In just a few sentences, Jesus had given them deep and profound teaching about loving him and loving each other, about creating a community that would reflect the community of God-Three-In-One. With this teaching came aspects that were hard to grasp—that God would send another advocate like Jesus, only in spirit, that Jesus would reveal himself to them, but not to the world. When he came back? Right away?
That was the question Judas asked. How can you be about to show yourself to us, but then not to the world?
Whoever loves me will keep my word (Logos), and my Father will love that one, then to that one we will come and make a home with them.Jesus to Judas, John 14:23
“Because,” Jesus said to Judas, “Only the people who love me and keep my word see me.” Then Jesus turned his attention to everyone else.
One who does not love me does not heed my words, and the word (Logos) that you all hear is not of me but rather the father who sent me.Jesus to all those gathered, John 14:24
Those who do not love Jesus do not believe in him, do not obey his teaching, and do not see him. It is not a question of Jesus not being there, or not being available. It is a question of someone choosing to see him. In order to see Jesus, to know him, this must come first, to love him and to heed his teaching. The word Jesus used means to “to watch over, guard, keep, preserve, give heed to, observe.” It is synonymous with another Greek word that “implies custody and protection, that expresses the idea of watchful care.”
And there are two main words in Greek that mean “word.” One of them, rhema, literally simply means “that which is said.” Just words. But the other word, logos, is laden with meaning even without the philosophical and spiritual overlay. If rhema is simply the words, then logos is the reckoning of the words, the meaning.
The meaning of Logos carries within it
- The sense of esteem, consideration, of value.
- The groundwork of reasoning for a decision, or judgment.
- A statement of a theory, or argument. It is the proposition, the premise, the thesis.
- The idea of principle, law, rule of conduct.
- The formula, the essential definition.
- The inner thinking that makes sense of outward data, even to mystical vision, inward wrestling in one’s soul, reflection, deliberation, the analysis of one’s experiences, one’s creative mental processes that become one’s ongoing narrative.
- And finally, all this is expressed verbally. This is the Word, it is Wisdom, even Wisdom personified.
So, you can see, Jesus was saying something tremendous when he said keep my Logos.
Probably, Judas did not realize he had broken open such a huge subject, but he had.
I have said these things as I am present with you all: but, the Counselor/Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who will be sent by the Father in my name, this one will teach you everything and will bring to your mind everything I said to you.Jesus to those gathered, John 14:25-26
Jesus gave four more revelations about the Holy Spirit
- The Holy Spirit comes by Jesus’ invitation and represents Jesus to you and me.
- The Spirit teaches and reminds us of Jesus’ words. This promise was first for the disciples, as they were going to not only spread the gospel but write it down. But this is also for every person who has the Spirit, for the Spirit will recall to our minds what we need when we need it.
The way for the Holy Spirit to do that is for you and I to put God’s words in our minds in the first place. For many believers, we are pretty fortunate to have Bibles everywhere and the freedom to read them. Sometimes when something is plentiful like this, we do not really value it. But this promise from Jesus is contingent on you and I having God’s words in the first place.
For those of us who have access to such plenty, let us remember our brethren and sistren who do not have access to Bibles. It is a measure of generosity, in the power of the Spirit, to find ways to get the scriptures to them.
- The Spirit teaches the meaning of God’s words. It is the Holy Spirit who gave the writers of the New Testament the understanding they needed to explain all of Jesus’ teaching—think of the apostle Paul and all the letters he wrote, but also Peter, John, Jude, James, and the other writers. You and I have this same access, all we need to do is ask. And the Spirit will help us to understand and apply God’s truth to our everyday lives.
- The Spirit would impart Jesus’ peace
Peace I send forth to you, my peace I commit to you—not as the world delivers do I deliver. Do not let your hearts be troubled, stirred up, and agitated, neither let you all be afraid.Jesus to those gathered, John 14:27
This does not mean that you and I never experience stress! Or that, somehow, it is less Christian, or less spiritual to be troubled and afraid. Several times you and I have read in this gospel that Jesus was troubled in his spirit. Stress and trouble are all part of living on earth.
What Jesus gives is Shalom, a Hebrew word that means much more than absence of distress. It means
- Even prosperity, in the best sense of that word.
In spite of our circumstances, you and I can be able to experience joy and a certain contentment.
This is a quiet, steady confidence in God, trusting God that the Lord is going to work everything for good, somehow, some way. This is not giving up because we know even though it feels like we are at the end of our rope, God has a little bit more rope for us to hang onto. This is believing if I cannot find what I need within myself, God has and will give that Shalom from within God’s Spirit, for God has made a home within me.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, believers can have Jesus’ peace through love and obedience to him
So when would the Holy Spirit come?
After Jesus would do battle with Satan. Do not worry, Jesus said. The victory is mine.
So, now I have laid forth to you in words before it comes to pass, in order that whenever it comes to pass, you would believe. No longer will I say much with you, for the ruler of the world comes, but he has nothing in me, but rather in order that the world would know that I love (agape) the Father, so even as the Father gives charge to me, in this way I do.Jesus to those gathered, John 14:29-31
These are two of our greatest spiritual enemies—the world opposed to God, and its ruler, the devil.
Jesus explained that he wanted them to know about the Holy Spirit so that when they received the Spirit they would believe. In the meantime, Satan was coming and there would be a great conflict which Jesus would win. That conflict was going to take place on the cross, as sin and death grappled with light and life.
Just as Satan has no claim over the Lord Jesus, so he has no claim over any believer who is filled with the life of Jesus. His victory is our victory, Satan is a defeated enemy.