November 21, 2022
Because of Christ's loving death, burial, and resurrection for our sin detailed in the Gospels, we now see clearly the way to the Father's house. Thanks be to God!
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
1 Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; 1 14:1 Or You believe in God believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 2 14:2 Or In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 3 14:4 Some manuscripts Where I am going you know, and the way you know 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. 4 14:7 Or If you know me, you will know my Father also, or If you have known me, you will know my Father also From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
12 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me 5 14:14 Some manuscripts omit me anything in my name, I will do it.
15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, 6 14:16 Or Advocate, or Counselor; also 14:26; 15:26; 16:7 to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be 7 14:17 Some manuscripts and is in you.
18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.
25 These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.
A number of historical figures including St. Augustine are attributed with saying, "The Gospel of John is shallow enough for a child to wade in it, but it’s deep enough for an elephant to swim in it." To me, this verse epitomizes such a description.
While the implications of Jesus' statement in John 14:6 seem endless to me the more I consider it, I primarily want to look at Jesus' words here in context. In John 14:1-5, Jesus tells His disciples He is going to His Father's house. Then, in John 14:6, Jesus responds directly to His follower Thomas' question of how to get there. To me, it's unexpected that Jesus responds the way He does. I have a very specific way that I'd respond if someone asked me the way to my dad's house. Thomas, like you or me, might have expected to hear, "Go three miles on Pomegranate Parkway and take a left at Olive Avenue," but, by implication, Jesus is really saying, "You can't get there on your own." Thankfully, He went for us to the cross so that we can go through Him to the Father, by faith (Romans 5:8).
This idea of one going for the many is consistent with the way things operated before Jesus came in the flesh. In those times, only one person (the high priest) was able to directly enter the space where God's presence dwelled (the Holy of Holies), but never without a sacrifice and only once per year (Hebrews 9:7). Why? Because of the inability of the human heart to truly love God and love our neighbor in the way that God intended for us in the beginning (i.e., sin). Now, however, all those who put their faith in Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection as payment for their sins have an invitation to God the Father's house as a friend (1 Corinthians 6:11)!
Not one single Christian has the ability to clean up enough to be invited to the Father's house. Instead, we trust that Jesus made the way for us (Romans 7:25).
1. I know I'm quick to forget that I was once dead in my trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1) with no ability in myself to reach the Father. If you're a follower of Jesus, have you been cut to the heart recently (Acts 2:37) that your and my sin made Jesus' death necessary for us to access the Father, the only One from whom comes "every good and perfect gift"? (James 1:17)
2. What is your gut reaction to John 14:6? Do you hear it the way the world now does? As exclusive, bigoted, and hateful? How might it instead be the greatest invitation you've ever received?
3. Audit your life. What "ways" besides Jesus do you tend to run to in a hard season?
4. Elsewhere in the Gospels, Jesus says that He has come to offer access to life abundantly (John 10:10). Consider the difference in result (including the cost) between following the "ways" offered by the world and following the one true "way" that is Jesus Christ. Which have you chosen? Which will you choose today?