John 14:16-20 & 25-31 – The Coming of the Holy Spirit

In our text today, Jesus finishes up the encouragement he began at the beginning of the chapter.
·  Interestingly, Jesus began John 14 with, “let not your hearts be troubled”.
·  And He finishes up with “let not your hearts be troubled” in verse 27.
·  In effect, He feeds the disciples a “comfort sandwich”.
·  The reason He does so is because of His coming departure via the cross.

Thus far the “comfort sandwich” has been made up of the following:
·  He is going to prepare a place for them (John 14:2)
·  He will take them to be with Him (John 14:3)
·  If you know Him you know the Father (John 14:7)
·  If you have seen Him you have seen the Father (John 14:9)
·  They will do greater works than Jesus (John 14:12)
·  Jesus will do “whatever” they ask (John 14:14)

And throughout His attempts to comfort, Jesus also made clear the relationship between a love for Him and a submission to His commandments.
·  This relationship itself is a form of comfort for the disciples.
·  Why?
·  Having a desire to deny what they want and seek what Jesus’ wants is evidence that they love Him.
·  After all, they have already given up the last three years of their lives on His account.
·  This action is indicative of their love for them, maybe not a mature love, but love nonetheless.
·  And importantly, after Jesus’ departure, there is work to be done and they are the ones to do it.

Jesus’ also tells them that this comfort will be activated, “because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12).
·  In other words, the “comfort sandwich” will be theirs when He is glorified.
·  What does it mean for Jesus to be glorified?
·  When He is crucified – resurrected – exalted to the right hand of the Father.

Now, today’s text gives us the foundation upon which everything He has promised will be secured.
·  The giving of the Holy Spirit.
·  Something alluded to throughout John’s Gospel.
·  John 7:39 (ESV) — 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

D.A. Carson gives us a the following segue into today’s text:
·  His true followers will love him; they will obey him; and he on his part will secure for them, from the Father who denies nothing to his Son, another Counsellor – D.A. Carson.


John 14:16–20 & 25-27 (ESV) — 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you…25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still 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 that I have said to you. 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 hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

There are a lot of ways we can get into this text.
·  For example, Jesus is once again teaching that there are only two “whoevers”, like He did in John 3.
·  You are either the “whoever” that “knows” the Spirit or you don’t – there is no neutral ground.
·  Jesus also contrasts the peace He gives versus the peace the world offers.
o   Philippians 4:7 (ESV) — 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
·  And remarkably, we also have in this text the contrast between the Spirit of the old covenant that “dwells with you” and the Spirit of the new covenant that “will be in you”.

But, what I want to look at are the two roles Jesus’ says the Holy Spirit will play when sent to the disciples.
·  Holy Spirit as Helper
·  Holy Spirit as Truth

Holy Spirit as Helper:
·  The Greek word Jesus’ uses to 1st describe the Holy Spirit (vss. 16 & 26) is “parakletos”.
·  It’s has legal overtones and describes “one who is called to someone’s aid” – BDAG.
·  And specifically in our text, Jesus is saying the Holy Spirit will be sent to appear on Jesus’ behalf as “mediator, intercessor, helper” – BDAG.

We have just spent 7 weeks on the subject of sanctification.
·  One thing we should be certain of is that both for the disciples and for us, the Holy Spirit is what energizes our will and desires.
·  The Holy Spirit “comes along side” us that we might grow in the likeness of Christ.
·  The Holy Spirit helps us in sanctification.
·  The Holy Spirit intercedes for us in prayer when we don’t know what to pray.

And obviously there is so much more to be said about the role of the Holy Spirit in our Christian walk.
·  But we will stick to the text at this point and highlight one specific way the Spirit “helps” the disciples.

“…he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26).
·  Jesus formally establishes the chain of custody in the transmission of God’s word.
·  The Father gives words to the Son; the Son gives words to the Spirit; the Spirit gives them to the disciples.
·  This is one crucial reason why the transmission of God’s word through Scripture is reliable.

BTW – Carson is careful to point out that the Spirit’s role in this regard was NOT to bring new revelation.
·  “The Spirit’s ministry in this respect was not to bring qualitatively new revelation, but to complete, to fill out, the revelation brought by Jesus himself” – D.A. Carson.
·  If the Holy Spirit wasn’t bringing new revelation, why would one ever believe that Joseph Smith or Charles Taze Russell would do so?

Moving on…John has even alluded to the success the Spirit has had in bringing to rememberance:
·  John 2:19–22 (ESV) — 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
·  John 12:16 (ESV) — 16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.

Now on to the second thing Jesus says about the Spirit in our text.

