Come Follow Me: John 14-17 “Continue Ye in My Love”

Giving Context

Encourage class members to have their scriptures ready. There will be a lot of direct reading from the text during this lesson.

Whenever I teach I find it helpful to take a minute and make sure my class has a good idea of the basic time, place, and people involved in the story. 

Here are some examples of questions and answers that you can work with to give context.  

When does this story take place? John 14-17 covers part of Jesus’ sermon after the Passover Feast/Last Super. This is toward the end of Jesus’ ministry so perhaps about 33 AD.

John’s text doesn’t actually show the instituting of the sacrament, but based on other texts we can assume that this part of the story takes place between the administering of the sacrament and before Jesus goes to the Garden of Gethsemane. 

Where does this story take place? They are in the city of Jerusalem. (It’s helpful to draw a rough map or point it out on a map.) John doesn’t specifically say where they are eating this supper, but based on other texts we know it is in an Upper Room of a home. Probably the home of one of Jesus’ followers. 

Who is in this story? Jesus does most of the speaking during today’s assigned reading. There are a few questions from Thomas and Philip and Judas (not Iscariot). Judas Iscariot has already left the room. Simon/Peter and John speak in Chapter 13 so we know we are there too. The text says that his disciples are in the room with him. That does not necessarily mean that only the 12 apostles were with him. Since this was the Passover Feast that was generally celebrated with men and women present, it is highly likely that women were in attendance as well.  

Who wrote this story?  John, one of the twelve apostles

When did he write it? About 85-95 AD (So about 52-62 years after these events took place.)

Why did he write it? John tells us why he wrote the book in John 20: 30: These things are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (ESV translation.) 

Questions to ask before Digging into the Reading

  1. Throughout the Gospels, the disciples seem unable to understand that Jesus’ death is imminent. From our perspective they seem ignorant of what Jesus is telling them. But imagine you were with Jesus. Would you understand that he would have to die and that his death was coming sooner than you would like?
  2. Now think about what it would be like to finally understand that Jesus was going to have to leave you? What would you want him to tell you before he left? What big questions would you want answers to?

Guidepost for Reading

At the beginning of John 14 Jesus tells his disciples that that he will be leaving them. He says that they will follow him there. Thomas asks, “Lord, we know not where thou goest; and how can we know the way?” (John 14:5)

Jesus replies with, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John:14:6)

As you read through all of chapters 14-17 think about how the things that Jesus is teaching are showing how He is the way, the truth, and the life. Think about how the things He teaches show us the way to Him. 

Suggestions for How to Teach

Many of the other Come Follow Me lessons cover sections of text that have distinct stories from Jesus’ ministry or parables. That’s not the case with John 14-17. This week’s reading is three chapters of doctrine. There is so much beauty packed into these three chapters. Sadly, you are not going to be able to cover it all in a 50 minute lesson. Prayerfully think about the things you want to cover. 

Consider having someone read the lesson aloud. Don’t do it “round robin” style where everyone takes a turn. Just have one person read all three chapters. (Or one chapter at a time.) It will only take about 5-10 minutes and will give the class a foundation for the rest of the discussion.

Don’t ask the class, “What stood out to you this week?” That kind of question may work when the reading contains a lot of stories, but this week’s reading doesn’t exactly have an easy to remember narrative. 

I recommend picking two to three passages of the text to focus on. Have someone read the passage and then go through them slowly as a class. Talk about what they would mean to the people hearing them. Talk about what they mean to you today.


These three chapters are something of a long sermon by Jesus. Everything he says is great, but it’s easy to get lost in the text and lose sight of the bigger picture. ESV Student Study Bible has subheadings that divide the chapter. I find those helpful so I thought I’d list them for you here. I’ve also included some questions or thoughts for further discussion. These are just suggestions to help get you thinking.

I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life 14:1-14

John has structured his Gospel to have 7 moments where Jesus says “I am” followed by something. This is the 6th time he says “I am.”

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit 14:15-31

How does the Holy Spirit help us know Jesus? How have you felt the Spirit testifying of Jesus in your life?

I Am the True Vine 15:1-17

This is the 7th and final “I am” phrase in John. (Jesus will emphatically declare “I am” with no qualifiers to the Roman Guards in Chapter 18.) 

Elder Anthony R Temple wrote a lovely piece about this passage for the December 2003 Ensign.

The Hatred of the World 15:18-16:4

This calls to mind Matthew 5:10-11. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake. Consider asking the class how they can endure persecution. 

The Work of the Holy Spirit 16:4-15

How does this passage tie into the earlier passage about the Holy Spirit in John 14:15-31?

Your Sorrow Will Turn to Joy 16:16-24

What were the disciples about the witness that would be sorrowful? How would it become joyful? What experiences have you been through that have been sorrowful that have turned to joy?

I Have Overcome the World 16:25-33

How can these verses help us when we feel discouraged or when we struggle?

The High Priestly Prayer (or Great Intercessory Prayer).- All of Chapter 17

17:1-5 Jesus Prays for Himself

17:6-19 Jesus Prays for His Disciples

17:20-26 Jesus Prays for people in the future who will believe the disciples’ words (That’s Us!)

This is a big passage that somehow increases the amount of doctrine in this already doctrine heavy section. It is interesting that in John’s Gospel, Jesus does not pray or suffer in the Garden of Gethsemane. According to the narrative this prayer is given before the group passes over the Kidron River on their way to the garden. Once they get to the garden Jesus is arrested. So in some sense this chapter replaces any prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Why did John structure his narrative that way? How important are the things that Jesus is saying in this chapter?


It’s rare in the Come Follow Me curriculum for the New Testament to spend a week in just one Gospel. The curriculum is very focused on presenting the Gospels in harmony with each other. So the readings for each week will focus on time periods or stories that appear in each Gospel. This section of reading is unique in that it only focuses on John’s Gospel. As you ponder the things you’ve read this week, think about what truths would be lost if we didn’t have these chapters of John. How has your understanding and relationship with God changed because of what is written in these chapters?

Photo by David Köhler on Unsplash
Ann has a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and recently earned a second one in Accounting. Contrary to what some people told her, she has been able to use the degrees while raising her four children.

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