Category Archives: John

John 18 – Who’s the boss?

Opening question

Share a story of a person, fictional or not, who looked average or weak but actually was someone important. Aragorn from Lord of the Rings is one example.


Chapter 19 begins with the words: “When he had finished praying…” Jesus has finished a chapter-long prayer about the future of his disciples and the disciples that follow after them. Looking at the ESV, we see that it’s not just Jesus’ prayer but everything that Jesus has said in chapters 13-17. He has finished addressing and preparing his disciples for the pain that they are about to go through. Now the time as come – the hour is here – Jesus and the disciples are on the move.


The NIV headings seem quite appropriate for the structure and purpose of each section. We are in narrative mode again now, so the story really speeds up. After five chapters of monologue – lots of theology but not much action – we now get into the action.

Reading this chapter is not difficult and you may wonder what there is to discuss. Jesus is arrested, Peter denies Jesus and the high priest(s) get it way wrong. But the juice is in the great contrast between Jesus and each of the other named characters in the story. Let’s get started.

Verses 1-14 – Jesus Arrested

The Kidron Valley. Here’s a little easter egg for us. It’s good to notice names and places and see if they take us anywhere. The Kidron Valley is mentioned a couple of times in the bible. Looking each of these references up is interesting but the one reference that stands out is from 2 Samuel 15:23. King David was the rightful king of Israel, but his own kin wanted him dead. He made the decision to leave the city with all of his faithful followers and head across the Kidron Valley. Jesus, like David before him, accepted the hate of his enemies and hoped that his God would protect him. He was accompanied by those who wished to stand alongside their Lord.

On the other side there was a garden. This is most likely the garden of Gethsemane which was toward the north, easily accessed via the Kidron Valley. What’s interesting here is that John doesn’t focus on Jesus’ prayer in the garden like other gospels do. We want to stick to the narrative that John is focusing on. Let’s keep to his account which doesn’t contradict, but focuses our attention elsewhere.

Verse 3 – Judas came with soldiers carrying weapons. Verse 3 and verse 10 show how forceful the people coming to Jesus looked. Jesus, who is likely to have never carried a weapon, is confronted with a small army to arrest him. It’s hard to imagine why this is so. The chief priests and Pharisess clearly anticipated a strong resistance from Jesus and his followers. The way that Jesus interacts with the crowd and with Peter highlight his anti-violence approach to this situation – but more than this – it demonstrates how convicted Jesus is about who he is and what he is doing in contrast to everyone else in the scene who is “overdressed” and clearly not in control.

Notice how possible it is for a so-called disciple to betray Jesus in such an extreme way. Earlier that night, Judas had been with the eleven in Jesus’ company. He leads the way to reject Jesus as king. We only avoid falling away when we take our eyes off the things of this world and fix them on Jesus. This was a major theme in the passages where Judas was absent.

Verse 5 – “I am he” and they fell to the ground. The “I AM” statements of Jesus are famous in the book of John. The phrase appears 24 times in John

  • (eight of these occurrences are Jesus repeating himself or incidental).
  • Seven of these are Jesus defining himself in metaphor: 6:35 (bread of life), 8:12 (light of the world), 10:7 (the gate), 10:11 (good shepherd), 11:25 (the resurrection and the life), 14:6 (the way, truth and life), 15:1 (the true vine).
  • Nine times, they are Jesus declaring bluntly that he is the one that people are looking for: John 4:26, 6:20, 8:24, 8:58 (I AM), 9:9, 13:19, 18:5,6,8 (I AM).

In 18:5-8, Jesus is presenting himself clearly, unashamed and yet powerfully before his enemies. Like 8:58, Jesus uses the I AM statement similar to the way God presented himself to Moses in Exodus 3:14. This may explain why the people fell backward when Jesus spoke to them. There is a strange power present with Jesus here where his simple words knock down an army. A subtle power has been with Jesus in all his miracles. Remember how he was able to single-handedly drive marketers out of the Temple area?

Verse 11 – “Shall I not drink my Father’s cup?” It is clear in these first 11 verses how willing Jesus was to be arrested. He could have controlled the army himself. He could have allowed Peter to try and stop the enemy by force. He even knew that this event was about to happen and so could have remained hidden to the public. But he is willing to receive from his Father what has already been planned (Isaiah 51:17; Matt 26:39).

