Lesson 74

John 14

“Lesson 74: John 14,” New Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2016)


Introduction

Following the Passover meal, Jesus taught His Apostles how to return to Heavenly Father and how to show their love for the Savior. Jesus then promised His Apostles that He would send them another Comforter.

Suggestions for Teaching

John 14:1–14

The Savior teaches His Apostles how to return to Heavenly Father

If possible, display a map of your city and invite students to identify their current location on it. On the map, identify another place students are familiar with. Ask them to write down on a piece of paper how to get from their current location to that place. Invite one or two students to report what they wrote.

Write Celestial Kingdom on the board. Ask students to consider the directions they would give to someone who wants to know how to reach the celestial kingdom.

Invite students to look for a truth as they study John 14 that could help them know how to return to Heavenly Father and enter the celestial kingdom.

To help students understand the context of John 14, remind them that the Savior observed the Passover with His Apostles in an upper room in Jerusalem. Following the Passover meal, Jesus told His disciples He would soon be leaving them (see John 13:33).

Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from John 14:1–5. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Jesus taught His Apostles to help comfort them.

  • What did Jesus teach His Apostles to help comfort them?

  • What do you think the phrase “in my Father’s house are many mansions” in verse 2 means?

Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith:

Prophet Joseph Smith

“[The statement] ‘In my Father’s house are many mansions’ … should be—‘In my Father’s kingdom are many kingdoms,’ in order that ye may be heirs of God and joint-heirs with me. … There are mansions for those who obey a celestial law, and there are other mansions for those who come short of the law, every man in his own order” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 219).

You may want to suggest that students write the words kingdom and kingdoms in their scriptures above the words house and mansions in John 14:2.

  • Which teachings in John 14:1–4 might have been comforting to the Apostles?

  • According to verse 5, how did Thomas respond to the Savior’s teaching that His Apostles knew the way to Heavenly Father’s kingdom?

Invite a student to read John 14:6 aloud, and ask the class to look for Jesus’s response to Thomas’s question.

  • How did Jesus respond to Thomas’s question?

Draw a path on the board. At one end of the path write Us, and at the other end write Heavenly Father’s Kingdom. Write The Way under the path, and point out that this phrase refers to the path that leads from one place to another.

  • How is the Savior the Way? (Students might respond that the Savior shows us how to live in order to become like God and how to be worthy to dwell in Heavenly Father’s presence.)

Write The Truth and The Life on the board under “The Way.”

  • In what ways is Jesus Christ the Truth? (He is the source of all truth and lived all truth perfectly.)

  • In what ways is Jesus the Life? (He makes it possible for us to overcome physical death and be resurrected with immortal physical bodies and to overcome spiritual death to obtain eternal life. He is “the light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things” [D&C 88:13].)

Under the drawing of the path on the board, write Jesus Christ Is next to “The Way.”

  • Based on what we have discussed, how would you summarize the meaning of the Savior’s statement that “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”? (John 14:6). (Students may use different words but should identify a truth similar to the following: Only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and by following His way can we enter Heavenly Father’s kingdom.)

  • What will happen if we try to follow a way that is not the Savior’s way?

Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge of the Seventy. Ask the class to listen for what will happen if we try to follow a way that is not the Savior’s way.

Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge

“There is only one way to happiness and fulfillment. He is the Way. Every other way, any other way, whatever other way, is foolishness. …

“… We can either follow the Lord and be endowed with His power and have peace, light, strength, knowledge, confidence, love, and joy, or we can go some other way, any other way, whatever other way, and go it alone—without His support, without His power, without guidance, in darkness, turmoil, doubt, grief, and despair. And I ask, which way is easier? …

“There is only one way to happiness and fulfillment. Jesus Christ is the Way” (“The Way,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 34, 36).

  • According to Elder Corbridge, what will happen if we do not follow the Savior’s way?

  • What will happen if we follow the Savior’s way?

Ask students to ponder experiences they have had in which they were blessed by following the Savior’s way. Invite a few of them to share their experiences.

Summarize John 14:7–14 by explaining that the Savior taught His Apostles that one of His purposes in coming to earth was to reveal through His words and deeds the true nature of Heavenly Father. He also promised His Apostles that they would have power to do great works.

