On the night Jesus was betrayed he took the role of a servant and washed the disciples feet. Knowing that he was above all creation, he took the role of a servant to serve those that were below him. Yet Jesus knows that there is still more the disciples will need in the time to come. Simply serving them is not enough. They need something else.
After informing Peter that he will deny him three times, Jesus noticed his troubled look. Peter, being one of the first disciples and (by looking forward a bit) the leader of this group following Jesus, must have been hurt by Jesus’ proclamation that he would not stay true. Jesus looks at him and says that he is going to prepare a place for him and will receive him back. We know Jesus is speaking directly to Peter because of the usage of the word σύ (pronounced like “Sue”) in the Greek. This word is a singular second person personal pronoun. So Jesus is seeking to comfort Peter. He says to him, I know that you are going to deny me, but I am going to prepare a place for you to welcome you back in spite of what you have done.
“Forgiving and being forgiven are two names for the same thing. The important thing is that a discord has been resolved.”
— CS Lewis
Overhearing this conversation, Thomas says “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” (John 14:5, NASB) and Philip requests, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us” (John 14:8, NASB). Jesus’ response is that he is the revelation of God in the flesh. To know Jesus, is to know God, and therefore the path is laid out by the teachings Jesus has given. Jesus says, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father; … Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me” (John 14:9b & 14:11a, NASB). Jesus tells the disciples that by keeping to the teachings he has given, they know the way to God and in this way they can follow him.
“The Christian life is not adding Jesus to one’s own way of life but renouncing that personal way of life for His and being willing to pay whatever cost that my require.”
— John McArthur
Jesus then promises a “Helper” that will come after he is gone. This helper is to teach the disciples all that Jesus has taught them; to remind them of everything he has said. He will not leave his disciples without him. The helper is to be the Holy Spirit, sent by God and Jesus after Jesus is gone. The Spirit will abide within the disciples making them united with Jesus and God as the Spirit is united with them. The Spirit will help the disciples further understand the truth of God, and most important, bring comfort to the disciples in their future troubling times. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let you heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful … I go away, and I will come to you.” (John 14:27-28, NASB).
“Peace bring it all to peace
The storms surrounding me
Let it break at Your name”
— Andres Figueroa, Hank Bentley, Mariah McManus, Mia Fieldes
Peace and comfort seem to be the main themes of this chapter. Peter is hurt by the promise of his denial. Thomas doubts that he knows how to follow Jesus. Philip is unsure of the relationship between Jesus and God. All of the disciples will soon feel fear and loss that they are unprepared for. Jesus offers them his peace and comfort. He says to them that even though he is being taken away, he will come back to them. He has predicted his death, but assures them that even though all seems lost, God is still there to comfort them and give them peace. They way to follow after Jesus towards God is to follow his teachings. Of course the disciples likely did not write down notes to keep track of what the teacher was teaching, but the Spirit is to come and help the disciples remember. They have had direct access to God for three years, and even though that connection is going away, God will soon be living within each and every one of them.
That same Spirit lives within each and every believer of Jesus today. The Holy Spirit is our teacher. He instructs us on how to live and how to emulate Jesus in this world. Have you ever experienced a moment when a teaching of Jesus comes to mind to help guide you, even if it is one you have not studied for awhile? This is the Spirit working in your life! He is there to help guide you and instruct you. He is God living within you. Jesus may be not physically here. The world may seem like a scary place with many things to say against your beliefs. But God and Jesus sent forth the Spirit so we may know that God is still with us.