Jesus gives His disciples assurance He will never leave them alone

Pastor Troy Singleton

In 1820, a lady by the name of Frances Crosby was born. When she was about six weeks old, a poorly trained doctor put some sap on her eyes that rendered her totally blind. But that did not hinder France from doing great things. 

When she was 15 years old, she went to study at the New York’s Institute for the blind, and her record was so remarkable that they offered her a teaching job after graduating, and she taught there for 11 years. In 1873, she met up with a friend of hers who was a musician who created a tune. She asked Aunt Fannie, “What does this tone say to you?” And after a couple of minutes of kneeling, she stood up and said, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.”

And from there, Miss Phoebe Knapp had to grab a piece of paper and write down everything that Aunt Fannie was saying for the lyrics, and all of her words lined up right with the tune that Miss Knapp created. And they made this great hymn, one of my top five hymns of all time – Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.

And Fannie went on to create over 1000 songs, four books of poetry, and two best-selling autobiographies. But the five words that she rose from her feet were blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Those five words alone seal the deal for me that no matter what is set on me when I hear this hymn, it just does wonders for me because of assurance. 

If you wonder what assurance is, the dictionary describes assurance as a positive declaration intended to give confidence, a promise, a pledge full of confidence, freedom, self-confidence, and belief in one’s ability. 

The author wrote many hymns and songs about the pain or hardship of the author. Even the tones that the musicians created from the music were out of their pain. 

Jesus gives His disciples assurance He will never leave them alone.

Jesus, in verse 12 of John Chapter 14, is talking to his disciples. He is assuring them that “Although I’m going to leave you in a few moments, few days, a few hours and be on the cross. I’m going to give you assurance in these moments beforehand to give you the strength you’ll need later on to tap into.

Jesus answers their fears

Our first point is simply Jesus answers their fear because when someone tells us, “I have to go.” One of the first things you get within yourself is a lot of fear. Like what am I going to do next? How am I going to adjust to their absence in my life? And this is Jesus speaking in verses 12 and 13, saying, “Truly I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

Jesus assures his disciples, “Although, I’m not going to be with you physically. You’re not going to be alone.” And for disciples, they figure, “Hey, our job is over now. We will go back to doing whatever we were doing before or not knowing what to do next. Jesus is telling them, I will be with you. Believe in me. Jesus didn’t expect his disciples to return and do what they once did. He wanted them to go on and do greater things than what he was doing. 

So when you hear the quote about Jesus saying they would do greater works. The first thing most people think about is Jesus telling them they’re going to perform healing miracles, raise the dead, and so on, but Jesus was telling them greater works regarding their influence and their conversion. 

So instead of carrying on Jesus’s miracles, they will convert nonbelievers into believers, which was going to be their job at that point because when you look at the day of Pentecost. In one event, more people came to Christ on the day of Pentecost than Jesus saved his entire time on earth, and that was the ‘greater works’ that the disciples were tasked to do. 

But right now, the disciples are silent because they are fearful. What do you usually do when you fear someone telling you they’ll leave?

You listen to everything they have to say. 

I remember jumping out of an airplane and listening to the Black Hawks’ talk. I want to hear everything they have to say because I want to have a successful jump. Yes, you’re going to have a little fear, but you don’t want to have that fear overtake you, so you pay attention to what the person is saying and don’t interrupt. 

This is what exactly happened. Jesus is doing the talking, and they’re listening. They are taking into what he’s saying, and later in this chapter, one of us will respond. But you can sense from what Jesus is saying that they’re trying to grab what he’s saying and if you know scripture and know what happens after this; you know most of them don’t grasp this until later in their lives. 

John 14:12-13

“Truly I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

‘In Jesus’s name’ is very important. It is not a magic spell of saying everything will go the way I planned. One of four things happens when you pray in Jesus’s name. He’s going to say yes,  no, wait, or if. 