Verse 12-14 – Caiaphas the High Priest. They brought Jesus to Annas before taking Jesus to Caiaphas (v24). John 18 is a bit confusing as to who is the high priest but it seems to suggest that there were more than one. If this sounds odd, it should. There was only to be one high priest. A good explanation is that Caiaphas was the current high priest and that Annas had previously been a high priest (a bit like a previous president) and that Annas still holds sway and influence. I think the greatest take-away from this confusion is that the Jewish religion at the time of Jesus was corrupt and screwed up. The high priest role was meant to be held for years before being handed on to the next candidate. But records have shown that there was almost a new high priest for every year (a bit like the Australian PM). Annas is possibly the one who had done the deal with Judas and that’s why Jesus went to Annas first. Caiaphas is highlighted as the one who spoke about the benefit of one dying for the good of the many – ironic that he would be the one responsible for the execution.

Bringing verses 1-14 to a close: Jesus knows exactly who he is and where he is going: the True King of Israel, the I AM, who is going to drink the cup that the Father has planned for him. In great contrast: the mob don’t know what they are doing, (too many people, carrying weapons, unable to stand up to one single unarmed man and being led by a traitor). AND the whole thing being orchestrated by the high priest(s) who don’t really know who is in charge (at least I don’t).

Verses 15-18 Peter’s first denial

The “other” disciple is likely to be John, the writer. By not naming this disciple, it places John in the perfect position to narrate. He is in the story but only as an observer. John was a disciple of Jesus who had previously been a disciple of John the baptist. Is it possible that he had once been in contact with the now high priest? This is one commentator’s suggestion. Perhaps John was always keen to seek the truth and the truth lead him to Jesus.

Peter had shown his zeal in the garden but now he begins to show his weakness. Perhaps a lesson for us here is that we should never think of ourselves as too strong to resist temptation. Peter feared fleeing but he also feared being drawn into Jesus’ arrest. Perhaps it would have been wiser for Peter to keep away that night. Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or STAND in the way that sinners take or SIT in the company of mockers.”

Verses 19-23 Before the High Priest

Verse 22– “Is this the way you answer the high priest?!” It’s so twisted! The book of Hebrews (eg, 4:14-15) convinces us that there is no longer any priest or high priest but Jesus – our great high priest! Israel has just struck him across the face and asked, “is this the way you [treat] the high priest!!!!?” Crazy. But God’s love is that he will go to the cross even being treated this way.

Notice again the violence toward Jesus who only seeks to speak the truth and asks his accusers to seek it too (verses 20-21). Again, Jesus knows who he is and that he stands for truth because he is the truth. Those around him are not interested in the truth and are not even aware of the irony of their situation.

Verses 25-27 – Peter’s second and third denial

John 13:38 was when Jesus predicted that Peter would deny Jesus. Again, the lesson from Peter is to be aware of our weakness and ability to fail. But recall the full knowledge that Jesus had of Peter’s denial and yet still called him his true disciple in chapter 17.

Peter’s part in this story highlights again how in control Jesus is over his situation and how out of control those around him are. Jesus knew Peter would behave this way. Peter didn’t know he would, even though he had been warned! Even Jesus’ disciples are uncertain of who they are and what they are meant to be doing.

Verses 28-40 Before Pilate

Verse 28 – In order to remain clean and pure for the Passover, they handed an innocent man over to an unclean Gentile to do their dirty work. It’s so ironic and hypocritical. With one hand they offer service to God and with the other, they deny God’s servant. With their bodies, they pursue righteousness but in their hearts they put righteousness to death. The greatest irony is that both their love of religion and their hate of God are in pursuit of a good Passover – one that is meaningless and the other which is glorious. But they don’t understand which is which.

Verse 32 – the kind of death Jesus had predicted – see Jn 3:14; 8:28; 12:32-33

Verse 37 – “You are a king then!” says Pilate. Jesus’ reply is in effect: “not A king but THE king!” His very purpose of being born was to present the truth and everyone who cares for truth is for me. He isn’t exactly claiming royalty but isn’t he declaring himself to be in very nature God? He is the very representation of truth and that has been me since birth! Pilate, of course, throws up his hands and declares “what is truth?” – the perfect answer from someone who dosn’t want to take sides and actually listen to the truth. He apparently cares little for truth.

