Are you a Christian?
PREVIOUS CHAPTER - NEXT CHAPTER - HELP - FACEBOOK - GR FORUMS - GODRULES ON YOUTUBE
JOHN 14:12-20 Below is an Analysis of the passage which is to be before us: — 1. Christ’s cause furthered by His return to the Father, verse 12. 2. Praying in the name of Christ, verses 13, 14. 3. Love evidenced by obedience, verse 15. 4. The coming of the Comforter, verses 16, 17. 5. Christians not left orphans, verse 18. 6. Our life secured by Christ’s, verse 19. 7. Knowledge of Divine life in believers, verse 20.
At first reading there does not appear to be much direct connection between the several verses of our present passage. This second section of John 14 seems to lack a central unity. Yet, as we read it more attentively, we notice that both John 14:13 and John 14:16 open with the word “And,” which at once makes us suspect that our first hasty impression needs correcting. The fact is that the more closely this Paschal Discourse of Christ be studied, the more shall we perceive the close connection which one part of it sustains to another, and many important lessons will be learned by noting the relation which verse has to verse.
The first verse of our passage opens with the remarkable promise that the apostles of Christ should do even greater works than their Master had done. Then, in the next two verses reference is made to prayer, and the fact that these are prefaced with the word “And” at once indicates that there is an intimate relation between the doing of these works and the supplicating of God. This is the more striking if we recall the central thing in the former section. The opening verse of John 14 is a call to faith in Christ, and the closing verse (11) repeats it. Following the word upon prayer, the Lord next said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” ( John 14:15). Here we seem to lose the thread again, for apparently a new subject is most abruptly introduced. But only seemingly so, for, in truth, it is just here that we discover the progress of thought. The faith and the praying (the two essential pre-requisites for the doing of the “greater works”) have their root in an already existing love, which is now to be evidenced by pleasing its Object. What comes next? The promise of “another Comforter.” Surely this is most suggestive. It was only by the coming of the Holy Spirit that the apostles’ faith in Christ was established, that power was communicated for the performing of mighty works, and that their love was purified and deepened. Thus we have a most striking example of the importance and value of studying closely the connection of a passage and noting the relation of one verse to another.
Having remarked upon the relation between the verses of our present passage, let a brief word be said upon the connection which exists between it as a whole and the first section of John 14. The Lord began by saying, “Let not your heart be troubled.” All that followed was the assigning of various reasons why the apostles should not be so excessively perturbed at the prospect of His approaching departure. He began, by setting before them three chief grounds of comfort: He was going to the Father’s House of many mansions. He was going there to prepare a place for them. When His preparations were complete, He would come for them in person to conduct them to Heaven, so that His place might be theirs forever. Then He had been interrupted by the question of Thomas and the request of Philip, and in response He had stated with great plainness the truth concerning both His person and His mission. Now, in the section before us, the Lord brings forward further reasons why the sorrowing disciples should not let their hearts be troubled. These additional grounds of consolation will come before us in the course of our exposition.
Though the Lord continues in this second section of His Discourse what He began in the first, yet there is a striking advance to be noted. At the beginning of John 14, Christ had referred to what the apostles should have known, namely, that the Son on earth had perfectly declared the Father, and this ought to have been the means of their apprehending whither He was going. This they knew ( John 14:4), however dull they might be in perceiving the consequences. But now the Lord discloses to them that which they could not understand till the Holy Spirit was given. It was by the descent of the Comforter that they would be guided into all truth. It was by the Holy Spirit that Christ would come to them ( John 14:18).
And it was by the Spirit they would know that Christ was in the Father, and they in Him and He in them. The Lord did not say that they ought to have understood, even then, these things: the apprehension of them would not be until the day of Pentecost. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also” ( John 14:12).
The “works” of which Christ here spake were His miraculous works, the same as those mentioned in the two preceding verses, works to which He appealed as proofs of His Divine person and mission. The one to whom Christ promised this was “He that believeth on me.” Some have understood this to refer to all the genuine followers of Christ. But this is manifestly wrong, for there is no Christian on earth today who can do the miracles which Christ did — cleanse the leper, give sight to the blind, raise the dead. To meet this difficulty it has been replied, This is due to a deficiency in the Christian’s faith. But, this is simply a begging of the question. Our Lord did not say, “He that believeth on me may do the works that I do, but shall do!” But of whom, then, was Christ speaking?
