The Upper Room Discourse 23

The Upper Room Discourse 23 Rabbi Michael Weiner

John 14:28 You have heard Me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.

This section of Scripture is so dense. It is packed with meaning and power. As Yeshua is speaking, He is pouring out His heart at the end of this phase of His ministry. He knows it won’t be long until His crucifixion, mere hours. Furthermore; Yeshua knows those hours will be filled with agony, pain and suffering. Yeshua is reminding the disciples (and us) that He is “going away,” and that He is “coming back.” Then He tells us to “rejoice” that He is going away because that is a blessing to Him and to us (“… because the Father is greater than I”).

Yeshua had previously taught the disciples about the results of His betrayal. In John 13, Yeshua is agitated in the Spirit. John 13:21 After He said these things, Yeshua was agitated in spirit and testified, ‘Amen, amen I tell you, one of you will betray Me!” But, Yeshua then characterizes His betrayal as His glorification: John 13:31 Then when Judah had gone out, Yeshua said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him! … followed by this prophesy … John 13:33 Little children, I am with you only a little longer.

A couple of sessions ago, I quoted a parallel teaching in John 16. Now we have to go back there as the parallel continues. John 16:5,7 “But now I am going to the One who sent Me, and not one of you is asking Me, ‘Where are you going?’ … But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away! For if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.

Yeshua is not commanding us to “hold until relieved,” but rather, His command to us is “build until relieved.” We must be about the business of building the kingdom of God. This is expressed in Yeshua’s last words in Matthew. We usually refer to this as the great commission. Matthew 28:18-20 And Yeshua came up to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach ha-Kodesh, teaching them to observe all I have commanded you. And remember! I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

We do this in two ways. We add to the kingdom by winning souls to faith. We also build the kingdom through discipleship, which is both to assist others in growing to maturity (discipling others) and being discipled ourselves (through discipling relationships). Everyone in the kingdom of God is commanded to grow. Let’s pray … When Yeshua returns, may He find us doing the work of building the kingdom. In Yeshua’s name, amen.