The Holy Spirit will teach you everything. 14:22-31


Chapters 13 to 17 of John's gospel cover Jesus' farewell discourse with his disciples. In 14:18-31 Jesus speaks of his going to the Father, which going enables the coming of the Holy Spirit, both to manifest Jesus again to his disciples and teach them all things.

The passage

v22. Judas (not Iscariot - possibly the brother of James) is puzzled. He thought that the Messiah would inevitably manifest (display / reveal himself) in glory before all humanity. He therefore asks how it is that the Messiah will only manifest himself to the disciples, and not the world.

v23. Jesus' answer is that he (together with the Father) only manifests himself (reveals himself in the sense of comes to, makes his home with, enters into a permanent intimate relationship with) to those who love him and obey his teachings. Actually, loving and obeying (lit. "keep my word") mean much the same thing, and both are just another way of saying "believe in". So, Jesus only reveals himself to those who believe in him.

v24. On the other hand, those who do not love Jesus, who do not keep his words, who do not believe, reject not just Jesus, but the Father, the source of the divine revelation in Christ.

v25. In this final moment with his disciples, Jesus is able to teach them some very powerful truths. Yet, this is not the end of his teaching ministry.

v26. The Father will send the Holy Spirit (later we are told he comes/proceeds from Jesus as well) and he will "teach you all things." The "you" here are the disciples. For us, the New Testament is the fulfillment of this promise. The Holy Spirit, here given the title "Paraclete", "Counselor" in the NIV and "Advocate", TNIV, is "another to befriend you", Knox. He is one who is close beside us and speaks with us for Christ - bears witness to Christ, convinces, teaches us...

v27. The time for Jesus' departure is close at hand and so he bequeathes to the disciple his peace - a peace that stills a troubled heart and overcomes debilitating fear.

v28. Jesus' imminent departure has saddened the disciples, but since his going means a coming to the Father (a reunion with the Father), then it should fill them with joy.

v29. When the Spirit comes, then Jesus' words will be verified and the disciples will be filled with joy.

v30-31a. The opportunity for Jesus to speak with the disciples is coming to an end; his struggle with Satan is at hand. Yet, Satan has no claim over him, so Jesus is determined to take up his cross in accordance with the Father's will, in order that this broken world may witness divine love in action.



v31b. So, "Thus I do. I will arise and go hence", Charles Torrey.

The ministry of the Spirit

Jesus has told his disciples that he is about to leave them, but that he will come back again soon and reveal himself to them. The other Judas, not Judas Iscariot, asks Jesus why he will openly revels himself to his disciples, but not to the world. Jesus' answer is that he will only reveal himself to those who believe in him. And this revelation, this manifestation of the divine, is not just of the Son, but of the Father as well - "we will come." This coming, of course, is the coming of the Holy Spirit, and in this coming the divine makes his home with us.

The Spirit of Christ intimately involves himself with each believer, and this association is similar to a personal friendship with Jesus. The relationship is experienced primarily through the advocacy of the Holy Spirit. He speaks with us in the conflicts of life, advising and aiding us in the struggle. He stands beside us. As Jesus put it, "I will be with you always." The aid is revelational. He "teaches us all things"; he gives us the information we need to know in our life as a disciple of Christ. This revelation comes through the principles outlined in scripture, which is the Spirit inspired Word of God. Through the word-ministries (prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) this revelation is made known to the fellowship of believers, whose task is then to prayerfully consider the word and apply it in their daily life.

So, a believer is not alone in the struggle of life. The Spirit of Christ is beside us all the way, informing, directing and guiding. We are therefore able to face life free from fear. Life may compound at times, but the path to glory is clearly before us because the Master leads us onward. Even at moments of deepest loss his peace surrounds us. Let us rest in the knowledge that Jesus is holding our hand.


1. How does Jesus show himself to disciples only?

2. What is the function of the Holy Spirit?

3. Discuss "teach you all things." What does this mean?

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