“If it were not so I would have told you…” Lessons from Jesus to His Disciples

“If it were not so I would have told you…”

Truths from the Promises of Jesus We Can’t Live Without

That quote is from a conversation Jesus was having with His disciples we read about in John 14. Jesus was in Jerusalem for the last time to be crucified.  He was eating His last meal with His disciples.  It was a Passover meal.  Jesus had washed their feet and told Peter of his coming denials. Judas had slipped out to sell the life of Jesus to the Jewish religious authorities for 30 pieces of silver.

Chapters 14-17 in Johns’ gospel were the last before the Passion of Christ began.  In the first three, He continued teaching— saying again Who He was, why He came, and what it looked like to be a fully devoted disciple of Christ.  He gave them the promise of the Holy Spirit.  Then in Chapter 17, He prayed what was really the “Lord’s Prayer”.  It is the most exquisite prayer in the Bible, and I strongly suggest you go back and study it.  Perhaps the Lord will give me words to teach on that soon.  I pray so.

With that background let us return to John 14.  In verse 1, Jesus was now comforting and reassuring His disciples.  We can imagine the distress and fear that accompanied His foreboding talk and imminent events that would bring about their Master’s death. They would be left alone in a hostile land—hated by the Jewish leaders, disdained by the Romans who had ultimate authority.  His words were much needed.

As we move to verse 2, Jesus spoke more directly about Heaven than He had previously.

“In My Father’s house are many (rooms) dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” 

This is one of the last promises Jesus made to His disciples before His crucifixion.  It may seem a minor thing on the surface if we read it quickly and gloss over it.  But there is a great deal of importance in what Jesus said.  What struck me, more than the promise, was that He felt the need to reinforce the fact that He was telling them the truth, despite the fact that they had followed and lived with Him for three years, seen all of His miracles, and been part of some.

Many translations of this verse make it in the form of a question because it is easier to read and understand—something like this.

If it is not true (I am going to prepare specific places for you in Heaven), why would I tell you that?

Why indeed?  A few verses further into this conversation, Jesus made the statement that rocked the world then, and still does today.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”  John 14: 6

Today I want to teach from Jesus words three different “bad news – good news’ scenarios He taught His disciples to bolster their faith, increase their confidence, and encourage their hears.

♦ Bad News – Condemnation

“but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”  John 3: 18b-19

♦ Good News – No Condemnation

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.   Whoever believes in Him is not condemned,”  John 3: 16, 18a

“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ.”  Romans 8: 1

♦ Bad News – Satan (and demons) attacks Christians with great frequency.

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; Luke 22: 31

 The story of Job.  Job 1 (God gave Satan permission to test Job in all ways)

♦ Good News – Jesus prays for us.

but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”  Luke 22: 32

“…Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.”  Romans 8: 34

Knowing that despite the fact Satan (and demonic foes) attempt to wreak havoc in and on our lives and faith in Jesus, we can have peace knowing Jesus is praying for us. He does not ask that we are free from the attacks, but that our faith remains/returns even when we fall/fail.

♦ Bad news – The world hates real Christians

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”  John 15: 19

♦ Good News – Jesus overcame the world and gave us power to do the same.

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”  John 16: 33

We find in chapters 14, 15, and 16, Jesus taught His disciples about the third person of the Trinity in very specific terms.  He told them when He would come, Who would send Him, and what His role would be in their lives.  He said, in summary, the only way they would be able to endure all the haters would throw at them was by His power—and that from the Holy Spirit.  He would bring power, protection,  and bear fruit in their lives as well as spreading the Gospel throughout the world.  Here is one of those passages.

“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you.  And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me…When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come.  He will glorify me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you.”   John 16: 7-13

I pray the Lord has spoken to you today through this message and revealed Truth to you – mostly the One Who spoke it.   Jesus Messiah—the One Who alone overcame death to give us life eternal.  If you have never done so, I beg you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior today and spend the rest of your life making Him Lord as you surrender all to Him.

For Christ’s sake,