John … the only apostle to share Jesus’ heart on the night of His arrest, penned the words of chapter 14. This chapter contains the beginning of His last words of instruction and prayer. Even though execution was imminent, Jesus’ love was poured out in those recorded words knowing the disappointment, confusion, and fear that would arise in the hearts of His followers at His death.
His desire for them was to trust in His words and promises and know that there was a higher plan in action; He will come again (John 14:3) and take believers out of this world and into the next. That promise was for believers only, those who have died to their sin nature and experienced resurrection life. That’s what His death accomplished.
Jesus was clear, only those who believe in Him will experience that higher life, life in the Spirit. He told this select group that the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit because they can’t see Him or know Him (John 14:15-17); it takes revelation that only God can impart. Believers have this unique gift; the Holy Spirit lives ‘in them’. John used this image many times in the following chapters to explain this mystical union: Christ in us, the Holy Spirit in us, God in us. Fascinating. You can’t easily explain this divine union, it’s only experienced. Jesus reassured them that the world of unbelievers wouldn’t see Him again (vs.19) but they would because He is still alive ‘in them’.
“When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” John 14:20 NLT
The privilege of intimately knowing God includes showing our love to Him by keeping His commandments. Not the Ten Commandments but the greatest commandment:
“The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31 NLT
The world doesn’t love Jesus, therefore, they don’t obey Him and can’t experience Him; it’s as simple as that. The cross is foolishness to them (1 Cor. 1:18) but to believers it’s the power of God. The world thinks their wisdom will give them God’s approval but scripture tells us that He chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise (1 Cor. 1:27). Why? So that no one will boast in His presence (vs. 29); salvation is about humility not pride. It’s about trusting Him and not ourselves.
God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 1 Corinthians 1:30 NLT