Verse 40 – The perfect conclusion to the arrest and conviction of Jesus. Arrest him by night and by exaggerated force. Deny any fare trial from the Jews who would not listen to reason and hand him over to the Gentiles who couldn’t care less. Then accept the gift of a freed rebel while pretending that an innocent man is worthy of death. No not the king of the Jews but the rebel, Barabbas!


What a remarkable contrast between the King of Kings and the people who think they rule the world!

Jesus is the light of the world and the word of God. He has been hated by the world which prefers the darkness (coming to him at night) and has no interest for the truth. The True King of Israel has departed and crossed the Kidron Valley, the valley of death, accompanied by his faithful but weak disciples. He is willing to accept the cup that God above has prepared for him and he will submit to the hypocrisy, irony and foolishness of the world that is rejecting him. Religion is not about truth. The world is lost when it fails to recognise its king. The world would remain lost if the King didn’t pursue his mission.


  1. How double minded, weak, close-minded, selfish and hypocritical people are. How single minded, strong, truth-loving, selfless and steadfast is our King. Who will we get behind, people or Jesus? He knows who he is, what the truth is, and what it will cost to stay true to himself and the Father. We will do well to remember to fix our eyes on him.
  2. Religion is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. When the works of men are put before truth, there is a problem. When days, ceremonies or practices are put before true love and worship, the Spirit of God is not in that (John 4 speaks into this application too.) The Jews placed the remembrance of the Passover before the True Passover. There are many applications here but the clearest would be a love for the Lord’s Supper more than love for the Lord. Jesus said, if you love me, love one another! There is way more effort needed to love one another than there is to eat and drink ceremonially.
  3. Praise God for his love and patience with this world. The high priest and his servants, the Roman Governor, Simon Peter and even Judas were all against him. Yet he is willing to drink the Father’s cup for us. The wrath that we deserve is given to him. The wrath earned by rejecting the truth and denying the Word of God, so clearly shown in this chapter, is being willingly accepted by the Great I AM himself. What a great God we have.


LORD of all creation, please accept our praise and worship as we consider the way you loved this world. Please help us to follow Jesus confidently, bravely, truly and always. Thank you for your love and grace even when we fail. May we always look to Jesus as our great Passover lamb and worship you in Spirit and in Truth. Amen.

John 15:1-17 True Danger, True Disciple, True Love


Jesus is speaking alone with his eleven followers (Judas Iscariot has left the building). In chapter 14, he declared that if they love him, then they will keep his commands. The test of a follower appears to reside in listening and obeying – love in action. In chapter 15, Jesus fleshes this out some more to talk about how disciples are made, shaped and grown.

Read John 15:1-17


What it says over and over again:

Jesus is like a vine and we are like branches. Branches detached from the vine are only good for firewood. Branches connected will live, bear fruit, be cared for and will love the vine. We need to be and stay connected to Jesus.

Questions that arise:

What fruit does Jesus have in mind? What does the gardener’s pruning involve? How do you know if you are connected to Jesus or not? How real is Jesus offer to give us anything we ask? Is Jesus being clear or unclear? Is it possible to sum up Jesus’ teaching here so that we know for sure what he is saying? How can we take these words and live it? That is, how can I adopt these words beyond theory? How do they affect me?


  • 1-4 Jesus is the vine and the Father is the gardener
  • 5-10 Jesus is the vine and you are the branches
  • 11-17 Listen to why I have told you this

Notice that the NIV places the structure change at verse 9 probably picking up on the theme of love that runs through verses 9-15. But the information in verses 9 and 10 continues the theme of remaining in Jesus who remains in the Father. We could stick with the NIV structure; however, doing so seems to camouflage the impact of verse 11.

Verses 1-4:

‘I am the true vine…’ Jesus has not just invented a metaphor out of the blue. The image of the vine and the vineyard has strong Old Testament influences. The story of the vine is a story of the blessing and cursing of God. The following is only a sample of ‘vine’ passages from the bible…

Genesis 49:22 is the beginning of the blessings to Joseph. He is described as a vine and a fruitful one. It turns out that he is fruitful because of the hand of the Almighty, the Shepherd and Rock of Israel (24-26).

