John 14:8-14 - Is Jesus Enough
When you go through hard times whether that is financial difficulty, sickness & health issues, children who have gone astray, or even the death of a loved one... in those times, “Is Jesus Christ enough for you?” Or, when things are great, you’re blessed, but for whatever reason Christ is not enough for you… you seem to be on a “Quest for something more”* and my question is why? Why is God not enough for you?
We have a verse recorded in Jeremiah 2500 years ago that says "Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it." (Jeremiah 6:16, NASB95)
Israel had left the old path and the old ways and had taken a shortcut for themselves that was rapidly taking them into quicksand and death, and Jeremiah offered to come to their rescue. He said, “If you want to escape what is ahead for you, ask for the old paths and turn onto the old paved highway that God has made for you, and you will come out all right.” But Israel did not listen.
The reason Israel was in trouble was that she had gotten tired of God.
- This had not been the first time. Once, on the mount, Moses, their leader—whom they rallied to because he was trustworthy, visible and exercised leadership—went out of their sight for a while. Because they could not get their eyes on anything and could not touch anything, they didn’t have the inward stability and stamina enough to wait for God’s time. God was not enough for them, so they made themselves a golden calf.
- It happened again in the wilderness later, after they had eaten manna from heaven for some time, they got tired of that diet. Although manna had everything they needed, they demanded to have something a bit more spicy. This, though sinful, is the tendency in humanity. It is a bad streak in human nature which finds goodness boring. We get tired of it after a while, and the only way we can endure it is to mix it with something highly spiced.
There are some serious difficulties that I see in Christianity today and I believe the root and bottom of it all is that many of us have become bored with God.
- We want the safety of the Cross, and yet we are not satisfied with the Cross.
- We want the protecting wing of God, provided God will allow us a certain number of childish toys that we may be able to play with to satisfy our minds.
- We have a multitude of things to make up for the fact that God is not enough for us.
Here in our current passage, we have a man who has been with Jesus for 31/2 years, seen miracles, sicked healed, lame could walk the blind could see… and even though he had seen these things he still says “Lord, show us the Father and it is sufficient for us”.
A. Philip’s Request (v.8).
1. “Lord, Show us the Father…” (v.8a).
a) Philip’s request shows how the disciples interpreted His words.
(1) Jesus had been discussing the fact that He was returning to the Father and that the disciples could not go with Him, not now (John 13:33-14:7).
(2) They thought Jesus meant that He was going to some mountaintop or some other quiet place to meet God face to face just as great men of God had done in the past, men such as...
(a) Jacob (Genesis 28:12f; Genesis 32:24f) – Jacob wrestled with God
(b) Moses (Exodus 3:1f; Exodus 24:9-11; Exodus 33:14-23; Exodus 34:5-9)–Burning bush
(c) Joshua (Joshua 5:13f) – Commander of the army of the Lord
(d) Gideon (Judges 6:21f) – The Angel of the Lord, face to face
(e) Elijah (1 Kings 19:4f).
(f) Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1f).
(g) Ezekiah (Ezekiel 1:1f; Ezekiel 10:1f).
2. “And it is sufficient for us…” (v.8b).
a) Philip felt that seeing God would calm their hearts.
(1) Moses similarly said the same thing (Exodus 33:8-23): God’s presence would go with Moses & give him rest (v.14), Moses request to see God’s glory (v.18); God said no man can see my face and live (v.20).
(2) Our satisfaction should come in being in his likeness:
Listen to what the Psalmist says, "As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake." (Psalm 17:15, NASB95)
Listen to the NLT "But because I have done what is right, I will see you. When I awake, I will be fully satisfied, for I will see you face to face." (Psalm 17:15, NLT)
(3) (Matthew 5:8): Our hearts being pure would show us God: a more literal translation of (Matthew 5:8) is, “They shall be continuously seeing God for themselves.” Intimate knowledge of and fellowship with God is reserved for the pure.
(a) When our hearts are purified at salvation we begin to live in the presence of God. We begin to see and to comprehend Him with our new spiritual eyes. Like Moses, who saw God’s glory and asked to see more (Ex.33:18), the one who is purified by Jesus Christ sees again and again the glory of God.
(b) To see God was the greatest hope of Old Testament saints.
David wanted to see more of God “As the deer pants for the water brooks,” he said, “so my soul pants for Thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?” (Ps.42:1).
