A Few Thoughts on John 14.

In this chapter the Lord is inside with His own intimating to them His departure to be with the Father. Laying aside His garments He takes the attitude of a servant in washing the disciples' feet, teaching them that moral suitability must be theirs if they are to have part with Him in the place into which He was about to enter. Then in chapter 14 He opens out to them the Father's House, the place from whence He came, and where He has ever the joy and delight of the Father's affections. All that the Father is is treasured in the affections of the Son, and all that the Son is is enshrined in the Father's heart. As Man, the Son is about to enter that scene of holy delight and joy, and He tells His own that His great joy will be to have them with Him there.

He opens out to them in John 14:6 what He is, showing that if we approach the Father it must be through the Son. Paul speaking also of this says, "Through Him we both (Jew and Gentile) have access by one Spirit to the Father (Eph. 2:18). He is also the Truth, the divine revelation of all that the Father is in grace. In Him alone shines out all the holy love and affections of the Father, creating in our hearts a response to all that He is, thus securing worshippers for Himself. The Father is also revealed in the words of the Son which bring out the details of those blessed communications made known to His own; His works giving the outward expression of the revelation in power. How our souls adore as we contemplate the patient way in which our God has been pleased to make Himself known.

John 14:12 is the continuation of that revelation in His own because He has gone to the Father; while John 14:15 shows that we are to be marked by love and obedience during His absence. The life that was manifested in the Son, and that in keeping His Father's commandments, is to be manifested in us, through keeping His commandments. His Name was ever available before the Father for that rich supply of grace through which the Father is glorified in the Son; in the manifestation of the features of Christ in His own.

At the request of the Son, in sending the Comforter, the Father makes full provision for maintaining all the interests of Christ. But the Comforter is also the Spirit of Truth, and brings out the moral characteristics seen down here in the Son. Dwelling in us the Spirit maintains in us the power of what is divine; and as being with us He carries out everything for God in separation from all that is of the world. He would not leave His own orphans in the world, and in resurrection He sees them again, taking His place in their midst, bringing joy and gladness to their hearts. It is as beyond death that we live with Him, in a life that death cannot touch, in a life that gives pleasure to the eye and heart of the Father. The present knowledge of the Son dwelling in the affections of the Father, and our dwelling in His, opens out to us that circle of divine affections which we shall for ever enjoy. The Son is also in us to bring out in manifestation His own moral features.

From John 14:21 we have what is individual, "He that hath my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves Me." The keeping of His commandments is the proof of our love to Him. All that was so blessedly manifested in Him is to come out in His own; the life that was in Him, the grace that so richly cared for them, and the love with which He deeply loved them. As these things are kept by us we are blessedly compensated in being loved by the Father, and being loved by the Son. What a precious portion for us! Then again the obedient one has the secret spiritual manifestation which sustains Him in power that will carry him triumphantly through all here until the end. John, in the Isle of Patmos, would enjoy all the blessedness of this manifestation, giving him a rich taste of all that was divine.

In John 14:23 we come to the keeping of His word, that testimony so blessedly set forth in John 8 by the Sent One of the Father, a testimony that presented to man the wealth of the Father's grace, but which he refused and set at naught in his hatred to God. God was not speaking from the mount that might be touched, but in grace that man might be brought near to Him. This is the word that the overcomer keeps, which when cherished in the heart enriches the spirit, and causes responsive affection to the Father and the Son. The Spirit has also been given that all the precious ministry of Jesus might be retained and recorded, so that those who would be brought in through the word of the disciples might through it enter into and enjoy all the varied glories, beauties, and moral excellencies of the blessed Person who gave continual delight and joy to God the Father.

The closing verses of this wonderful chapter show us the Prince of this world finding no response when he comes to the Son. What a great moral triumph over the originator of all evil in this world. The Son's love to the Father is manifested in His going to the cross, in accepting every-thing from the Father's hand, and in bowing in lowly submission to His will, so that all the counsels of divine love should be brought to light for the joy and pleasure of the Father.
R. Duncanson.