The narrative of John 14 follow the narrative of the last supper in John 13, in the previous chapter Jesus had just washed the feet of the disciples and then he goes on to tell them what God has in store for them. In the previous chapter Jesus gives out commandments to his disciples to follow, he says that now they I am to leave you, you will not have another person to serve you. Now they had to be servants of one another, like he had demonstrated them to serve by washing all their feet. He also says to them in verse 34 of the previous chapter that a new commandment I give unto you, love on another as I have loved you. Also another commandment that he had given to them was not to trust in their own strength but to put their faith in God and in Jesus. So the words if you love me follow from that series of events.
Jesus has just told the disciples that he is about to leave them and that he is going back to his father, and his father’s house has many mansions that they too can occupy. Jesus here promises the disciples a sense of belonging, an acceptance.
So as he leaves them he tells them that I have commanded you to do a few things, because of the love you have for me you will be able to keep these commandments. Although we can look at the love that Jesus is speaking about as being a reference to one’s own morality however I would like to suggest that Jesus here was referring to a love for one another, amongst the disciples.
So they are to remain together be of one heart and one mind, even though he may be leaving he is not leaving them alone. He says it is because of that love and the keeping of my commandments that I will ask the father, he will send you the advocate who will be with you forever and this advocate is the spirit of truth. The world will not know or see the Spirit of truth, because the world cannot see it or recognise it, only you will know because the spirit of truth abides in you and is in you.
In a little while you will see me no longer and in a little while you will see me, the reason is even though I will be leaving you in the physical sense but now I will be here alive and because of this you too will live.
Jesus knows that he is leaving them to fend for themselves and they were meant to keep his commandments because of the love they have for him. It is as if he knew the suffering that they were going to face however the motivation to go on and spread the gospel would be the love they had for him.
When reading this passage I realise what Jesus might have been speaking about, that even though I may not be amongst you, however what I have commanded and taught you is what will carry you through. It is the faith that you have in me that will carry you through and the trust that you will have in me that will lead you away from depression.
In all that you face it is the spirit of truth that will keep you. The spirit of truth is not in the world because the world does not recognise it. The good news is that because you are from me, Jesus might have said, and I am the truth you will recognise this spirit. It is when we become the agents of truth and Justice that God’s promise of the spirit of truth shall be fulfilled.