of God to the desires and inclinations of our hearts and minds – not just to our outward behavior. Jesus called people to turn from their sins so He could forgive them and cleanse them from sin. Jesus promised that those who loved and obeyed Him would receive many blessings. He promised He would ask the Father to send the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, to abide with or remain with His followers. The Holy Spirit would live in His followers. The Spirit of truth would teach them and remind them of what He said. Jesus explained that the world could not receive the Spirit of truth, because those of this world refuse to receive Him and know Him as God has revealed Him. The Bible still reveals Jesus Christ to the world, and those who love Him will obey Him; they will be indwelt by the Spirit of truth and God will make His home with them. – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.
Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions andThinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.
See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.
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