Intro: Notice the first phrase found in verse 1. Jesus says to His
Disciples, "Let not your heart be troubled..." On the surface, that may
not appear to be such a great blessing, but when you consider that at this moment, Jesus
is on the eve of His death and is standing in the very shadow of Calvary, yet He takes the
time to encourage His Disciples. Were their hearts troubled? Certainly! Jesus has just
told them of His impending death, 13:31-33; they had just learned that one of their number
is going to betray Jesus into the hands of the enemy, 13:21; even Simon Peter has just
been notified that he will deny Jesus three times before the morning comes. Yes, their
hearts are heavy with sorrow and burdened with grief and questions. But, even in the hour
of His greatest trial, Jesus still loved His own, 13:2, and reached out to them to comfort
them and encourage them.
Now, it would be impossible to adequately cover every detail of the
glorious chapter in one message. However, I would like to dive right into these verses
this morning and lift out a portrait of Jesus: The Great Encourager. In
this great chapter, Jesus addresses some very important areas of life and offers us hope
in each of them today. In the hour of His greatest need, He takes the time to encourage
the hearts of His Disciples, and of every person who takes the time to read and heed these
words from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Join me this morning as we encounter Jesus:
The Great Encourager.
I. V. 2-3 THERE IS HOPE FOR TOMORROW
He Speaks Of:
A. v. 2 A Heavenly Home - Jesus tells us about a
prepared place for a prepared people! While we cannot go into great detail about the
wonders of that Heavenly City this morning, I can tell you that when we arrive there, we
will be home! We will dwell in the Father's House, in the Father's presence free from sin,
sorrow, suffering, separation or any other thing that would hinder the glory of Heaven,
Rev. 21:4; 27. Try as I might, I could never adequately describe the glories of that
place. I think Paul summed up the concept pretty well in 1 Cor. 2:9. I look forward to
entering that city some day!
(Ill. Barring the return of Jesus in the Rapture, the only way to get to
Heaven is through the avenue of death. Isn't it interesting that Jesus would speak of
Heaven as "Home"? Often people are frightened by the prospect of dying. Yet, for
the child of God, death is not the end, it is simply a time to go home! This was the
attitude of Paul - 2 Cor. 12:2-4. Paul had seen it, couldn't find the vocabulary to
describe what he had seen, therefore he was reduced to telling us that whatever was over
there was "far better" than what we have down here, Phil. 1:23.)
B. V. 3 A Heavenly Hope - In this verse, Jesus
reminds us that there will come a day when He will return for His people. There are some
who do not believe in the Rapture of the church, however the Lord does and I'll just stick
with Him! Paul sheds a little more light on this monumental event in 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1
Thes. 4:16-17. Men may doubt it, and men may mock it, but Jesus is going to come again and
the best advise I have for you is for you to be ready, Matt. 24:44!
(Ill. The story is told of British House Of Commons member Benjamin
Disraeli. It is said that when Disraeli was elected to Parliament, he was considered
somewhat of an odd fellow. In his mannerisms and in his attire, he stood out from the rest
of the members. Added to this was the fact that he was a Jew. When he arose to make his
first speech before Parliament, he was mocked so loudly and so uproariously by the others
Members of Parliament that he was forced to sit down. Before he sat down, however, he said
this, "I will sit down now, but you will hear from me again."
In a very real sense, this is what Jesus is saying. He is telling these
men, "I am going away, but you will hear from me again." In fact, the last
recorded words of our Lord were given to John on the Isle of Patmos. In that statement,
Jesus said this, "Surely, I come quickly.", Rev. 22:20.)
C. V. 3 A Heavenly Homecoming - Now, the
Disciples are upset with the notion that Jesus is going away. Therefore, He tells them
that where He is going, they can come also. Thank God this morning, the greatest glory of
Heaven will not be golden streets, jasper walls, angelic hosts, crystal rivers, an endless
day, or even seeing those who have gone on before. Even the thought of all these wonders
pales when placed alongside that which will thrill our hearts more than anything else.
That thing that excites me more than anything else. That one wonder that I most anticipate
is the day when I shall at last look upon the face of the One who dies for my sins on
Calvary, when I shall at last have the opportunity to bow at His nail riven feet and shout
His praises in that Heavenly City on High.
What a day that will be,
when my Jesus I shall see.
When I look upon His face,
the One who saved me by His grace.
