The Promise of the Lord's Return - John 14:1-14

Expositions by H. A. Wilson

Taken from Grace and Truth Magazine 1923


Memory Verse — John 14:1-3

Many times God's ways may be hidden from us, but we should trust Him, even when we can least understand. If we will only do this He will be glorified and will cause all things to work together in a way far better than we could have chosen for ourselves. Today's lesson shows us how eagerly the heart of God yearns for this kind of trust. Jesus appealed to the disciples to trust Him, even though He must leave them for a time. He promised to return to receive them unto Himself. He declared that they knew the way to the Father's house and explained what He meant by this. He promised the disciples rich fellowship with Himself during the time of their waiting for His return. And He promised to hear and to answer their prayers. Evidently Jesus was looking beyond the temporary separation caused by the Cross, to the longer period during which He would be absent following His ascension. In His loving thoughtfulness He was seeking to prepare His disciples for that time, and to teach them the sorely needed lesson of trust.


John 14:1-2

The believer needs to do more than to receive the Saviour. He needs to trust Him after believing, so Jesus said to the disciples, "Ye believe in God, believe also in Me." In this He refers to the two aspects of faith. The initial faith of the believer, in which he accepts Jesus as his Saviour, guarantees the salvation of his soul. But in order to enjoy his Christian life he must further learn to trust himself into the Lord's hands. If He can be trusted to save our souls, surely we can trust Him to direct our lives to the best advantage. Phil. 4:6-7; II Cor. 4:17-18; Lam. 3:22-26.

Though we may not understand how it can be, everything which God permits to come into the lives of His children is intended for blessing. In a far greater and more real sense than we appreciate, God cares for us and watches over us. He loves us as a father loves his children, and He has the same minute interest in our lives as a good father has in the lives of his children. Though we cannot see Him, let us believe and trust His promise to cause all things to work together for our good. In this way we shall find that we are kept from wrong. In this way we may avoid letting our hearts be troubled. Rom. 8:28; I Cor. 10:13; Ps. 103:13; Phil 4:6-7; Isa. 26:3.


John 14:3

But though Jesus must leave the disciples for a little season, He promised to come again and to receive them unto Himself. So, though now we walk by faith and not by sight, we have this blessed hope set before us, that He is coming again. And when He comes we shall he reunited with Him, never to be parted again. Acts 1;11; Titus 2:11-13.

When Christ docs come again ice shall understand those things which puzzle us now. We will then realize that the time of His absence was spent in ministering for us. We will see that He was preparing a place for us. We will see that He was walking by our side, though invisible, all the time when we were tempted to doubt. We will then understand His care for us, and will then perceive the outworking of God's plan in our lives. I Cor. 13:12-13.


John 14:4-6

Jesus said to the disciples, "Whither I go ye know and the way ye know." Then He explained, saying to them, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." In Him we have access into the presence of God. In Him we see the very substance of God's Truth, and in Him we have eternal life. If in some way, Jesus were to be taken out of the Bible, there would be nothing left. If He were to be taken out of the plan for our redemption, we would be lost and undone, blasted by the wrath of God and eternally exiled from His presence. Col. 1:14; Acts 4:12.

Jesus is the way in more respects than one. He is the Way by which the guilty sinner enters into the presence of God and finds pardon and cleansing from his sin. He is the Way by which the Christian comes boldly to the throne of grace and obtains mercy and finds grace to help in the time of need. He is the Way by which power is transmitted from the Godhead into the lives of believers. He is the Way by which some day we shall enter the eternal fellowship of the saints with the Lord. Thank God for the access which we have to the Father through Him. Rim. 5:21; Eph. 2:18; 3:12; Heb. 10:22; Heb. 4:16.


John 14:7-1 1

But if Jesus brings men to God, He also brings God to men. So closely are the Father and the Son united in the Godhead, that Jesus reveals to men all that they know of God. Many imaginations about God exist in the world. But humanly invented gods never exhibit the characteristics which Jesus has shown us are the true characteristics of God. Apart from Jesus and what the Bible teaches about Him men can have no conception of the holiness, the love, the wisdom, and the power of God. When we know Him we know the Father also, for they are one. Col. 2:9; II Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:14; Jno. 1:18.


John 14:12

Jesus promised that His followers should do His works, and that they should do even greater works. This promise has been terribly perverted and misapplied. "Divine healers" in particular base their claims to healing and miracle-working power upon this promise. But there never has arisen a single one who could even approximate the miracles which Jesus performed, much less excel in them. In these words Jesus was not promising power to work physical miracles primarily, but He was offering His followers the opportunity to fellowship with Him in His ministry to the souls of men. That was the far greater part of Jesus' work. He came not primarily to heal men's bodies, but to save their souls. How foolish then it is for men to emphasize miracles and signs and forget the transcendent privilege of soul-winning. Luke 19:10; I Tim. 1:15; Matt. 4:19; II Cor. 5:18-20; Prov. 11:30.

The priceless privilege of believers is telling the lost of the Saviour. In this we become workers together with Christ. And how blessed it is that we do not have to depend upon ourselves in this ministry. The One Who gave us this precious privilege will work through us and give power to perform our task. V^'hat a blessed companionship, — what a happy fellowship, is ours in this God-given ministry of soul-winning! I Cor. 3:9; Rom. 6:13; Jude 23; II Cor. 5:18-20.


John 14:13-14

But let us not forget that we may also. fellowship with Him in the ministry of intercession. Jesus' present occupation is intercession for those who come unto God by Him. He is pleading the blood on our behalf at the throne of grace. And He has called us to engage in earnest prayer. We may share with Him the burden of i intercession for His people. How reasonable it is that we should do this! He has given us a definite promise, "If ye ask anything in My Name I will do it." Christians have never fully realized the precious privilege which is theirs in communing with God in the hour of prayer. Heb. 7:28; I Tim. 2:1-2; Eph. 6:18.

But prayer does more than to bless the believer. It brings glory to the Father. "Whatsoever ye shall ask in My Name, that will I do that the Father may be glorified in the Son." When believers pray, God works through their prayers. He works to save the lost. He works to bless the saved. He works to transform lives into His own likeness. He works to manifest His faithfulness. Thus our prayers become the channel through which God manifests His glory to the world. Surely when we have such clear indication that thereby He will be glorified, we ought to pray more earnestly. II Thes. 5:17.