John 14: 12-17

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. 

John chapter 14, verses 12 through 17.

And we’re going to be looking at this passage in preparation for the Lord’s supper this morning. And here’s what we read. Truly, truly I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the father, whatever you ask me in my name, this I will do that.

The father may be glorified in the son. If you ask for anything in my name, I will do it. If you love me, you will keep my commandments and I will ask the father and he will give you another helper to be with you forever. Even the spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him.

There were no SIM you know him for, he dwells with you and will be in you. Let’s pray.

Lord, we gather at this table this morning, we come to celebrate. What Jesus has done for us, what he has come to accomplish for us. Lord, I also praise you that it is not only you God, the father, God, the son that are involved in our journey of faith, but it has God, the spirit and Lord, thank you for this helper that Jesus promised that has come among us, that he offered to his followers there at that first Lord’s table, last supper event.

So Lord, as we reflect on what that meant, um, may we love him the spirit, even as we are learning to love you and the son in whose name I pray. Amen. You know, we come to this passage and I want to give you a little context to it.

In these, in these verses of John 13 and 14, Jesus is going to be giving teaching that he has not given to the disciples before this. He’s going to be doing things with them that he has not done before this. And, and to just get the, the, the set, the setting of what’s going on. This is of course, passion week.

Right now, this is Thursday evening where Jesus is celebrating the law, the, the Passover with them, what we call the last supper, uh, the inauguration of communion meal and the Lord’s supper. Jesus, just a few days before this on Sunday has come in on the triumphant entry. He’s entered from, uh, the town of Bethany where he’s been staying.

He’s come over the Mount of olives and he’s come down into the town and been met by the throngs. Things have changed dramatically since that entrance on Monday, he’s come over again this time without the, the fanfare, without the giant entourage, justice disciples have gathered with him and they’ve come in and he’s been Monday morning, Monday throughout the day has been teaching in the temple and this been by the end of the day, some conflict arising with the religious leaders.

They returned to Bethany and they come again the next day to come. And come into the town. And this day there are all sorts of opposition, awaiting him, every group, uh, Herodians Sadducees, Pharisees, scribes, uh, high priest are waiting for him. And it has been an extraordinarily exhausting day of conflict.

This Tuesday of passion week, where every member of the opposing forces has come against him with attempting to trip him up. And the disciples have just been watching and they have been experiencing with Jesus. The utter exhaustion that conflict is for them, just like for us, they return Tuesday night.

Again, they’re back in Bethany. And the Wednesday of Passover week is known as the day of silence. We have nothing recorded. There’s some conjectures of various things that went on, but we really don’t know anything that happened in most theologians commentators, believe this was a day where Jesus and his disciples are to some degree recovering.

They are exhausted from these two days of tremendous conflict, which had followed this, this, then this initial day of exhaustion, just from the public acclaim of the triumphant entry. Now it’s Thursday and Thursday morning, Jesus has sent Peter and John to go into the city early, to prepare a room for them where they can celebrate the Passover meal.

They’ve come. They found the place. We know it as what we call the upper room. It was an actual upper room in a house where they gathered together. And it is now Thursday evening. Friday will be the day of crucifixion. And Friday night, Jesus is spending his last hours with the excuse me, Thursday night.

She has been his last hours with the disciples and is giving them the teaching that we find in the upper room in John 13 and John 14, John 15 and 16, the teaching about you’re on the vine. You’re the branches that’ll be on the way. John 13 and 14 is what he says at the Lord’s supper. The last supper he’s washed their feet here in John 13 already.

He’s inaugurating the Passover celebration with them. And as he has done this in the midst of the Passover celebration and the sharing of what we know is the last supper Jesus has told them. One of you is going to be training. They’re a gas. It just doesn’t seem, it seems surreal. The thought that one of them will be betraying and somewhere in there, Judas slips out.

He’s also announced that that Peter is going to deny him. And again, this is, this is Peter. I mean, this is the guys, the bold courageous, sometimes nut job. But the guy that just courageously is the most outspoken, he says, Peter, you’re going to deny me three times. He has also said to them the most frightening part, he says, I’m going away.

