You’re in for some extra fun today. I’m going to leverage John 14 to help you learn how to study your Bible. This is a bit off the beaten path for my blog posts, but verse-by-verse studies aren’t just for a theologian or a PhD (and, FYI: I am neither of those. I make my livin’ in the tech and payments industry, not as a blogger). God’s Word is meant to speak to you. As you work through this post, I’ll share a few useful approaches to help you grow in your walk with Christ. But first, here’s a little background on where we left off:
We experienced one of those #awkward moments in John 13 when Jesus called out Judas’ betrayal and everybody was confused and couldn’t figure out what He was really saying. Those four words in John 13:30 will forever pierce my heart: “And it was night.” As one of the Divinely Interrupted readers mentioned on Instagram, it wasn’t just dark outside—it was dark in Judas’ soul. Afterwards (to keep it heavy), Jesus predicted Peter’s denial (shocker), and then He continues with this reassurance:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 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. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
These were reassuring words after Jesus just spoke about the roster crowing and Peter disowning Jesus three times. It’s like He’s telling His friends ahead of time, “I know you’re going to screw up. But remember, you genuinely believe in God, and so you should also believe in Me. I’ve got this.” He reminds them that He’s got a “big, big house” (who remembers that Audio Adrenaline song? Um, can we say #throwback?) and they are going to be part of His eternal family.
Jesus also tells His followers that He’s coming back. Man, we are still waiting for His coming in the clouds (Revelation 1:7). Maranatha (Come, Lord Jesus!).
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
As I mentioned in the intro, I’m going to do an unusual thing this week. While it’s great to read other people’s commentary and thoughts on Scripture, the way in which you will grow exponentially is if you learn to study the Scripture and begin to naturally share it with others. I’ve heard from several of the Divinely Interrupted readers that this can be a daunting task, at first. Where do you start? How do you know what it means? I’m going to help teach you how to study your Bible and here’s one of the tools I use (I’ll provide others in future posts):
· David Guzik’s (pastor at Calvary Chapel Santa Barbara) commentary on the Blue Letter Bible site is one of my many go-tos. I enjoy David’s verse-by-verse study guides because they are simple and provide a Biblical, insightful perspective.
· Here is the link to the John 14 study guide. I would encourage you to spend a few extra minutes studying John 14 using this guide. Think about what Jesus meant by being the way, the truth, and the life.
Share: Post a few “nuggets” about what you learned in the post comments below to help others learn from what you’re learning.
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone 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.
25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 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.
28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
“Come now; let us leave.
“If you love me keep my commands.” How do these words play out in your life? Don’t rush through His Word and mark it off your spiritual “list.” Instead, spend a little time investing in reflective writing and prayer journaling around this topic. If you need some guidance on how to prayer journal, here is a recent post: 5 Simple Steps to Prayer Journaling.
I’ve bolded a few verses above that I think you should practice meditating on. Scroll back up and read them again. Set a timer on your phone for 2 minutes and read them. Think about each.word.individually, and ask God to speak to you. He promised you earlier that He would send you an Advocate—and He did so per Acts 2! What is He speaking to you about v. 23-24? Let it churn in your heart today. Chew on it, think about it, write it on a sticky note so it sticks to your heart. Let it take root in your soul.
Father, speak to me. Help the anxiety and the noise around me to be still and empower my spirit with Yours. Help me to hear only Your voice. You are the Good Shepherd.