We submit that “He that believeth on me,” like the expression “them that believe” in Mark 16:17, of whom it was said certain miraculous signs should follow them, refers to a particular class of persons, and that these expressions must be modified by their reference and setting. In each case the promise was limited to those whom our Lord was addressing. “The only safe way of interpreting the whole of this Discourse, and many other passages in the Gospels, is to remember that it was addressed to the apostles — that everything in it has a direct reference to them — that much that is said of them, and to them, may be said of, and to, all Christian ministers, all Christian men — but that much that is said of them and to them, cannot be truly said either of the one or the other of these classes, and that the propriety of applying what is applicable to them, must be grounded on some other foundation than its being found in this Discourse. “It is plain from the New Testament that there was a faith which was specially connected with miraculous powers. This faith was that Christ is possessed of omnipotence, and that He intends, through my instrumentality, to manifest His omnipotence in the performance of a miracle. But, this faith, like all faith, must rest on a Divine revelation made to the individual; where this is not the case, there can be no faith — there may be fancy, there may be presumption, but there can be no faith. Such a revelation Christ made to the apostles and to the seventy disciples, when He said ‘Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you’ ( Luke 10:19). No man, to whom such a revelation has not been made, can work such miracles, and it would seem that even in the case of those to whom such a revelation was made, a firm belief of the revelation and reliance on the power and faithfulness of Him who made it, was necessary to the miracles being effectively produced in any particular instance. “Keeping these undoubted facts in view, there is little difficulty in interpreting Christ’s words here. The disciples had derived great advantage of various kinds from the exercise of their Master’s power to work miracles. They were quite aware that if He should leave them , not only would they be deprived of the advantage of His superior powers, but that their own, which were entirely dependent on Him, would be withdrawn also. Now our Lord assures them in the most emphatic manner, by a repetition of the formula of affirmation, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you,’ that His miraculous power was to continue to be exercised through them as a medium, and that, to its being exercised henceforth, as hitherto, faith in Him, on their part, would be at once necessary and effectual. Such a statement was obviously calculated to reassure their shaken minds, and comfort their sorrowing hearts. And we find the declaration was filled to the letter. They, believing on Him, did the works which He did. We find them, like Him, instantaneously healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead” (Dr. John Brown). Hebrews 2:4 records the fulfillment of Christ’s promise: “God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit.” “And greater than these shall he do” ( John 14:12).
It is important to note that the word “works” in the second clause is not found in the original. We do not think Christ was now referring to miracles in the technical sense of that term, but to something else which, in magnitude and importance, would exceed t, he miracle done by Himself and the apostles. “Greater things would be better. What these greater things were it is not difficult to determine. The preaching of a risen and exalted Savior, the proclaiming of the Gospel to “every creature,” the turning of souls from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to the service of the living God, the causing of heathen to demolish with their own hands the temples of idolatry, the building of that temple of living stones of which Christ is both the foundation and the chief-corner, and which far surpassed the temple at Jerusalem — these things were far greater than any interferences with the course of nature’s laws. Thus did the Father honor His Son, owning the perfect work which He had done, by the greater wonders which the Holy Spirit effected through the disciples. “Because I go unto my Father” ( John 14:12).
It is important to note how that in this “because” the Lord Jesus has Himself given us a partial explanation here of how His promise would be made good, though it is largely lost by placing a full stop at the end of John 14:12. If we read straight on through John 14:13 the Savior’s explanation is the more apparent: “Greater things than these shall he do, because I go unto my Father, And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do.” Christ would henceforth give to their prayers power from on high, so that what they did, He would do in and through them. Thus, in His “seed” was the pleasure of the Lord to prosper ( Isaiah 53:10). If the full stop be insisted on and its force rigidly pressed, John 14:12 would then teach that, the disciples must now continue to work in the place of their Lord the still greater things, because He Himself was no longer there . But this is obviously wrong. He left them, it is true; but He also returned to indwell them ( John 14:18), and in this way came the harvest of His own seed-sowing. “And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor’“ (4:37, 38).
