“Unit 15, Day 4: John 14–15,” New Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2016)
“Unit 15, Day 4,” New Testament Study Guide
Following the Passover meal, Jesus taught His Apostles how to return to Heavenly Father and how to show their love for Him. Jesus then promised His Apostles that He would send them another Comforter. He taught that He is the True Vine and that His disciples are the branches. The Savior also commanded His disciples to love one another and warned them of the persecution they would experience because of their association with Him.
Imagine that a friend asks, “I was told that there are many paths to heaven and that different religions show us different ways to God’s kingdom. Do you believe that is true?” In the space provided, write how you would respond to this question, and explain why you do or do not believe the statement is true.
Read John 14:1–6, looking for the Savior’s teachings about how to return to Heavenly Father’s kingdom. (John 14:6 is a scripture mastery passage. You may want to mark it in a distinctive way so you can locate it in the future.)
From John 14:6 we learn that only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and by following His way can we enter Heavenly Father’s kingdom.
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
How is the Savior the only Way to return to Heavenly Father?
In what ways is Jesus Christ the Truth?
In what ways is Jesus the Life?
The Savior’s way includes developing faith in Him and Heavenly Father; repenting; receiving the ordinances of salvation, such as baptism and temple ordinances; and enduring to the end in faith and obedience.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that the Father sent His Son to help us to know, love, and obey our Father in Heaven:
“In all that Jesus came to say and do, including and especially in His atoning suffering and sacrifice, He was showing us who and what God our Eternal Father is like, how completely devoted He is to His children in every age and nation. In word and in deed Jesus was trying to reveal and make personal to us the true nature of His Father, our Father in Heaven.
“He did this at least in part because then and now all of us need to know God more fully in order to love Him more deeply and obey Him more completely. …
“After generations of prophets had tried to teach the family of man the will and the way of the Father, usually with little success, God in His ultimate effort to have us know Him, sent to earth His Only Begotten and perfect Son, created in His very likeness and image, to live and serve among mortals in the everyday rigors of life. …
“… Jesus … came to improve man’s view of God and to plead with them to love their Heavenly Father as He has always and will always love them. The plan of God, the power of God, the holiness of God, yes, even the anger and the judgment of God they had occasion to understand. But the love of God, the profound depth of His devotion to His children, they still did not fully know—until Christ came.
“So feeding the hungry, healing the sick, rebuking hypocrisy, pleading for faith—this was Christ showing us the way of the Father, He who is ‘merciful and gracious, slow to anger, long-suffering and full of goodness’ [Lectures on Faith (1985), 42]. In His life and especially in His death, Christ was declaring, ‘This is God’s compassion I am showing you, as well as that of my own’” (“The Grandeur of God,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2003, 70–72).
- Memorizing the scripture mastery passage in John 14:6 can help you answer questions like the one from the beginning of this lesson. Memorize this passage by repeating it aloud several times. Then recite it to a family member or friend. Afterward, write I have memorized John 14:6 in your scripture study journal, and ask the person to whom you recited it to sign your journal.
Think of someone you love. How do you show your love for this person?
Read John 14:15, looking for what Jesus told His Apostles to do to show their love for Him. (John 14:15 is a scripture mastery passage. You may want to mark it in a distinctive way so you can locate it in the future.)
Based on what Jesus taught His Apostles, complete the following truth: We show our love for Jesus Christ by .
Consider how keeping each of the following commandments shows your love for Jesus Christ: keeping the Sabbath day holy, honoring your father and mother, paying tithing, and loving your neighbor.
Take three or four minutes and think deeply about how well you are showing your love for the Savior by keeping His commandments.
Read John 14:16–17, 26, looking for the Savior’s promise to His Apostles.
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. For some reason, the Holy Ghost was not fully operative during Jesus’s mortal ministry, although He was fully operative both before and after the Savior’s mortal ministry (see Bible Dictionary, “Holy Ghost”).
Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained the role of the Holy Ghost as the 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” (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols. [1979–81], 4:74–75).
According to John 14:16–17, 26, what are three things the Holy Ghost can do for us? Answer this question by completing the following truth: The Holy Ghost can .
- Answer one or more of the following questions in your scripture study journal:
When have you felt the Holy Ghost comfort you?
When have you felt the Holy Ghost teach you?
When has the Holy Ghost helped you remember something?
Read John 14:18–23, looking for the Savior’s promise to those who show their love for Him by keeping His commandments.
From these verses we learn that if we keep the commandments, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will be with us.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 130:3, looking for what it means to have Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to be with us.
Read John 14:27, looking for the Savior’s words of encouragement to His Apostles.
Ponder the difference between the peace the Savior offers and the peace the world offers.