It doesn’t say where it doesn’t say how long. So I’m just going away. Everybody is troubled and confused. Everybody is feeling the sense of, of confusion. And Jesus here makes this promise to them. He says, I will ask the father in verse 16 and he will give you another helper to be with you forever. Jesus promises them at this point, two particular things in John 14 in verse three, he says, first of all, I am going to come again.

I’ll be gone. I’m going to prepare a place for you in verse three, but I’m coming again. It doesn’t say when he’s coming back, it doesn’t say where the places and they’re like, what, where, huh? He says, no, I’m going away, but I’ll come back after I’ve prepared a place for you. And then he says this beautiful statement.

I will ask the father. He will give you another helper to be with you forever. Even the spirit of truth. This promise that Jesus gives is spoken to men that are scared men that are thrown men that are rattled. They’ve just endured. I mean, they are, they are now anticipating heightened conflict because they’ve seen it building and they’ve been in hiding for a day, licking their wounds.

And now they’re alone in the quietness. And undoubtedly looking forward to enjoying the Passover meal with Jesus and how man let’s get it together again. Let’s have quiet. Let’s have, let’s have stillness together. Jesus, isn’t going away, but there’s somebody else that I’m sending and that somebody else is we want to talk about for the next few minutes, because he tells us a couple of things.

He tells us that this person who he identifies as the holy spirit will be the parent Clinton. The parakletos actually the, what the word means is para means alongside of, we use the word pair off a parallel lines. They’re lines that line up next to each other, right? It’s like a train track plot us one called the one called alongside of you.

It’s someone who will stand by you for your benefit. This is the picture of the one that he is offering. And there are a number of passages in the new Testament where this term is used. First in first Thessalonians five 14, it says this, and we urge you brothers and sisters. One, those who are idle and disruptive encourage the distant hardened, help the weak be patient to everyone here.

First of all, we find that this one who is coming will be an incurred. Secondly the word, when it says that he will be the one coming alongside of is used in second Corinthians seven verse six, where it says, but God who conducts, who comforts the downcast, comforts us by the coming of Titus. The word here says it is translated comfort.

He will be a comforter. He will, first of all, being encouraged giver. Second of all, he will be a comforter third in first Thessalonians, five 14. And we urge your brothers and sisters warn those who are idle and disruptive in courage. That’s how it’s translated. The dissident heartened help the weak be patient to everyone.

He’ll be a comforter. He’ll be an encourager and an acts 27 verse 34. I urge you to take some food for it will give you strength. I realized I just read the same verse twice. Didn’t I did anybody notice that Dave Burris, did you even notice.

Um, I got thrown because I think I gave them the wrong order back there and I’m reading off their reading. Anyway, there are three words that it’s translated by. It says he comforts us. It says he encourages us. And now it says he urges us. Therefore, the word I urge you to take some food for it will give you strength.

The idea here is like, he’s, he’s going to be an exhorter. He’s going to be a coach. He’s going to be an, an encourager. He’s going to be a comforter. He’s going to be an exhorter. And in Matthew chapter eight, verse five, it says when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a century Turin came to him asking for help.

Again, the word is there, the same one from paraklete to us, the same term, he would be a helper. And here Jesus is being asked to come to Centurion, says. My associate, my servant sick. Can you help him? Can you bring to him power that we don’t have? So if we put these, these passages together, we find that this term is broad to be a helper, meant to be an encourager, to be a helper, meant to bring comfort.

It meant to bring a power that we don’t have in ourselves. It meant to be a trainer, a coach, all of these are involved in the term that the para clay toss, the one who is coming will be our helper. Now, how will the holy spirit be that to us? How will it be a helper to the disciples as well as to us? Well, if you look at verse 16 in our passage this morning, here’s what it says.

And I will ask the father and he will give you another helper to be with you forever. Even the spirit of truth, the word another in the original. Then they’re more specific in certain areas. The Greek is than Englishes in Greek. There are different words for other or another. There are some that mean other of various kinds is, but this particular one means another of the same kind.

