Sermon: Don’t Be Troubled, It’s All Under Control—Jesus (Part 2) John 14:12-24

Truth Taught:When we ask Jesus for power to continue His mission He sends us the Holy Spirit who is all the power we need.

Introduction

Last week we looked specifically at Jesus’ concern over His disciples. He told them that they are not to be troubled do to the coming events because it is all taking place with a very precise purpose in mind. The cross event was not an accident but God’s decree working out in real time.

Jesus gave them reasons why they didn’t need to be troubled. He explained to them that the cross event is not something out of control but actually in God’s plan and it will accomplish a number of things. Remember He told them that at the cross He was preparing a place for them, because of the cross, He is the Way and that God is for them. We looked at each one of these in detail and also discovered we need not be troubled either because of the very same reasons.

In our text for today, our Lord continues with His teaching about where our confidence comes from and why, as His followers, we need not be troubled by the cross event or any other event in our lives that looks as if God is not running the show.

There is a slight shift in our verses today from the cross to what will take place after, from the near future to the more distant future. Jesus is very clear that after He leaves them and goes back to the Father they need not be troubled then either. He explains to His followers why that is.

While last week Jesus had His disciples in mind, first and foremost, in today’s text He explains what will take place during the interim time between His departing and His second coming. So, these verses are where we live. We are in the in between time and so these verse are especially meaningful to us.

Human Need

All Christians are called to continue Jesus’ mission. In order to do so, we must be equipped and work in the power of the Holy Spirit. This passage is a wonderful reminder of the need we have when it comes to continuing our Lord’s mission.

Matthew 4:4 (ESV)

But he answered, “It is written, “ ‘Man shall not live by bread alone,

but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”

John 14:12–24 (ESV)

12 “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. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 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. 24 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.

  1. Jesus’ Followers Will Continue His Mission in His Power

12 “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. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

Why do we not need to be troubled? Jesus is alive and well and it is through His power that His mission continues in this world.

What is Jesus’ mission?

Isaiah 61:1–2 (ESV)

61 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

because the Lord has anointed me

       to bring good news to the poor;

he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

       to proclaim liberty to the captives,

and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

   to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,

and the day of vengeance of our God;

to comfort all who mourn;

Luke 4:16–21 (ESV)

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

18    “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor.

       He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives

and recovering of sight to the blind,

to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

19    to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

So Jesus’ mission is to proclaim the Good News to the poor. In doing so, He would set free the captives, bind up the brokenhearted, set free those who are oppressed. That’s the mission Jesus’ followers are to continue.

Now we must do a little investigative work as we look to what Jesus tells us in the passage for today. If we’re going to understand what our Lord is talking about we must see the connection He makes between belief and works.
First the connection between verse 11 and 12. Verse 11: “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.” So the word “believe” and “works” occur together in verse 11 just like they come together in verse 12. Jesus’ works are designed to help people believe. Right? “Believe on account of the works.” If my verbal testimony is leaving doubts in your mind about who I am, look at my works. Let the works join with my words and lead you to faith. That’s what verse 11 says.

Then verse 12 follows: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do.” Now put verse 11 and 12 together and let the function of the works be the same in both verses. Verse 11: My works function to lead people to faith in me. Verse 12: When you believe in me, I will work in you (like a vine works in a branch, John 15:1–7), and your works, like mine, will lead people to faith.

So the connection between verses 11 and 12 goes like this: Believe in me on account of my works — let my works lead you to faith (verse 11), because whoever believes in me (verse 12a), will also do works that lead people to believe in me.[1]

John 10:25–30 (ESV)

25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

So the pattern that Jesus gave us is this: He proclaimed and worked and people the Father gave Him believed. We proclaim and work and the people the Father gives to the Son will believe.

I want us to understand something here…this is a mark of a genuine child of God. True believers, true Christians are engaged in continuing Jesus’ mission. They will in every case be proclaiming the gospel to others, doing works that prove their words such as caring for others in tangible ways, and God will add the increase.

and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father

Here, Jesus does not mean that our miracles will be greater than His but our works will be greater. How is it that our works can be greater than Jesus’ works?

What’s new and greater is that never before in the history of the world had anyone

ever been forgiven by faith in the already crucified, already risen, already reigning, already indwelling Christ.

All salvation up until now had been by anticipation, by promise of the coming Redeemer. But now — now that Jesus has gone to the Father, now that he had been crucified, buried, raised, exalted, and sent in the person of the Holy Spirit, the great purchase of forgiveness by substitution was finished once for all.[2]

13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

I want a Chevy Silverado 4X4 and a second house in Hawaii in Jesus name Amen. I said in Jesus name does that mean He will give me what I pray for?

There are two clues as to what our Lord means here.

First is the context. He is speaking about His disciples throughout the centuries continuing His work.