Searching through the bible for uses of the word ‘vine’ make it clear that having a healthy vineyard is a sign of God’s blessing. There are too many vineyard references to mention all of them. Going into the promised land, for example, promised the people healthy vineyards that produced good fruit. From Genesis to Joshua, the attention of the vine is quite literal – there will be good living in the promised land.

Psalm 80 describes the people of Israel as a vine that has been transplanted from Egypt, and cared for. The vine is now being used as a metaphore for the people of God. God is the gardener who will tear down the vine if it is not bearing fruit.

Psalm 105:33 describes the destruction of the vines as one sign of judgement.

Isaiah 3:14 again describes Israel as a vineyard whom the elders and leaders have ruined – they have not taken care of the vineyard.

Isaiah 5 contains, most applicably, a song about a vineyard. The whole chapter is worth reading as this is perhaps the height of the allusion that Jesus describes in John 15. Isaiah sees a whole vineyard which contains bad vines. Jesus sees just one vine – the true vine – a good and healthy vine which produces good branches and good fruit.

Ezekiel too uses the image of the vine to describe God and his people: Ezekiel 15 teaches us that even the precious vine will be thrown into the fire when it is detached – the people of God will receive God’s judgement for being a useless, dead vine. And Ezekiel 17 is a useful passage but not a good one to get bogged down in. It describes Israel again as a vine which has been taken away and yet a new seed will be planted which will produce a great tree – one that many people will come and take shelter in.

The story of the vine and the vineyard is one of blessing for the people of God who listen and love the LORD and a mark of judgement when they do not.

Zechariah 8:12 is one of many passages which promise again that the people of Israel will enjoy fruitful vines again when God restores his people.

The vineyard and the vine, therefore, are bound up with the promises of God to bless the people of God. Although Israel was described as the vineyard, they were unable to bear good fruit and so were torn down. When Jesus says, ‘I am the true vine,’ he is saying that he stands in the place of Israel to be what they failed to be. The rest of John 15 invites us to choose to join with Jesus or to stand alone. The invitation is clear and the consequences of refusing it is not hard to see either.

‘…my Father is the gardener.’ Insert this phrase into the discussion about the vine and you see that the Father of Jesus is the one who has been planting and transplanting and pruning and cutting throughout the Old Testament. The Father of Jesus, therefore, is the God of the Old Testament.

‘He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit…’ Verses 2-4 give a reminder of how important it is for vines to bear fruit. The gardener will ensure it bears fruit by pruning what is not working and to mould or encourage the plant in the right direction. In verse 2, the object of the pruning is really Jesus since he is the vine and the Father is the gardener who prunes the vine. Before we move on to verse 3, we can pause to realise that Jesus is involved deeply in the whole process of bearing fruit – even when it hurts.

‘You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.’ This line doesn’t quite fit the analogy of the vine. It fits more the scene in chapter 13 when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. Our passage this week speaks of the words of Jesus in connection with being clean (v3) and of how Jesus is to remain in us (v7). Salvation from being cast aside by the Father’s wrath is by listening to Jesus and continuing to listen to him.

‘Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.’ We see that the disciples are now brought into the metaphor and the part they play is the branches of the vine. But no branch on its own is useful for anything. The vine is subject to the gardener and the branch must depend and be subject to the vine.

The warning in verses 1-4 are that the Father is actively clearing out the branches that do not bear fruit and the only way to bear fruit is to be attached to the vine and prepared for pruning by the Father. The gardener is only mentioned once but his reference makes the focus of this section.