Link John 14:13 with John 14:12 and all is plain and simple: thus connected we are taught that the greater things done by the apostles were, in reality, done by Christ Himself! As Mark 16:20 tells us, “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them.” But what He did was in answer to their believing prayers! “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” ( John 14:13).
The connection of this with the whole context is very precious. Let it be kept steadily in mind that Christ was here comforting His disciples, who were troubled at the prospect of His leaving them, and that He was calling them to an increased confidence in Himself. In the previous verse He had just assured them that His cause would not suffer by His return to the Father, for even greater things should be done through and by them as a testimony of His glory. Now He reminds them that His corporeal absence would only unite these apostles to Him more intimately and more effectually in a spiritual way. True, He would be in Heaven, and they on earth, but prayer could remove all sense of distance, prayer could bring them into His very presence at any time, yea, prayer was all-essential if they were to do these “greater” things. And had he not already given them a perfect example? Had He not shown them that there was an intimate connection between the great works which He had done and the prayers which He had offered to the Father? Had they not heard Him repeatedly “ask” the Father (see John 6:11; 11:41; 12:28, etc.)? Then let them do likewise. He was interpreting His own words at the beginning of this Discourse: “Believe also in me.” Faith in His person was now to be manifested by prayer in His name! “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” ( John 14:14).
Very blessed is this. The disciples were invited to count upon a power that could not fail, if sought aright. Christ was no mere man whose departure must necessarily bring to an end what He was wont to do upon earth.
Though absent, He would manifest His Deity by granting their petitions: whatsoever they asked He would do. All power in Heaven is His. The Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son ( John 5:22) and in the exercise of this power He gives His own whatsoever they need. “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” What is meant by asking in the name of Christ? Certainly it is much more than the mere putting of His name at the end of our prayers, or simply saying, “Hear me for Jesus’ sake.”
First , it means that we pray in His person, that is, as standing in His place, as fully identified with Him, asking by virtue of our very union with Himself. When we truly ask in the name of Christ, He is the real petitioner.
Second , it means, therefore, that we plead before God the merits of His blessed Son. When men use another’s name as the authority of their approach or the ground of their appeal, the one of whom the request is made looks beyond him who presented the petition to the one for whose sake he grants the request. So, in all reverence we may say, when we truly ask in the name of Christ, the Father looks past us, and sees the Son as the real suppliant.
Third , it means that we pray only for that which is according to His perfections and what will be for His glory. When we do anything in another’s name, it is for him we do it. When we take possession of a property in the name of some society, it is not for any private advantage, but for the society’s good. When an officer collects taxes in the name of the government, it is not in order to fill his own pockets. Yet how constantly do we overlook this principle as an obvious condition of acceptable prayer! To pray in Christ’s name is to seek what He seeks, to promote what He has at heart! “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” From what has been said above it will be seen that Christ was very far from handing His disciples a ‘blank check’ (as some have expressed it), leaving them to fill it in and assuring them that God would honor it because it bore His Son’s signature. Equally so is it a carnal delusion to suppose that a Christian has only to work himself up to an expectation to suppose that God will hear his prayer, in order to obtain what he asks for. To apply to God for any thing in the name of Christ, the petition must be in keeping with what Christ is.
We can only rightly ask God for that which will magnify His Son. To ask in the name of Christ is, therefore, to set aside our own will, and bow to the perfect will of God. If only we realized this more, what a check it would be on our ofttimes rash and illconsidered requests! How many of our prayers would never be offered did we but pause to inquire, Can I present this in that Name which is above every name? Not what I wish, but what I want, O let Thy grace supply; The good unasked, in mercy grant, The ill, though asked, deny. — Cowper. “If ye love me, keep my commandments” ( John 14:15).
There seems to be a most abrupt change of subject here, and many have been puzzled in finding the connection. Let us first go back to the opening verse of our chapter. The apostles were troubled at heart at the prospect of their Master’s departure, and this evidenced, unmistakably, their deep affection for Him. Here, with tender faithfulness, He directs their affection.
Your love for Me is to be manifested not by inconsolable regrets, but by a glad and prompt compliance with My commandments. So much is clear; but what of the link with the more immediate context? In seeking the answer to this, let us ask, “What is the leading subject of the context?”
