To Know the Heart of God – John 14  

By Karen Houston                                 

Jesus TeachesWe pick up in chapter 14 where Jesus and the 11 disciples are in the upper room, Judas Iscariot had just left.  Jesus addresses the 11, speaking words of comfort.

John 14:1 (New King James Version)

1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

 Knowing the forthcoming events (arrest, crucifixion) which will affect the disciples, Jesus comforts them.  In actuality, they should be comforting Him, but in demonstrating servanthood (Mat 20:26-28), Jesus teaches that faith in Him will remedy anxiousness.

 John 14:2-3 (New King James Version)

2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

 Jesus explains that He must leave them to prepare a place for them in heaven, but will return to bring them back to be with Him.  This is the rapture described in 1 Thess 4:13-18 and 1 Cor 15:51-54, not the establishment of His kingdom described in Rev 19:11-15.  Jesus leaves them because of His deep love for them (all believers), not because of any lack of love as the world might expect.

 John 14:4-6 (New King James Version)

4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.”  5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”  6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

 Jesus tells Thomas that He is the only way to God because He is the truth of God (John 1:14), and the life of God (John 1:4, 3:15, 11:25).  No other way to God exists.

 This is one of the seven “I AM” statements:

“I AM the Bread of Life” – John 6:35, 41, 48, 51.

“I AM the Light of the world” – John 8:12.

“I AM the Door of the sheep” – John 10:7, 9.

“I AM the Good Shepherd” – John 10:11, 14.

“I AM the Resurrection and the Life” – John 11:25.

“I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life” – John 14:6.

“I AM the true Vine” – John 15:1, 5.

 John 14:7 (New King James Version)

7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”

jesus-and-disciplesTo know the heart of Jesus is to know the heart of God.  In Jesus’ ministry on earth, He repeatedly looked past sins to see the condition of hearts.  A sinner was not condemned for his sins (John 12:47), but rather forgiven and told to turn from sinful ways.  The only exception to this is the sin of rejecting Jesus as Christ (John 12:48) which brings eternal death, emphasized by His interaction with the Pharisees.

 John 14:8-11 (New King James Version)

8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”  9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

 The gospel of John indicates that Jesus was God incarnate in over a dozen verses: 1:1-3, 14, 17, 18; 5:10-23, 26; 8:58; 9:35; 10:30, 38; 12:41; 14:11; 17:1-5; 20:28.  In verse 10, Jesus illustrates how God works through each of us by His power and not by our own, when even Jesus Himself does not speak on His own authority, but by God’s.

 John 14:12 (New King James Version)

12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.

 “Greater” is the Greek word “meizon” which corresponds to quantity, not “megas” which corresponds to size.  We have the opportunity to do more works than Christ did in His three years of ministry on the earth.  We have this opportunity because Christ ascended and sent the Holy Spirit to live and work in us.  Jesus emphasis in verses 10-12 is not on the physical works, but rather on faith and the Spirit which empowers us.

 John 14:13-14 (New King James Version)

13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

 Jesus is comforting the disciples by providing the key, the way to access His power when He is no longer physically with them.  It is not a formula of words but a like-mindedness of heart with Him.  The church today has warped this in belief that if we tack the words “in Jesus’ name” on the end of a prayer, it will suddenly have power.  Verses 13 and 14 more accurately mean He will do whatever a believer asks when the prayer is for His purposes, His glory, and His merit, not for a believer’s selfishness, glory, or merit.  As we become more God-like in our hearts desires, God will grant more of our hearts desires.

 John 14:15 (New King James Version)

15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.

 The focus of this verse is “loving Jesus,” not “keeping commandments.”  “My commandments” refers to Jesus’ words, not the Ten Commandments given to Moses.  The Old Covenant was about keeping commandments, and how works could not get us to heaven.  Jesus has ushered in a New Commandment of love which supersedes obedience by works.  Adhering to a law is a “have to” mentality, God rejoices when we display a “want to” mentality as we are obedient because we love Him.  When we love Him, we will be obedient to love others, and naturally live within the Law without having a sin consciousness (being burdened to stay out of sin by microscopically analyzing all we do).  It is a result of loving Him that we receive comfort from the five supernatural blessings in the following verses, 15-31.  These are: a supernatural Helper; a supernatural life; a supernatural union; a supernatural Teacher; and a supernatural peace.

Love illustration 1 Jesus’ commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves can be illustrated as a pie or pizza.  Imagine your entire amount of love as a circle, like a pizza.  If we are to love our neighbor as much as ourselves, the pizza would have two equal sized pieces, one represents the love that we have for our self and the other represents the love we have for our neighbor. 

 This “50/50” love is easy to understand and accept.  But our world is made up of more than one other person.  Notice now as we add more people, our pizza begins to have more slices cut.  In keeping with loving our neighbor as (much as) ourselves, all pieces of pizza are the same size.  Love illustration 2The size of our own slice, the amount we love our self, diminishes as we love more and more people.  In other words, as we begin to love others more we will become less selfish.  As Jesus had great compassion for everyone, He exemplified this through His servanthood.

 John 14:16-17 (New King James Version)

16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

 The Holy Spirit is a supernatural Helper to replace Jesus on the earth.  The Greek term literally means one who comes alongside and encourages and exhorts.  Because the Holy Spirit is not confined to a single, physical body like Christ, He will be available to all believers everywhere.  The Holy Spirit communicates God’s truth to believers, with a new fullness after Pentecost by dwelling with and in believers.dove-holy-spirit

 John 14:18-19 (New King James Version)

18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.  19 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.

 This has a two-fold meaning; physically in the form of ascension then appearing in His glorified state; and the mystery of the Trinity whereas the Spirit would be with them after Pentecost.  We will live eternally because He arose.

 John 14:20 (New King James Version)

20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

 After His resurrection, He was united with the disciples.  We are united with Him also.

 John 14:21-24 (New King James Version)

21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.  And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”  22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”  23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.  24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

 When we keep the love commandment, Jesus abides with us, and we will live in obedience.  Love comes first, obedience will follow.  It is not the reverse; obedience without love is merely legalism.

 John 14:25-26 (New King James Version)

25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

 The Holy Spirit provided remembrance to the disciples in order for them to write New Testament scripture.  Although the disciples failed to understand much of Jesus teachings, because of the Spirit’s teaching they came to an accurate and infallible understanding of His work.

 John 14:27 (New King James Version)

27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

 This peace is a supernatural peace which unbelievers cannot partake or understand.  It lives and rules in our hearts (Col 3:15), melts away fear and guards our hearts (Phil 4:7), and relieves anxiety in troubled times (John 14:1).

 John 14:28-29 (New King James Version)

28 You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.  29 “And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.

passion_jesus_disciples The disciples were reluctant for Jesus to go; they did not understand that He would return in a more powerful form as the Holy Spirit.  Christ assures them so their faith may be stronger and that they will recognize the Spirit as being of Him.

 John 14:30-31 (New King James Version)

30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. 31 But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.

 The term “he has nothing in Me’ was a colloquialism meaning that Satan had no evidence against Jesus, no charge of sin, no claim against Him.  Satan could not hold Jesus in death; Christ would triumph over death, and ultimately destroy Satan.  Jesus did not want the disciples to be discouraged by His death on the cross as it was only temporary.

 Likewise, we need not get discouraged when it seems that Satan has the upper hand on us.  Jesus has the victory over Satan and the world; we are victors with Him as He abides in us; and He abides in us when we walk in love.

 Our first priority is to walk in love with Him.  It is then we will begin to know the heart of God.