My dear friends, Christians and non-Christians alike, and you of all faiths and thoughts and all views and opinions, I bid you and ask you to join with me in another voyage of intellectual discovery. I do so welcome you in this quest and task of attaining and coming to know intellectual honesty and honesty discernment. Join with me in this voyage of discovery to get at and find what is valid and authentic in the present world of confusion and come with me in tearing apart the curtain of lies and darkness that hides from us truth and facts.
Today I will once again set about to explain and interpret another gospel passage, this time found in the gospel of John, chapter 14 verses 23-31 as follows:
Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.”
This chapter and these verses present us all with many ideas and themes. Jesus identifies his person with the Father, saying, if anyone loves Jesus, that person will keep his word and the Father will love him and come to him. Jesus further says that whoever does not love him does not keep his words, and, most important, the words of Jesus you hear are not mine but the Father’s who sent him.
What we have here is Jesus telling us that the Father and he are one and that he is one with God and is God and whoever does not keep his words does not love Jesus. The words of Jesus are not his but the words of the Father. Jesus commands us here to keep his words as the words of God, the Father, and if we do not do so we do not love Christ. Jesus tells us he is one with God, the Father, and commands us to follow and heed his words and that his words are the words of the Father who sent him.
Next, Jesus tells us here that God will send the holy spirit to teach the newly founded church, to teach you all things and enable the disciples to remember and call to mind what he has said to them in the past. Jesus says he will leave peace with the disciples, so they need not be troubled or afraid. Jesus says he is going to the Father and that this is cause for rejoicing. Jesus says he does not talk much, for the ruler of this world is coming and that he is doing as the Father has commanded so that the world may know he loves the Father. Once again, Jesus identifies himself as one with God, the Father, and predicts in essence his crucifixion and resurrection and that he goes to his death on the cross and his resurrection as he has been commanded by God, the Father.
What we have here are a number of matters that Jesus wishes us to grasp and understand. First, that we must obey and heed his words out of love for him and that his words are the words of the Father. Second, he speaks of the holy spirit whom the Father will send to teach them and help them recall the words of Christ. Third, he speaks of his death and resurrection and predicts the events and tells the disciples he is doing as God, the Father, has commanded, for the world to know his love of the Father. The departure of Jesus means not fear but peace and joy. He is going from the humiliation of his earthly ministry to the glory of the Father. The term “ruler of this world” means the devil who has engineered through Judas the crucifixion.
I do hope and trust that in this essay I have shed some light on this passage from the gospel of John, however inadequate my attempt to do so, and pray that whoever reads this essay finds some help and guidance. No person can fully grasp and understand the words of Jesus, whether here or elsewhere, and only by reading and reading again the biblical text can any come to know the mind of Jesus and his message. I urge you all to return always to the biblical text.