24. I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:1-14)


http://www.jesuswalk.com/john/24_way.htm
Audio (34:31)

Robert Zünd, 'The Road to Emmaus' (1877), oil on canvas, 119.5 x 158.5 cm., Kuntzmuzeum, St. Gallen, Switzerland.
Robert Zünd, 'The Road to Emmaus' (1877), oil on canvas, 119.5 x 158.5 cm., Kuntzmuzeum, St. Gallen, Switzerland.
As we continue the Farewell Discourses, Jesus seeks to comfort his disciples.

They knew the threat to Jesus when they came to Jerusalem for Passover this time (11:7, 16). Now in Jerusalem, Jesus has been teaching, then hiding from his enemies because his hour was not yet (12:36). Prior to this, Jesus has told his disciples three times that he would be betrayed and crucified (Matthew 16:21; 17:22; 20:18-19). (They didn't remember until later that on each of those occasions he also told them he would rise from the dead.)

On this very evening he has delivered to them three pieces of shocking news:

  1. One of his own disciples will betray him (13:21).
  2. He is leaving them -- and they can't follow now (13:33, 36; 16:6).
  3. Peter himself will deny him three times -- tonight! (13:38).

Jesus has been their life for these last three years. They have left family and jobs -- everything -- to follow him and assist him on his mission. And now he is leaving? He is the one they believe to be the Messiah, the Son of God. How can his enemies win? They are confused, discouraged. So Jesus speaks much-needed words of comfort to these men whom he loves.

Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled (14:4a)

Jesus says to them,

"Do not let your hearts be troubled." (14:1a)

They are "troubled" -- and with good reason! Jesus, too is "troubled" as events rush toward their culmination (12:27; 13:21). The word "troubled" is tarassō, "stir/shake up," figuratively, "to cause inward turmoil, stir up, disturb, unsettle, throw into confusion."[332] We'll see the word once again in this chapter:

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (14:27)

In the Garden of Gethsemane a few hours from now Jesus is still deeply troubled.

"He began to be sorrowful[333] and troubled[334].  Then he said to them, 'My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.'" (Matthew 26:37-38)  

Luke tells us about the physical manifestations of this stress he was under.

"And being in anguish[335], he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.[336]" (Luke 22:44)

Nevertheless, he comforts them with the comfort he has from the Father. He tells them what he knows to be true, even though in his humanness he too is under great stress.

Trust in God; Trust Also in Me (14:1b)

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." (14:1)

Verse 1b can be translated in different ways:

  • "Trust in God; trust also in me" (NIV, NRSV, RSV, ESV; both verbs imperatives)
  • "Ye believe in God, believe also in me" (KJV, NKJV, first verb indicative, second imperative)
The form of the verbs in Greek in this verse can be taken as either indicative or imperative (command), though nearly all modern translations take them both as commands. Either way, Jesus is saying that they should believe in him in the same way they believe in God. Again, in a few verses, he will equate seeing him as seeing the Father (14:6-11). As Carson says, these verses "assume a formidably high Christology."[337]

Jesus is comforting his disciples, Don't be afraid, it's going to be okay. You can trust both the Father and me.

In My Father's House Are Many Rooms (14:2)

Now he explains one of the reasons they can trust him.

"In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you." (14:2)

"In my Father's house...." The word is oikia, "a structure used as a dwelling, house."[338] Sometimes when "the house of the Lord" is mentioned in the Bible, it refers to the tabernacle and later the temple in Jerusalem (2:16).[339] But here Jesus is talking about God's heavenly dwelling, as Paul put it, "a house (oikia) not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (2 Corinthians 5:1).[340] This passage is often read at funerals -- and rightly so!

Every time I see this verse, I think of a wonderful Negro spiritual:

"Come and go with me to my Father's house,
To my Father's house, to my Father's house,
Come and go with me to my Father's house,
There is joy, joy, joy!

Jesus will be there, in my Father's house....

There'll be no crying there, in my Father's house...." (etc.)

