(Study Outline sourced from “The System Bible Study” – “The Book of Life” [Zondervan])
(11). The Farewell Discussion In The Upper Room
As our Lord Jesus contemplated the events of the coming day, He knew that His disciples would be without His leadership and companionship for a while, and here He makes provision for their time of distress, and encourages them “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”.
He then speaks to the fact that in His Father’s house there are many “dwelling places” (rooms, mansions) implying that, although here on earth everything is transient, there is a permanent dwelling place for all those who accept Him as Lord of their lives. “I am going there to prepare a place for you. 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.” These were the first words of comfort that He spoke to His disciples, and this would be confirmed by the angel on the day of His ascension . He continues by saying, “You know the way to the place where I am going.” to which their response was they did not know the way; thus He had to remind them “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” . They knew Him and had come to the Father through Him, therefore they knew the way, and they knew the Father for He reminded them that “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” . He confirms this fact to them by adding that He and His Father are one “..it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.”, and He encourages them to believe Him “…or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.” , and that such belief would cause them to do greater things because He was going to the Father and would bring glory to His Father by doing what they requested in His name . We must, however, understand that He will do only those things that are in accordance with all that is in honour of “That Name”; “because I go to the Father, I shall be in a capacity to furnish you with such a power, for I go to the Father, to send the Comforter, from whom you shall receive power” . The wonderful works which they did in Christ’s name were part of the glories of his exalted state, when he ascended on high, . In what name they were to present their petitions? Ask in my name. To ask in Christ’s name is, (1) To plead his merit and intercession, and to depend upon that plea. (2.) It is to aim at his glory and to seek this as our highest end in all our prayers.” [from Matthew Henry’s Commentary]
The disciples are also reminded of what is required by all disciples “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” and our Lord Jesus ensures them that they will have this ability by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that would come after His resurrection; and they would learn more about this later on in His discourse .
Judas (son of James), no doubt all the others thought the same, asks the question “..why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” Why was Jesus not revealing Himself to the rest of the nation and the world that He was Israel’s Messiah. Our Lord Jesus Christ (The Messiah) had come into the world to His own people who rejected Him, and would, in the matter of hours, completely seal their fate by putting Him to death. They displayed this by their actions and our Lord explains it by saying “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” and this was the response of the nation as a whole, they were not ready for their Messiah. Instead of enjoying the peace that Messiah would bring to them they would now have to suffer many years with no real peace. That peace would be imparted to His disciples, then and now, through the coming of the Holy Spirit, therefore he says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” . The world would bring them nothing but trials and persecution but they, and we, would find peace in Him. He ends the session by saying “..the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.” .