Humility and Heart (JOHN 14)
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From the Commentary
John 14:3 is a clear promise of our Lord’s return for His people. Some will go to heaven through the valley of the shadow of death, but those who are alive when Jesus returns will never see death (John 11:25–26). They will be changed to be like Christ and will go to heaven (1 Thess. 4:13–18).Thomas’s question revealed his keen desire to be with Jesus (see John 11:16), and this meant that he had to know where the Master was going and how he himself would get there. The Lord made it clear that He was going to the Father, and that He was the only way to the Father. Heaven is a real place, a loving place, and an exclusive place. Not everybody is going to heaven, but rather only those who have trusted Jesus Christ (see Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:4–6).
1. Jesus comforts the disciples in John 14:1–4. How might the disciples have misinterpreted His comforting words? Why does Jesus say, “You know the way to the place where I am going” (v. 4)? What is the way He’s referring to?
From the Commentary
“Why pray when you can worry?” asks a plaque that I have seen in many homes. One of the best remedies for a troubled heart is prayer.
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear;
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.
However, if God is going to answer our prayers and give us peace in our hearts, there are certain conditions that we must meet. In fact, the meeting of these conditions is a blessing in itself!
2. Read John 14:12–15. What are the conditions we must meet in order for God to answer our prayers? How is meeting those conditions a blessing?
From the Commentary
The Holy Spirit abides in the believer. He is a gift from the Father in answer to the prayer of the Son. During His earthly ministry, Jesus had guided, guarded, and taught His disciples, but now He was going to leave them. The Spirit of God would come to them and dwell in them, taking the place of their Master. Jesus called the Spirit “another Comforter,” and the Greek word translated “another” means “another of the same kind.” The Spirit of God is not different from the Son of God, for both are God. The Spirit of God had dwelt with the disciples in the person of Jesus Christ. Now He would dwell in them.Of course, the Spirit of God had been on earth before. He empowered men and women in the Old Testament to accomplish God’s work. However, during the Old Testament Age, the Spirit of God would come on people and then leave them. God’s Spirit departed from King Saul (1 Sam. 16:14; 18:12), and David, when confessing his sin, asked that the Spirit not be taken from him (Ps. 51:11). When the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost, He was given to God’s people to remain with them forever. Even though we may grieve the Spirit, He will not leave us.The way we treat the Holy Spirit is the way we treat the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. How might the disciples have responded to Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit? Why do you think Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as “Counselor” (John 14:26)? Circle the times Jesus uses the word peace in John 14:27. Why might this have been important for the disciples to hear? Why is it still important for Christians today?
4. As you consider the timeline Jesus had in His story, what does this tell you about God’s hand in history? How do you see God’s hand in your own history? In your current story? How can you know what path you’re supposed to take in life? What resources do you search to know what God’s plan is for you?
5. When have you served others? When have others served you? What makes serving difficult? What makes it easy? If you are uncomfortable serving, what steps can you take so you can grow more comfortable with it?
6. John 3:12–17 illustrates a path to happiness. How does this match up with your own experience? What role does humility play in your happiness? What role does holiness play?