Turn to John 13 in your Bible, and this morning we’re going to look at John 13, 14, 15, and 16. Some of you are saying, “Sure, we are.” But we are, and this is going to be more of a survey approach. I got an idea for a book, which is still kind of germinating in my mind, on this particular theme, and so I’m going to kind of throw it at you and experiment and see what kind of reaction I get. I’ve entitled this discussion this morning “The Legacy of Jesus” – “The Legacy of Jesus.” I know that all of us at one point or another have either received an inheritance or thought a lot about receiving one, and maybe even prayed a lot about receiving one. But that’s something that’s very, very familiar to human experience.
And although you may have not really understood it, all of us, in some sense or another, have received legacies of some kind. If it isn’t a great amount of money, or some worthwhile object that is left to us, there are just the mementos of the lives of people who are very dear to us. My mother, for example, has things from her mother that are very precious to her that she was left by virtue of her mother’s death. There are people who have their children leave home, get married and move away, and all of a sudden, all of the little things that belonged to that child become especially meaningful. And all of us know what it is to have a legacy, to have something left to us. And that’s precisely what is basically in the heart of Jesus in John 13 through 16.
His ministry among men is over in chapter 12. He now spends chapter 13, 14, 15, and 16 with his disciples. It all occurs in a brief period of hours in one place, the upper room. And it all occurs the night before His crucifixion. And just before He dies, He gives to the disciples, and consequently to all of us throughout history, His last will and testament. He says, “This is what I am leaving you.” And I call it the Christian’s Legacy. This is our inheritance in Christ. If somebody asks me, “What, as a Christian, do you possess that I don’t have?” I say, “I possess everything Jesus gave in John 13 to 16.” And I tell you, folks, if you were to pin me into a corner and say, “What’s your favorite scripture?” I’d have a hard time saying anything except John 13 to 16.
There’s nothing here for me to do, really. Jesus doesn’t ask anything of His disciples, particularly. Oh, there are a few exhortations kind of scattered thinly in the process. But basically, this whole flow is, “Here is what I am leaving you. Here is what I offer you. Here is what I give you.” And I believe that this, in turn, is what we can offer to people who don’t yet know Christ, and say, “Here is a good enough reason to come to Christ. Hear, listen to His legacy.” These are my most treasured possessions – in this whole world, if I really think seriously about it and think about what is worthwhile in my life, I would have to say that the most precious thing I possess in this world is recorded here in this passage – all of these things that belong to me, because of Jesus’ gifts to me. I don’t own anything materially that means anything to me. These things mean something to me. And I know they do to you, as well.
Let’s set the scene a little bit. As we look at the situation, Jesus is about to die. He has announced His death to them in several different ways, particularly in chapter 12, in verse 24, when He talked about the seed falling into the ground and dying and bringing forth fruit. And He’s let them know that He’s going to die. In John 11, He said He was going to die, in effect. He said, “I’ve gotta go to Jerusalem,” and so there have been several occasions in which He has sort of dropped that truth on them. But now He really nails it down.
John 13:31, let’s look to begin with there. “Therefore when he was gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God be glorified in Him, God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him.’” Now, if you want an understanding of that, you’ll have to get the tape we did on that a long time ago. I don’t want to go in and untangle all of it. Just simply to sum it up by saying this: Jesus said, “It is now time that I be glorified and the Father be glorified.” And what He meant by that was His death and resurrection and return to the Father. In John 17, He says, “Father, I have glorified You on earth. Now glorify Me with You with the glory I had before the world began.” The great apex of glorifying God occurred at the cross, the resurrection, and the ascension. And Jesus said, “It is now time for that.”
Verse 33: “Little children, yet a little while I am with you.” I won’t be here long – and He wasn’t – “Ye shall seek Me and as I said unto the Jews” – and He had said this to them earlier – “‘Where I go you cannot come,’ so now I say to you.” He says, “People, I’m leaving – and I’m leaving in a little while, and you will seek Me, but you will not find Me, and you can’t come where I’m going.” Now, what do you imagine was the reaction of the disciples? For three years, all they had known was the presence of Jesus Christ. For three years, He had been everything in their world.
When they needed their taxes paid, He got a fish and took their taxes out of its mouth. That’s a nice idea. When they needed food, He created it. When they needed truth, He taught it. When they needed comfort, He gave it. When they needed rebuke, they got it. They had known nothing but the supply, and the sustenance, and the presence of Jesus, and they had leaned on Him so hard that it was as if He was going to move, and they were going to hit the deck. “What are we going to do? You can’t mean this.” Peter on one occasion even said, “Lord, it’ll never happen. Let it not be.”
