John 14:25-31 The Upper Room Discourse

My Peace I Give to You

In today’s sermon text we continue on in Jesus’ farewell address. He is preparing them for the extreme events that would soon take place. Jesus knew that His time had come and the disciples had begun to feel the pressure. They did not want to believe that what Jesus said would take place, but it would be inevitable, even necessary for both them and us. To help them process it all Jesus foretold things that would take place and made several promises. He tells them that Holy Spirit would come to teach and remind them of all these things, Jesus would give them a peace that they could get no where else, and He would have victory through all of the offenses of the adversary. This is what Christians need to take confidence in and this is what the world needs to hear proclaimed from the church.

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Teach and Bring to Your Remembrance [25-26]
Jesus now returns to His teaching on the Holy Spirit and He tells us two activities that the Spirit will be involved in: teaching and reminding. In this role, the Spirit is once again appropriately called the Helper (or Counselor). This is the ministry that the Lord Jesus had among His disciples even until that hour as He spoke in the upper room. Verse twenty-five rings the bell again of Christ’s impending death. He was speaking these things while still with them, but in a short time He will no longer be with them. They would need another teacher and the Spirit would continue that ministry among the disciples. Remember back to verse sixteen when Jesus said that He would pray the Father to send “another Helper,” that is another of the exact same kind. Everything that the Spirit is said to do in these chapters is precisely what Jesus had done during His earthly ministry. It is also noteworthy that Jesus says the Holy Spirit would be sent by the Father in His name. To be sent in someone’s name is to be their representative or ambassador. Thus, the Spirit comes as a representative of Jesus who, likewise, came in the name of the Father as His representative. In John 5:43 Jesus says, “I have come in My Father’s name…” Now we learn that the Spirit comes in Jesus’ name.

The Spirit’s teaching ministry will build upon the foundation that Jesus laid. It will not be something all-together new or different. The disciples have been shown to misunderstand Jesus on many occasions, even here in the upper room, and it would be a chief responsibility of the Spirit to make those teachings understandable. The Spirit would teach them what it all meant and the significance of it all (Carson, 505). Now, let’s be clear that this promise was primarily to the first disciples of Jesus in the first century. This explains to us how they came to a thorough and complete knowledge of Jesus which is conveyed to us through the apostolic teaching of the New Testament. In His role as teacher, the Spirit did and does not bring about new teaching, but makes clear the teaching of and about our Lord Jesus Christ. Notice that both the teaching and reminding are followed by “that I said to you.” The Spirit would teach what Jesus had said.

One major reason I can make these statements is because Jesus links the Spirit’s ministry of teaching with His ministry of reminding. The two must go hand-in-hand. The ministry of reminding is a valuable function to the history of Christianity. Have you ever wondered how the Apostles could remember all the things that Jesus said and did? The Gospels were probably written about thirty years after Christ and that doesn’t seem so great a time lapse. Many of you can remember things vividly from thirty years ago. Yet, consider the large quotes of Jesus found in the Gospels. Paragraphs upon paragraphs are “written in red” as the words of Jesus. How could they remember such large amounts of Jesus words? Many factors may have contributed, but I will tell you the main reason: the Spirit brought to their remembrance all the things that Jesus said, just as Jesus promised He would there in the upper room! That is vastly important.

These two functions, teaching and reminding, are not to be taken separately. The Spirit would do both at the same time in the life of the Apostles. Let me show you a couple examples from John’s Gospel of the Spirit calling to his remembrance certain things and teaching him (see John 2:19-22 and 12:16). So, here is the question that you may have: Does the Spirit still teach and remind me of all the things of Jesus? I think the answer is yes, but in a different way. He is not uniquely inspiring us to write Scripture. We do not need to independently come to a complete knowledge of Jesus Christ because we have it expressly communicated to us in the New Testament. What the Spirit will do is help you to understand the Bible. There is no doubt in my mind that I can understand the Bible because God’s Spirit has illuminated it for me and I have no doubt that the Spirit calls to my mind the Scriptures on several occasions.

My Peace I Give to You [27]
“Peace” does not mean free from conflict. In fact, Jesus would face conflict that night and the very next day as He was beaten and crucified. It is the traditional Jewish word used for greetings and farewells. This peace is trust in the purposes of God. It is knowing and resting on the promise that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” This peace is a gift that is provided by Jesus Christ. The world can not give this gift because it does not possess it. In Jeremiah 6:14, the Lord criticizes the people for “saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace.” This is a particular peace that Jesus leaves for them. He calls it “My peace.” Colossians 1:19-20 declares exactly what that peace entails: “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”

In light of the promise that Jesus has just made, He once again affirms, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Listen, Christians, do not let your heart continue to be troubled or afraid. Peace with Almighty God has been secured for you by the blood of Christ’s cross. Now rest in faith knowing that the purposes of God will come to pass and you have been called according to His purpose. You are included in His eternal plans.