Elder McConkie described the peace the Savior offers: “[It is] an inner peace born of sure conviction of the divinity of the Lord’s earthly kingdom; a peace which carries an assurance of a better world to come; a peace that dwells in the souls of men though they may be in the midst of war and turmoil” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1965–73], 1:742).
In John 14:28–30 we learn that Jesus told His Apostles they should rejoice because He was about to leave them to return to Heavenly Father. As clarified in the Joseph Smith Translation, Jesus also told them that Satan had no power over Him because He had overcome the world, but Satan could still influence them because they had not yet completed their work on the earth (see Joseph Smith Translation, John 14:30 [in John 14:30, footnote a]).
Read John 14:31, looking for how the Savior showed His love for His Father. You may want to mark what you find.
- See how long it takes you to memorize John 14:15. Recite it aloud. Then write it from memory in your scripture study journal.
Reread John 14:31, looking for the example Jesus Christ set for us of the principle He taught in John 14:15. Notice the sentence “Arise, let us go hence” (John 14:31). The Savior was likely referring to leaving the upper room where the Last Supper had been held and then fulfilling His duty to God in Gethsemane and on Golgotha. The most difficult commandment from the Father to the Son was for Jesus to suffer and die for us (see 3 Nephi 27:13–14). Consider the Lord’s commandments and standards that are difficult for you to obey. Ponder how obeying those commandments would show your love for the Savior. In your personal journal, write a goal to be obedient in the ways you pondered.
Imagine looking back on your life 60 years from now. Circle which of the following words you would ultimately like to describe your life: successful, unhappy, joyful, worthwhile, unproductive, fruitful, productive, abundant, unsuccessful.
Jesus used a metaphor of a grapevine to help His disciples understand how to have a fruitful, productive, and abundant life.
Read John 15:1–5, looking for what the different elements of this metaphor represent.
From these verses we learn that the vine represents Jesus Christ, and the branches represent disciples of Jesus Christ. The fruit can represent the righteous works and actions that Jesus Christ’s disciples should produce. Write these meanings next to the labels in the picture. The husbandman, as the Savior said in John 15:1, is Heavenly Father. A husbandman is someone who cares for a vineyard.
Consider marking each instance of the words abide or abideth in John 15:4–5. The word abide as used in these verses means to remain firmly and permanently attached to Jesus Christ and His Church
In John 15:5 we learn that if we abide in the Savior, we will produce righteous works.
In John 15:6–8 we learn that the Savior taught that those who do not abide in Him are like a branch that has been cut off—it withers and dies. Individuals who abide in Jesus Christ produce righteous works that glorify God.
What can we do to abide in, or be firmly connected to, the Savior?
Read John 15:9–11, looking for what Jesus taught His disciples to do and what blessings they would receive. Consider marking what you find.
The Father and the Son love us with a perfect and everlasting love, and keeping Their commandments allows us to receive a fulness of the blessings They lovingly desire to give us (see 1 Nephi 17:35; D&C 95:12; 130:20–21).
From John 15:10–11 we learn that if we keep the commandments, we will abide in the Savior’s love and receive a fulness of joy.
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
Why do you think abiding in the Savior allows us to receive a fulness of joy?
Why do you think those who abide in the Savior will produce righteous works?
Think about ways you can stay firmly connected to the Savior and thereby receive greater joy.
President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “Surely the best evidence of our adoration of Jesus is our emulation of Him” (“The Mission and Ministry of Jesus Christ,” Ensign, Apr. 2013, 38).
Adoration is great love and respect, and emulation means to imitate or copy.
Read John 15:12, looking for how the Savior asked us to emulate Him. You may want to mark what you find.
Underline what Elder Claudio R. M. Costa of the Presidency of the Seventy suggested we do to lay down our lives for those we love: “We can lay down our lives for those we love not by physically dying for them but rather by living for them—giving of our time; always being present in their lives; serving them; being courteous, affectionate, and showing true love for those of our family and to all men—as the Savior taught” (“Don’t Leave for Tomorrow What You Can Do Today,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2007, 74).
Think about someone who has laid down his or her life in one of these ways for you.
After the Savior taught His disciples about abiding in Him and showing love for one another, He taught them what would happen to them because of their association with Him. In John 15:18–25 we learn that the world, or those who are sinful, will hate the Apostles. Jesus Christ said that those who hate Him also hate the Father and that they will be held accountable for their choices.
Despite the hatred and persecution of others toward His followers, Jesus Christ provided ways for the world to receive a testimony of Him. Read John 15:26–27, looking for the witnesses who would testify of Jesus Christ to the world.
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied John 14–15 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: