The Comforter – John 14

The disciples finally realised what Jesus was talking about, and that the day had come for the “bridegroom” to be taken away from them. Seeing their downcast faces, Jesus assured them that their journey together for the last three years was not in vain and that this was not the end, but only the beginning of their Ministry. He tells them that He is going to prepare a room for them in heaven and also promises the helper to guide them on earth. The Advocate, whom the world cannot accept, but who will live in them will be their constant guide.

During these last intimate moments with Jesus, the disciples freely brought their questions and doubts in hopes of understanding what Jesus had already been telling them all throughout their time together.

Thomas

Thomas, who up until this point was known for his bravery in following Jesus (John 11:16) asked a very basic question. A question that has perhaps crossed all of our minds.

“Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

John 14:5

Thomas was brave when he offered to follow Jesus back to the southern country of Judea when Jesus wanted to visit Lazarus’s grave. But at that moment, he had Jesus before him, guiding the way. His question arises from his fear that he will not be able to see Jesus anymore and is worried that who would now show him the way. In a way, it is good that his bravery was based on Jesus leading the way and is a little bit shaken now that he doesn’t have his leader in front of him.

Silhouette of Jesus

Do we give the same excuse when it comes to knowing God’s will in our lives? Do we justify our actions when God is trying to lead us on a different path? People are comfortable in following a human being that we can see than God whom some can’t even feel. Till we have the physical evidence of a leader in front of us, we will not want to follow any of God’s instructions. But why did the disciples not know the way?

When answering the question, raised by John’s disciple, Jesus said that the reason why His disciples did not fast, was because their bridegroom was still with them. His disciples lacked the spiritual maturity to understand everything that He was teaching them. While His work on this Earth was coming to a closure, His work of transforming the lives of His disciples was only beginning. The Advocate that Jesus had promised them, would work in their lives and guide them throughout all their journey they took on the path leading to God.

For three years they followed Jesus and after His resurrection and ascension, the Advocate will show them the way. Jesus and His Spirit are the way provided to us by the Father. We ignore this fact and try to look for other things that will bring us closer to Him. The only thing that can bring us closer to God is His Son. We already know the way but choose not to go walk in it because of our desires that are for the things of this world.

Philip

Philip had his own doubts and wanted to see the Father. His faith was built on evidence and wanted Jesus to show one last sign and prove that He is the Son.

“Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

John 14:8

We also sometimes treat the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, as three separate persons. Some people give importance to Jesus, while others give importance to His Spirit. We don’t realize that the Father provided us with His Son and His Spirit to bridge the gap that we had created with our sin.

Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.

John 14:11

Even after spending so much time with Jesus, Philip was not able to comprehend that How could the Father and the Son be one? Jesus was not just another prophet or a man sent by God but He is  God in the flesh who has come down to Earth. People think that Jesus first came to Earth only during the New Testament times. But even in the Old Testament, whenever we read that God came down in flesh to meet one of His followers that was Jesus, God the Son.

Jesus is not exclusive to the New Testament, but whenever God made himself known to men in the flesh it is written as the ‘Angel of the Lord’ always to describe God in human form. And His Spirit is not exclusive to the Acts of the Apostles but whenever we read about the Spirit of God in the Old Testament or experience His works even today it is His Holy Spirit. We were not worthy to even call God as our Father when He sent His Son and His Spirit and through them made us worthy to be called His children. Distinguishing between his provisions on the basis of the form in which He provided them to us is useless. Giving one, more importance over another is only useful for creating new religions and denominations.

On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

John 14:20

Judas

Finally, Judas, the son of James, asked Jesus a question that has plagued all our minds since the time our Lord rose from the grave.

“But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

John 14:22

Faith is not believing in a carefully researched thesis but it is Hope on the things unknown. If we think that we would believe in God if He would reveal himself to us we are only fooling ourselves. Even in the garden when God revealed himself to Adam, they still chose to betray Him. Throughout Jesus’s Ministry, He was always crowded by the sick and the tormented who needed His healing touch. But Jesus always gave importance to the Word and the inward healing of a person rather than the outward. Whenever we receive something from God, we enjoy it for a moment and then return to our sinful desires. Jesus does not want to give us temporary joy but wants us to have everlasting freedom. Signs and miracles will not help our faith, but experiencing God transforming our lives day by day will build a connection with Him that will last forever.

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching.

John 14:23-24

There was no point in showing signs and wonders to the pharisees and the doubters as no amount of proof would convince them. Even Jesus’ resurrection was quietly swept under the carpet by the pharisees, as they paid off the guards to tell a different story. The disciples would have had many more questions to ask Jesus that night but Jesus reminded them that the time was near and that the prince of the world was coming for Him. He assured them that all their questions would be answered when they received the Advocate who He would send. The disciples recalled and understood the minute details of their time with Jesus only after receiving His Spirit.

Questions

  • After spending three years with Jesus why did the disciples not know the Way to the Father?
  • What was wrong with Philip asking for a sign from Jesus to prove He is the Son?
  • Similarly do we have litmus test for God to prove His faithfulness toward us?
  • Why does Jesus not reveal His glory to everyone but only to those who love Him?

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