How did they respond? Look at the 36th verse of the same chapter, John 13. “Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, where are You going?’” Well, where you going to go, Lord? “Jesus said, ‘Where I go you cannot follow Me.’” Peter didn’t really want to know where He was going; he wanted to know how he could get there. And so Jesus did not answer the question he asked; He answered the question He knew was in his mind. You can’t come, Peter, but you will later. “Peter said, ‘Lord, why can’t I come?’” Sounds like one of my kids. “What do you mean I can’t come? I’ll die for You. I mean if You’re going to die and go, then I’ll die and go with You.” I like his spirit. It points up the truth that he could not conceive of existence apart from Jesus Christ. You see? To him, it wouldn’t even be living.
Look at verse 1 of chapter 14. The Greek rendering here is this, “Stop letting your heart be troubled.” Jesus announced to them that He was leaving, they fell apart. And Jesus says, “Hey, stop. Stop letting your heart be troubled.” Look at verse 5, “Thomas said unto Him, ‘Lord, we know not where You go; and we don’t know the way.’” You’re going to leave us, and we don’t know how to get where You’re going to be. Look at verse 27, John 14, the end of the verse. Again He says, “Stop letting your heart be troubled. Neither let it be afraid.” They were in tremendous anxiety and fear. Jesus was everything to them. His very presence was their security, and they were troubled, and they were afraid.
Look at John 16, verse 6 – and this again is just insight into their emotion at the time. John 16:6 – well, look at verse 5. “But now I go My way to Him that sent Me” – I’m going back to the Father – “and none of you are now asking, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow has filled your heart.’” Nobody really asked where He was going; they just asked the way to get there. And Jesus says, “Your attitude is one of sorrow. It has filled your heart.” And the word we’ve seen before in our study, the fill means dominated.
They were crying, I’m sure; they were sobbing on the inside. They could never conceive of a life without Christ. There was no way they could relate to that. You think you’re heartbroken when you lose a loved one? You couldn’t even begin to conceive of what it would be like to live in the presence of the spotless, sinless, perfect Son of God, with all of His unbelievable love and sympathy and perfection in every single possible human relationship, and then to understand that He would be gone, and you didn’t know where He’d be or how to get there. And they were afraid.
And Jesus, rather than being concerned with His own death, which was coming about in a matter of hours, always exhibiting perfect sympathy, was far more concerned with them than He was with Himself. And so He spent John 13, 14, 15, 16 to tell them what He was going to leave them. “I know I’m going, but this is what I want to leave you.” And when it’s all said and done, his point is, “It’s better for Me to go, because if I don’t go, you can’t have these things.” And the idea is that when He’s all done, they will be saying, “Lord, we understand. It’s best for You to go.” Now, what is it that He left them? What are the things that Jesus left as a legacy to His disciples and to all those who trust Him? I found ten of them here, and we’ll take the first five this morning, and we’ll finish it up next time.
Number one: the first thing that Jesus left was the proof of His love – the proof of His love. It’s one thing, I think, to have somebody say they love you. Something else to have them prove it; wouldn’t you agree to that? I remember when I was a little kid, the first thing I ever learned as a little kid going to Sunday School – and I was like church mouse. I was there all my life. But I remember the first thing I ever learned. First thing you learn: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” First verse I ever learned, “God so” – what – “loved the world.” And that is the basic message – but, you know, if I had been there with Jesus, and He had said for three years, “I love you,” and then He said, “I’m leaving,” I might say to myself, “If He loves me, how can He do it?” Right? ‘Cause He knows how I’ll feel.
It’d be as if you fell in love with somebody, and your love for that person was absolutely the perfect love. And one day that person said to you, “You know, I love you truly. I love you absolutely. I love you with no reservations. But I’ve gotta go. I’m leaving, and I’ll never see you again.” That’d be a little hard to handle. Well, that’s essentially what happened. So the disciples could stand around saying, “Did He – Did He really love us? Did He really love us?” And Jesus wanted to make sure they knew He loved them, so He gave proof of his love. Look at John 13. Beautiful. And whenever anything would come into my mind to question whether Jesus loves me – and I have that question, because I’m not the most lovable person – whenever that kind of a question would come into my mind, I would immediately go right back to John 13 to this great truth.
Now, watch in verse 1. “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father” – it’s time for Him to leave – “having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them to perfection.” It was time to go, so you know what He wanted to show them? What? Love. “Guys, I gotta convince you,” so He loved them to the limit. He poured out His love in those last hours. How? Verse 2 tells us how. “Supper having begun” – some of your Bibles may say “being ended.” No, the Greek rendering, “Supper having begun.” They’d just begun to eat, and then there’s a little statement or so about Judas. We’ll skip to verse 4.