And in the Father's house, Jesus says, there will be many rooms. "Rooms" (NIV, ESV), "dwelling places" (NRSV), "mansions" (KJV) is monē, "a place in which one stays, dwelling(-place), room, abode."[341]

Jesus says he is going there to "prepare a place[342] for us." "Prepare" is hetoimazō, "to cause to be ready, put/keep in readiness, prepare."[343] I can remember going to my grandparents' home, with a guestroom all prepared for my brother and me, clean sheets, etc. But Jesus is going away not just to freshen up rooms for us in heaven, he is also going to prepare the "way" so we can get to heaven at all, as we'll see in verse 6 -- dying on the cross so that our sins might be forgiven, rising from the dead so we might have assurance of life forever.

Q1. (John 14:2) What is the "Father's House"? What does verse 2 tell us about what Jesus will do, and what is provided for us? How does that comfort us?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1496-q1-the-fathers-house/

Coming Again to Take Us with Him (14:3)

Jesus explains that he isn't just leaving, but he is coming back.

"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me[344] that you also may be where I am." (14:3)  

How should we understand this coming back, literally "again coming[345]"? Which coming does this refer to? There are several possibilities.

  1. Jesus' appearances after his resurrection (16:16, 19-22; 20:19-29).
  2. Jesus' coming through his Holy Spirit sent after his ascension (John 14:16-19).
  3. Jesus' presence with believers at the present time (Matthew 18:20; 28:20; etc.), especially his coming to believers at the hour of their death to take them to heaven.[346]
  4. Jesus' eschatological Second Coming at the end of the age, (21:22-23; 1 John 3:2, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; etc.).

Sometimes John speaks ambiguously, with sayings that can be taken in different ways. However, while we know that each of these four comings are real, probably John has Jesus' Second Coming most in mind here.[347]

The Place Jesus Is Going (14:4-5)

Jesus concludes his "going to prepare a place for you" saying with these words:

"You know the way to the place where I am going." (14:4)

But by subsequent statements, it is clear that the disciples do not know what he is talking about. This verse transitions us to Jesus' statement that he himself is the Way.

"Thomas said to him, 'Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?'" (14:5)

Thomas doesn't know where Jesus is going. Jesus has said they can't go with him now (13:33, 36). So the way to this unknown place is a mystery.

Where is Jesus going? He is "returning to God" (13:3), "going to the Father" (14:13; 16:10, 17), he is going to "my Father's house" (14:2). Is this heaven? Probably. The danger of calling it "heaven," however, is that the word "heaven" is encumbered by a great deal of popular mythology -- St. Peter at the pearly gates, streets of gold, white robes, clouds, and harps. Many of these images come from highly symbolic language in the Book of Revelation expressing the glory and greatness of God's Presence, of the Holy City. But at best, this is symbolic language trying to express in physical terminology something that is a spiritual reality. What do we know for sure about its exact characteristics? Some things. For example, it is a place of joy and life, where God will wipe every tear from our eyes (Revelation 7:17; 21:4). In John 14, Jesus tells us that "in the Father's house" is a place for us in the presence of Jesus and the Father. This doesn't answer all our questions, but it is enough.

The Way, the Truth, and the Life (14:6)

Jesus and Thomas have dialoged about the way to the Father's house.

"4 ....'You know the way to the place where I am going.' 5 Thomas said to him, 'Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?'" (14:4-5)

Now comes one of the key declarations of the Gospels.

"6  Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" (14:6)

This is the sixth of seven "I am" declarations in John's Gospel, where Jesus uses the divine "I Am" in combination with a descriptor.[348] Just what does Jesus mean by these three descriptors -- the way, the truth, and the life?

The Way (14:6a)

First, Jesus declares that he himself is the Way, the "road, highway"[349] to the Father's presence, the Father's house -- heaven, if you will.

This shouldn't surprise us. Jesus' characteristic call is, "Follow me!" As we follow him and are obedient to what he teaches us, then he will lead us all the way to the Father's presence.

This phrase, "The Way," is used several places in the Scriptures.

  • Isaiah looks forward to, "a highway... [that] will be called the Way of Holiness" (Isaiah 35:8).
  • Paul testifies that he persecuted "the followers of this Way" (Acts 22:4).
  • Paul tells us, "Through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit" (Ephesians 2:18).
  • The writer of Hebrews speaks of "a new and living way" that gives us access into God's very presence (Hebrews 10:19-20).
  • Jesus spoke of himself as "the gate" through which his sheep enter into salvation (John 10:9).

To say that Jesus is "the Way" is to affirm that he is the path to God.