We all know what yes or no means. But when He says, ‘wait,’ an example of wait will be Abraham waiting for his son to be born and God promising him that Isaac will be born. 

When you say ‘if,’ you can look no further. The 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. It’s something that you have to do to activate that blessing.

These are the four things that happen in prayer, but for over 2000 years, people have been trying to get away from Jesus using ‘in Jesus’s name.’ And if you think that’s a fluke, look at chapter nine when Pastor Jeff preached on the man who was born blind instead of the people celebrating this miracle, they held a trial to see if he was born blind. 

This world has been trying to get us to eliminate Jesus from our prayers because there are many gods. They’re okay with that because they can incorporate their god into your friend because you didn’t identify a god. But when you’re praying in Jesus’s name, you’re giving credit to Jesus and God the Father in the same breath. And these are prayers with passion for the glory of Jesus Christ and God the Father. 

We all want our prayers answered. We don’t just say empty prayers. Sometimes we offer a prayer of thanksgiving to thank Him for what He has done. But in the grand scheme of things, we want Him to reward us for our faithfulness to him. So you overcome those fears that you pray in Jesus’s name. 

When I would do patrols in Afghanistan, they would tell me, “Hey, go to this area, and there’s a lot of bad guys.” Of course, my heart stopped pounding, and I will always quote the first part of Psalm 23, the Lord is my shepherd, and something about it can move away the fears. 

He commands them to put their faith in action

This is what Jesus said, “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. If you love me, you will keep my commands.” When he washed the disciples’ feet, he commanded them to do the same, and then he went on in verse 34 to tell them to love one another after the pattern of his love.

Now all of us will initially have a problem with loving other people because some get on our nerves. I’m not going to ask anyone else to raise their hands. Some people are just agitators. They’re good at what they do of getting under your skin. Still, I ask you not to allow that frustration to overtake you because Jesus said we have to show love. 

The Bible says don’t put your anger into action, don’t act on it. Overcome the feeling, and as we continue to grow in Christ, we will continue to understand. 

John 14:14-15

“If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. If you love me, you will keep my commands.”

For me, I’m a lot better now. I would say I’m healed, but back in my heyday, I would say people would get on my nerves even longer. Then God would show me through the Holy Spirit the different times that God forgave me for something I did that nobody else knew about. 

But many people think about it and hold on to their anger. God showed me that you jeopardize your salvation, meaning you can die in sin and risk going to hell. Now, we all know what the world thinks about hell. They think it’s a place where people party and have a good time, you meet your friends, and you all just hang out, but that is not how the hell was described in the Bible. It is a place of anguish and a place of pain. 

I burnt my arm a few weeks ago, but that burn took a couple of seconds for me to move my arm away, imagine being in hell for eternity. So I’m like, you know what, Lord, you’re right. I’m giving it up because I don’t want to hold on to this and risk being separated from you. But many people believe and think that hell is a place for people that God rejected. No, hell is a place for people who reject God. 

Our faith is determined by our feet, not by our feelings. What I mean by that is your feelings change every day. Today, you can feel this way. Tomorrow, you’re going to feel well. In 10 minutes, you might feel something totally different. But faith is not determined by your feelings. It is not determined by your talk either. Faith is determined by your walk. What I mean by a walk is how you demonstrate your love for Christ? Are you putting yourself in a place where you are meeting unbelievers? Are you sharing the Gospel? Are you praying for those who are less fortunate? Are you finding yourself communicating and introducing someone to Christ that don’t know Christ? Are you living a life that God would have for you to live? And if someone asks you, hey, how are you doing? You incorporate something, somehow or another, into your conversation with them. 

You find yourself in Riverview apartments, and you find yourself helping the sick. You find yourself feeding the hungry. You find yourself just clothing the naked. That’s why faith is determined by your walk and not your talk because you’ve got to put yourself in those places where Jesus operated. 

When people say, I don’t want to associate with those people, and they say they are believers. Obviously, they did not read the gospels because over 90% of the places that Jesus was are places where sinners are present. 