“He rises from supper, laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself, poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.” Now, get the picture. The disciples are all eating, because they’re in such a big hurry to get the food down, and because they’re all arguing. They were arguing about who was going to be the greatest in the kingdom. And because of that kind of an argument, and the absence of a servant who normally would do this, nobody bothered to wash the feet – and of course, that provided the perfect opportunity for the Lord. He takes off His outer garment, put a towel around His waist over His inner garment, and went around and washed their feet.
And, of course, He comes to Peter, and Peter says, “Lord, are You going to wash my feet? I can’t conceive of this. You’re God. What are You doing?” And Jesus said, “What I do, you know not, but you shall know hereafter.” What he meant by that was, “You don’t understand the total act of humiliation. You don’t understand what I’m trying to show you. What I’m trying to show you is I love you, Peter. And it’s partly now, and it’s going to be partly in a little while that you’re going to know it. You’re going to know it now from My foot washing, and you’re going to know it a little later from My death. You’re going to know I love you.”
Peter says, “You will never wash my feet. I won’t allow it.” Jesus said, “If I don’t wash you, you’re not going to have any part with Me.” Peter says, “Lord, not my feet only, but my hands and my head.” Give me a bath, Lord, in those conditions. Now, look at verse 13. “You call Me Master and Lord, men. You say well, for I am. And if I am your Lord and Master, and have washed your feet, you sure ought to wash one another’s feet For I gave you an example that you should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily I say to you, the servant is not greater than the lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If you know these things, blessed or happy are you if you do them.” Now, Jesus said, “I give you a pattern. I give you a model – give you an example of love. I washed your feet.”
Immediately following this, there’s an interlude with Judas, very sad. And it’s followed by verse 34, and Jesus goes back to the idea of the foot washing. Look at it, verse 34. “A new commandment I give unto you: that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” Now, listen to me, people: Jesus says, “I have loved you.” You say, “How did You love us?” By doing what? “Washing your feet.” You see, verse 1, He loved them to perfection. He loved them to the limit. That’s fine for Him to feel, but how does He demonstrate it? He demonstrates it by washing their feet, and then He says, “Look, that’s how I showed My love to you. That’s how I expect you to show your to each other, by humble service; by stooping to the place of meekness. I love you.”
If Jesus were here, He would have no greater joy than to wash your feet. You know that? And I would be like Peter. If the Lord came around and started to wash my feet, I would say, “Lord, get up. This will never do.” But, you see, He is saying, “I love you,” but He’s gotta do more than say it to convince these guys with the broken hearts. So he proves it by doing something that is truly an act of love. And what’s so beautiful about it is that woven into chapter 13 is the backdrop of Judas – and He even loved him. And He even washed his feet. He loves.
But there’s more. Look at John 15. The proof of love, given this last night, doesn’t just end there. John 15:12, He goes back to the same theme. Remember, this is all in a matter of just a few hours on the same evening, so the whole conversation just weaves itself back and forth. “These things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full.” Now listen: “This is My commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” Now, He’s going to take it a step further, listen: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man” – what – “lay down his life for his friends.” And then here comes the key statement: “And ye are My” – what – friends.”
Remember what I said in John 13? Jesus says to Peter, “Now, Peter, I’m doing this now, and you’ll understand more later.” Jesus was saying, “I love you, Peter. Let Me show it, will you, by washing your feet, and then later I’ll show it by” – what – “laying down” – what – “My life for you.” Listen: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” He wants them to have a model. He wants them to have a pattern. So He says, “Will you guys think about this when you see Me on the cross? That is Me loving you.” See? It isn’t just a lesson, you see. It isn’t just a sermon. It’s proof. God proved His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, what happened? Christ died for us.
I don’t question the love of Jesus for John MacArthur. I could question it; under certain conditions, I could say, “I’m not the most loveable person. I am certainly not the most obedient person. I fail. I’m unfaithful. There is sin in my life from time to time. I don’t always do the things I want to do. I usually want to do the right things, but I don’t always fulfill them. And if it was the fact that You loved me on the basis of what I am, I’d be in a lot of trouble.”
But whenever I would question whether He loved me or not, I would go back to this particular portion, and I would say, “But, Lord, if You were here, You’d wash my feet, and You sure did die for me.” And those have got to the greatest act of love – condescending meekness and death. What did Jesus leave us? What is part of His legacy? One fantastic thing that begins it all; He left us the proof of His love, right? And I go through my whole life, you know something, knowing that Jesus Christ loves John MacArthur. That’s exciting.
