As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!
Intro—What does it mean to love without conditions? Could you imagine a family full unconditional love? Could you imagine a church full of unconditional love? Could you a community full of unconditional love? Could you imagine a state full of unconditional love? Could you imagine a nation full of unconditional love? Could you imagine a world full of unconditional love? Jesus loves us unconditionally, no strings attached, and with His life. He is the answer to life because He is the Life. Jesus is love, and His love is the answer to our every need.
As we move to chapter 14 in the book of John, Jesus has some profound words for us today. His love is oozing throughout these verses. Oh how He loves us.
Stand & Read John 14:1-14
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” 9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
- Love is selfless, verses 1-4
- Just before this text we are looking into today, Jesus said in John 13:34—“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
- Jesus really knew how to make people think, didn’t He? He called this kind of love a new command. A new way of thinking.
- If any follower of Jesus is to be worth their faith that they say they claim, then love for another is not an option.
- You have heard the phrase, “because I said so?” Well today, I have a phrase for you: Jesus said so. You MUST love one another. Jesus knew that in order for the spirit of fellowship to succeed in the great commission, there had to be a love for one another.
- Once a strong love develops for our brothers and sisters in Christ, then we can make a difference in this world.
- When we love someone, our bent should be to make sure that our loved one is assured of our love for them. When they ask about the love you have for them, tell them how much you love them.
- Jesus knew that the disciples were at a point where confusion can take over the thinking, so he became selfless. He calmed their spirits.
- He says to them, “don’t let your hearts be troubled.” What a peaceful calming statement. We too should be that loving to others. Our words should be words that offer peace, comfort, and encouragement.
- Jesus says that if you believe there is a God, then I am His Son, the One you have been looking for. I want you to know you can rest in that.
- Verses 2 & 3 speak of a place that Jesus is very knowledgeable about. He says my father has a house that is like no other house you have ever seen. It has many rooms. This imagery is that of a house that is a multi-family housing mansion. Dad on the top floor, and the sons and daughters underneath in multi level fashion.
- Jesus speaks with so much assurance of a place that is actually available. He said, “If this is an untrue statement why would I have even mentioned to you? Because I have said it, you can count on it. Not only that, I am going to come back and take you there myself so we can be together forever.
- Now that what I call selfless love. Jesus always thinks of others first. He was saying I love you and I want to spend the rest of eternity together.
Illustration— James Foley is a name many of you are now familiar with. He was executed brutally by the group that calls themselves ISIS. In an interview, James’ parents were so gracious and humble. They are grateful for all of the prayers and said “love is the answer.” What an amazing show of strength, courage, and love for God the Foley has displayed. I can’t imagine the nightmare they have been through, but I do know this according to Mr. & Mrs. Foley, James is in God’s hands now. They are in prayer for the release of Scott Scotloff, another American journalist being held by ISIS. Love truly is the answer.
Application—Are you showing selfless love?
- Love is giving, verses 5-7
- Jesus gives love gifts like no one else. Here is Thomas asking an honest question, one that is also pessimistic in nature. Thomas always doubted the Lord because He needed a visual to confirm Jesus’s claims.
- Lord, we don’t know where you are going. Thomas was confused about life, like many of us. His question is one that believed life’s riddles or mysteries are unsolvable. And he was probably right because his thinking came from a carnal view or human view.
- If we are going to try and figure out life and all of ins and outs to it under the guide of our own intellect then we will always be perplexed. That is why many of relate to Thomas.
- Maybe your Christian life sounds a little or a lot like Thomas. Lord, I don’t know what to do. Lord, where are you? Lord, why is this happening to me? Lord, I just don’t get it.
- Let me try and give you some insight into the Christian life. The Christian life is one that is selfless and giving. If you want to love like Jesus, then give love away. If you want to keys to life’s answers, love is the answer.
- The way – Jesus used the definite article to distinguish Himself as “the only way.” A way is a path or route, and the disciples had expressed their confusion about where He was going, and how they could follow. As He had told them from the beginning, Jesus was again telling them (and us) “follow me.” There is no other path to Heaven, no other way to the Father. Peter reiterated this same truth years later to the rulers in Jerusalem, saying about Jesus
- Acts 4:12—“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
- The truth – Again Jesus used the definite article to emphasize Himself as “the only truth.”
- Psalm 119:142—Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true.
- Matthew 5:17—“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
- Jesus, as the incarnate Word of God is the source of all truth.
- John 1:1—In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
- The life – Jesus had just been telling His disciples about His impending death, and now He was claiming to be the source of all life. a.) John 10:17-18—“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
- John 14:19—Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
- The deliverance He was about to provide was not a political or social deliverance (which most of the Jews were seeking), but a true deliverance from a life of bondage to sin and death to a life of freedom in eternity.
- So how do we follow Him today? The same way the disciples did long ago. They heard the words of Jesus and believed them. They took His words and obeyed them. They confessed their sins to Jesus as their Lord and God. They believed that He died to take the punishment of their sins and rose from the dead to give them new life. They followed His example and command to tell others the truth about sin, righteousness, and judgment. When we follow Him in “the way,” we can be assured of following Him all the way to Heaven.
- As we love Jesus, we are to give our love away as He did, without reservation, without hesitation, and without expectation.
Application—When you think of love, do you think about how you can be loved or how you can give love away?
- Love is an action word, verses 8-14
- Jesus mentions the word “works” 3 times in conjunction with His message of love.
- In verses 10, 11, and 12. Jesus says because of God’s great love for me, He is working through me so you can see Him in me.
- Loving someone requires hard work. Love doesn’t just happen because you say the “magic words,” I love you.
- Jesus explains what love is: God is working in me, so believe. God is love, so believe the evidence of the work being shown to you. When you believe in me, you will show the world by your works.
- If you can grasp this concept Jesus says, you will do even greater work than what you have already been shown.
- Jesus reminds His disciples that He is leaving them, so the love they have fro each other is what will sustain them through the tough road that lies ahead.
- One of the greatest things you can do when you ask God for His love and guidance is to ask in Jesus’ name. Ask in the name of Jesus is what delivers the result.
- John 14:13-14—And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
- The point to God’s love is that it required action on His part. He does love us and He showed us when He sent Jesus to us. His place His love action.
Application—Have you accepted the challenge to love by showing your love in action? It is not to late to start.
Conclusion—Jesus said that we are to love another so that the world can believe that he exists. We shouldn’t be surprised when the world says I don’t believe. That is a reflection of how they view the church. Only we can change that image, and it starts with love. Be selfless. Be giving. Love with your actions.
Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,