When you've seen Me, you've seen the Father. I am the bridge, I am the path, I am the way to the Father, I came to reveal the Father. Now look at verse 12. Now He is going to say that there is an assignment. “We have been talking about this the whole time. Your assignment is to do the very thing that I have been doing. I am going to leave and you are going to reveal the Father to the whole world.”
Look at verse 12. Verse 12 He says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing.” What has He been doing? Revealing the Father. How? By His words and His miracles.
“He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” He says not quantitatively, but qualitatively. You all will have far more impact than the thirty or thirty-three years that I lived on the earth. You will have far more impact than this little piece of geography. You’re going to do things that, literally, transform the world. And it’s true. It has happened.
And then notice this amazing promise. He says, “And I will do whatever you ask in My name,” focus, “so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it.”
And so He is not only comforting them; and, Yes, it’s not what you expect, but I have a different agenda. It’s a better agenda. Then the question comes up: “How are we going to pull this off? How in the world could we do greater works? We are actually scared to death right now.”
And notice He is going to tell them, He is going to say, get this down, He is going to say, You all are uptight because you feel like you are going to be orphans and abandoned. You are uptight because all you can think about are the circumstances and the fear and what might happen later tonight. You guys are uptight because the agenda that you thought I had you own, guess what? The outcome is going to be better and greater, but the way to get there is going to be really different.
I want you to know that I am going to give you something better and richer and deeper than you have ever known. You think it’s been great to walk with Me on these dusty roads and we talk together and we share together and I have put My arm around you, and we have done counseling and you were used by Me. I am going to tell you that every, single one of you and every future follower will never have to wait in line to talk to Me.
He is going to say, The Holy Spirit is going to be sent, and He is going to live inside of every believer. And this Holy Spirit will bring the very presence of the Father and the Son to live inside of every believer in this new thing called a New Covenant, so that you can have access and power and conversation, 24/7.
Notice He explains it in the very next section, verses 15 through 21. He says, “If you love Me,” literally, “if you keep on loving Me, you will obey what I command.” Remember, He just commanded them, “Ask of anything. Your goal is to reveal the Father.”
“Now, if you obey Me in this journey of revealing the Father, ask Me whatever you wish, and I will ask the Father, and He will give you another counselor,” literally, another advocate. The word is paraclete. One who is called alongside, right next to you, to give you everything that you need.
The word was used for a lawyer, it was used for a helper, it was used for a counselor. In other words, but the word “another,” are you ready for this? It’s another of the same kind.
There are two words in Greek. Heteros, hetero, homo – hetero: different; homo: the same. This is the word, not another, another of the same kind. In other words, Everything you have experienced in Me, in our conversations, in My love, in My heart – exactly of the same kind I am going to send the Holy Spirit.
“And He will be with you,” – how long? What does it say? Look. “…forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him or knows Him. But you know Him,” by way of experience, “for He lives with you and He will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see Me anymore, but you will see Me. Because I live,” resurrection, “you will also live. On that day,” about three or four days later, “you will realize that I am in the Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.”
And then He sums it up, look at verse 15, “If you really love Me, you will obey My commands.” Look at verse 21 as He closes up, “He that has My commands and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And I will love him and I will disclose,” literally, “reveal,” or, “manifest. I will make Myself known.”
What is the fear? You are going away. What is the answer? The Spirit of God will live in you, and I am going to make Myself known to you. In other words, I will speak to you more clearly, more intimately, more often than even…
In fact, later on He will say, If you really understood what was going on, you would be happy I am leaving, because your deal gets better. I am going to live within you.
Notice that line He said, “You know Him because He has been with you.” Right? These disciples have experienced the Holy Spirit. Remember when they were sent out on the mission? They cast out demons, they preached, they healed people. They have seen God’s Spirit.
He said, “But He was with you,” here’s the difference. “He is with you, but now He is going to be,” – what does it say? “…in you.”
He is blowing their minds. The problem with us today, we sort of, Oh yeah, that’s right. Jesus lives in you. I received Jesus. He came into my life. We have lost what that means. And we have lost the awe and the opportunity of what God has given us.