The Truth (14:6b)

Second, Jesus declares himself to be "the Truth." In John's Gospel the noun "truth" (alētheia) appears 25 times, compared to once in Matthew and three times each in Mark and Luke. Especially in John's Gospel, alētheia, "truth," carries the idea of "authenticity, divine reality, revelation."[350] Jesus is the Word, the Logos, the exact Expression of God himself, the one who speaks the Words of God (1:1).

When the so-called "reality" of this dark world system is confronted with the intense Light of truth and revelation, God's reality, there is dissonance. And it is God's reality that prevails and gives freedom. Jesus, who is "full of grace and truth" (1:14, 18), is the embodiment of what is true in this world and the next. His words are true, and therefore must be believed and obeyed. Jesus says,

"If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (8:31-32)

When we embrace distortions and outright lies about the meaning of life, we lose freedom. Only when we conform our lives with reality, with truth, can we be truly free. When Jesus says "I am ... the truth," it is an powerful, exclusive statement.

In our day we have largely displaced Jesus' teachings with political correctness, the wisdom of our commercialized world, street smarts, and lessons from the "school of hard knocks." But Jesus is the Truth; his Word is Truth; he speaks to us the words of the Father.

"The Word" -- the clear and accurate expression of the Father -- "became flesh and dwelt among us ... full of grace and truth." (1:14a; cf. 1:17)

The Life (14:6c)

Finally, Jesus declares that he is the Life. John's Gospel overflows with this theme. Jesus brings eternal life. In fact, he is the very source of life -- both physical life as Co-Creator, but eternal life as well.

"Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men." (1:3-4)

In a number of places in this Gospel, Jesus asserts his authority to give life.

"For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it." (5:21)

"As the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself." (5:26)

"The bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." (6:33)

"Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me." (6:57)

Simon Peter: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." (6:68)

"I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish." (10:28a)

"I am the resurrection and the life." (11:25a)

"And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." (1 John 5:11-12)

Jesus is the Way to God, the Truth from God, and our Source of Life. It is all found in Christ.

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), a German priest who wrote The Imitation of Christ, put it well:

"Follow me. I am the way and the truth and the life. Without the way there is no going; without the truth there is no knowing; without the life there is no living. I am the way which you must follow; the truth which you must believe; the life for which you must hope. I am the inviolable way, the infallible truth, the never-ending life. I am the straightest way; the sovereign truth; life true, life blessed, life uncreated. If you abide in my way you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free, and you shall attain life everlasting."[351]

Q2. (John 14:6) In what sense is Jesus the Way to God? What does it mean to "follow Jesus"? In what sense is Jesus in himself God's Truth? What are the implications of this for us and our world? In what sense is Jesus God's Life? How does this affect us and those we speak to about him?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1497-q2-way-truth-and-life/

The Exclusivity of Jesus' Path (14:6d)

What makes this wonderful statement controversial in our pluralistic society is that Jesus' declaration claims exclusivity -- and this offends non-Christians.

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except[352] through[353] me." (14:6)

The reason Jesus is the exclusive way to God is because he is the Unique Son, the Only-Begotten, the Co-Creator, the only one who has been given the authority to have life in himself. And he speaks the Father's words, the Father's message.

"The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work." (14:10)

In fact, Jesus and the Father are one (10:30; 17:22). To hear one is to hear the other.

Other parts of the New Testament echo this exclusivity of Jesus as the only Way to God, for example:

"No one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." (Matthew 11:27b)

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

Unbelievers hold the philosophy that "all roads lead to Rome," that we all worship the same God, etc. In solidarity with them, some liberal Christians have come to see the declaration of Jesus as the exclusive Way to God as intolerant and bigoted.

But Jesus himself said,

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)

Jesus is that Narrow Gate. Jesus is that Narrow Road or Way. Exclusively! To get to our destination, the Father's House, we must follow him and him only.

What About Those Who Have Never Heard?

What about those who have not heard of Jesus? If any are saved, it can only be through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.

"He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:2)

 We know that the Old Testament saints will be saved -- their forgiveness was contingent upon what Jesus would do on the cross. What about those in our own time who die never hearing Jesus' name or the gospel? There's a lot we don't know. Paul hints that Gentiles who embrace the light they have, might be saved (Romans 2:14-16). We know that those who love God, will embrace Jesus and his Word when they encounter him (8:42).

