Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.CHAPTER 14
1. Let not Your Heart be Troubled! (John 14:1-7.)
2. I Am in the Father and the Father in Me. (John 14:8-14.)
3. The Other Comforter Promised. (John 14:15-27.)
4. I Go unto the Father. (John 14:28-31.)
There is no break between these two chapters. The Lord continues His discourse to the eleven disciples. “Let not your heart be troubled!” What precious words of comfort! How many hearts have been soothed by them and how many tears they have dried! And after His loving words He said again: “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27.) He speaks first of all of the Father’s house with its many abodes. The Father’s house is no longer the temple, but the blessed home where the loving Father dwells and to which the Son of God was about to return in the form of man, after His death and resurrection. And the Father’s house with its many abodes belongs to all who belong to Him; and all who are His, whom He is not ashamed to call brethren (John 20:17; Hebrews 2:11 and Psalm 22:22) belong to the Father’s house. He has gone there to prepare a place. The ark of the covenant of the Lord went before Israel to search out a resting place for them (Numbers 11:33) and so He has gone before as our forerunner. What it all means “to prepare a place for you” we cannot fully know, but we know that His great work has removed every barrier for all who believe on Him, and in God’s own time the full redemption of the purchased possession by the power of God will be accomplished. (Ephesians 1:14.) Then His unfulfilled promise, “I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am ye may be also,” will be fulfilled. He did not mean the death of His disciples. The death of the believer is not the coming of Himself to the child of God, but when the believer dies he goes to be with Christ. “I will come again” means His coming for those who belong to Him, His Saints. How He will redeem this gracious promise and lead His own into the blessed home, is not revealed here. But He gave it in the form of a special revelation to the Apostle of the Gentiles. (1Thessalonians 4:13-18.) Thomas speaks first. He misunderstood the words of the Lord and was troubled with unbelief. Yet Thomas loved the Lord and was greatly attached to Him, as we learn from John 11:16. Blessed answer he received. “I am the way”;--He is the only way to God and to the Father’s house; “the Truth”;-- the revelation of the Father; and “the Life” as well.
His answer to Philip’s question shows that He was grieved. Yet how gentle the rebuke, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” It is another great witness of His oneness with the Father. “I am in the Father and the Father in me.” And His own belonging to Him, know the Father in Christ and are His. (Solemn truth it is: “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.” (1John 2:23.) “And ye are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.” (1Corinthians 3:23.) John 14:12 has been a difficulty to many. What did our Lord mean when He said: “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father”? Christian Scientists and extreme faith-healers claim that He meant His actual works of healing and Christians should do now the same works and even greater works. But how could a believer do a greater work than the raising of Lazarus from the dead? The promise “the works that I do shall he do also” was fulfilled immediately after the day of Pentecost. The sick were healed by Peter’s shadow, the lame man was healed, demons were driven out, and the dead were raised. Were these miracles to continue to the end of the dispensation? There is nowhere a statement in Scripture that this should be the case. “If miracles were continually in the church, they would cease to be miracles. We never see them in the Bible except at some great crisis in the church’s history”--(Thoughts on the Gospel of John.) The “greater works” are spiritual works. The thousands saved in the beginning of the dispensation, the preaching of the Gospel far hence among the Gentiles and the gracious results, are these greater works.
The promise of Prayer in His name follows. This is something new. It is to be addressed to the Father and the Son, and He promises, “If ye shall ask anything in my name I will do it.” So far He had spoken of Himself and the Father. God the Father had been revealed in the Son, and now He speaks of the other Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit. He is promised to come, not to the world, but to His own as the other Comforter. (In Greek “Parakletos,” one who is alongside to help. The same word as in 1John 2:1 “Advocate.”) e would come to abide in them, dwell with them and be in them. John 14:18, “I will come to you,” does not mean His second coming as in John 14:3. It is Christ Himself in Spirit. The result of the coming and abiding of the Comforter is a blessed knowledge for the believer. “Ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” Love to Him in the power of the Spirit must be expressed in obedience. Then there is the blessed legacy: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” It is not peace with God, but the peace of Himself which He has left us. And that peace will ever be enjoyed if we believe and obey His words.