Sixth Sunday of Easter

 Sermon Text: John 14:15-21

 Other Readings: Acts 417:22-31 and 1 Peter 3:13-22


  1. Jesus said on Holy (Maundy) Thursday, “I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.” (vv. 18,19 NIV). Commentators debate what kind of coming Jesus had in mind. Did he mean a physical coming after his resurrection or a sort of spiritual coming at Pentecost? Which event do you think he meant? Explain.
  2. In verse 16, what does it mean that the Holy Spirit is “another advocate?” Asked another way, what does the Holy Spirit do as our advocate?
  3. What sort of commands does Jesus have in mind when he talks about “[his] commands?”
  4. Twice Jesus uses love for him and keeping his commands in the same sentence. Explain the connection between love for Jesus and keeping his commands. 
  5. Jesus’ words here assure us of something theologians call “the mystic union,” namely, that God has a special union in his believers and special presence with them. What comfort does it bring you to know that the Spirit is in you (v. 17), that Jesus is in you (v. 20), and that, therefore, the Father is also in you (v. 20)?

  1. Again, respected Lutheran commentators have differed on what kind of coming Jesus was referring to. So, our answers may differ. But, at the end of the day, the result is still the same. Jesus lives and finds ways to bring his power and blessings to those who believe him and love him.
  2. It means that he is constantly showing us the truth and pointing us to Jesus. The Greek word here (paraclete) was sometimes used for lawyers. Just as a lawyer helps guide you through a legal process, so the Holy Spirit uses the truth of God’s Word and the work of Jesus to guide us through life.
  3. Based on the context, it seems like Jesus does not so much have in mind the Ten Commandments but rather these things that he emphasized in his ministry: 1) repent, 2) believe the gospel, 3) the new commandment of brotherly love, and 4) taking up the cross and following him. (Now, to be sure, those certainly have connections to the Ten Commandments.)
  4. Without love for Jesus, you are not going to keep his commandments because you do not want to. This is why Martin Luther began his explanations to the Ten Commandments, “We should fear and love God…” Note: When we think about “keeping” the commandments, the Greek word there has the image of holding onto the commands and keeping them always in view, not just periodic obedience.
  5. Christians are not alone in their struggles and do not need to ascend to God’s level. In Christ God has already accomplished their salvation, and now the Father sends both the Spirit and Christ to dwell within believers in a gracious and powerful union that overcomes sin. Therefore, all Christians are comforted because they know that even on this side of heaven, they have everything God promises. God continually helps them from within until they reach his presence in eternity.