John 14:15–31

Jesus teaches His Apostles how to show their love for Him

Ask students to think of someone they love.

  • How do you show your love for this person?

Invite a student to read John 14:15 aloud, and ask the class to look for what Jesus told His Apostles to do to show their love for Him.

  • Based on what Jesus taught His Apostles, what can we do to show our love for Jesus Christ? (Students should identify the following truth: We show our love for Jesus Christ by keeping His commandments.)

Bring to class several slips of paper with commandments written on them (such as obeying the Word of Wisdom, paying tithing, and keeping the Sabbath day holy). Invite several students to come to the front of the class. Instruct each one to take a slip of paper, read the commandment aloud, and explain how keeping that commandment allows us to show our love for Jesus Christ. Afterward, invite them to return to their seats.

Invite students to ponder how well they are showing their love for the Savior by keeping His commandments. Encourage them to set a goal to show their love for the Savior by better keeping one or more commandments that might be difficult for them.

Invite a student to read John 14:16–17, 26 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the Savior’s promise to His Apostles.

  • What did the Savior promise His Apostles?

Explain that the phrase “another Comforter” in verse 16 refers to the Holy Ghost. Because the Savior had been a comforter to His Apostles during His mortal ministry, He called the Holy Ghost another Comforter.

  • According to John 14:16–17, 26, what can the Holy Ghost do for us? (Using their own words, students should identify the following truth: The Holy Ghost can comfort us, teach us all things, and bring all things to our remembrance.)

Invite students to record their answers to the following questions in their class notebooks or scripture study journals:

  • When have you felt the Holy Ghost comfort you? When have you felt Him teach you? When has He helped you remember things?

After sufficient time, ask for a few volunteers to share what they wrote.

Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from John 14:18–23.

  • According to verses 21 and 23, how will we be blessed if we keep the commandments? (Students may use different words but should identify a principle similar to the following: If we keep the commandments, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will be with us.)

  • What do you think it means that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will be with us? (This refers to a personal appearance of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ [see D&C 130:3].)

Explain that the Prophet Joseph Smith taught that while the Holy Ghost is referred to as the First Comforter, Jesus Christ is the Second Comforter. To receive Him as the Second Comforter, we must first develop faith in Him, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and strive to be righteous and serve God. If we do these things, eventually we “will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend [us], or appear unto [us] from time to time, … and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto [us], and the Lord will teach [us] face to face” (in History of the Church, 3:380–81). This promise will be fulfilled according to the Lord’s will and timing (see D&C 88:68).

Invite students to read John 14:27 silently, looking for the Savior’s message to His Apostles.

  • How does the Savior’s message in verse 27 relate to the principles we have identified in this lesson?

  • What is the difference between the peace the Savior offers and the peace the world offers?

Summarize John 14:28–30 and Joseph Smith Translation, John 14:30 (in verse 30, footnote a) by explaining that Jesus told His Apostles they should rejoice because He was about to leave them to return to Heavenly Father. He also told them that Satan had no power over Him because He had overcome the world. Jesus told the Apostles that Satan could still influence them because they had not yet completed their work on the earth.

Invite students to read John 14:31 silently, looking for what the Savior wanted the world to know.

  • What did the Savior want the world to know?

  • How did the Savior show His love for Heavenly Father?

To conclude, invite students to testify of how the principles in this lesson can help them as they try to return to God’s presence in the celestial kingdom.

scripture mastery iconScripture Mastery—John 14:6

To help students memorize John 14:6, consider using one of the ideas in the appendix of this manual.

scripture mastery iconScripture Mastery—John 14:15

To help students memorize John 14:15, invite them to write this verse on a slip of paper. Ask them to repeat the verse until they have it memorized. Then invite them to display this paper in a place where it will remind them to show their love for the Lord by keeping His commandments.

Commentary and Background Information

John 14:6. “I am the way, the truth, and the life”

Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained the significance of John 14:6 and the ways in which Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life”:

“He is the Way in that it is in and through him that salvation comes; ‘no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,’ he said. (John 14:6.) He is the Truth because he is the embodiment and personification of that holy attribute. (Alma 5:48.) And he is the Life because in him the light of life centers; except for him and his power there would be no existence; should he withdraw the light of life, death would gain an immediate victory; and without him there would be neither immortal life, nor eternal life, which is life in unending glory” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 832).