We know that God is loving and just. And that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. Thus no one can be saved but "through" Jesus. And we know that our Great Commission is to preach the Good News until Christ returns (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8). It is vital. It is important. The salvation of people depend upon them hearing the gospel (Romans 10:14). How does this all work together? We don't fully know.

But if we back off from the exclusivity of Jesus as the only Way to God in the name of tolerance, or solidarity with all the peoples of the world, or for any other reason, we are not being faithful to Jesus' own teaching about himself.

Q3. (John 14:6d) Is it intolerant to believe that no one comes to God except through Jesus? How does Jesus' death and resurrection atone for the sins of the Old Testament saints? Why are some Christians uncomfortable with the statement that "No one comes to the Father but by me"?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1498-q3-exclusivity-of-jesus-way/

Show Us the Father (14:7-11)

Thomas had asked, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" (14:5), but he voiced the confusion felt by all the disciples. Now Jesus rebukes Thomas.

"If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." (14:7)

The grammar of verse 7a implies that Thomas should have known Jesus better.[354] Jesus responds by affirming that to know him is to know his Father. But such a thought is so different from the normal monotheism of Judaism, that it doesn't seem to register with Philip.

"Philip said, 'Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.'" (14:8)

Jesus responds with a rebuke that is amazing in its clear explanation of Jesus' oneness with the Father.

"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"?'" (14:9)

This goes back to the Prologue to John's Gospel.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." (1:1-3)

Jesus is the Word, the Logos, the clear expression of the Father's words. Now Jesus continues his explanation to Philip.

"10  Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. 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[355] of the miracles[356] themselves.'" (14:10-11)

It is best to believe in Jesus because you know and believe his words. But if that's too much for you, Jesus tells Philip, believe for the sake of the miracles you have seen me do (also 5:36; 10:37-38). They are evidence that the Father is working through me.

Q4. (John 14:1b, 6-11) In what sense is trusting Jesus the same as trusting God? How accurately does Jesus portray God's actions and words? What does it mean that Jesus and the Father are one (John 10:30)?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1499-q4-i-and-the-father-are-one/

Greater Things Will You Do (14:12)

"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what (ergon) I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." (14:12)

The objects of this promise are "anyone who has faith in me" -- believers. The verb translated "has faith" (NIV), "believes" (NRSV, ESV, KJV) is pisteuō, "to entrust oneself to an entity in complete confidence, believe (in), trust." This is much more than intellectual assent. It implies total commitment to the one who is trusted.[357]

This verse raises three important questions:

  1. What does Jesus going to the Father have to do with us doing greater works than Jesus?
  2. What are the "works" Jesus has been doing?
  3. How could there be any greater works than Jesus has done?

Let's examine these issues one by one.

First, what does Jesus going to the Father have to do with this? Immediately following 14:12 is Jesus' promise to send the Spirit in verses 15 and 16.

"15  If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever -- 17  the Spirit of truth." (14:15-17a).

 "Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you." (16:7)

We'll discuss this in greater depth in lessons to come, but the point here is that the believers' ability to do "greater works" is enabled by the Holy Spirit who will be poured out on them.

Second, what are the "works" Jesus is referring to? In verse 12, "what" (NIV), "works" (NRSV, ESV, KJV) is ergon, "deed, accomplishment," of the deeds of God, specifically, miracles.[358] Of course, "works" could refer to anything Jesus did or accomplished, but the immediate context for "works" is verse 11 where Jesus challenges his disciples to believe on the basis of his "works," if nothing else. The word here clearly is referring to miracles. Carson says, "Jesus 'works' may include more than his miracles; they never exclude them."[359]

Third, how could we have the nerve to believe we could do anything greater than Jesus Christ the Lord? It sounds presumptuous -- except that Jesus promised it! "Greater" is the comparative of the adjective megas, "great," exceeding a standard involving related objects.[360] Are our works to be greater in quantity, quality, intensity, importance, or spectacularity? Jesus isn't specific.

We have the example of Elisha who received a "double portion" of Elijah's spirit (2 Kings 2:9), and seemed to do greater miracles than Elijah had.

Certainly, when the power of the Holy Spirit rests on thousands of believers, together they can do a greater quantity of miracles than one man. It's hard to believe, however, that we could do miracles greater than Jesus' raising of the dead, feeding the 5,000, etc. 

