Introduction: My wife teaches the early grades in a Christian school.
In the last year or so, a large number of her students have left the
school because of a breakup of their home. In each case, the child
became anxious about the future. Like everyone else, they enjoy the
comfort of things being “the same” and they fear change. They do not
want a parent to leave. John 13 ends with Jesus telling His disciples
that He is leaving. They want to come along, they want the fellowship
to continue. But, Jesus says, “no.” Let’s plunge into that
conversation and consider how Jesus deals with their anxiety. What
are His instructions for an immediate future without Him?

  1. Troubled Hearts

    1. Read John 14:1-4. What does Jesus say to His disciples to
      calm their separation anxiety? (He first asks them to
      trust Him. Then He tells them the separation will be
      limited. He will prepare a place for them and then come to
      get them.)

      1. If Jesus is coming back to get them, why would they
        (v.4) need to know how to get there?

    2. Read John 14:5. I like people who speak up when they do
      not understand. Thomas seems to regularly find himself
      unclear about the future and he speaks up. What do you
      think about the logic of Thomas’ question?

      1. Remember what we learned about Thomas from John 11:9-11&16? How does John 14:5 build on our picture of
        Thomas? (When Jesus said He was going to “walk by
        day” over to Bethany, Thomas did not understand the
        spiritual aspect of Jesus’ statement. He just looked
        at the practical. He is doing the same thing in John
        14:5. He is a man who operates on a practical level.)

    3. Read John 14:6. What do you imagine Thomas thought of
      that answer?

      1. How does this answer the “which way to follow”
        question? (Jesus is not going to a place you could
        find on a map. You cannot “go there” by walking.
        Instead, the disciples have a spiritual journey ahead
        of them. This explains my question about why the
        disciples would need to know where to go if Jesus is
        picking them up. Jesus will take care of the
        “geography” of the journey, the disciples need to
        take care of their personal “preparation” for the
        journey. They have a spiritual journey. Jesus will
        take care of the physical trip.)

  2. Preparation for the Journey

    1. Read John 14:7. What is the key to coming to God? (Jesus
      wants us to “know” Him. Bible regular study is a key
      element to that.)

    2. Read John 14:12-14. What comes with faith in Jesus? (If we
      believe in Jesus, then we will do His works.)

      1. Jesus seems to say He will do anything for us.
        However, do you see any limitations on this promise
        in verse 13? (It seems the goal of this requests
        should be to bring “glory to the Father.”)

        1. How many of your prayer requests are primarily
          aimed at bringing glory to you?

      2. If you have a prayer request that will glorify God,
        just stop and think for a moment about what Jesus has
        promised you.

    3. Read John 14:15-17. What is the result of loving Jesus?
      (Obedience to God’s commands.)

    4. Let’s review the “road map” that Jesus has laid out for
      His disciples spiritual journey. In John 14:6 Jesus
      explains He is “the way the truth and the life.” Verse 12
      says if we have faith in Jesus we will do what He has been
      doing. Verse 15 reveals that if we love Jesus, then our
      natural reaction is to obey Him. Having a relationship
      with Jesus is the first step, but the second step is
      unmistakable: obedience.

      1. Is the opposite true: that if we do not obey Jesus we
        do not have faith in Him or love Him?
    5. Jesus speaks (in verses 15-17) of obedience and then
      sending an Advisor.

      1. Are the two concepts linked? If so, how?

      2. What is Jesus going to do to help the disciples with
        this journey that begins with a relationship? (He is
        going to send us a “replacement” – the Holy Spirit.)

      3. Notice that the Holy Spirit is called “the Spirit of
        Truth.” Why did Jesus call the Holy Spirit “the
        Spirit of Truth?” (To help you answer this, read John
        16:7-11. The essential work of the Holy Spirit is to
        help us to understand and face the truth of God. How
        can you obey, how can you do the works of Jesus,
        without understanding “the truth” about your

      4. Have you ever been angry with the reaction of the
        “world” toward Jesus? Have you ever been upset about
        the sinful attitudes of “leaders” in the world?

        1. Should you be? (In John 14:17 Jesus tells us
          that we should expect that “the world” will be
          ignorant of these spiritual truths. They do not
          see, know or accept the “Spirit of Truth.” Why
          then would you expect them to understand the

        2. So often “the world” has the attitude that
          Christians are ignorant dopes. Is that what
          Jesus says? (Jesus teaches us that the situation
          is just the opposite. The world is ignorant of
          spiritual truths. Without the Holy Spirit they
          lack the tools to understand.)

          1. What, then, is the proper attitude we
            should have toward the world?

    6. Read John 14:26-27. What does the Holy Spirit do for us
      but not for the world? (Teaches us and reminds us of what
      Jesus has said.)

      1. Why is the Holy Spirit being sent in Jesus’ name?
        (Jesus wants His disciples to be very clear that the
        Holy Spirit is His “replacement,” His

        1. What result does Jesus expect? (He wants His
          disciples to be at peace.)

        2. Consider Jesus’ offer: an Advisor who will help
          you to understand God and give you peace. It is
          an offer made only to “insiders.” Have you
          accepted the offer?

        3. Jesus says that His gift of the Holy Spirit is
          not the kind of gift the world gives. How is it

  3. Vine and Branches

    1. Read John 15:1-2. When Jesus says He is the “vine,” what
      does He mean? (He is the source of our spiritual power.)

      1. How can Jesus be the vine when He says He is being
        replaced by the Holy Spirit? (Read John 14:19-20.
        While Jesus says that He is being “replaced” by the
        Holy Spirit, they are both part of the Trinity, the
        Godhead. It is in that way that Jesus can say that He
        is “in” His Father and that we are “in” Him. That
        connection with Jesus, through the Holy Spirit is the
        source of our power. See John 16:7-11, 14-15.)

      2. Notice the job of the gardener Father in John 15:2.
        It looks like we are in for either a “cutting off” or
        a “pruning.” This sounds painful. Is it?

    2. Add verse 3 to John 15:2. Is being “clean” the same as
      being “pruned?” (In this case, yes.)

      1. What “cleaned” the disciples? (The words of Jesus.
        This gives me hope. My first reaction is that being
        pruned will no doubt be painful. However, if the word
        of Jesus can “prune” us, then Bible study coupled
        with the conviction of the Holy Spirit can “prune” us
        without having a painful experience.)

    3. Read John 15:4-5, 7-8. What can we look forward to if we
      remain connected to Jesus?

    4. Friend, are you on that spiritual journey of coming closer
      to Jesus? Is He the way and the truth in your life? He
      invites you to become one with Him. To be linked to Him
      just as a branch is linked to the vine. The result will
      be seen in your life!

  4. Next week: Jesus Lays Down His Life for His Friends.