Well, Judas (not Iscariot) is tracking with Him and he goes, “Okay, You’re going to reveal yourself to us. Well, how are You going to reveal Yourself to us disciples and the whole world not see it?”
And so we pick it up in verse 22. Verse 22, Jesus is confronted with Judas, (not Iscariot), “But, Lord, why do You intend to show Yourself to us and not to the world?”
Jesus replied, are you starting to get this connection? “If anyone loves Me, He will obey My teaching. My Father will love him,” and notice the change, not I, “we will come to him and make our home with him.”
Are you understanding what He is saying? The Second Person of the Trinity, God in flesh, leaving, says, “I am going to be with the Father; I am the path. If you continue to follow and obey My teaching, I will reveal Myself to you. But as you do that, the Father and the Son, we will come and,” literally, “your heart, your inner person will become the home,” literally, “the dwelling place of the Eternal God.”
Have you ever, do you get that? Christianity is not like: be a good person, try really hard, have a little bit better morality, be nice. It’s about a supernatural relationship with your Creator, where the Spirit of God manifests, makes known.
And a little bit later, some of you are thinking, I’m not experiencing a whole lot of that, so you better get to that part soon. I will. Okay? I will.
And what you are going to see is it is so, Jesus is so profound and so simple and so clear and so loving. He didn’t write a book for rocket scientists and all of you Ph.Ds. – God bless you all. But there are some of us simple people. It’s just got to be clear. But what happens is we get it all “religiony.” And we miss the point.
Finally, Judas gets his question answered and Jesus says, “All these things I have spoken to you while I am still here. But the Counselor, the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name,” here’s the promise, “He will teach you all things and He will remind you of everything that I have said to you.”
So here is My gift, “My peace I leave with You. I don’t give you peace like the world.” There is a supernatural peace of knowing the future is secure, the Spirit of God lives in you. You know where you’re going. I am going to take care of you, the worst that could ever happen to anyone is to die. And the moment that happened, you would be ushered into My presence. And there is a forever and an ever and an ever and an ever called “eternity.” I want you to know, that one is done. It’s solved. But in between times, I am going to give you a supernatural ability to not respond in fear and worry.
Literally this: “Let your heart not be troubled,” it’s, “Let your heart be at ease.” I might even translate it, “Lighten up. Lean back. I got this. I got this and I’ve got you. And it is going to be okay.”
And for some, I am going to deliver you completely out of some hard stuff. And for others, I am going to deliver you right through it. And for others, I am going to deliver you to Myself, because you are that precious. You can’t lose with Me.
“So be at peace. Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Don’t be afraid. You heard Me say, ‘I am going away; I am coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would be glad that I am going to Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you before it happens,” there are no surprises, guys! I didn’t say it was going to be easy, but there are no surprises.
“I told you before it happens, so when it does you can believe. Now, I am not going to speak to you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. But he has no hold on Me.” There is a dark day coming. The world is going to get dark, and Satan is going to have his day, and he is going to think that it has all been won, because the Son of God is going to die. And when He dies, He is going to defeat death when He is risen from the dead. He is going to defeat sin and He is going to defeat Satan.
So He is going to say to these guys, notice the very last line, “I need to demonstrate My love for the Father, because I will do exactly as He asks.” How does Jesus connect His love for the Father? It’s with His submission and obedience to the Father’s will.
And could I remind you, emotionally? If Jesus was going with: If it feels good, do it – He wouldn’t have done it. Do you remember at the garden? Remember when He was praying? Remember when He was sweating great drops of blood?
Sometimes we think Jesus had a big “S” on His chest. When it got really hard, He turned into God. Fully God, fully man! Hypostatic union without confusion. He died as a man. Every emotion, every temptation, every struggle, every fear, every doubt that any human being has ever had, Jesus had as a man. And He did not turn on His “God aspect.” He came and as a man, He submitted to the Father’s will, powered by the Holy Spirit to give His life away for you, knowing He would be beaten to a pulp, knowing that there would be a moment in time when the Father would turn away because sin would be placed on Him for you and for me.
But who, for the joy set before Him said, “I will endure that,” – why? Because He loves you. He loves me. And He says, “I want the world to know I love the Father. And the example is why I obeyed Him.”