Holy Spirit as Truth:
·  In verse 17, Jesus refers to the Spirit as the “Spirit of truth”.
·  A Spirit that the world cannot receive because “it neither sees him nor knows him”.
·  In other words, there is a difference between “knowing” the Spirit and knowing about the Spirit.
·  Why is this distinction important?
·  This distinction is significant because it reveals that the Spirit is not simply a theological and spiritual truth, but a person of truth “to be experienced” – D.A. Carson.
·  In other words, for the believer, the Spirit will be active in our lives in a personal way.
·  And one specific way the Spirit will relate to us, Jesus tells us, is by testifying to the truth of Christ.
o   BTW – paralleling how Christ testified to the Father and vice versa.

What truth does the Holy Spirit personally communicate to those who know Him?
·  John 15:26 (ESV) — 26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.
·  The Holy Spirit is the personal apologist for the truth and person of Jesus Christ.

This is why Jesus can say in verse 20, “In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you”.
·  Jesus is saying that when the Spirit comes, He will reveal the truth of all Jesus has been teaching about Himself.

In other words, the presence of the Spirit means that Christ:
·  Resurrected
·  Ascended to heaven
·  Exalted to the right hand of the Father
·  Spirit Comes = Jesus’ Glorified

Did the Spirit come?
·  Acts 2:1–4 (ESV) — 1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Pentecost confirmed for the disciples that Jesus was the real deal – the Jewish Messiah.
·  And even though Jesus was gone, He had sent the Spirit of Truth.
·  The Spirit of Truth would testify to them and the world about the truth of Jesus.
·  All that they had given up and all that they were about to sacrifice was legitimized at Pentecost.

BTW – Importantly, as Jesus promised, they were not left alone; He did not forsake them.
·  A concept that had been in view since the days of Moses.
·  Joshua 1:5 (ESV) — 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.
·  Hebrews 13:5 (ESV) — 5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Significantly, the disciples were the only people in history that knew the truth of Jesus both through walking with Him for three years in person and through the testimony of the Holy Spirit.
·  This is a startling statement if you think about it.
·  It is startling because of its implications for us.

We need to think deeply about this for a moment.
·  Both your love for Jesus and everything true you grasp about Jesus comes from what?
·  Is it Jesus’ testimony of Himself that has brought you to a belief in Christ?
·  Or, is the Holy Spirit’s witness about Jesus the reason for your love and intimate knowledge of Jesus?

This means that so much of what we attribute to the work of Christ should really be attributed to the Holy Spirit.
·  We constantly sell the Holy Spirit short, when He in fact is for us the very presence of God in our lives.
·  The Holy Spirit has regenerated our hearts.
·  The Holy Spirit has elucidated the profound truths of Scripture to our minds.
·  We know Christ because the Holy Spirit has made Him known to us – “he will bear witness about me”.
·  We seek to obey Christ because the Holy Spirit energizes our desires and inclines our hearts toward Christ (Ezek. 36:27, Phil. 2:13).

We often complain as Christians that we don’t really see the Spirit working in us or that we don’t know the Spirit.
·  When the fact of the matter is, the love and knowledge you have for Christ is because the Spirit is personally involved in your life.
·  Whatever you know and trust about the things of God can be sourced to the personal work of the Holy Spirit in your life at this very moment.
·  If you are a believer, you are immersed in the Holy Spirit.
·  For us to say we feel like we don’t know the Spirit would be like the disciples saying they didn’t know Jesus.
·  It is ridiculous.

Following the completion of this discourses “comfort sandwich” in verse 27, Jesus has some minor chastising to do.


John 14:28–31 (ESV) — 28 You heard me say to you [John 8:21], ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.

Jesus began with and spent a considerable amount of time encouraging the disciples.
·  But in verse 28 He finally calls them out on their love deficit.

Jesus’ words convey to us that He had shared His interpretation of the facts, but the disciples balked at embracing them.
·  They were still holding out hope in their version of reality.
·  They were guilty of “wrong thinking”.
·  “Yet, as Jesus reminds them, and as Paul would have agreed (Phil. 1:23), being with God is better by far, both for Jesus and for his followers, who subsequent to his exaltation will be able to draw on the assistance of both the exalted Jesus and the indwelling Spirit” – Kostenberger.

In fact, the best thing that could happen for the disciples is Jesus’ glorification.
·  “…the transformation of the disciples’ understanding can be said to turn on the glorification of Jesus (12:16)”, the “coming of the Paraclete (16:12–15)”, and “on Jesus’ resurrection (2:22)” – D.A. Carson.
·  Christianity does not begin without the unfolding of these events.
o   Without the final obedient act of Christ in submitting to His crucifixion.

Right Thinking for Us:
·  Stop devaluing the role and presence of the Holy Spirit in your life.
o   Your interpretation of the facts is simply wrong.
·  You are who you are in Christ because of the Holy Spirit’s “coming alongside” you on Christ’s behalf.
·  This is the truth of the matter, whether you feel it or not.
·  Accept it, trust it and believe it.