This, as we have seen, is a call to faith in an ascended Christ: in the previous verse, a faith evidenced by praying in His name. Now He says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Surely then the answer is plain: love is the spring of true faith and the goal of real prayer. “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” He had just said, and this that the Father might be glorified in the Son. For what, then, shall we ask? is the natural inquiry which is now suggested? Here then is our Lord’s response: an increase of/ore (in myself and in all who are Christ’s) which will evidence itself by doing His will. Unless this be the first and foremost desire of our hearts, all other petitions will remain unanswered. “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” ( 1 John 3:22). “All sentimental talking and singing about love are vain. Unless, by grace, we show a truthful obedience, the profession of affection is worse than affectation. There is more hypocrisy than we suppose.
Love is practical, or it is not love at all” (Mr. P. W. Heward). “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” How this verse rebukes the increasing Antinomianism of our day! In some circles one cannot use the word “commandments” without being frowned upon as a “legalist.”
Multitudes are now being taught that Law is the enemy of Grace, and that the God of Sinai is a stern and forbidding Deity, laying upon His creatures a yoke grievous to be borne. Terrible travesty of the. truth is this. The One who wrote upon the tables of stone is none other than the One who died on Calvary’s Cross; and He who here says “If ye love me,KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS” also said at Sinai that He would show mercy unto thousands of them “that love me andKEEP MY COMMANDMENTS”! It is indeed striking to note that this tender Savior, who was here comforting His sorrowing disciples, also maintained His Divine majesty and insisted upon the recognition of His Divine authority. Mark how His Deity appears here: “Keep my commandments”: we never read of Moses or any of the prophets speaking of their commandments! “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” What are Christ’s commandments? We will let another answer: “The whole revelation of the Divine will, respecting what I am to believe and feel and do and suffer, contained in the Holy Scriptures is the law of Christ. Both volumes of Christ are the work of the Spirit of Christ. His first and great commandment is: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and soul, and strength’; and the second great commandment is like unto the first: ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ The commandments of Christ include whatever is good and whatever God hath required of us” (Dr. John Brown) That the One who brought Israel out of Egypt, led them across the wilderness, and gave them the Law, was Christ Himself, is clear from Corinthians 10:9: “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents” (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:4). “Obedience to the commandments of Christ is the test of love to Him, and there will be no difficulty in applying the test, if there be only an honest desire to have the question fairly settled; for there are certain qualities of obedience, which are to be found in every lover of Christ, and which are never found in any one else, and it is to these we must attend, if we would know what is our character.
Every lover of Christ keeps His commandments implicitly: that is, he does what he does because Christ bids him. The doing what Christ commands may be agreeable to my inclinations or conducive to my interest; and if it is on these grounds I do it, I serve myself, not the Lord Jesus Christ. What Christ commands may be commanded by those whose authority I acknowledge and whose favor I wish to secure; if I do it on these grounds, I keep man’s commandments, not Christ’s. I keep Christ’s commandments only when I do what He bids me because He bids me. If I love Christ, I shall keep His commandments impartially. If I do anything because Christ commands me to do it, I shall do whatever He commands. I shall not ‘pick and choose.’ If I love Christ, I shall keep His commandments cheerfully. I shall esteem it a privilege to obey His law. The thought that they are the commandments of Him whom I love, because of His excellency and kindness, makes me love His law, for it must be excellent because it is His, and it must be fitted to promote my happiness for the same reason. If I love Christ I shall keep His commandments perseveringly. If I really love Him I can never cease to love Him, and if I never cease to love Him, I shall never cease to obey Him” (Condensed from Dr. John Brown). “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever” ( John 14:16).
Note that this verse begins with “And.” In the previous one the Lord had been speaking of the disciples’ love for Him, marked by an obedient walk.
Here He reveals His love for them, evidenced by His asking for One who should shed abroad the love of God in their hearts ( Romans 5:5) and thus empower them to keep His commandments! Until now Christ had been their Comforter, but He was going to leave them; therefore does He ask the Father that another Comforter should be given to them. Here, again, we behold the Savior loving them “unto the end”! There is also a blessed link of connection between this verse and verses 13, 14. There the Lord had taught them to “ask in His name,” and in Luke 11:13, He had told them that the Father would give the Holy Spirit if they “asked for him.” But here Christ is before them: His prayer precedes theirs — He would “ask” the Father for the Comforter to be sent unto them.
