John 14:19-24

19 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.

20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”

23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

The last time the world saw Christ (v.19), He was on the Cross. After the resurrection, He appeared only to believers.

you will see Me (v.19) — not the second coming, but the spiritual sight which we have by the Spirit — it’s in the present tense.

at that day (v.20) — when the Spirit comes — sealing our union with Christ

Verse 21 is a continuation of verse 15 (1 John 2:4; Philippians 2:5).

Verse 22 — literally “Lord, and what has happened …” Perhaps Judas was wondering about the promised Kingdom. Why wasn’t Christ manifesting Himself as King with power and glory?

keep My words (v.23) — more than keeping commandments. He’s referring to desire as opposed to obligation.

home (v.23) — the Spirit

Every eye shall see Him” (Revelation 1:7). When? When He is seated upon the Great White Throne to judge the wicked. Then shall they be punished with “everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

“But ye see Me” (John 14:19). They saw Him then, while He was speaking to them. They saw Him, again and again, after He had risen from the dead. They saw Him, as He went up to Heaven, till a cloud received Him out of their sight. They saw Him, by faith, after He had taken His seat at the right hand of God, for it is written, “We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor” (Hebrews 2:9). They see Him now, for they are present with the Lord. They shall see Him at His second coming: “When He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). They shall see Him for ever and ever throughout the Perfect Day: for it is written,  “And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads” (Revelation 22:40. — Pink, pages 373 and 374.


To “keep” God’s commandments is to obey them, and the primary, the fundamental thing in obedience, is the desire of the heart, and it is on the heart that God ever looks. Two things are true of every Christian: deep down in his heart there is an intense, steady longing and yearning to please God, to do His will, to walk in full accord with His Word. This yearning may be stronger in some than in others, and in each of us it is stronger at some times than at others; nevertheless, it is there! But in the second place, no real Christian fully realizes this desire. Every genuine Christian has to say with the apostle Paul, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may lay hold of that for which I am laid hold of by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12).

Now we believe that it is this heart-obedience, this inward longing to be fully conformed to His will, this burning desire of the renewed soul, of which Christ here speaks. “If a man love Me, he will keep My word.” Every true believer loves Christ; therefore every true believer “keeps” His Word, keeps it in the sense thus defined. Let it be repeated, God looks at the heart; whereas we are constantly occupied with the outward appearance. As we scrutinize our deeds, if we are honest, we have to acknowledge that we have “kept His word” very imperfectly; yea, it seems to us, that we are not entitled to say that we have “kept” it at all. But the Lord looks behind the deeds, and knows the longings within us. The case of Peter in John 21 is a pertinent illustration. When Christ asked him a third time, “Lovest thou Me?” His disciple answered, “Lord, thou knowest all things; THOU knowest that I love Thee.” My disgraceful actions contradicted my love; my fellow-disciples have good reason to doubt it, but Thou who searchest the heart knowest better. In one sense it is an intensely solemn and searching thing to remember that nothing can be hidden from Him before whom all things are open and naked; but in another sense it is most blessed and comforting to realize that He can see in my heart what I cannot often discover in my ways, and what my fellow-believers cannot — a real love for Him, a genuine longing to please and glorify Him. — Pink, pages 380-381.

All true. However when Christ said these words to the disciples, the Old Testament Law was still in effect, and the commandments they were told to keep were part of that law. And the purpose of the law (as Paul later revealed in Romans 3:19-20) was to show that all are equally guilty and unable to be saved by the law. When Christ died to pay the penalty for breaking the law for us, and rose again to life, He fulfilled the law for us. That’s why Paul says that those in Christ have no condemnation Romans 8:1). Our obedience now, under grace, is simply to believe. Pink is right that believers desire to keep God’s Word. But when he says that our desire is the same as obedience, he misses the point somewhat. In Christ, we ARE obedient.

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1 Response to John 14:19-24

  1. TimS says:

    Great commentary; ultimately it’s all about the condition of the heart.

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