Verses 5-10:

‘I am the vine; you are the branches.’ If verses 1-4 are about the gardener, these verses are about the branches. The attention in this section is on the branches and on how they can remain in the vine. Let’s list in bullet point what Jesus says in this section…

  • attached branches will bear fruit – these are healthy branches (v5)
  • unattached branches can do as much as a dead person can – nothing (v5)
  • dead branches are not left alone but are picked up and destroyed (v6)
  • Jesus remains in us by his word being in us (v7)
  • The prayers of a true disciple are heard and answered (v7)
  • The Father is glorified when we remain in Jesus and ask with his word in us (v8)
  • A disciple is known by these ingredients: listening to Jesus, and asking to bear good fruit (v8)
  • Jesus has loved us equal to the Father loving Jesus (v9)!
  • Remaining in Jesus is by keeping his commands (v10)
  • Thus, when we keep Jesus commands and listen to his words, we can ask and receive to the glory of the Father! (v10,7,8)
  • Jesus has shown us how this works by the way he remains in the Father and the Father in him (v10)
  • Remaining in Jesus and Jesus in us is about love (v10)

When the whole of the above is analysed we see that Jesus is describing a tight relationship between you and Jesus which can be seen between Jesus and the Father. What does Jesus want? For us to listen to him and follow.

When we pray with the expectation to receive, it is with the premise that we have Jesus words and command of love in our heart and mind. Rather than sounding like a loop-hole, it is the description of something running smoothly. Put the right ingredients into a cake and you can expect the goods. Why expect to get a good cake if you have made no effort to understand what makes a good cake? Perhaps a car is a better illustration…only the right fuel and oil, placed in the right spots will make a car move smoothly. Have no respect for a car and you can’t expect to win the Piston Cup! A father will grant his son anything he asks for when the son has come with wisdom and love! These are exactly the ingredients that Jesus asks us to have in prayer: wisdom (knowing Jesus) and love (following Jesus).

Verses 11-17:

‘…so that…your joy may be complete.’ Amazing! Outcome number one of remaining in the vine is so that we avoid the disaster of judgement. But the other outcome is more brilliant: our joy! Following Jesus is like hearing the end of a brilliant story, it makes sense and makes us glow. This joy is not the same as being continually happy, like a stupid clown. It is more like contentment. This is why words like joy, peace, rest and love are used by Jesus to describe the kingdom of God instead of words like anxiety, doubt, worry and war (of course Jesus does warn that our lives will not be all rosie because of him and that will be his topic next week – but there is a joy that can only come with the gospel so that life’s worries do not overcome us).

What I am saying is this: sticking with Jesus is not anti-human and weird. It is quite the opposite. Sticking with Jesus is the most human thing that a human can do.

‘My command is this: love each other as I have loved you.’ The only law that the Christian is to follow is the law of love. And the example of love is what Jesus has shown for us.

  • Let’s again list what is contained in verses 11-17:
  • Being a disciple of Jesus results in joy (v11)
  • If you want joy, listen to Jesus’ words (v11)
  • Jesus’ joy is in us also (v11)
  • We are commanded by Jesus to love (v12)
  • This is extreme love: to regard another persons’ life as more precious than yours (v13)
  • Those who listen to Jesus’ command to love are friends of Jesus (v14)
  • As friends of Jesus, we are treated to know everything Jesus knows about the Father (v15)
  • We don’t make friends with Jesus, he makes friends with us (v16)
  • We are chosen in order to bear fruit (v16)
  • We bear fruit that will last (forever) (v16)
  • The fruit that we bear is what we ask the Father to give (v16)
  • What Jesus commands us to do is to love (v17)

Having listed the promises and instructions, we might notice that the fruit we are to bear is the fruit of love.


Like a branch only has life when it is connected to the tree, our life only exists when we are connected to Jesus. This connection is by listening to his words, to follow his example of love and to ask the Father to give us hearts that will love. Jesus saves us from hell and he gives us the full joy of true life.


  • Seek Jesus. Life or death; heaven or hell; friend of Jesus or enemy with God – which would you choose and which have you chosen? There is no in-between option.
  • Follow Jesus. Remaining in Jesus is by listening to him, learning from him and requesting God to help us be more like him. Failing to do this makes it difficult to identify a person as a true disciple.
  • Pursue love. Jesus has given us a direct command here. We may well often ask ‘what does it mean to be a Christian’ but here is one clear path: we are to love. When we find it hard to love, the passage directs us to pray and ask God for it. What others need more than anything else in this world is to have their joy made complete and being grafted into the Jesus-vine. If our prayers for others are simply for good HSC results or healing from sickness, then we leave them as dead wood in the forest waiting to be burned. We who know the love of Jesus need to capture the same urgency that Jesus had for us and we must bring people to Jesus.