There has been a great deal of learned jargon written on the precise meaning of the Greek word here rendered “Comforter.” Personally, we believe that no better term can be found, providing the original meaning of our English word be kept in mind. Comforter means more than Consoler.
It is derived from two Latin words, corn “along side of” and fortis “strong.” A comforter is one who stands alongside of one in need, to strengthen. The reference here is, of course, to the Holy Spirit, and the fact that He is termed “another Comforter” signifies that He was to fill the place of Christ, doing for His disciples all that He had done for them while He was with them on earth, only that the Holy Spirit would minister from within as Christ had from without. The Holy Spirit would comfort, or strengthen in a variety of respects: consolation when they were cast down, grace when they were weak or timid, guidance when they were perplexed, etc. The fact that the Lord here called the Holy Spirit “another Comforter” also proves Him to be a person, and a Divine person. It is striking to observe that in this verse we have mentioned each of the three Persons of the blessed Trinity: “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter”! One other thought suggested by the “another Comforter.”
The believer has two Comforters, Helpers or Strengtheners: the Holy Spirit on earth, and Christ in Heaven, for the same Greek word here rendered “Comforter” is translated “Advocate” in 1 John 2:l, — an “advocate” is one who aids, pleads the cause of his client. Christ “maketh intercession” for us on High ( Hebrews 7:25), the Holy Spirit within us ( Romans 8:26)! And this other “Comforter,” be it noted, was to abide with them not just so long as they grieved Him not, but “for ever.” Thus is the eternal preservation of every believer Divinely assured. “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him” ( John 14:17).
The Lord had just promised the apostles “another Comforter,” that is, One like unto Himself and in addition to Himself. Here He warns them against expecting a visible Person. The One who should come is “the Spirit.” Two thoughts are suggested by the title here given Him: “the Spirit of truth,” or more literally, “the Spirit of the truth.” The “truth” is used both of the incarnate and the written Word. Christ had said to the disciples, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”; a little later He would say to the Father, in their hearing, “Thy Word is truth” ( John 17:17). The Spirit, then, is the Spirit of Christ, because sent by Him ( John 16:7), and because He is here to glorify Christ ( John 16:14). The Spirit is also the Spirit of the written Word, because He moved men to write it ( 2 Peter 1:21), and because He now interprets it ( John 16:13). Hitherto Christ had been their Teacher; henceforth the Holy Spirit should take His place ( John 14:26). The Holy Spirit works not independently of the written Word, but through and by means of it. “Whom the world cannot receive.” Very solemn is this. It is not “will not,” but cap, not receive. Unable to receive the Spirit “the world” demonstrates its real character — opposed to the Father ( 1 John 2:16). The whole world lieth in the wicked one ( 1 John 5:19), and he is a liar from the beginning: how then could the world receive “the Spirit of truth”? Our Lord adds another reason, “because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him.” But what did the Lord mean? How can the invisible Spirit be seen? 1 Corinthians 2:14 tells us: “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” It is spiritual “seeing” which is in view, as in John 6:40. And why cannot those who are of the “world” see Him? Because they have never been born again: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” And why should the Lord have made this statement here? Surely for the comfort of the disciples. “Another Comforter” had been promised them; One who should abide with them for ever;, even the Spirit of Truth. What glorious conquests might they now expect to make for Christ! Ah! the Lord warns them of what would really take place: “the world” would not, could not, receive Him. “But ye know him: for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” ( John 14:17). “But” points a contrast: indicating at once that the work of the Spirit would be to separate the people of Christ from the world. “He dwelleth with you”: He did, even then, for Christ was full of the Spirit ( Luke 4:1; John 3:34). “And shall be in you” was future. The Lord Jesus here promised that the Third Person of the Holy Trinity should take up His abode within believers, making their bodies His temple. Marvellous grace was this. But, on what ground does the Holy Spirit enter and indwell the Christian? Not because of any personal fitness which He discovers there, for the old evil nature still remains in the believer. How, then, is it possible for the Holy Spirit to dwell where sin is still present? It is of the first moment that we obtain the correct answer to this, for multitudes are confused thereon: yet there is no excuse for this; the teaching of Scripture is abundantly clear. Jehovah of old, dwelt in the midst of Israel, even when they were stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart. He