The connection, verse 15; the connection, verse 21; the connection, verse 31, “If you love Me, you obey; if you love Me, you obey.”
“If you love Me,” doesn’t mean you don’t struggle, but you don’t log on to porn and you don’t have affairs, If you love Me. If you love Me, you don’t walk off with the trainer and leave me with two kids. If you love Me, you don’t say, “Oh, I’m on your team,” but not show up.
Love and obedience - obedience is not some external, I’ve got to do the right thing, I’m trying to earn someone’s favor. Obedience flows out of a…did you notice? Go through the text later this afternoon and every time the word “know” after the very first, circle it, circle it, circle it, circle. “If you knew Me, if you knew Me, don’t you know, don’t you know?” It’s about knowing and intimacy and love.
When you love someone, you care about their outcome and their concern more than yourself.
Now, I understand that is a clear story and this is history and what has happened. But as I go through things like this, sometimes I feel like maybe it’s the teacher in me or I tend to be pretty strategic and linear.
So what I did is I took everything that we have learned that I thought, I am going to put that in six clear points and just say, “Okay, because God loves me, here are six things that are true that come out of this text.”
And then I am going to give you just a little bit of warning. Here’s how I want you to list, because I am going to go through them very quickly. I want you to think, This is true of me, because God loves me, this is true of me. This is true of me. So, are you ready? Let me just summarize what you have already learned.
Because God loves me, Jesus is preparing a place for me with the Father. I don’t know what you’re going through, but right now, at this instant, He is preparing a place for you personally, if you know Him.
Because God loves me, God sent Jesus to make a way for me to be with the Father. He is the path, He is the road, He is the way, He revealed the Father. It’s a gift.
Because God loves me, He sent Jesus to reveal to me what God is really like. You can know Him personally. It’s not some vague, religious concept. You can know His heart. The Holy Spirit isn’t an “it.” It’s not a force. It’s a person.
We can make Him sad, we can make Him happy, He wants to talk to you, He wants to speak to you, He wants you to know what He wants you to do. He wants to reveal things to you, He wants to put His arm around you, He wants to give you the kind of strength I saw at my breakfast where someone looked me in the eye in the midst of stage four cancer and said, “I’m not afraid.”
And then told me amazing things where God, people he hardly, or didn’t even know where God is beginning to minister to him to say, Hey, I just want you to know, you’re going through this, I love you. I haven’t forgotten you. And He wants you to get that.
Because God loves me, number four, He will use me greatly and hear me always. Isn’t it amazing to think that the One who spoke the maybe between one hundred and two hundred billion galaxies into existence is, like, Hey, I’d like you to be on My team. I made everything, but I would like you to be on My team and I want you to follow Jesus and I want you to reveal to people, by your words and your actions, exactly like Jesus did. And, by the way, I’ll give you the power. I want to know you. I love you.
Because He loves me, He sent the Holy Spirit, notice, to live inside of me to make known or to manifest the presence, the personality, and the power of Jesus, 24/7.
You have the ability to have a deeper, more intimate relationship with Jesus than Peter, James, John, or any disciple that walked on the face of the earth on those dusty trails. Deeper.
Finally, because He loves me, He gives me peace even in a world of turmoil by defeating death, sin, and Satan.
Do you know how free you are when you get really clear? Do I want to? Not anytime soon. I am not afraid to die. Peace. Sin, addictions, temptations – do I struggle with them? Yes. They have no power over me. I am not a prisoner. I have peace, I have freedom. Satan is an enemy. There is evil in the world, but greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world. That’s who you are.
Now, are you ready? Here’s what I want you to do. Our ushers are going to pass out the Lord’s Supper and we will partake of it at the end. I want you to hold these two thing, and just look at it through those six things. And instead of like, Oh, God loves me – some vague feeling – those six things are how much and how He loves you.
I want you to just let it soak in and just start to ask yourself, Oh, would You help me to believe and receive and understand what a priceless, amazing, awesome, supernatural love this is for just regular people like you and me?
Number five, because I love God, I will submit my heart and my mind and will obey the Holy Spirit’s direction through His Word, His people, and His promptings.