So if we’re going to walk by faith and not by sight, then we’ll find ourselves in places that we usually wouldn’t go. But the source of our obedience isn’t fear; it isn’t pride, or our desire to earn more blessings. It’s love. So it goes right back to our love for Christ and what he’s done for us in our lives. 

I will send you help

I’ve been in organizations where the leaders will say, “Hey, I have to go, but I’m going to send you someone else.” And these two verses are examples of what Jesus told his disciples. He said, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.” 

When you wreck your car, your company doesn’t give you the money to buy a bicycle. They give you a replacement car, they provide you with cash to buy another vehicle, and they don’t give you money to purchase something different than what you lost. 

So Jesus is saying, I’m going to send you another helper, one of the same kind. And hH’s telling me it’s the Spirit of truth. So the greater works described in verses 12-14 are impossible without what’s described in 16 through 17. 

Now, the Holy Spirit is not an ‘it,’ He’s not a thing. Holy Spirit is the third person in the trinity, and when Jesus says something, the Holy Spirit moves. People attributed it to a dove and two different animals, but he’s not a dove. He came like a dove to Jesus when he was baptized, but He’s not a dove. He moves, and He operates. 

The Holy Spirit dwells within everyone, not just one person, because when Jesus was here, it was just him. He had to do everything. So when he left, he’s telling them, I’m going to send you someone who will do greater things, and he’s going to be with you permanently to guide you and direct you. 

Jesus didn’t give a complicated lecture on the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of Truth. But he said that the Holy Spirit worked for the good of God, His people, and for His plan.  

John 14:16-17

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.”

Now the world cannot understand or receive the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit is true, and the Spirit of truth is not popular in the world of lies. So when you are born again, the Holy Spirit comes alive in you.  

You have a spirit, you have a soul, you have a body, and the Holy Spirit that’s within you ONLY speaks the truth. When you read your Bible, hear a sermon, and listen to music, your Spirit takes in those energies. Your soul is in the process of being saved and tells your body what to do. You slowly see a change in your body because your soul is receiving what your Spirit is saying and translating. Your thought process changes because your soul is receiving what the Spirit is saying to it. 

That’s how a person is transformed from being an unbeliever to a believer. They start to receive what the Spirit is saying to the soul. I want to end with a story about a pastor who would tell a member of his to pray, and when this gentleman would pray, he would end his prayer by saying Lord prop us up on our leaning side. 

And so the pastor asked him, “I love the way you pray, but why do you always end with Lord prop us up on our leaning side? He said, Well, pastor, I’m a farmer. I live on a farm out in the country, and one day when I was riding through my farm, I noticed that my barn was leaning, and I had to do something. So I got some pine beams and propped it up on its leaning side. It still leans, but it’s not going to fall. 

He said, “I am thinking about the year that I’ve had and everything that’s going on in my life. The turmoil and the people would get on my nerves, in the same way, that barn almost fell by termites and everything else eating away at it. People eat away at my joy, eat away at my Spirit.”

And he went on to say, “Every now and then, I want to lean back to doing the things I used to do, my old desires and things of that nature. But every time I do…” He said, “I just pray, Lord prop me up on my leaning side.” 

What he was saying to his past and that story to us is that we have the Holy Spirit to keep us propped up on our leaning side. That no matter what we go through and no matter what adversities we face, we have access to the Holy Spirit to prop us up on our leaning side to help us face life’s challenges. Because those of us know that there are certain times that we’re going through something and can’t call a friend, a neighbor. But the Holy Spirit is right there with us. 

No matter if you’re in a hospital bed, all the nurses and family are gone. And you’re thinking to yourself that you are alone. 

If you are a child of God, you are never alone because you have the Helper. You have the Holy Spirit to encourage you through life’s challenges. Regardless of what you face. You have access to tap into that. That Holy Spirit to give you help and your deliverance to whatever you’re going through.