Father God, we ask in the name of Jesus that you will give us great love for the lost. For our neighbours, our families, our work colleagues, and all who you put in our path – give us hearts that will speak to them on your behalf. You have chosen all who will be your friends, please introduce us to them. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

John 14:15-31 – A gift from out of this world

Give yourself a fly-by tour of the remaining chapters in John. Browse over the chapters from 14-21 and read the headings to see what is yet to happen in the book. What do you notice? What events are yet to take place? What do you notice is missing?

In this section and a few chapters following in John, Jesus has a lot to say – things that are most on his mind on the eve of his arrest and death. He will say some things that seem confusing things and some things that are quite clear. My advise is to breath in the clear advice from Jesus before being drawn into the mysterious stuff. The latter will become clearer when observed in context, so absorb the clear teachings and celebrate them in order to process the harder teachings.


John opens his book by telling us that The Word has come into the world and that whoever believes in him will be called children of God. John invites us to listen to this Word-Man, Jesus, and test if you believe him. To reject Jesus, says John, is to reject God.

Jesus performed his first sign to reveal his glory at a wedding in Cana  (chapter 2) and his last sign at a funeral in Bethany (chapter 11), also to show his glory.

During the first sign, he declared that his “hour” had not yet come (2:4). This mention of an “hour’ not yet come occurs again in 7:30 and 8:20. After the final sign, and he is again in Bethany, he declares that his hour has come (12:23). He says that the hour is for the Son of Man to be glorified. He says in 12:27 that the reason the Word became flesh was for this very hour that was now drawing upon him. In chapter 13, the Passover Festival was about to begin and Jesus knew that the hour had come:

“Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” (13:1)

We pick up our study from chapter 14 onwards with these themes in our mind: that the Son of Man will be glorified, that a particular event or hour is about to strike which is exactly what the Son of Man came for, and that there will be those who believe in his name and those who will not. This distinction will be described as the difference between knowing God and not knowing God; being with God or against him; being a lover of God or not; being separate and distinct from the world or being just like the world.

In 14:10 “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?” This statement describes a one-ness and closeness between Jesus and God the Father. It is one thing to say that “I am in the Father,” but it is quite another to say that “the Father is in me”!!!

Let’s look at 14:15-31 and look out for themes and phrases that carry all of this context forward…


(15) “If you love me, keep my commands”. Obeying commands from somebody does not demonstrate that you love them (like a soldier following orders doesn’t necessarily love his/her commanding officer). But loving someone may be demonstrated by listening and obeying (assuming that the person you love is in a position of authority and is wise).  With respect to Jesus, the eternal God, if we love him, it will be demonstrated by our submission to his authority. Jesus demonstrates his love of the Father in 10:18, 12:49-50; 14:31 and see also 18:11. Jesus gives us one specific command in 13:34; 15:12; 15:17. See also 14:21 for an expansion of 14:15.

(15-21) “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate…the Spirit of truth…and I too will love them and show myself to them.” There is a message wrapped up in this paragraph of a great love that will be poured out from God the Father and Jesus to all who love God and demonstrate that by keeping Jesus’ commands. The Spirit of truth is described as (a) an advocate (v16, ie, a supporter, or one who is for us), (b) eternal (v16), defined by truth (v17), invisible and mysterious (v17),  yet known to those he is revealed to (v17), linked with Jesus himself (v18). Verses 19-21 could be read to indicate that the Spirit’s presence in a believer is the way that Jesus is revealed to the believer. Judas questions Jesus in the next section which leads Jesus to clarify…

(22) Judas has a good question which we may still ask God today…if all this is true and wonderful, why not reveal yourself to everybody Jesus?

(23-24) “Anyone…” Anyone is welcome to love and obey Jesus’ teaching. But the reality is that not everyone will. These two verses are quite clear and yet a long slow read of them reveal some amazing truths! On the one hand, for anyone who will love Jesus, listen to his words, respond by following his instruction will be blessed by God in an amazingly intimate way! Christians are not rule followers, they are people who love Jesus and who are loved by Jesus. By loving Jesus, they are absolutely loving the Father as well and both the Father and the Son, by the Holy Spirit (v17) will live and dwell and make their home with them! On the other hand, those who will not obey Jesus, show they have no love for him and both the Father and the Son agree that there is no place for them in that person’s life.