Let me get you the second thing. What is the second of the five that I’ll give you this morning? The second of the legacy of Jesus Christ is in 14, verses 1 to 3. John 14:1 to 3, and I call this the hope of heaven; not only the proof of love, but the hope of heaven. Now, these guys were saying, “Lord, You’re going to go somewhere, and we don’t even know where You’re going, and we don’t know how You get there, and You’re not leaving us any tickets. We’re in a lot of trouble.” And so He says, “Well, let Me tell you all about it.” John 14:1: “Stop letting your heart be troubled.” Calm down, guys; don’t be so sad. “You believe in God” – in other words – you trust God, don’t you? “Then trust Me.”
Boy, and He puts Himself on an equal plane of trust with God. If God’s Word is secure, so is His. That’s equality of deity. “Don’t be sad. Trust Me. I’m not going to leave you.” Now listen to verse 2. This is so good. “In My Father’s house are many rooms.” Do you have the word “mansions” in your Bible? That is not what is in Heaven. I always – whenever I think of a mansion, I always think of the Addams family. I’ll tell you one thing, I’m not living in any house like that in Heaven. Listen to me – “In My Father’s house are many mansions.” You can’t put a whole lot of mansions in a house. You know how many houses there are in Heaven? One. You know whose it is? The Father’s house and I’m living in it.
I told you before, no, we’re not living like Heaven is all sectioned up, and somebody’s four miles down this road, and six miles over that one. We’re living in the Father’s house. “In My Father’s house are many rooms.” That’s exciting. You know, in those days in Israel, the father of a family, he’s sort of the patriarchal type, you know, he would have his house; simple house, with a patio in front of it. And then his children would marry, his son would marry, and he would add another apartment onto the father’s house, and they would continue to build it until they built it into a square. And the whole family would live around the central area. And they would all come out and eat together. That was patriarchal family life.
All the sons would bring their wives to live in the father’s house. Often, a daughter might marry a proselyte from a foreign land, and he, too, would add his part. And they would calculate what they needed to do, and they’d join the whole deal together, and that would be everybody in the father’s house. And that’s why generation after generation after generation had the same land and the same house. That’s how Heaven is. We’re all in the Father’s house. He’s up there getting our rooms ready.
Now, I like this. “If it were not so, I would have told you.” Do you know that He doesn’t keep any secrets? You know, if it was goodbye, fellas, it’s been nice for the years we’ve been together. When you die, kiss it off, it’s all over; blackness, so long. “If that was true” – He said – “I’d have told you that.” I’m not trying to pull the wool over your eyes. But I’m telling you something. That’s not true. What is true is there’s going to be something for you in Heaven. “I go to prepare a place for you.” Oh, that is so good. You know one thing the Lord is doing right now is preparing a place for us? Sometimes when a person says to me they don’t believe in the security of a Christian, or that a Christian can know that he’s going to go to Heaven, they’re not too sure.
Then I always think, “Well, do you suppose the Lord’s up there building places that’ll never be occupied?” Thinking, “Oh, that’s such a nice one; umm, and he fell. He will never be” - no, listen, friends, if He’s making it, you’re going to be in it. “I go to prepare a place for you.” How do you know? Look at the third verse. “And if I go and prepare a place,” there aren’t any vacant areas of Heaven, then if that’s true, “I will come again and” – what – “receive you unto Myself.” I don’t make places for people who aren’t going to get there.” In His great sovereignty, in His great grace, He knows who His children are, and He’s preparing a place for them.
You know, when I think about Heaven, you can think about it in a lot of ways. In the Bible, Heaven is called a country because of its vastness. It’s called a city because of the greatness of its population. It’s called a kingdom because of the structure and the order. And it’s called a paradise because of the beauty. But the best name for Heaven is My Father’s house. Don’t you think so? I mean I can’t get too excited about going to a country, or going to a city, or going to a kingdom, or going to a paradise. That’s a little more exciting; but most exciting, I like to go to be with my Father, to live in my Father’s house.
Some people have said, “Well, do you suppose that there’s going to be room in Heaven for everybody that gets there?” Well, you know what it says in verse 2. It says, “There are many rooms.” Do you know how big Heaven is? I don’t either. But I’ll tell you one thing; it’s big enough. Just the New Jerusalem is incredible. The New Jerusalem described in Revelation 21 is 1500 miles cubed. Do you know how big that is - 2,250,000 square miles – 2,250,000 square miles. Do you know how big London is - 140 square miles. Now, that’s plenty of room for me. Me and you, and the rest of us that are going to be there; the Lord knows that. Plus you got the whole universe to roam around. It’s many rooms, big house, big house.