Jesus' words and deeds were somewhat veiled. They weren't fully understood during his lifetime, not until after his death and resurrection. But by means of Jesus' death and resurrection he ushered in an age of clarity and power.[361] After Pentecost, three thousand are swept into the Kingdom in a single day. Persecution scattered believers all over the known world resulting in a mushrooming growth of the church in the first century.

Many quarters of the church today believe that this verse isn't for them, that the age of miracles is past. But there is no scriptural warrant to believe that. It is merely a convenient excuse for unbelief. God, let us see a return to the age of miracles and a great moving of the Spirit in our churches, in our regions! Forgive us for our complacency and unbelief!

Q5. (John 14:8) What happens after Jesus' "glorification" that enables believers to do greater things than Jesus? Is this promise limited to the apostles? Why are Christians today uncomfortable with this promise?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1500-q5-greater-works/

Ask Anything in My Name (14:13-14)

Our lesson closes with an amazing promise of answered prayer.

"13  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." (14:13-14)

Following the parameters given in verse 12, the promise is made to "those who believe." Let's examine what the promises in verse 13 and 14 entail.

"Those who believe...." This is a promise made to all believers. Elsewhere, Jesus said,

"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matthew 21:22)

"Whatever you ask" / "anything." Jesus doesn't limit this promise to certain kinds of requests only. It is open-ended. The only requirements seem to be faith (verse 12), "in Jesus' name," and that will bring glory to the Father. There are no limits to prayer!

Notice that in verse 14, Jesus is clear that we may ask him, pray to him, not just to the Father.

"In my name." The phrase "in my name" occurs seven times in John, all in these Farwell Discourses -- 14:13, 14, 26; 15:16; 16:23, 24, 26. In the ancient world, a name stood for one's whole personality, it expressed in some way the whole person. To pray in the name of Jesus is to pray in accordance with all the name stands for.[362] Thus, to pray in Jesus' name is to pray in accordance with his will and character. We see this idea later in John's Gospel and in John's First Epistle:

"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you." (15:7)

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us -- whatever we ask -- we know that we have what we asked of him." (1 John 5:14-15)

Prayer is never intended to cajole God into giving in to our desires. Rather, prayer is about seeking him and his will with the intent of seeing his will to come to pass in our lives. That doesn't mean that we have to always pray tentatively. When we believe we know God's will, then bring it boldly before God as did the saints in the Bible. For example, it is wrong to pray:

"Father, I know that Hitler is doing some questionable things. But it may be your will for him to rule Germany and kill the Jews. I just don't know how to pray. Amen."

Find the will of God and then pray it boldly before the Father, in the name of Jesus.

Purpose: Glory. "So that the Son may bring glory to the Father." God is glorified when his children begin to ask the Father for Kingdom projects, as the Son is teaching them. Selfish prayers bring no glory at all. But prayers prayed in Jesus' name, careful to be according to God's will, bring great glory to the Father. Part of the Lord's Prayer is to pray,

"Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done
on earth,
as it is in heaven."

Q6. (John 14:13-14) What does it mean to pray "in Jesus' name"? What happens to prayers that are out of his will and purposes? Are there any practical limits to this promise of answered prayer.
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1501-q6-in-jesus-name/

Lessons for Disciples

This continuation of the Farewell Discourses contains a number of radical lessons for Jesus' disciples to grasp -- some quite contrary to our world culture, and even our church cultures.

John's Gospel: A Discipleship Journey with Jesus, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Entire study is available in paperback, Kindle, and PDF formats.
  1. Jesus tells us to trust in him in the same way that we trust in the Father (14:1). This is because Jesus and the Father are one (10:30). To see and hear Jesus is to see and hear the Father (14:7-11).
  2. Jesus promises us that he has a place, a room for us in the Father's House, in heaven (14:2).
  3. Jesus promises us that he will return, certainly being with us in Spirit (Matthew 18:20; 28:20), but especially in his Second Coming at the close of the age (21:22-23; 1 John 3:2; etc.) (14:3).
  4. Jesus is the Way, Path, and Road to God. By following him and his narrow path, we will arrive at the right destination (14:6a).
  5. Jesus is the Truth. He embodies truth and declares God's reality in a world that is enamored with its own distortions and wisdom (14:6b).
  6. Jesus is the Life and Lifegiver. True and eternal life is found only in him. (14:6c).
  7. Jesus is the exclusive Way to God; people can't get to God unless they go through Jesus (14:6d).
  8. Jesus promises that those believe in him will do even greater miracles than he did, because the Holy Spirit is being sent to them (14:12).
  9. Jesus promises to answer any prayers that are made in his name, that are according to his will and purpose (14:13-14).