When It Does Come to Pass [28-29]
The Lord repeatedly declares His departure. This is what drives the anxiety in the room. Yet, Jesus must go to the Father for the peace to be given to the disciples. Going to the Father would mean that He had gone to the cross. Going to the Father would mean that He had died, but had been raised again. This should bring joy to the disciples, if they truly loved Him, but Jesus implies that they are not rejoicing and therefore they do not love Him. This must have come as a shock to the men in that upper room. If they really loved Him, then they would have rejoiced that He was going back to the Father. For the “Father is greater than” Jesus, meaning the Father is in a greater state than the Son. In reality, the Father was in a place of undiminished glory, while the Son was here in the world as flesh and blood (see Carson, 508).

Do you understand what He is saying? If the disciples really loved Jesus then they would have put aside their emotions and rejoiced for/with Him that He was returning to the glory which He had with the Father before He became a man.

The whole point of Jesus telling them these things, the entire reason for His farewell address is so that they may believe. Major events were going to unfold and Jesus told them what would happen before it did. He did not want their faith to be dissipated because of what would happen. The Apostle John tells us in chapter one, verse twelve “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” Then he tells us even more directly in chapter twenty, verse twenty-one why he wrote the Gospel. He says, “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” It is obvious that the Apostle wanted his readers to believe and he wants you to believe. It is also apparent that Jesus stressed this as well. In chapter six the people asked Jesus, “’What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved! Believe that He is who He claimed to be: Master, Savior, Son of God, Christ, the Way to the Father.

The Ruler of this World is Coming [30-31]
Jesus literally did not have much more time to talk. His hour had come and He was fully aware of it. The time had come for the ruler of this world to come for the Son. “Ruler/Prince of this world” or any variation thereof is commonly used of Satan in the New Testament. Though that may also be discouraging news, Jesus quickly follows it with the message “and he has nothing in Me.” That phrase means that Satan has no hold on or has no claim on Jesus (Carson, 508). “Jesus is not of this world (8:23), and he has never sinned (8:46)” (Carson, 509). Therefore, the Devil has nothing to use against Jesus.

How is it that Jesus avoided supplying evidence against Himself? He maintained sinless perfection by proving His love for the Father. He constantly kept the Father’s commandment before Him and did what it said. He was obedient to the Father, even unto death. Satan had nothing on Him. The cross would appear to be a symbol of Satan’s victory over the Son of God, but it will be forever the mark of Christ’s ultimate overthrowing of Satan and his influence. This is what the world needs to know. This is what we must proclaim to the world. Christ has won!

“Arise, let us go from here” seems oddly placed in the discourse because Jesus goes on speaking for two more chapters and then prays for another entire chapter. Some have made the case that Jesus and the disciples left the upper room at this point and that the remainder of the discourse was said on the road. That would mean chapters fifteen, sixteen, and seventeen would not be part of the “Upper Room Discourse.” Others have seen a theological meaning behind this phrase as if to say, The ruler of this world is coming…Arise, let us go to meet him! Yet, I think it is simple enough to understand that Jesus intended to begin wrapping it up at this point, but continued on teaching instead. How many of you have ever heard a preacher say “In conclusion…” and then go on to preach another whole sermon? The atmosphere of that upper room must have been intense and emotional from the time that Jesus stood to wash their feet. In verse thirty-one, Jesus had come to a climax in His farewell address. Judas would betray Jesus, Peter would deny Him, the ruler of this world was prowling toward Him, Jesus would soon die and be physically with the disciples no longer. The deal is now all out on the table.

Rejoice this day because Jesus has returned to the right hand of the Father. He has been glorified: crucified, resurrected, and ascended back to heaven. The prince of this world came up against the Son of God and was no match for our Lord. He has secured peace for all those who believe in Him. That peace He gives to you. You can not earn it and the world can not give it to you.

And He has sent His Spirit to dwell in each one of us who have received Him. The Holy Spirit will teach you about this peace and all the things of Jesus. He will continually remind you of all the things that Jesus has said and done. It is the Apostle Paul who continued this teaching when in Romans 5 he tells Christians that the Holy Spirit has been given to us and one of the things the Spirit does is pour out the love of God into our hearts. Over and over again, the Spirit declares to our hearts the Good News of Christ.

The Lord has told us these things so that we will believe. He wants you to believe that He is who He claims to be. Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”