Job rejoiced when he was able to say, "“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You” (Job 42:5, NASB95)
(c) Having a pure heart cleanses the eyes of the soul so that God becomes visible.
(i) One sign of an impure heart is sin, because sin obscures the truth.
Jesus said that "light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” (John 3:19-20, NKJV)
(ii) Other signs of an impure heart are…
(a) self-centeredness (Rev. 3:17)
(b) pleasure in sin (2 Tim. 3:4)
(c) unbelief (Heb. 3:12), and hatred of purity (Mic. 3:2).
(d) However, those who belong to God exchange all of those things for integrity and purity.
(4) In heaven we will see God face to face (Revelation 22:3-5).
!!!! b) Walking by faith was not enough.
(1) The phrase, “Show us the Father & it is sufficient” shows that Philip was not satisfied with what he saw in Jesus, nor with what He had received in Jesus. Walking by faith was not enough.
(2) Think About this: often times a lack of faith has been cleverly disguised as a lack of facts. Philip acted as though Christ had not shown the disciples enough about the truth of Christ's Deity. But Philip did not lack facts, his lack was faith.
This is the same cry of the mockers at the cross who said “Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe (Mark 15:32).
(3) Seeing Is Believing, Is Not The Christian Approach:
(a) Lazarus (John 11:4, 23, 40); Thomas (John 20:29).
(b) Even though we have never seen Jesus we love Him (1 Pet.1:8)
(c) When Jesus Was on the Cross, people still wanted a sign (Matt.27:35-44 esp.v.42)
(d) The Nobleman Believed Jesus’ Word Before He Seen the Miracle (John 4:46-53).
B. Jesus’ Response (v.9).
1. “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me…” (v.9a)?
a) Inexcusable ignorance.
(1) The words "so long" says that Philip had sat long enough under Christ's teaching to have no reason for asking such a question. "So long" says much evidence abounds, therefore, there is no excuse for unbelief.
(2) "So long" is a rebuke many Christians need who have been saved "so long" but have not grown much in the Lord.
(3) Many are the "Philip" saints who have been saved many years and sat under good teaching and preaching at church but have not grown much at all spiritually. They are still in the nursery in diapers and on the bottle spiritually.
You need to have a desire for the Word, if you don’t, what is choking it out? Peter says "Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious." (1 Peter 2:1-3, NKJV)
The Lord Himself says about Jerusalem in Jeremiah 6 "To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Indeed their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot give heed. Behold, the word of the Lord is a reproach to them; they have no delight in it." (Jeremiah 6:10, NKJV)
However, listen to the words of Jeremiah "Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart." (Jeremiah 15:16, NKJV)
b) Knowing Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:7-14).
(1) Paul had been in church or synagogue learning of God but he never had a relationship with God… it was all legalistic.
2. “He who has seen Me has seen the Father…” (v.9b).
a) Jesus was the full embodiment of God.
(1) When a man sees Jesus, he sees a Person...
(a) who is the very nature of God.
(b) who is the very character of God.
(c) who is the very substance of God.
(d) who is the very perfection of God, who is God in all of His perfect Being.
!!!! b) Refuting the Jehovah Witnesses – who have think they know Jesus but don’t.
(1) Christ’s identity is clearly taught and He is revealed as Jehovah God in human form (Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2; Isaiah 7:14; John 1:14; 8:58; 17:5 [cf. Exodus 3:14]; Hebrews 1:3; Philippians 2:11; Colossians 2:9; and Revelation 1:8, 17–18; etc.).
(2) Jehovah declares His existence as the “only” God and Savior (Isaiah 44:6). Since Jehovah is the only God, then how can the Logos be “a god,” a lesser god than Jehovah, as the JW’s declare in (John 1:1)?
(3) Christ could not be our Savior and Redeemer if He were not Jehovah, for Jehovah is the only Savior of men’s souls (Isaiah 43:11).
(4) Remember, you can’t kill God for God is spirit (John 4:24), but God did die in human form (Acts 20:28).
c) Note the emphasis on the Father (Matt.7:11; Rom.8:15-17; 1John 3:1).
Jesus said "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11, NKJV)
John says in his first epistle "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him." (1 John 3:1, NKJV)
C. The Evidence (v.10).
1. “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me…” (v.10a)?
a) God’s presence (v.10a).
(1) God was in Jesus, and Jesus was in God. This can be called the mutual Indwelling Presence of God and Christ, each dwelling in the other. This simply means that each has the nature and being, the Spirit and Mind of the other—perfectly.