But what I like is in verse 3. I just like this. And Jesus says, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I’ll come again and receive you unto” – what – “Myself, that where” – what – “I am.” You know what the best part of Heaven is? To be with whom? Christ. You know what I used to think when I was a kid? If I could go to Heaven, maybe I could get an appointment to spend some time with Jesus. He’ll be real busy, I know, with all those Christians up there wanting to check in and cover a lot of things they’ve been waiting to talk about. But when you think about it this way, Jesus is simply saying, “I’m going to bring you to Myself.” There’ll never be a moment in Heaven and throughout all eternity that I’m not in the presence of Jesus Christ. That’s Heaven. Fantastic. So He says, “I’m going to give you the proof of love, and I’m going to give you the hope of Heaven.
Third, another part of His legacy: the guarantee of power – the guarantee of power. Now, you can understand how they felt, because Christ had been the resource for everything, and they felt next to invincible when they were around Him. Peter, for sure, did. Peter could do anything when he was near Christ. He walked on water, and said miraculous things, and he had so much courage, even in the garden, he took a sword and tried to fight the whole Roman army by himself. I’m sure he was nudging Christ, saying, “If I get in trouble, zap them.” You know, he just – they had this invincible feeling when Christ was around. And now He’s going to leave, and I’m sure they’re beginning to feel all their power sort of draining away. “Oh, I mean look, guys, there’s only 11 left. He’s leaving. How are we going to handle this deal? Where’s going to be the resource?” But He gives them the guarantee of power.
Look at 14:11, John 14:11, “Believe Me” – He says, or believe My words, really – “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me.” Believe that I’m the same as God. Believe My words that I claim. Believe that I claim to be God. Believe it. Or – “believe Me for the very works’ sake.” If it isn’t just the words, then let the works prove the words. You’ve seen what I’ve done. And they would all say, “Oh, we have.” Philip he’s really talking to. “Oh, we have.” “Truly, truly” – verse 12, here it is – “I say unto you” – get this, guys – “he that believes on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater than these shall he do, because I go unto My Father.”
The word “works” there in verse 12 is in italics the second time, and I think it’s better to leave it out, and read it, “The works that I do shall he do also and greater than these.” Not greater works, greater in a different sense. What does it mean? Well, there’s a lot of confusion about this. But, listen, Jesus is saying, “If you believe on Me” – and that covers the Christian community – “the works that I do, you will do.” ”Oh,” you say, “that’s incredible.” Keep in mind, this is primarily to the apostles. Did the apostles raise the dead? Yes. Did they heal the sick? Yes. Did they give hearing to the deaf? Yes. Sight to the blind? Voices to the dumb? Yes. They did it. That primary reference is to them.
But in a spiritual dimension, Jesus Christ came with regenerating power, and He regenerated men’s lives, and that’s the heart of what He’s saying. And did the disciples do that? Did they carry the gospel of regeneration and see transformed lives? Absolutely. And do we? Yes. What does it mean in greater? I’ve heard people say, “Well, we’re actually doing more stupendous miracles than Jesus did.” Oh, baloney. People say, “Well, we have a greater kind of power than He did.” That’s ridiculous. He is God. There isn’t any greater power. So it can’t mean we’re going to have greater power. “Well, no, we’re going to do greater works.” You tell me what’s greater than raising the dead.
What’s greater than raising Himself from the dead? What’s greater than ascending into Heaven, just leaving and going straight up? What’s greater than walking through a wall? What’s greater than healing the masses of humanity? What’s greater than creating fish and crackers, so people could eat? What’s greater than walking on water? There isn’t anything greater in kind than that. There isn’t any greater power than divine power. You say, “Well, then what does greater mean?” It means simply greater in its extent. That’s why the word “works” confuses greater in terms of how far it goes.
Let me tell you something. I can’t do anything greater than Jesus did. That would be ridiculous in terms of kinds of miracles. And yet, there are people who claim that. But I have been able to see a broader – listen to this – a broader extension of the miracle of transformation than Jesus saw actually in His own life. Now, Let me say something that may seem shocking to you. John MacArthur, former blasphemer, sinner saved by grace, has preached to more people than Jesus did in His whole lifetime. Do you know that? Do you know that probably there are many people living in the world today who have brought more people to a knowledge of God in their lifetime than Jesus did in His ministry of three years? Actual people.
Now, understand what I’m saying. Of course, He’s the one who brings everybody to God. But in the actual time of His ministry, He faced mostly what? Rejection. There have been evangelists, and missionaries, and Christians throughout history, who have extended the gospel far beyond where Jesus ever did. Do you know He never went outside of Palestine? It’s 200 miles long and about 50 or 60 miles wide, and that’s it. And there wasn’t any radio, or television, or newspapers, or anything else. Do you know the apostle Paul extended the gospel further than Jesus did?
