Breaking John 14 into sections is exceedingly difficult because the thoughts are so interlaced and interlocked with each other. The Greek texts, translations, and commentators differ widely as to paragraphing. We have added verse 22 to the text for today.
Ylvisaker: In a series of sermons from the year 1538, Luther has given an exposition of these farewell discourses which is invaluable and which cannot be too highly recommended.
Chapters 14-16 are very profound and comforting. "Let not your heart be troubled" (verses 1 and 27) could be called the theme of this chapter. Even God's children are troubled inwardly and Christ's total endeavor is to quiet these troubled hearts.
In this chapter, three disciples show their ignorance by what they say: Thomas in verse 4; Philip in verse 8; and Judas in verse 22, the first verse of our text.
Kretzmann: The disciples knew, but they did not know that they knew. Sorrow had benumbed their spiritual faculties. With infinite patience, therefore, the Lord gives them a brief summary of all His teaching.
Well said. We should remember that our hearers are very much like these disciples. We must preach and teach patiently.
Jesus had just said that the one who loves Jesus will be loved by the Father and that Jesus will show him His love by revealing Himself to that man. Though Judas addresses Jesus as "Lord," he has a mistaken idea about the Kingdom of God. "Why won't You show Yourself to the world, to the unbelieving world?" Obviously, Judas had carnal ideas about the Kingdom which Jesus was bringing.
Jesus does not limit His revelation. He says "anyone", an open invitation. But it must be a relationship of "love." Look at Deuteronomy 6:5; 10:12; 11:1.13.22; 19:9; 30:6; Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30.33; Luke 10:27.
Our Synodical Catechism asks, question #32: "When do we love God above all things?" Answer: "We love God above all things when WITH OUR WHOLE HEART WE CLING TO HIM as to our God and gladly devote our lives to His service."
The world does not cling to Jesus and serve Him. But all are invited to do so.
The Word of God, of Jesus, has always been and still is the only way God and man come together. Where there is observance of these utterances, precepts, Word, there is the love of the Father, the saving love, not an angry God, but a merciful Father in Jesus Christ. Through the Word Father and Son come to the individual and make their home there.
This whole verse is a marvelous promise. God is infinitely merciful to anyone who confesses: "I don't love Jesus and observe His Word as I ought."
By the way, in verse 2 Jesus promised the many rooms, mansions, staying places, in heaven. Here, in verse 23, Jesus says that Father and Son, through the Word, have a mansion, a staying place in the heart of God's child.
To make sure that they understand, Jesus states the opposite. Whoever, everyone who, does not trust in Jesus, regard Him as Savior and highest Good, does not observe His Word. The Jews knew Scripture, but did not love Jesus. John 5:39-40. Therefore, they were not observing Jesus' Word. Attitude toward Jesus and His Word go hand in hand.
In the second part of the verse Jesus is not saying that He is not God, but rather that His Word originates in heaven and therefore is utterly trustworthy.
What do Father and Son say to each other? Exactly that which we find in the Word. They keep no secrets from us.
"With lasting results I have spoken in a familiar way with you."
Look at Luther's explanation to the Third Article. The Holy Spirit is the Sanctifier. He gives us true faith, faithfulness, endurance, comfort, etc. Note the Trinity in this verse. The Father will send the Spirit by Jesus' revelation. His whole teaching centers in Jesus.
"All things." God in no way withholds any needed good. The Holy Spirit taught the Apostles directly and had them record it in the written books of the New Testament.
This verse is important for the inspired nature of New Testament books. Note the Holy Spirit does not go beyond what Jesus, the God-man, said. To speak of "additional" revelation is very dangerous. It violates this verse and many others.
Repeating "peace" makes it emphatic. Nothing could be stronger. God is not wrathful or angry with His children. They feel their sins so much and therefore must constantly be reminded of this that Jesus is constantly offering and giving them His very own peace. They are at peace with God just as Jesus is at peace with the Father.
The world apart from God and Christ gives, but not peace, not genuine, not lasting.
Christians, because of their sins do have troubled hearts. They are still sinners and sinner are disturbed by their sins. Jesus does not will troubled and cowardly hearts, inner-most beings. Why not? He announces and gives peace, forgiveness of sins.
By the way, whenever Scripture says: "Do not worry" or its equivalent, it gives the reason immediately. Merely to tell people not to worry nor to be troubled, without giving the cure, is cruel.
No station or situation in life is without troubles and anxieties. A trouble and anxious heart is a sick heart which Jesus can and does cure.
Jesus repeats what has been said previously. The Romans said: "Repetition is the mother of studies." Jesus was a Master of that principle.
No one but Jesus could make the statement in this verse about Himself. By going away He came back. The departure of a dear friend causes sorrow. But the departure of this dear Friend meant joy because going meant return. That is why Jesus adds the contrary to fact condition.
They were not loving as they should have and therefore were not rejoicing as they should have. Jesus is liking speaking of "liking" or an emotion. The word "love" here has the same meaning as in verse 23. It amounts to confidence and trust.
Jesus is on His way to the Father, on the way to completing what He was sent to do.
The Father is greater than Jesus according to His human nature. The wonders of the person of Christ is the great mystery of all. Jesus is not saying that He is not true God, but that He must complete His work of suffering, dying, rising, and ascending for the joy and edifying of Christ's holy people.
"I have told you lastingly." "You will believe" means "to grow in faith" or "to believe firmly."
Everything Jesus said and did was for the deepening of His disciples' faith. He was constantly concerned about their not being offended or growing despondent. Look at 16:1-4.
"When it happens." It wasn't far away, namely, His suffering, death, and resurrection. A whole sermon could be preached on this one verse. Jesus' total concern is the comfort, the confidence, the faith of the believer.