(2) The proof that He was the One who came to earth to reveal God, is clear: God’s presence is not only with Him; God’s presence is in Him. He Himself is God.
Jesus said that "I and the Father are one…” "If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father." (John 10:30, 37-38, NASB95)
In our present passage, Jesus says "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me…? “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves." (John 14:10-11, NASB95)
Jesus adds something spectacular in (v.20) "In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you." (John 14:20, NASB95)
If you hate Jesus, He says you hate the Father also "If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well." (John 15:24, NASB95)
Paul writes in Colossians that "He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation." (Colossians 1:15, NASB95)
Paul says that "who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped" (Philippians 2:6, NASB95)
The writer of Hebrews says that "And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1:3, NASB95)
!!!! b) God’s presence in us (2 Corinthians 4:6-18 esp.v.7).
(1) Christians face trials day after day and we experience fatigue and weariness, strain and pressure, trouble and doubt, criticism and opposition, conflict and persecution—and the list could go on and on. This passage deals with the power and Spirit of God sustaining us. We have…
(a) the presence of God… the power of God… the Spirit of God… the hope of God…
(b) the inner man being renewed day by day
(c) we have all things that pertain to life and godliness.
(2) God’s presence is a precious, priceless treasure.
(3) God’s presence is placed into (enters) earthen vessels (v.7).
(a) God enters our bodies that are like earthly vessels made of pottery or glass and are cheap, breakable, and replaceable. Sometimes they were used for honorable things or dishonorable things.
Writing to Timothy, Paul said that "in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work." (2 Timothy 2:20-21)
(b) These earthen vessels are so weak, worthless, corruptible and perishable & yet God’s presence is placed into such earthly bodies!
(c) God’s purpose for entering our bodies is to show His power by overcoming all weaknesses, even death itself.
(4) The presence of God in our hearts and bodies is power to…
(a) Convert and transform us into new creatures…
Paul puts it this way, he say that "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV)
(b) Convert and transform us into new men…
We are commanded to put off "The old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-24, NKJV)
(c) Put His divine nature into us…
Peter says that God has "Given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Peter 1:4, NKJV)
(d) Give us life, both abundant and eternal…
We know that "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10, NKJV)
And we have a great promise that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
(5) The life of Samson: his brth (Judges 13:1-6, 24-25).
In spite of his amazing deeds and his incredible strength, his life came to a sad and tragic end "And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him (Judges 16:20).
(6) in our Christian lives it is important that we depend on the Holy Spirit’s power.
We must recognize that any significant work is done “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 4:6).
We need to continue allowing God to do the works in and through us. To the Galatians Paul said "Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?" (Galatians 3:3, NKJV)
2. “The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority…” (v.10b).
a) The Words of Jesus (v.10b).
(1) Jesus’ words were proof that He was the embodiment of God. His words were the very Words of God which God Himself wanted to say to man. When Jesus spoke, it was the Father who was speaking through Him.
In His last major public discourse, Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35).
Jesus proclaimed the essence of the gospel: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (John 5:24).
Many people “marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?" (Luke 4:22, NKJV)
They were also astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority." (Luke 4:32, NKJV)
Listen to this "For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure." (John 3:34, NKJV)
Jesus Himself said "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63, NKJV)
A few verses later Peter responded by saying "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." (John 6:68; 12:49-50; 14:23-24; 1Tim.6:3-4; 2 John 9).
This is why it is so important to “Let the Words of Christ dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:16).
(2) Our words ought to be the very words that God would have us to say. You may say that I really don’t know how to speak for God.
Remember when "Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? “Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say…" Then the Lord said "Is there not your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he speaks fluently… "You are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I, even I, will be with your mouth and his mouth, and I will teach you what you are to do." (Exodus 4:15, NASB95)
Paul said to Timothy to "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12, NKJV)
Jesus Himself said to "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16, NKJV)
(3) Peter was, one minute used by God, then by the Devil – Get behind Me Satan.
3. “The Father who dwells in Me does the works…” (v.10c).
a) Jesus’ works (v.10c).
(1) The works of Jesus is one of many proofs of who He said He is:
Jesus said "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. (John 4:34 cf. Matthew 4:4)
Speaking to the Pharisees He said But I have a greater witness than John's; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish----the very works that I do----bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. (John 5:36)
When the disciples asked Him who sinned that this man was born blind Jesus answered "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. (John 9:3 NKJV)
Then He says in John 10 that If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; "but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him” (John 10:37-38)
b) Believer’s works.