Do you know that the number of miracles was extended beyond what Jesus did? When the early church was energized with the Spirit of God and the apostles went out doing miracles all over the place, and the churches were established everywhere, immediately these greater things began to be done. Not greater in kind, not greater in power, but only greater in extension. And today, you and I are really following in that same line, beloved. We are seeing things greater than Jesus saw in His own lifetime, as the gospel penetrates the world. And literally every day, people all over this globe are coming to a knowledge of Jesus Christ, and lives are being transformed. Spiritual miracles are going on continually in the lives of people.
So He says to the disciples, “Guys, you shouldn’t feel bad that I’m leaving. You ought to get excited about it, because when I leave, you’re going to see greater extension of the ministry than you ever saw with Me here.” And you know what happened? Boy, the Day of Pentecost, the Spirit of God came. Boy, they started preaching. They revolutionized the whole city of Jerusalem, something that did not happen, beloved, during the life of Jesus. And after Jerusalem was turned upside down, they threw them out. They scattered and preached the gospel all over Samaria, Judea, and then the scattered to the uttermost part of the earth, and they were all over everywhere, founding churches and winning people to Christ, and you and I are still in the process, right?
Jesus said, “Don’t feel bad that I’m going. You’re going to have so much power. You’re going to see a greater extension of these things than you’ve ever seen when I was here.” What a promise. Incredible. Ah, just to be a part of that is something else. You say, “Where does that power come from?” It comes from the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:8, “You shall receive power” – what – “after the Holy Spirit is come upon you.” Jesus went back to the Father, sent the Spirit, and Paul says, “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding, abundantly, above all, you can ask or think according to the power that works in us.” And so Jesus says, “Let me leave you one other thing; the guarantee of power.” Add that to the hope of Heaven and the proof of love.
Number four – and this has to be a super-thrilling truth – the assurance of supply – the assurance of supply. As I mentioned earlier, the disciples, of course, had all their needs met by Jesus. They were sufficient because He was able to supply. And now the thought of Him leaving was a terrible threat; how would they get their needs? Who would teach them? Who would give them what they had to have to live? Who would shelter them? Who would clothe them? To whom would they go when they had a care, or a burden, or an anxiety, or a need, or they wanted to see something happen? And they wanted to ask for a request, or a petition or – who would they go to, if Jesus wasn’t there?
So in John 14:13 and 14, Jesus gives them the assurance of supply, and this is so, so rich. Listen, verse 13: “And whatever” – I like that – “whatever you shall ask in My name, that will I do.” Look at verse 14, “If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it.” You know what I call that? I call that the spiritual umbilical cord. You and I, just like them, are connected to Christ, who just keeps pumping the life supply into us. He says, “I’m going away, but you and I are going to have an intimate connection, folks. Anything you ask in My name, I’ll do it.” What is that? That’s prayer, isn’t it?
You know, I have never met Jesus Christ – physically, never seen Him. I’ve talked to people who say they have. I talked to a man the other day who said Christ came up to him and talked with him, held his shoulder and everything, and I don’t relate to that too well, but, anyway, that’s what he said. But I’ve never talked to Christ; never seen Him. But you know something? All the days of my life since I became a Christian, He has supplied everything I’ve ever needed. Did you know that? My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches by Christ Jesus, right? God has supplied, through Christ, all my needs, and continues to do it, and I see His hand so working in my life.
And I talk to Him and I pray with Him. He is alive to me. He’s not in my world, and He doesn’t go down and get what I need, and He doesn’t go over here and do this and do this physically, but He supplies my needs continually every day of my life. As a result of prayer, I’m involved in that process. Now, “whatever you ask in My name, that will I do.” Now, some people might say, “Oh, that’s a pretty general deal there. What are the qualifications?” Let me show you. “In My name.” You say, “What does it mean to ask in Jesus’ name?” Well, we’ve said before, you know, some people say, “Well, it means to say at the end ‘In Jesus’ name, amen,’ and then you get what you want.” No, no, no – does not mean that – that’s what people simplify it to mean, but it doesn’t work.
To ask in His name means consistent with who He is. It’s to say, “This I ask because this is what I believe Jesus would want.” It means we pray in His person, standing in His place, identified with Him, asking by very virtue of our union with Him, so that He becomes the real petitioner. It means that we plead before God the merits of His beloved Son. It means that He is the real receiver. It is to say, “Father, I pray in His name, insofar as I ask what He would want. I seek what He seeks. I promote what is what is on His heart, and I desire to give Him glory.” And I’ve learned in my own prayer life, in my own private prayer life as I talk to the Lord, to close my prayers by saying, “Lord, these are the things I ask, because I feel, as best I know it, that this is probably what Jesus would want.” And that helps me a lot to kind of qualify my prayers. “This is what I feel Jesus would want.” And if it is, He says, “I’ll do it. I’ll do it.”