When He takes me by the hand,
and leads me through that promised land,
What a day, glorious day, that will be!
John saw Him and described Him this way, Rev. 1:13-19.
However, the greatest description ever penned about our risen Lord is found in Rev. 5:6.
That is the Jesus we will behold in glory!
I. There Is Hope For Tomorrow
II. V. 4-31 THERE IS HELP FOR TODAY
There is a help from Jesus in the matter of:
A. V. 4-11 Salvation - In these verses, Jesus
tells the Disciples that there is only one plan of salvation for all men. He tells Thomas
that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He declares Himself to be the only access to
God for any man! He goes beyond that revelation and says that He is in fact the very
physical representation of Almighty God, v. 9. Boiled down to its very simplest terms,
Jesus is the only means of salvation for all humanity! Acts 4:12 Acts 16:31; John 3:16,
all bear testimony to the truth that salvation is found in Jesus Christ and in Him alone.
(Ill. I realize that this is a pretty narrow view for our day and time,
but it is a view that is taught by the Bible. Many feel that there are various routes one
can take to reach God. Yet the Bible makes it clear that there is but one way for all men
and that way is through faith in finished work of Jesus Christ at Calvary! Jesus blazed
the trail from earth to Heaven so that sinners might come to him by faith ane be saved.)
(Ill. A pioneer missionary in Africa tells how he was taking the gospel
to a new tribe, far to the north. With his bearers, he arrived at a village, a pointbeyond which his porters refused to go. The missionary appealed to the local
chief . Was there someone in his village who could act as his guide to the distant
northern tribe? The chief summoned a man, tall, battle scarred, carrying a large axe. A
bargain was made and the next morning the missionary set off through the bush, following
his new guide. The way became increasingly rough and the path had all,? but disappeared.
There was an occasional mark blazed on a tree, occasionally a narrow path. Finally the
missionary called a halt. He asked the guide if he was sure he knew the way. The man
pulled himself up to his full height. "White man," he said, "you see this
axe in my hand? You see these scars on my body? With this axe I blazed the trail to the
tribal village to which we go. I came from there. These scars I received when I made the way You ask meif
I know the way? Before I came, there was no way. I am the way!"(1))
In this passage, Jesus gives us a threefold assurance:
1. How can I be saved? He is the Way!
2. How can I be sure? He is the Truth!
3. How can I be satisfied? He is the Life!
Thank God, Jesus is all you will ever need in the matter of your soul's
B. V. 12-14 Service - As we live in the here and
now, we can rest assured that Jesus will aid us in His work. He gives us a threefold
promise related to the matter of our service.
1. V. 12 He will Honor Us - Jesus declares that we will
be able to do greater works than those which He did. What He means is that they will be
greater in quantity, but not in quality! When Jesus was here, He was limited to one
geographical locality. However, when He ascended back to Heaven and sent the Holy Spirit
to indwell His people, He has the ability to be in many places working at the same time.
While Jesus was on the earth, many of His miracles were physical in nature. Now, He uses
His children to bring the Word of salvation to lost men. That is a tremendous miracle! For
that which is spiritual is always greater than that which is physical!
2. V. 13-14 He Will Hear Us - Here we are given the
blessed assurance that when we call upon the name of the Lord, He will hear us and will
move in the time of our need. It makes serving Jesus much easier to know that we do not
serve alone, but that we have His presence and His attention to our prayers. We serve a
prayer hearing and prayer answering God, Jer. 33:3.
3. V. 13-14 He Will Help Us - Not only does Jesus
promise to hear our prayers, but He also promises to move in such a way as to bring about
and answer. He listens than He goes to work on our behalf! I am glad that we do not serve
a God who has left us to make it the best way we can. No! We serve a Lord who is able to
help us by giving us that which we need day by day! (Ill. Matt. 7:7-8)
C. V. 15, 19-24 Surrender - In these verses,
Jesus speaks of about the area of our surrender to His authority. He declares that our
surrender to Him should be based in love! He tells us that 2 great truths that must not go
1. V. 15, 21, 24 The Proof Of Love - Jesus makes it
crystal clear that our obedience to Him and His word is the absolute proof of our love to
Him. Our lips can say what they please, but until our lives match our lips, we are only
2. V. 21, 23 The Promise Of Love - The promise to those
who are obedient to the Lord Jesus and His will for their lives is that He and the Father
will manifest themselves to them. That is, the believer who walks in obedient, surrendered
love will experience and influx of power from on high. The promise of love is that
surrender bring with it great authority in the work of Christ. Matt. 25:21.
