"If Ye Loved Me, Ye Would Rejoice"  

John 14:28


     The Lord Jesus is not scolding his disciples, but comforting them. Throughout this chapter, he is teaching them the way of peace. He is not implying that they did not love him at all, but only that they did not love him as they ought. Their great sorrow regarding his death and the loss of his bodily presence, as well as their steadfast commitment to him, demonstrated the reality of their love. The Lord is not questioning their love, but correcting it, increasing it, and drawing it out. Their love for him was true, but (like ours) not perfect. It showed too much regard for themselves. Had they loved him more and loved themselves less, they would have found both comfort and joy in the news of the Lord's departure, because his departure was far more advantageous to him and to them. For them it meant salvation's accomplishment. For him it meant exaltation and glory. Therefore he says, "If ye loved me (as you ought to love me), ye would rejoice." And he gives two reasons why, in the midst of great heaviness, these disciples should have rejoiced:

     (l.) "BECAUSE I SAID, I GO UNTO THE FATHER" - His death was not a matter of sorrow to the Lord Jesus, but a matter of great joy. He was going home to his Father and to his Father's house. And he went to the Father as our Head and Representative, to prepare a place in the Father's house for us. Had they loved themselves less and loved him more, they would have been happy to kiss him good-bye and rejoiced to see him enter into his longed for eternal rest, though it meant the loss of his bodily presence and physical company for a while.

     (2.) "FOR MY FATHER IS GREATER THAN I" - As long as he was here upon the earth, our Savior was in his time of humiliation.He was now going home to greatness, glory, and exaltation(John 17:1, 5). If those disciples had loved themselves less and loved the Savior more, they would have rejoiced in his departure, knowing that his departure was for his glory. What a lesson for us! If we loved Christ more and ourselves less, we would rejoice in him always (Phil. 4:4), knowing that whatever comes to pass he brings to pass for his glory!


Don Fortner