Can I encourage you to put a little asterisk here? This may be the pivotal point. Because a lot of what I have said, I am astute enough in my own life, and I know lots of you, is this idea that God is so personal and so real and He speaks and all this, is like you are going, You know what? Good for you, dude! I’m not getting a lot of that. Right? I don’t hear these promptings. I’m not having these amazing answers to prayer and I don’t really feel or experience God all that much.
Listen, listen carefully. Obedience is the organ through which intimacy with God is obtained. It’s not knowledge, it’s not religious activity, it’s not trying hard, it’s not trying to be moral. Jesus said over and over and over – what? “If you love Me, obey Me.”
So here’s the thing: Has God spoken to you? Has God spoken to you about something? If you respond to the light that He gives you, and it might be: Forgive so-and-so, or forgive your mom, forgive your dad, forgive your ex, forgive your business partner.
And down deep, No, I’m not doing that. Then guess what? You don’t get more light. He says, Deal with the lust in your life. Deal with your greed. Resolve this issue. He has been nudging you, Go to counseling and work on this marriage. No, I’m not doing that, but I’ll go serve in the church. He doesn’t want you to serve in the church!
He wants you to respond to the area that He has put His finger on, because He loves you. If you do take a baby step, He will give you more light. And as you take that step, He will manifest, He will make Himself known, there will be more power, there will be more joy.
Every time I take a step toward God, what He wants me to do: More, more, more. By the same token, the opposite is true. You can be involved in Bible studies and you can come to church and you can have a morality that is better than people. But if He has put His finger on, You have never forgiven your father. Or, You have this private addiction with TV or with the Internet, or, You’re trying to juggle your life.
How many times are your kids or your wife or your husband going to say, “Are you going to live for work? Or are you going to live for what really matters?” And you keep telling, “Yeah, yeah. Right after this big deal, it’s all going to be okay.” Stop! Knock it off!
Do what God is speaking to you to do, and I am going to tell you, and then you’re going to go, I can’t! Of course you can’t! And so you say, Lord, I can’t forgive him. But I choose to do it, and then I will tell you, this will open up. And then you will need people. And then He will speak to you. And then He will give you peace.
I walked in the coffee shop early this morning and a guy walked up to me and he goes, “Man, can I say something to you?” I said, “Well, sure. We’re just hanging out.” He said, “Can I just say thanks to you and this church?” I said, “Why?” He said, “Well, I’m at City Team and I’m starting an internship and I am going to get to help other people.” I said, “That’s great.” He goes, “No, no, I met you a year ago. But you don’t recognize me.” I said, “Why?” He said, “I had hair down to here and I have a ten-year heroin habit. And I came here and I am forgiven, I am clean.”
And, by the way, I don’t have any problem with people having hair down to here. He was just telling me that…a little difference, right? Jesus had pretty long hair, I’m pretty sure. But his point was: My life has been…he responded to that issue. What is yours? Just respond to it.
Now, are you afraid? Of course you are. Obedience to God requires faith and courage and usually help. Everything I am telling you, I can’t do. I praise God I’ve got a wife who walks through it with me and close friends who…all this is true of me. And He wants me to do that and I don’t want to do it. And then I realize I’ll be stuck.
How many of you are stuck? How would you like to get unstuck? Well, it’s not some big, big deal. Take the next step. Maybe He has been saying, I’d kind of like you to read My Word. I’d like to speak to you. Or maybe, Could you not rush talking all the time? Could we have a long, easygoing conversation? I don’t know what it is.
The final thing is: Because I love God, I refuse to worry. I’m just going to let my heart be at ease. Now you say, I can’t. Of course you can’t. Your mind goes certain places, you’re putting certain things in your mind. You can choose to put your mind on other things, and as you do, we have learned here how not to worry.
The very back page, which you all are there, I like the turning of the pages, that’s really good, is I bet you can, what is the relationship? Where do we start? What is the relationship between love and obedience? Love does what? Could you fill it in? Oh my gosh, I failed!
Love obeys. But, see, obedience that flows out of love is different than outward performance or moral conformity that flows out of guilt. It’s like night and day. And I know that you all really love God.