It’s a specifically chosen term by Jesus to say the one who’s coming after is going to be like me. He’s going to be to you the way I have been your helper. So let’s think about that. What would they lose if Jesus is gone? Because he’s basically saying I’m going away, but I’m giving you another helper and he’s going to help you.

Like I help you. So what are they losing? Well, I think there are at least three things that stand out to me. Number one, what would be crossing my mind is you’re going to. We’re losing the whole power to this whole operation. I mean, we, I mean, Jesus, we’re, we’re, we’re learning to teach a little bit, but you’re the, you’re the master at this.

Your teaching is breathtaking crowds gathered to hear you were ignorant guys. You’ve helped us to, to have a capacity to, you know, to, to heal some and to cast out demons. But we keep running into these demons that are beyond us. We’re not raising anybody from the dead. You’re doing these amazing things.

We need your power. I mean, we’re fishermen, but we go fishing and we don’t catch anything. We throw the net on the other side. Cause you say, try the other side and we all go throw the net on the other side. And there’s all these fishermen. We don’t even have the power of fish. Like you. And you’re going away and you’re leaving us and we’re supposed to carry on this operation.

They’re faced with their own weakness. They lose their power, they need a helper. That’s going to bring power. Like Jesus brought power. I think they also would feel we’re losing our way without you they’d left everything to follow him, but they don’t know where this thing’s gone. I mean, this whole week, can you imagine what this week was like?

I mean, who would not feel like a schizophrenia after this week? They come in on Sunday and, and the crowds are there and they’re laying their Palm branches and they know this is all old Testament prophecies, how people are going to respond to the king. And they’re like, we finally got. This is it, the crowds are with us.

We’re going to, we’re going to win and be the king. He’s going to set it up. And the next day they go back over and I’m sure Monday morning was an exciting trip over the mountain. They go down into Jerusalem and they get there. And man, it’s dicey in the temple. It’s hostile. So think, well, hopefully Tuesday will be better.

And they go in and it is a day of tumult and conflict. And they’re thinking, I don’t know where this is going. I’m very confused. They’ve left their careers. I mean, James and John, we have indications in the gospel of John that John, it says, knew the members of, of, uh, the high priests household. His family was pretty prominent up in Galilee, apparently enough so that they had relations with the high priest.

Well, the high priest, now he’s a mark man to the high priests. Being associated with Jesus is obviously not going to Curry favor, but he’s no sons, his devotee, James, John they’re now on the outs.

There’s so much, they don’t get they’ve bought into Jesus. They still do right now. They really do, but they don’t know where the sinks gone. I mean, they keep guessing wrong, right? They want the crowds, Jesus sends him away. We want them to steer away from the despised outcasts. You know, the, the tax collectors, the, the, the, the, the, the, the prostitutes.

He keeps hanging out with these people. It’s not the way to do this.

We wish she’d just make nice with the religious leaders, but he holds his most powerful indictment. Towards the most influential people.

And now all this has risen to a state of things are hot here in Jerusalem, and we don’t know how to build this thing. We don’t know how to organize it. We don’t know how to get support for it. We don’t know how to avoid crises without Jesus navigating the way. I’m sure that they would have felt Jesus.

You are the way, I mean, we’re following your lead. We don’t, we keep guessing wrong. If you’re going to leave, we need to help her. That’s going to show us how to go because we lose our way without you. The third thing I think they would feel they would lose her hope if Jesus is his bagging, this thing, if he’s taken off.

I think they would feel, we don’t have any hope even for unity among ourselves. I mean, just remember who these guys are. Again, they have little commonality of background. This Matthew tax collector viewed tactile actors, universally, both in Galilee and in Judea were viewed as local thugs who basically could squeeze money out of especially business owners, but basically everyone at whatever price they wanted to set it because the Romans were just happy to get their cut.

And so they were protected by law enforcement. The Jews hated the tax collectors. Matthew was a tax collector. He’s one of the 12 guys that are sitting there. There’s another group. That’s the one side. There’s another side that’s represented in that room. A guy called Judas, the zealot, not Judas Iscariot, the, the, the betrayer he’s left the room, but the Judas is still sitting there.

