Jun. 5. Jesus’ Farewell Message to His Disciples

Jn. 14:1-16:33

After Judas had left, Jesus had a last conversation with His disciples. He had just informed them that Judas would betray Him; He was going to leave them; Peter would deny Him and they all would stumble because of Him that night.

The apostles were troubled and sad and Jesus took this opportunity to calm their nerves and to comfort them. They should put their faith in God and Jesus. He was going to prepare a place for them and then come back to get them.

Thomas did not understand where Jesus was going or how to get there. He was looking for a path for his feet—not for his heart or soul. Jesus pointed out that He was the way to the Father and to know Him was to know the Father.

Philip, looking for a visual revelation of God, asked Jesus to show them the Father. He explained that if they had seen Him, they had seen the Father for He is in the Father and the Father is in Him.

Jesus promised that whatever they would ask in His Name (or authority), He would grant.

Since Jesus was about to leave His disciples, He promised to send them a Helper (Holy Spirit) to teach and remind them of the things that they had learned during the time that He was with them. We receive help from the Holy Spirit by studying the Scriptures that He inspired men to write and record in the Bible.

Jesus continued by telling the apostles that He was leaving His peace with them. This was a complete inner peace—the same that He had. He did not promise that this peace would overcome persecution, but that it would give them an inner calm during persecution, which would help them to endure.

The reason Jesus told the disciples about the things that would soon take place was to strengthen their faith when the events actually did occur.

Jesus referred to Himself as the true vine, the source of nourishment for the branches. The branches (disciples) had been cleansed by the word that He had taught them. Future disciples would receive that same nourishment by hearing, believing and obeying that same word.

God will cut off the dead branches and those that fail to bear fruit and burn them. This shows the importance of disciples continuing to abide in Christ for nourishment and for allowing Him to abide in them. Many in the religious world today say that Jesus is the vine and the different churches are the branches. He said that He was the vine and that disciples (Christians) are the branches.

In His farewell remarks, Jesus spoke of the importance of love and of His love for the disciples. The greatest expression of one’s love is that he lay down his life for his friends. It was through His love that He gave His life for His friends and also for His enemies.

One can know that he loves Jesus if he keeps His commandments. Obedience should be because of love and a desire to please a friend instead of obeying out of a sense of duty. He further admonished the disciples to love one another.

Jesus warned the apostles about things to come, so they would not be caught off guard, but would be able to endure. The world (all who rejected Jesus and His teachings) would hate them. This would be good, since the world loves its own and this would mean that they were not a part of the world.

The Psalmist prophesied, “They hated Me without a cause.” Jesus stated that the Jews were fulfilling this prophecy by their rejection of Him and His teaching. By rejecting Him, they were also rejecting the Father, God.

Again, Jesus reminded the apostles that He would send the Helper (Holy Spirit) to help them testify of the things of Him.

The persecutions that the apostles were to endure would be because of the ignorance of the Jews. They would mistakenly think that they knew God and that He was pleased with their actions.

Jesus reminded the disciples again that He was going away to God. He explained to them that He must go because the Holy Spirit could not come until after He had left them.

The Holy Spirit would convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. He would use the apostles as His mouthpiece and guide them to convince the world that the fatal sin is to fail to believe in Christ.

A belief in Christ would lead to obedience, forgiveness and eternal life. The least sin, not forgiven leads to death, while the greatest sin, if forgiven is as if it had never occurred.

Jesus lived a righteous life and man must try to attain that same righteousness in order to be with the Father. He was commissioned or ordained to be man’s Judge when He was later resurrected from the dead. In the resurrection, Christ bruised the head of the serpent Gen. 3:14, 15).

There were other things that the apostles needed to know, but they were not ready for them at that time. They were promised that when the Holy Spirit came, He would guide them into all truth.

Jesus said, “A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.”

The apostles were puzzled at the statement Jesus had just made to them. He was referring to His death, which was near, and they would sorrow because they would not see Him. The enemies of Jesus would rejoice because He would be dead.

His resurrection was also near and they would see Him again and be joyful. This would go even farther than the brief time that He was with them after the resurrection. There would also be a spiritual communion with Jesus after He had returned to heaven.

Jesus further explained the coming events by comparing them to a woman in labor and the joy of giving birth. He would endure extreme physical and emotional pain and the disciples would experience sorrow during His death.

The resurrection would bring a new beginning and as they began to understand, they would be joyful as the new mother is joyful at the birth of her child.

Jesus renewed His promise that whatever they asked in His name (or authority), the Father would give them. He would then be their intercessory with the Father.

During His earthly ministry, Jesus had spoken many things to the apostles in figurative language. At this point, they understood plainly that He had come from heaven and that He would return to heaven.

The apostles made a three-part confession of their faith by telling Jesus, “Now we are sure that You know all things; and have no need that anyone should question You; by this we believe that You came forth from God.”

Jesus told the apostles that even with their faith in Him, they would be scattered, each to his own, but He would not be alone. The Father would be with Him. He then declared victory. “In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”