John 14:1-14 New International Version
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” Jesus the Way to the Father 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” 9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Anxiety, fear and uncertainty can come to all of us and leave us with the need to be comforted. Jesus Christ can impart comfort and hope unlike any other source. Hope comes from believing that Christ is who he says he is and he will fulfill what he promises in his Holy Word. Our instincts might tell us to do one thing when we feel the need for hope and the world might coach us to do something else, but God tells us to believe in Christ and His Word.
Jesus left the glories of heaven to come to earth and live among us as a human being who felt and understood in a human way the same things, we all go through. His Palm Sunday entrance into Jerusalem was indicative of his humility. He entered Jerusalem with much fanfare from the people, but road into the city, not on a beautiful, mighty steed but on a simple, humble donkey. Christ knew that he was coming to the culmination of his ministry on this earth, that before the next Sunday he will be scorned, brutalized and crucified. God, the Father and His Son had made this plan for Jesus to die for the redemption of the world at the beginning of creation. John 14 records the message Christ gave to his disciples on day before his crucifixion.
Jesus says he his leaving them. They don’t understand and they are troubled by his upcoming exit. They don’t understand why he would leave. He had already delivered them and so many others from many other troubles, so why make an exit now? Surely, they were not ready to move forward without him! Yet he tells them to not let their hearts be troubled. He wanted them to trust him.
The spiritual warfare of that day was intense. Peter says he will stay by Christ, but Jesus warns Peter that he will deny him three times that very night. With all Peter and Jesus had experienced together, Peter felt like a terrible failure when he did as Jesus had warned. Like Peter, we find we fail, even when that wasn’t our plan, but we are led to doubt, and we find ourselves in a place similar to Peter. By God’s grace, we are forgiven when we turn to Jesus and ask his forgiveness. Spiritual warfare will exist in our lives, but when we believe in God’s Word, we can go through anything.
The disciples did not understand all that was going on. The Last Supper was not a joyous event, but Jesus said to trust him. This is not a partial trust. They could and we can trust God completely, even with the intense spiritual warfare that was going on during the event. Jesus was leaving his disciples and they were powerless to change that and the events that were about to unfurl. Just like the disciples, we all have situations in our lives we are powerless to change. Jesus never promised us a life without problems. His disciples felt great sorrow that he was leaving and would experience more sorrow the next days and great fear due to their association with Jesus of Nazareth. Their circumstances dictated their feelings, as our circumstances often dictate ours. God says trust Him. Our difficulties are not a surprise to God. Hope arises when we trust in God and recognize that He is always there. Jesus was explaining to the disciples who he is. He is the King of Glory who can and will help us.
Jesus Christ is the answer to every problem and the only way to God and His power. He provides us with His Grace, Christ’s unmerited favor to help us in every circumstance. He is the only way to God. Satan wants to tell us to clean up our act before we expect anything from God, but Christ says He is the only way to God and only through his Grace can we see the truth and the life that he has for us. There is nothing else but his Grace that can satisfy our needs. For He and the Father are one and as the Creator of all Glory Christ gives us access to God if we only trust in him. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Knowing what was about to transpire the next day, Jesus told his disciples to not be troubled. The King of Glory knew what he would face and also knew He would overcome death and Satan, so his disciples need not be troubled. God and His Son don’t make mistakes. He doesn’t make mistakes with any one of us, either. That’s why Jesus tells the story of the Shepherd with 100 sheep and one of them becomes lost. The Shepherd leaves the 99 he has and searches out the one lost sheep and brings it back to the fold. We are as important to our Good Shepherd as that one lost sheep was to the shepherd in the parable. (Luke 15:3-7)
The disciples were anxious over Jesus leaving them. It meant change. All the world around us is changing in our habits, culture, society, and progress of many kinds. Like the change the
disciples feared change, we too, are uncomfortable with it. Stagnation will occur without change. Some change is inevitable. It requires perseverance from Christians to trust in God and believe that He has the answers to our concerns.
In John 16:5-11, Jesus explains to the disciples why he must leave. The Holy Spirit that can dwell in every heart must come to do Its work so people can be convicted of sin, learn of righteousness and judgement. This Holy Spirit is the third part of the Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. Romans 8: 11, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” This is a God of great power and through the Holy Spirit that power is available to us.
In John 14:2, Jesus explains that his Father has a dwelling place for them in heaven. Heaven, the place where God and His Son dwell, will also be our dwelling place. It is a real place. A place where the believers we know, and love will be waiting for us. We will be like Christ after his resurrection. (I John 3:2) There will be no sickness, no troubles, no death, no tears in God’s heavenly kingdom. God is preparing that place for us. It was paid for at a great price. We have a one-way ticket there. There are no returns on the ticket. There is no baggage to be taken. It is being taken and will be ready when we arrive, regardless of when the work on it was begun. The only way to enter is through the Grace, Love and Forgiveness of our Savior, Jesus Christ. God accepts us as we are when we believe in His Son. He is preparing us to live there eternally. Get ready. Just ask Jesus Christ, our Risen Savior.