D. V. 16-18, 26 The Spirit - These verses tell
of the coming of the Holy Spirit. We are given several truths about Him and His ministry
to believers that need to be looked into today.
1. V. 16a, 18 His Person - Jesus promised the Disciples
that when He went to the Father, He would ask the Father to send the
"Comforter." This Comforter is none other than the Holy Spirit. There are some
facts about this divine Person that we need to acknowledge.
A. His Title - Comforter - "paraklete" - One
who comes alongside another to offer protection and counsel. It carries the idea of and
advocate, or a lawyer. The Holy Spirit is our divine "paraklete."
B. His Personality - Another - "allos" -
Literally another of the same kind or quality. Jesus was a Comforter Himself, but the
Spirit of God is Another Comforter. One just like Jesus.
C. His Ability - v. 17 - Jesus was able to abide with
the Disciples and had been for 3 years. Now, through the coming of the Holy Spirit, He
will not abide with them, but He shall abide in them. Hence, Jesus has the ability to
promise every child of God that He will never leave them nor forsake them, but that He
will be with always, Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20.
2. V. 16b His Permanence - When the Spirit of God takes
up residence in the heart of the believer, He comes in to stay forever! As long as this
life lasts here on earth, the Spirit of God will never desert the child of God. He will
ever be present and ever be guiding us as we walk through this wicked, sin cursed world!
3. V. 17, 21, 26 His Purpose - The purpose of the
Spirit in the believer's life is manifold. These verses tell us all about His plans for us
and His purpose in coming into us at conversion.
A. To Indwell - v. 17 - At the moment of salvation, the
believer literally becomes the Temple of God. God, in the form of His Spirit, comes in and
takes up permanent residence. He dwells in the life of the believer! Just take a minute
and let that truth sink in! Our problem is that we have become so familiar with the deep
truths of the Bible that they no long hold much luster for us. We fail to see the glory in
the thought that God lives in our hearts!
B. To Invest - v. 21 - That is, He fills us with the
power to live and to labor for the Lord. Without Him, we would be able to accomplish
nothing of glory for Jesus sake. However, with Him filling us and leading us we have the
ability to accomplish things that would otherwise be impossible - Phil. 4:13.
C. To Instruct - v. 26 - One purpose of the Holy Spirit
in our lives is to instruct us in the things of God. It is the Holy Spirit who teaches
about the Bible. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals the deep things of God unto us. It is
He the Holy Spirit who teaches us how to reach our fullest potential for the glory of God.
He is a divine Instructor!
D. To Inspire - v. 26 - Again, we are reminded that He
is an encourager. When we become discouraged, the Holy Spirit in our soul rises up and
wraps the comforting arms of Heavenly love and protection around us and reminds that we
belong to Him. He encourages us to keep on running, to keep on going, to keep on living
for Jesus. He inspires us to press forward for the glory of the Lord.
E. V. 27-31 Stillness - As Jesus brings the
thoughts of chapter 14 to a close, He speaks to the Disciples troubled hearts once again.
He reminds them that He is still the Prince of Peace and that just because He is leaving,
that doesn't mean that He will remove His peace. Here, Jesus tells the Disciples that even
though their world is about to be shattered, they can face it with the assurance that they
have His peace to keep them during the difficult hours ahead.
(Ill. May I remind you that we have the same assurance today? Our world
is in turmoil, there is uncertainty all around. Yet, through it all, the saints of God are
possessed of a peace that defies all description. According to Jesus this peace is
Heavenly in origin, therefore it cannot be affected by the events of earth. Our response
in times of trouble is to lean on the peace of Jesus and trust Him to take care of His own
- Phil. 4:6-7; Isa. 26:3)
Conc: I thank the Lord today for Jesus: The Great Encourager!
I am glad that when I do not understand what is going to happen, when it seems that
everything is falling apart, when I don't know which way to turn, I can count on Jesus! He
has given us all we need today. Whether the need is for salvation of for peace of heart,
the remedy will be found in Him. I invite you to come to Jesus today and cast your cares
upon Him. Whatever you face today, you do not have to face it alone. Will you come to Jesus:
The Great Encourager right now and find the help you need?