Excuse me. I misspoke Simon. The zealot, there is another Judas, but this assignment is Ella. Simon is sitting there and , they want to slit the throat of every Roman. They actually were famous to Zelle. Lots were for having a, a, a long knife that they hid under their, their garments, uh, in, in, in hopes, someday of being able to take out Romans the Zelle lots were the anti Roman extremist organization of the day.

If there’s one group of people that a zealot would hate more than a Roman. It would be a Jew that had sold himself out to the Romans. You couldn’t be father, uh, distanced politically, then a tax collector and a Zella. And here they sit reclining at the same table. It’s no wonder that Jesus chose two sets of brothers who were in a fishing business together.

Right? James and John, Andrew and Peter, at least there are some guys. Do you think that are going to have trust for each other, but even those guys have alienated everybody else when James and John one time have asked Jesus, Hey Jesus. You know, when, when we, when you come into your kingdom, can I be, can we be number the number two guy?

And the number three guy in the whole organization will be the, will be the chief executives of the operation. The other guys are all, there’s so many potential conflicts among this group of. What has held them together. One person, one person that they all love, they all trust. They all depend on those who, their American history buffs, you know, a little bit about the, the events that took place after the Americans won the revolutionary war.

And in 1781, after a result of a few years of haggling, we finally endorsed what was known as the articles of Confederation. The articles have been Federation was our document. It was to serve. We thought as our constitution. And basically what it said was what it basically did was said that we are 13 different states now.

And basically each state is pretty much autonomous. We don’t want anybody that has powered. Uh, beyond the states. So we’re going to just have a loose friendship at, with actually w word was used in the articles of Confederation, a friendship, a trust of each other. We certainly don’t want an executive branch.

We don’t want a position where there is someone in a, a position of a number, one eggs, a chief executive, so that didn’t have that. Didn’t have a president that didn’t have a chief exec. Why? Because they didn’t want a king. They didn’t want a monarchy. And they operated from 1781 to 1787 with the articles of Confederation.

And it was a total failure. Basically everybody was realizing, you know, we can’t make any decisions. We can’t do anything. We need somebody to be able to make some decisions and to bring things together. And when there was a thing called the Shay’s rebellion, they had no way of really dealing with it when there were realizing that even in terms of economically and in terms of, uh, uh, in relation to other nations, they, they just, it didn’t.

So they, they began to say, we’ve, we’ve got it. We’ve got to revisit the entire process. And one guy was sort of challenged and he, he had to come forward and George Washington actually brought the whole thing together. Again, he says, let’s, let’s, let’s try it again. He wasn’t a politician, but he had the, he had the weight.

So he brought him together and these boys got together again in 1787. And they, they eventually ratified a new constitution this time with a chief executive, a president. And there was a lot of nervousness about a chief executive. We don’t want to king king George was not a positive experience. There was only one.

And I would challenge you to read any historian and ask the question. Did anyone feel that this would work. Other than one person becoming this chief executive, this president, because basically in books, I’ve read basically what they say is as they were putting the constitution together and they ratified the constitution with a new chief executive with a precedent, everybody.

So one face George Washington, if he’s not the guy, this can’t work, he didn’t want the job. He took the job. He became the source of trust. He’s the only president in the United state who was actually elected unanimously in the electoral college. The first time he ran in 1788, it actually ran into 1789. It took ended December to January to elect him.

And then in 1792, when he really wanted to go home to Mount Vernon, they reelected him and the electoral college again for the. Only the second time. And the only other time somebody was elected unanimously, George Washington became the president again, without George Washington, these people are looking around the table and they’re saying, I don’t think this can work.

That’s how I think these guys felt in the upper room. The difference was George Washington. Didn’t just say at the S at the constitutional Congress, I’m going away. He said, I’ll throw my hat in the ring. If it’s what’s needed. And Jesus said, I’m gone. I’m going away, but I’m promising you something, there’s a helper coming that will be to you.

Everything I have been, he will be the one that will give you. He will be the one we’ll show you the way he will be the one that will enable you with divergent policies and political positions and personalities and backgrounds. He’ll enable you to work together because he will be the unifying reality.