(1) The works of beleivers is proof of who we say we are following:
(a) Faith without works is dead (James 2:24-26).
(b) We are His workmanship created for good works (Ephesians 2:10).
Jesus said to "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16, NKJV)
Paul himself said "For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;" (Colossians 1:9-10, NKJV)
D. The Challenge (v.11).
1. “Believe Me…” (v.11).
a) Believe the claim of Jesus.
(1) So the challenge is to…
(a) believe in Him as a Person, as the Son of God Himself.
(b) believe in His claim, that His testimony and witness of Himself is absolutely true.
(2) If a person has difficulty believing His claim, then look at His works and believe.
Speaking to the Pharisees, Jesus said "The testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me." (John 5:36, NASB95)
The Jews continued to press Jesus and ask Him who he was and "Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me." (John 10:25)
Peter even said "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— " (Acts 2:22, NASB95)
(3) Now, let’s look at the 2 promises that are given to the believer when we believe. That is found in our next verse (v.12-14).
!! E. The Promises: Are conditional—to the person who believes on Jesus (v.12-14).
1. “The works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do…” (v.12a).
a) The power to do great works (v.12).
(1) The believer will do the same kind of work that Jesus did, work that is characterized.
(a) by loving…caring…ministering and healing.
(b) by proclaiming…teaching…witnessing and testifying.
(c) by helping and performing miracles
Jesus said that "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:28, NKJV)
So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." (John 20:21, NKJV)
(2) The believer will do even greater works than Jesus.
(a) These works or miracles are not greater in quality, because, remember, Jesus said “the servant is not greater than his lord” (John 13:16), but greater in quantity.
(b) This means that the true servant of God will reach more people and have broader results than Jesus did.
(c) Peter preached one sermon and 3,000 sinners were converted in one day! The fact that ordinary people performed these signs made them even more wonderful and brought great glory to God (Acts 5:13–16).
They were going to be able to do these great works because Jesus was going away. Remember how Jesus promised the the Spirit of God? "But now I am going to Him who sent Me…“But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged." (John 16:5-11)
(d) The whole world would eventually hear, and an impact would be made upon many societies and nations as a whole (Acts 2:41).
(3) But note the crucial point: it is not the believer himself who does these “greater things”; it is God working in and through the believer:
Listen to what Mark says in the closing verses of his Gospel "And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.]… And after that, Jesus Himself sent out through them from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.]" (Mark 16:20, NASB95)
Paul said that we are to work out our salvation “with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13, NASB95)
(4) Because it is God working thru us, He gets the Glory, not us (Acts 12:20-24)!
He is the potter and we are the clay. Listen to Isaiah, he says "Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, That what is made would say to its maker, “He did not make me?" (Isaiah 29:16)
(5) Faith and works must always go together; it is faith that releases the power of God in our lives.
Jesus said to the disciples that "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8, NKJV)
Acts 4 says that "With great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all." (Acts 4:33, NKJV)
Paul writes in Ephesians 3 says "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us," (Ephesians 3:20, NKJV)
Remember, it’s the power of God unto salvation, not our power "For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake." (1 Thessalonians 1:5, NKJV)
2. “Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do… ask anything in My name…” (v.13-14).
a) The answer to all prayers (v.13-14 cf. 1 John 5:14a).
(1) There’s a confidence that we have (1 John 5:14). What Gives Us This Confidence?
(a) Abiding in Jesus gives us confidence to stand before Him when He appears (1Jn.2:28-29)
(b) Keeping His commandments & doing the things that are pleasing in His sight (1Jn.3:21-22)
(c) Because of Christ & our faith in Him gives us boldness & confident access to the Father (Eph.3:11-12; Romans 5:1-2; Heb.4:14-16; we are accepted in the beloved Eph.1:6).
b) Asking According To God’s Will (1 John 5:14b).
(1) God wants us to see and discern His will through His word, and to pray His will into action.
Jesus desired God’s will to be done in His life, He said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me” (John 4:34)
The Psalmist prayed “teach me to do your will, for you are my God” (143:10).
Jesus said to the disciples that "These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God." (John 16:25-28, NKJV)
I. Is Jesus Enough (14:8-14)?
A. Philip’s Request (v.8).
B. Jesus’ Response (v.9).
C. The Evidence (v.10).
D. The Challenge (v.11).
E. The Promises: Are conditional—to the person who believes on Jesus (v.12-14).