By Tyson Thorne

September 19, 2019

John 43 Large

In the second half of the upper room discourse Jesus has some things he needs to make sure his disciples understand. This explains why these statements are so repetitive. Due to the repitition it is easy for the reader to skip over, or speed read their way through, the passage. This is a mistake. If Jesus found it important enough to go over the same truths again and again, then it should strike us as important too. What are these important truths? They fall into two distinct categories that we will unravel for you.

The first is regarding our identity in relationship with God. To have good standing with God, and a healthy relationship, you must love God first. That means God is your first priority, not your career, your education, your financial success — not even your spouse and kids. How do you know if a person loves God? Just like a child who loves his parents, people who love God obey his commands. When a person loves God first, God honors them with his presence in this life, and by providing for them in the next.

Just like Jesus' identity is wrapped up in the Father (Jesus is in the Father) so our identity is wrapped up in him (we are "in Christ" and he is in us (verse 20). The more we love and obey God, the more Jesus reveals himself to us (verse 21), and the more peace we will have in life (verse 27). Though Jesus physically left the Earth, he is physically coming back one day for all those who love him. He will return and take us to the place he has prepared for us. Because of this, we ought to be glad he has left as it allows Jesus to make Heaven ready for his people and so that we can wait in hopeful anticipation for the day he comes for us. Our life in regard to who we are as a person, the peace of mind we have about God's rule, our hopes and our future is all wrapped up in God.

When we love God and keep his commandments Jesus approves the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us. The Spirit is our Advocate (verses 16 and 25), teaching us, bringing to mind what we need in troubling times, and testifying about our love for God (verse 26).

The second is the World's identity without God. The world rejects the idea of God's Holy Spirit because it neither sees him nor knows him (verse 17). This is why some politicians say "prayers don't work". The don't see the work of the Holy Spirit for what it is because they deny his existence. Furthermore, the deliberately disobey God (verse 24). The world does not know true peace, only distress (verse 27). Rather than obeying God, they obey Satan and their identity is wrapped up in his teachings (verse 30). While by all initial appearances it will seem as though the world and it's ruler have won the day, in truth all is going according to the Father's plan (verses 30-31).

And thus ends the upper room discourse.

There is another way of looking at this passage, one that is more true to it's literary form. Beginning in 14.8 Jesus explains the Trinity. Verses eight through 24 are regarding the Father, 25 through 27 the Spirit, and 28-31 the Messiah's second coming. It doesn't match precisely, but well enough. The importance of this division of the chapter becomes apparent when we move on to the next chapter which begins an expanded explanation of the same topic, the Trinity. A discussion of the Father begins in 15.1 and continues through 16.4. The Spirit is taken up in verses 16.5-15, and the Messiah's second coming in 16.16-33.

Whichever model peaks your interest most is the one best used. For the purposes of our study, we will continue our observations next time without the formality of the outline above.

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