did so on the ground of atoning blood (see Leviticus 16:16). In like manner, the Holy Spirit indwells the believer now, as the witness to the excellency and sufficiency of that one offering of Christ’s which has “perfected for ever them that are set apart” ( Hebrews 10:14). Strikingly was this foreshadowed in the types. The “oil” (emblem of the Holy Spirit) was placed upon the blood — see Leviticus 8:24,30; Leviticus 14:14,17, etc. “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you” ( John 14:18). ‘The marginal rendering here is to be preferred: “I will not leave you orphans.” It looks back to John 13:33 where the Lord had addressed them as “little children”. They were not to be like sheep without a shepherd, helpless believers in a hostile world, without a defender, forsaken orphans incapable of providing for themselves, left to the mercy of strangers. “I will come to you”: how precious is this! Before we go to His place to be with Him ( John 14:2,3), He comes to be with us! But what is meant by “I will come to you”? We believe that these words are to be understood in their widest latitude. He came to them corporeally, immediately after His resurrection. He came to them in spirit after His ascension. He will come to them in glory at His second advent. The present application of this promise to believers finds its fulfillment in the gift of the Holy Spirit indwelling us individually, present in the midst of the assembly collectively. And yet we must not limit the coming of Christ to His children to the presence of the Holy Spirit. The mystery of the Holy Trinity is altogether beyond the grasp of our finite minds. Yet the New Testament makes it clear that in the unity of the Godhead, the advent of the Holy Spirit was also Christ coming, invisibly, to be really present with His own. “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the age” ( Matthew 28:20). “Christ liveth in me,” said the apostle Paul ( Galatians 2:20). “Christ among you, the hope of glory” ( Colossians 1:27). How unspeakably blessed is this! Friends, relatives, yea, professing Christians may turn against us, but He has promised, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” ( Hebrews 13:5). “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more” ( John 14:19).
The last time “the world” saw the Lord of glory was as He hung upon the Cross of shame. After His resurrection He appeared unto none but His own. “The world seeth me no more” is not an accurate translation, nor is it true. “The world” shall see Him again. “Yet a little while and the world me no longer sees” is what the original says, “Every eye shall see him” ( Revelation 1:7). When? When He is seated upon the Great White Throne to judge the wicked. Then shall they be punished with “everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” ( 2 Thessalonians 1:9). “But ye see me” ( John 14:19). They saw Him then, while He was speaking to them. They saw Him, again and again, after He had risen from the dead. They saw Him, as He went up to Heaven, till a cloud received Him out of their sight. They saw Him, by faith, after He had taken His seat at the right hand of God, for it is written, “We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor” ( Hebrews 2:9). They see Him now, for they are present with the Lord . They shall see Him at His second coming: “When he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” ( 1 John 3:2).
They shall see Him for ever and ever throughout the Perfect Day: for it is written, “And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads” ( Revelation 22:4). “Because I live, ye shall live also” ( John 14:19). “Your spiritual life now, and your eternal life hereafter, are both secured by My life. I live, have life in Myself, can never die, can never have My life destroyed by My enemies, and shall live on to all eternity. Therefore: ye shall live also — your life is secured forever, and can never be destroyed; you have everlasting life now, and shall have everlasting glory hereafter” (Bishop Ryle).
The blessed truth here expressed by Christ is developed at length in the Epistles: there the Holy Spirit shows us, believers are so absolutely one with Christ that they partake with Him of that holy happy life into which, in the complete enjoyment of it, Christ entered, when He rose again and sat down on the Father’s Throne. “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” ( John 14:20). The first reference in “that day” is to Pentecost, when Christ came, spiritually, to His disciples; came not merely to visit, but to abide with and in them. Then were they brought into the consciousness of their oneness of life with Him. The ultimate reference, no doubt, is to the Day of His glorious manifestation: then shall we know even as we are known.
The following questions are on the closing section of John 14: — 1. How does Christ “manifest” Himself to us, verse 21? 2. What is the difference between “commandments” in verse 21 and “words” in verse 23? 3. What is the double “peace” of verse 27? 4. How is the Father “greater” than Christ, verse 28? 5. “Believe” what, verse 29? 6. What is the meaning of verse 30? 7. What is the spiritual significance of the last clause in verse 31?