Secondly, the prayer does not have in Jesus name tact on to the end but it is in Jesus’ name or we could say it is a prayer Jesus would pray if He were here or even a prayer with the same focus on Jesus’ mission that He had. So we could say when we are seeking to continue Jesus’ mission while He’s away we can ask Him for the resources and He will answer our prayers. The real meaning is that they asked Him for resources and Jesus sent them the Holy Spirit. Whatever we need to continue Jesus’ mission is found in the Holy Spirit.

Notice with me how sure Jesus is and how confident that we will ask and He will answer with the gift of the Holy Spirit…

  1. Jesus’ Followers Receive Another Helper Like Him

13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

What are the works Jesus desires from His followers? Keeping His commandments. This is how the world will know we are His disciples. This is how the world we know of our commitment to Jesus and our love for Him.

How can we keep His commandments? This is where Jesus gives us the resourses we need. He asks the Father and the Father sends us the Holy Spirit. When we possess the Holy Spirit we can obey the commands of Christ, which are the works He has for us to do. We obey because of the Holy Spirit, We love Jesus because of the Holy Spirit, and we love others because God has given us His Spirit. This is very clearly stated. It’s only those who love Him that will keep His commandments.

There is another connection we must make in this text. The connection has to do with asking in prayer. Now Jesus has already told us that when we are engaged in His mission that He will give us whatever we ask Him. Specifically, He spoke these words to His first disciples before the cross and before He sent the Holy Spirit as the second Helper. Now, I really think that what we need to accomplish His mission is the Holy Spirit. The disciples asked Him for the ability and power to carry out the mission and the answer to their guided prayer is the Holy Spirit. Notice how definite Jesus’ answer is, ask anything in My name and you will receive it. Then notice how positive Jesus is that the Father will send the Holy Spirit to help.

16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

Unlike Jesus, the Holy Spirit will dwell with the church forever and will be in us. So, the One who gives us the ability to carry out Jesus’ mission and dwells within us connects us to God the Father and God the Son. The reason we love Jesus and the Father is because the Holy Spirit dwells within us as believers.

Do you remember the language Jesus used in the text last week about the fact that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him? It is the same language He uses to show that we too are in Christ and in the Father because the Holy Spirit is in us.

Notice with me in this next section how we too are included in and connected to the Trinity.

  1. Jesus Continues to Love and Care for His Followers

18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 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. 24 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.

Most scholars see a shift in this section from Jesus’ immediate followers to those who come later. It says that He will not leave them as orphans but will come to them. He says this will take place in a little while or we could say it will take place in three days. At His resurrection they will see Him again. He will come to them. Jesus also uses resurrection language to declare Because I live, you also will live.

Then comes the transition to the more distant future from the resurrection on…

20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

His statement is that after the resurrection and ascension and after Jesus is gone from the earth His followers will know that He is still alive and well and with the Father.

How will we know that? How do we know Jesus is alive and well and currently at the right hand of the Father? He tells us in the next verse…
21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.

The reason we keep His commandments is because the Holy Spirit is indwelling God’s people and that is proof that Jesus is alive and well. As we keep His commands our confidence in Christ rises. We are made more aware of His power and the fact that He has not left us as orphans. Doing His works, continuing His ministry, and obeying His commands are what every Christian does because we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit.

The world does not possess the Holy Spirit therefore it doesn’t see Christ as we do. The world does not treasure Christ and love Him and keep His word because they do not have the Holy Spirit.

Application

We have the early disciples praying and we have Jesus answering by going to the Father and the Father sending the Holy Spirit to indwell all believers. I wanted by way of application show what types of things the Holy Spirit does in our lives. One thing to always remember is His primary task is to empower us to continue Jesus’ mission.

The Holy Spirit helps us worship God correctly-

John 4:23–24 (ESV)

23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The Holy Spirit helps us pray-

Romans 8:26

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

The Holy Spirit Prays for Us-

Romans 8:27

27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
The Holy Spirit teaches us the Words of Christ
John 14:26 (ESV)

26 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.
Reminds us that Jesus loves us-
Romans 5:5 (ESV)

and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

We could keep going but we see that the Holy Spirit’s main focus is to equip us to fulfill Jesus’ mission. He does not empower us so that we’re glorified but He empowers us so that God is glorified.

You might think, I can’t share the Gospel I don’t know what to say…

Matthew 10:19–20 (ESV)

19 When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

All the resources we need to continue Jesus’ work has been given to us because we possess the Holy Spirit.

We have everything we need to continue Jesus’ work. Beloved do not be troubled Jesus is alive and well, He cares for us and has sent us the Holy Spirit. Be bold for Christ and watch how the Holy Spirit works through us.

 

 

 

 

[1] John Piper

[2] ibid

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