(25-27) “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate…will remind you of everything I have said to you…” Jesus is planning to leave this world but not without making preparations for his disciples. The Spirit, the Advocate, will bring to their minds everything that Jesus has said to them. This is an assurance for the disciples and an insight for us about the writing of the new testament also.

Notice the Trinity spoken of in this verse (26): The Spirit will be sent by the Father in the name of Jesus. The Spirit will remind them of what Jesus has said. So, the Father and the Spirit are not the same person. Nor is the Spirit and Jesus. Nor is Jesus and the Father. Yet they all work together in unison and for each other. The Father will send the Spirit in Jesus name (not his own), thus elevating the name of Jesus. The Spirit’s task is to remind the disciples of everything Jesus has said, not the words of the Father or of the Spirit. And yet, elsewhere, Jesus has said that everything he says has been commanded of him by the Father. (rest your brain now and just worship)

(27) But notice even deeper that Jesus wants to leave them with peace and hearts that will not be troubled (recall 14:1). Jesus himself had been troubled when he saw the mourners outside Lazurus’ tomb (11:33), when he reflected on the reason he had come – to die on the cross (12:27), by the knowledge that one of his disciples would betray him (13:21). What ties these events together? Jesus is troubled by the effects of death and sin. But he charges his disciples now, not to be troubled. He is going to give them peace and will not really leave them. Jesus is asking his disciples to trust him.

(28-31) Read this paragraph a few times and see what stands out to you. What truths do you see? a) Jesus is a prophet who can tell his disciples what is going to happen and know that it will take place, b) Jesus is pleased to be going to the Father, c) those influenced by Satan are coming, d) Satan (the prince of this world) has no power over Jesus, e) Jesus will show his love for the Father by being obedient to him and keeping his commands (ie, subjecting himself to death as the Father has commanded him), f) Jesus asks us to do just as he is demonstrating: to love him and keep his commands. Do you see anything else in this paragraph? The command from the Father for Jesus to follow is for Jesus to love the world (John 3:16).

“Come now; let us leave” Although Jesus says this at the end of chapter 14, it seems another three chapters of Jesus speaking will pass by (15-17) before they finally leave in 18:1. If nothing else, this shows us how little time takes place over four chapters! It’s not days or half a day but almost like real-time. Like an episode of 24 when Jack Bowers says, “let’s go” but we don’t see him going till the next episode. Something like that. The pace of 14-17 is not laid back chilling out by a campfire talking…Jesus is getting ready to leave and has final things to say to his beloved disciples.


The Trinity share in a oneness which we are invited to participate in – The Father, Jesus and the Spirit are certain to love us and be with us and share with us in a way that puts human relationships to shame – but our part is to trust and obey. Will we go with Jesus? Do you want that?


  1. We can’t love and follow a person that we don’t know. Jesus calls us to get to know him and keep his commands – do as he says we should do. He has given us his Spirit to guide us into all truth AND he has equipped his disciples to recall all that Jesus has said. We have the Spirit of God and the Word of God. Talk together about how to get to know Jesus more through his word.
  2. Jesus makes a few distinctions implicitly and explicitly between his way of love and the worlds’ ways (27, 31) and makes a distinction between those in the world who will obey him and those who will not. He paints a picture of either making a home with God (23) or with the world (implied in 24). Where do you see your future? Are you pursuing your home with God now?
  3. Jesus promoted our need for an Advocate and promised the Spirit to be in us. One key distinction between those with the Spirit and those without is the desire to love God. Jesus told the Samaritan woman in chapter 4 that the Father seeks true worshippers who will worship him in spirit and in truth. We may not ‘see’ the Spirit (v17) but we know him because he brings us to Jesus with understanding and truth. Discuss together the importance of trusting Jesus when he describes the Spirit and seeing his affect on us as proof of him being present in us.


Lord Jesus Christ, we desire to know you, to love you and to follow you. Father God, we long to know you and to be at home with you. Holy Spirit, our advocate, please teach us to love and obey with all of our hearts. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.