Jesus, the Way to the Father
Read John 14:1–14. When Jesus told His followers that He would die and leave them, they were very sad. Jesus encouraged them by saying that He was going to prepare a place for them and would return to take them to be with Him (v. 3).
What a wonderful time it will be when Jesus fulfills this promise! And how critical it is that we all get ready for it. We are reminded of the importance of knowing Jesus as our Savior. By believing in Him, we are certain of going to His glory when He returns for us. Jesus repeated that He is the only way to the Father: “‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6).
Jesus promised that those who believed in Him would do greater works than they had seen Him do. Jesus could be in only one place at a time. But when His followers increased to many millions, together we could do even more than Jesus did.
Jesus also said that we could pray in His name (vv. 13–14). Asking in Jesus’ name means praying like Jesus did—in the will of the Father. This requires understanding God’s will and praying with the authority of Jesus. Sickness and evil spirits were cast out when Jesus spoke with authority. We can expect such great works only when we pray in the authority of Jesus’ name. We have no authority in ourselves.
The Promise of the Holy Spirit
Read John 14:15–31. In chapters 14, 15, and 16 we read about the things that the Holy Spirit does as our Helper. Those who do not trust or believe God cannot receive the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of Truth who helps us know the truth by reminding us of what Jesus taught.
Jesus promised, “‘I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever’” (John 14:16). Jesus also said that what we do proves our love for Him: “‘Whoever loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and my Father and I will come to him and live with him’” (John 14:23).
Many people think the commandments of Jesus are too hard. But when God lives in us, He helps us to experience new life. With God’s help we can do everything He commands.
Jesus, the Real Vine
Read John 15:1–17. Jesus compares himself to a grapevine and His followers to the branches. His life in us produces the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23).
Jesus said that the disciples were clean by His Word. God uses the Bible as His pruning knife to cut away such things asour selfishness, pride, and wrong character traits. As we read the Bible, believe it, and accept it as the pattern for our lives, the Holy Spirit helps us to get rid of the fruitless brush. The abundant life of Christ, like the sap flowing from the trunk into the branches, brings rapid spiritual growth and produces the fruit of the Spirit.
The word remain is repeated several times in John 15: in verses 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, and 10. This repetition is important. If a branch does not stay in the tree or vine, it will die because its life comes from the trunk. In the same way, our spiritual life depends on our being joined to Jesus Christ. As long as we remain in Him, we will have His abundant life. Jesus said, “‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing’” (John 15:5).
The relationship between the believers and Jesus is one of love and obedience. The word love is used over thirty times in chapters 13 through 17. First Jesus told how the Father loved Him, then how He loved the disciples. The disciples are to continue in His love.
As we stay in Jesus, He will help us love one another. Sometimes we say we could love certain persons if they were better. But Jesus did not love us because we were lovable people. He loved us and died for us while we were sinners. He chose us to let the world see His life and love in us.
The World’s Hatred
Read John 15:18–27 and John 16:1–4. Jesus told of persecution and misunderstanding that the disciples would suffer in the world. Of the eleven disciples to whom Jesus spoke these words, ten would be put to death for preaching the gospel. John was the only one to die a natural death.
Why does the world hate those who follow Jesus? For the same reason that it hated Him. True Christianity exposes sin, and sinners then feel guilty. Then Satan, the enemy of God, fights against Christians. He stirs up people to hate and persecute Christians. Christians, in certain countries, have
been beaten by their families; ostracized by leaders of the community, and jailed. Others have even been put to death where Christianity was considered illegal.
Jesus said that the world persecuted Him, and it will persecute all those who follow Him. But He promised a Helper—the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would speak more about Jesus and will help believers to defend the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.