Why? Have you ever wondered why we’re to pray? Look at verse 13: “In order that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” You know why we’re to pray? You say, “Yeah, to get what we want.” No, to glorify God – that’s right. Remember that? We’ve studied that. We are to pray in order that God might act, in order that he might be glorified. Remember, I used the illustration of a guy getting up in a fellowship group or a prayer group or something, and saying, “So-and-so came to Christ, and I’m so thrilled, and it’s exciting, boy.” And somebody’ll say, “Praise the Lord, so and so came to Christ.” And somebody’ll sit in the corner and say, “Oh, that’s wonderful, um-hmm” – you know, just sort of indifferent.
You say, “What’s the difference in the two people?” The difference is one was praying for the guy’s salvation, and he was really involved. The other guy didn’t pray about it, so when it came to pass, oh, didn’t really hit him. You know what? God may go ahead and do the same things He’s going to do anyway, whether you pray about them or not. But if you pray about them, you’re going to get in on His answer, and then you’re glorify Him, because you’re going to see it as a direct answer to the prayer. And God wants to be glorified. He wants you to pray in order to see Him work, know that He’s working, and then glorify Him. Prayer isn’t for you to get what you want. And prayer isn’t to change God from doing what He’s going to do anyway. Prayer is to give God the opportunity to show Himself, so that you can praise Him for what he’s doing –
So God gave us that promise of supply. I’m telling you, people, do you ever think about that? What do you think the person without Christ does when He has needs? Where does He go? What do you and I do, Father? I have a need. Here it is. What a fantastic thing. I mean it’s like having a blank check on the bank of Heaven. Fantastic. Incredible legacy. Our dear Lord left us the proof of His love, the hope of Heaven, the guarantee of power, the assurance of supply.
And a fifth thing, and we’re just lightly touching a fifth thing. He left us the gift of the Spirit. John 14:16, “And I will pray the Father.” And I love that. You know why? Because that is such a beautiful picture of the submission of Christ in His incarnation. “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth.” Stop there. Maybe this is the greatest legacy of all to some of us: a supernatural helper. The word “comforter,” paraklētos in the Greek, klētos from kaleō, which means to call – sounds like that, that’s what it means – para, alongside, to call alongside. A comforter is somebody called alongside to help; a supernatural helper.
So Jesus says, “Look, I’m going to ask the Father, and He’s going to give you a supernatural helper.” Man, I’m telling you, that’s fantastic. “Look, I’m leaving, but in My absence, hey, I’d like to give you a personal supernatural helper who will stay with you the whole time.” Wow – thrilling. Notice the word “another”? Two Greek words that could be translated by the English word another, allos and heteros. Heteros would be used to speak of another of a different kind; allos, another of the exact same kind; and the word used is allos. “I will send you another of the exact, identical kind as Myself.” Isn’t that beautiful?
You know who the Holy Spirit is? Paul calls him the Spirit of Christ – Spirit of Christ. Christ says, “I’m going to go, but I’m going to send you one exactly like Myself” – a perfect substitute for the familiar presence of Jesus for those disciples – “and He’s going to be your supernatural helper.” Boy, I get excited about that. Do you realize what it is to possess the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit in your life? Then He adds in verse 17, “Whom the world can’t receive” – you’re going to have this, and the world is not. This is something that is superhuman. This is something that is beyond the norm of human existence, and “the world can’t receive Him, because it sees Him not.” That is, it has no way to spiritually perceive Him, “neither does it know Him or experience Him. But you know Him, for He dwells with you and shall be” – where – “in you.” What a promise, that the supernatural helper, who has been with you, is going to come and live where? In you.
Now, why did He add that little part about the world not perceiving? I think it’s important to add that, because it would have been easy for them to get excited and get kind of super-anxious. Kind of overanxious and figure, “Well, the Holy Spirit’s going to come gangbusters. We’re going to go out there and blitz the world, and they’re going to fall.” And He just wanted to remind them that the world wouldn’t perceive the Holy Spirit any better than they had perceived Jesus Christ. It wasn’t going to change. Just know that. But you have a supernatural helper. He isn’t just going to be around like He has been. He’s going to be in you. Fantastic. When I stop to think that God lives in me, as Paul says, “That this temple is the temple of the Holy Spirit, not just the personality of this man.” Incredible reality.