He will help you. And then he makes this shocking statement in verse 12, leading into this passage. Notice what he says truly, truly I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do and greater works than these will he do, because I’m going to the father. What Jesus is saying is this through his physical body, Jesus could be a mentor teacher, preacher, friend to the disciples.

But the presence of a member of the Godhead inside of them produced deeper, more influential change in them. And through them, this would be for the spirit to accomplish just as God had planned for all eternity. The story of the book of acts is the story of that transformation. It is called the acts of the apostles.

It is ultimately really the acts of the spirit. The astonishing visual of acts is that to the disciples, the presence of God, the spirit within them was even more impactful than the presence of the son of God with them. Uh, think about that for a minute. We have that spirit. We have the presence of God because of what he promised at the last supper, just like they do.

They had experienced the presence of Jesus without which they felt this is hopeless. And he says it won’t be hopeless. As matter of fact, you’re going to think, do things you haven’t done with me. You’re going to experience changes in your life that you haven’t experienced with me because my helper is coming.

The beautiful reality of the, of the last supper is certainly the portrayal that Jesus makes in the elements. When he says, this is my body broken for you. This is my blood poured out for you. Forgiveness, acceptance with God is available because of what I’ve done. Heaven is yours because of what I’ve done on the cross.

All of that is pictured at the last supper, but we miss part of the story of the last supper. If we don’t hear the promise that was made, there’s a helper that has come. That will be everything I have been to you in bodily form. But through him, you’ll do even more because he will be with you and in you as we come to the Lord’s table this morning.

And it’s weird to look down, see a bunch of flowers here. Um, The the lore, cause we usually have our, our trace here, but I’m going to ask you to take out your, your thing. And if, if you didn’t get this, could somebody just watch, um, did anyone knock it? Uh, if we just slip up your hand, if you didn’t get one of these, this is okay.

I, there, there are definitely people that didn’t get it. Could somebody grab those for us? Mark. Janice? Do you do that for us? Would you go out and grab some of these babies? Thanks. Okay. Um, you know, in first Corinthians 11, it says, Paul says, I’ve I presented to you what Jesus did on that first night when he was betrayed.

He says it, in these words I receive from the Lord. What I also delivered to you that the Lord Jesus in the night, when he was betrayed, took bread. And when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, This is my body, which is for you. If you would remove that top flap where the bread is that little piece of bread.

If you know Jesus Christ as your savior, and you have experienced the work of Christ in your life, I invite you to participate with us this morning. As we celebrate what Jesus is offering us here, the, the, the new life that he has offered to us through his body being broken for us. When we take bread, now, this is my body broken for you.

He says,

second thing Jesus said is this cup is the new covenant through my blood. The old covenant was through obedience, uh, putting trust in a covering that was temporary, but he said, no, this covenants for keeps for eternity. You are now forgiven forever. There is no more need of sacrifices of trying to measure up that.

Ultimately I provided eternal forgiveness for you through what I’ve done as the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And he says to us, this cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this. As often as you drink it in remembrance of me,

this week as we go. And as we reflect on our communion, And this time at the Lord’s table, it is incredible to realize that this is our reminder, that Jesus Christ came to be our savior to take our place, to live the life that we should have lived and to die the death that we should have died. But it was also the time when he reminds us that we should remember that living within us is our helper.

And it is God still living with us, working through us, making himself known to us. The third member of the tri unity of God, the helper, the encourager, the comforter, the coach, the power source of our lives. Let’s pray together. Lord.

We’re reminded how much you love your people.

Even there with those disciples in the midst of confusion and despair, and you just speak into them, such beautiful words of promise of the one who would come

Lord, we look back even as they looked forward, but we glory in what you have given us in the spirit of God. Lord, may this day be a day in which we just quiet ourselves and remember what it is to do life with God, with God living within our lives, through the tri unity, Lord direct our steps. Thank you for the courage.

The spirit gives the comfort, the encouragement, the guidance, and the power in Jesus name. We pray. Amen. You may be dismissed. Thank you.