John 14:9–12. “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father”

President Joseph F. Smith explained the meaning of the Savior’s statement “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father”:

“Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is ‘the express image’ of His Father’s person (Hebrews 1:3). He walked the earth as a human being, as a perfect man, and said, in answer to a question put to Him: ‘He that hath seen me hath seen the Father’ (John 14:9). This alone ought to solve the problem to the satisfaction of every thoughtful, reverent mind. The conclusion is irresistible, that if the Son of God be the express image (that is, likeness) of His Father’s person, then His Father is in the form of man; for that was the form of the Son of God, not only during His mortal life, but before His mortal birth, and after His resurrection. It was in this form that the Father and the Son, as two personages, appeared to Joseph Smith, when, as a boy of fourteen years, he received his first vision” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith [1998], 334).

John 14:12. “Greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father”

It may be confusing to read that those who believe in Jesus Christ will do greater works than He did. However, the Lectures on Faith suggest that this statement is better understood in connection with the Savior’s teachings in John 17:20–24:

“All these sayings put together give as clear an account of the state of the glorified saints as language could give—the works that Jesus had done they were to do, and greater works than those which he had done among them should they do, and that because he went to the Father. He does not say that they should do these works in time; but they should do greater works, because he went to the Father. … The greater works which those that believed on his name were to do were to be done in eternity, where he was going and where they should behold his glory” (Lectures on Faith [1985], 77–78).

John 14:16–23, 2615:2616:7; ; . “Comforter” is a title for the Holy Ghost and for Jesus Christ

The Prophet Joseph Smith explained:

“There are two Comforters spoken of. One is the Holy Ghost, the same as given on the day of Pentecost, and that all Saints receive after faith, repentance, and baptism. …

“The other Comforter spoken of is a subject of great interest, and perhaps understood by few of this generation. After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost, (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John, in the 14th chapter, from the 12th to the 27th verses” (in History of the Church, 3:380).

Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained the role of the Holy Ghost as the First Comforter:

“As long as Jesus has been with them, he has been their Comforter; he has spoken peace to their souls; those who were heavy laden with the sorrows and sufferings and struggles of the world came to him and found rest for their souls. He comforted the widow and was a father to the fatherless. His words lifted believing souls to new heights of serenity and peace. Now he is leaving, but he will send another Comforter—the Holy Ghost—to abide with the faithful forever.

“For all men except those few who heard his voice in mortality, the Holy Ghost is the first Comforter. This member of the Godhead speaks peace to the souls of the righteous in all ages. The Holy Ghost ‘is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men’ (1 Ne. 10:17), and, as well also, in times to come. He is the Spirit of truth—as also is Christ—but the world cannot receive the Holy Ghost because the Spirit will not dwell in unclean tabernacles” (Mortal Messiah, 4 vols. [1979–81], 4:74–75).

John 14:26. The Holy Ghost is different from the Light of Christ

President Joseph Fielding Smith taught the difference between the Holy Ghost and the Light of Christ:

“The Holy Ghost should not be confused with the Spirit which fills the immensity of space and which is everywhere present. This other Spirit [the light of Christ] is impersonal and has no size, nor dimension; it proceeds forth from the presence of the Father and the Son and is in all things. We should speak of the Holy Ghost as a personage as ‘he’ and this other Spirit as ‘it,’ although when we speak of the power or gift of the Holy Ghost we may properly say ‘it.’

“… The Holy Ghost, as we are taught in our modern revelation, is the third member in the Godhead and a personage of Spirit. These terms are used synonymously: Spirit of God, Spirit of the Lord, Spirit of Truth, Holy Spirit, Comforter; all having reference to the Holy Ghost. The same terms largely are used in relation to the Spirit of Jesus Christ, also called the Light of Truth, Light of Christ, Spirit of God, and Spirit of the Lord; and yet they are separate and distinct things. We have a great deal of confusion because we have not kept that clearly in our minds” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 1:49–50).