So the Holy Spirit is given – to me, to you – as the legacy of Christ. Let me take you a step further with the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Look at John 16:7. He promises them, not only that the Holy Spirit will live in them, but one other thing. “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is better for you that I go away.” It’s more to your advantage that I go, “for if I don’t go, the Comforter will not come. But if I depart, I will send Him unto you.” It’s as if the Father gave the Holy Spirit as a reward for the finished work of Christ. And so Christ says, “If I finish my work, the Father will send the Comforter, and that’s better. You’re better off having the Holy Spirit living in you than having Me living around you and among you. You’re better off in terms of the potentiality to have the indwelling Spirit of God than you are to have Me here physically, because then you don’t have to worry about running to be with Me. He’ll be with you.”
But further, “When He is come” – verse 8 – “He will convict” or convince or reprove “the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.” You know what’s terrific? When I’m preaching, when I’m sharing Christ, when I’m endeavoring to live a witnessing life, the Spirit of God is at work in my life. And you know what else? He’s also at work in the life of the person I’m trying to reach. What’s He doing in that person? He’s empowering me, and He’s convicting them. What does He convict them of? “Of sin, because they believe not on Me” – the sin of rejecting Christ – “of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more.” In other words, when Christ went to the Father, it was God’s statement that He was righteous, that He had done His work and fulfilled His work, and He was to be exalted. And so the Holy Spirit not only convicts of the sin of rejecting Christ, but convicts of the fact that Christ is righteous, and the source of righteousness, and the standard of righteousness.
And thirdly, He convicts of judgment, “because the prince of this world is judged.” In other words, all the Holy Spirit need to do is to say to somebody, “Look what happened to Satan, look at His judgment, and what makes you think you’re going to get away if he didn’t?” So the Holy Spirit comes and convicts. So Jesus said, “I’m going to send you My Holy Spirit, and He’ll live in you, and He’ll work on them.” What a promise. Fantastic promise. And the Holy Spirit does. He works in the unbeliever. John Bunyan, in his book Holy War, has a city called Mansoul; and that’s the – Mansoul represents the redeemed people. Emmanuel comes and redeems Mansoul. But Mansoul had a rebellion, and they took Mr. Conscience.
Mr. Conscience had a job in the city. His job was to ring the bell, and he was always ringing the bell. Every time something went wrong, bong, came the bell. So when the revolt happened, they locked Mr. Conscience in his house and barred the windows. You know what happened? John Bunyan says no matter how they locked him in, in spite of everything, he somehow escaped and rang the bell. You know how it is in our lives, in the lives of unregenerate people. They may try to lock Mr. Conscience and the – incidentally, and they cut the rope, too, but he did it anyway – and they try to lock up Conscience, but somehow, someway the Spirit of God unlocks Mr. Conscience, and he rings his bell. That’s conviction.
And so the Holy Spirit is at work. What a promise. Think of it, people. Jesus left us the proof of love, the hope of Heaven, the guarantee of power, the assurance of supply, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. And that’s just half of it. And I’ll tell you something. Let me turn it around just – and say it this way. When I stop to think of the fact that He showed me the proof of His love, it makes me want to love Him in return. Does it you? It makes me want to love Him back. And He said, “If you love Me, do” – what – “keep My commandments.” And when I stop to think that He gave me the hope of Heaven, and He said, “You’re already a citizen, MacArthur, and I’m working on your place,” I say to myself, “Man, I ought to live like a Kingdom citizen, shouldn’t I? I ought to have a little of that heavenly activity going on in my earthly world. I ought to act like a citizen of the Kingdom.”
And when the Bible says that He’s guaranteed me power, I ought to be bold enough to go out there and put Him to the test. Don’t you think? And when He says, “I’ve given you the assurance of supply,” I ought to spend some time on my knees, ’cause there’s a lot of things that Jesus wants, and there’s a lot of things I could be in on, so that I can give Him glory. And when I realize He’s given me the gift of the Holy Spirit, there are three things I don’t want to do. I don’t want to lie to the Spirit, I don’t want to grieve the Spirit, and I don’t want to quench the Spirit, and there’s one think I do want to do, I want to yield to the Spirit. With that kind of a legacy, people, it’s incredible to believe that Christians would be anything less than devastating in this world from the standpoint of effect, and that we would be content from the standpoint of knowing what we have in Christ.
Father, we thank You this morning for helping us to see some things that are so important. The thing that thrills me, Lord, is that the reason all these five things belong to us is because You belong to us, and You never really left us at all. But we have these things because we have You. You didn’t really go away. You went away physically, but You never went away. Thank You. Thank You for what You’ve given to me. Thank You for the inheritance that I have. I’m not a worthy son on my own, but in Your grace You made me worthy, and I want to walk worthy of what You’ve made me, and I want to honor You for that legacy that You gave. And that’s my prayer for all of us this morning; in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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