Prayer

Father, thank you for the great comfort of this passage. Thank you for Jesus -- our Way, our Truth, and our Life. Thank you for the promise of you working through us and answering prayer. Thank you for the promise of a place in the Father's House for each of us. In your holy name, we pray. Amen.

Key Verses

"In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 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." (John 14:2-3, NIV)

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6, NIV)

"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." (John 14:9b, NIV)

"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 miracles themselves." (John 14:11, NIV)

"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." (John 14:12, NIV)

"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." (John 14:13-14, NIV)

Endnotes

[332] Tarassō, BDAG 990, 2.

[333] Lypeō, "be sad, be distressed, grieve" (BDAG 604, 2b).

[334] "Troubled" (NIV, ESV), "distressed" (NRSV), "very heavy" (KJV),  is adēmoneō, "be in anxiety, be distressed, troubled" (BDAG 19), from a, "not" + dēmos, "at home," thus uncomfortable.

[335] Agōnia, "apprehensiveness of mind, esp. when faced with impending ills, distress, anguish" (BDAG 17).

[336] Whether this was profuse sweat dripping off him or broken capillaries that tinged his sweat with blood, we aren't sure. Whichever it was, it indicates severe stress.

[337] Carson, John, p. 488.

[338] Oikia, BDAG 695, 1b.

[339] For example, Exodus 23:19; Judges 19:18; Psalm 27:4; etc.

[340] The writer of Hebrews refers to it as the City of God (Hebrews 9:21, 24; 11:10, 16; 12:22; 13:14).

[341] Monē, BDAG 658, 2. From menō, "continue, abide, stay."

[342] "Place" is topos, from which we get our English words "topography, topographical, topical." Topos refers to  "an area of any size, generally specified as a place of habitation, here, "an abode: place, room," to live, stay, sit, etc. (BDAG 1011, 1e).

[343] Hetoimazō, BDAG 440, a.

[344] The phrase "take you to be with me" carries the idea in Greek idiom, "I will take you with me to my home" (Beasley-Murray, John, p. 250; Kruse, John, p. 297). "Take you" (NIV, NRSV, ESV), "receive you" (KJV) is paralambanō, "to take into close association, take (to oneself), take with/along" (BDAG 767, 1).

[345] "Again" is palin, "pertaining to return to a position or state, back" (BDAG 752, 1a). "Coming" is the very common verb erchomai, "come."

[346] 2 Corinthians 5:1 suggests that through death, Christians are taken to the Father's house.

[347] This position is argued strongly by Beasley-Murray, John, pp. 250-251. The various possibilities are reviewed by Brown, John 2:624-627, with his conclusion that the primary idea is the parousia. So Kruse, John, pp. 296-297; Carson, John, pp. 488-490; Morris, John, pp. 639-640.

[349] Hodos, BDAG 691, 3a.

[350] Rudolf Bultmann, alētheia, TDNT 1:245.

[351] Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, 56, 1.

[352] "Except" (NIV, NRSV, ESV), "but" (KJV) is ei mē after a negative, "but," "except, if not," mostly without a verb (BDAG 278, 6iα), used in the same way as Greek plēn.

[353] "Through" (NIV, NRSV, ESV), "by" (KJV) is the preposition dia, here, a "marker of personal agency, 'through, by' (BDAG 225, 4bβ).

[354] "Really knew" (NIV), "know" (NRSV), "had known" (ESV, KJV) is the Perfect tense of ginōskō, "to know," suggesting something that began in the past and continues to the present.

[355] "Evidence" (NIV), "because of" (NRSV), "on account of" (ESV), "for [their] sake" (KJV) is dia, "marker of something constituting cause, "the reason why something happens, results, exists: because of, for the sake of" (BDAG 225, 2a).

[356] "Miracles" (NIV), "works" (NRSV, ESV, KJV) is ergon.

[357] Pisteuō, BDAG 817, 2aβ.

[358] Ergon, BDAG 390, 1cα.

[359] Carson, John, p. 495.

[360] Megas, BDAG 623.

[361] Carson, John, pp. 495-496.

[362] Morris, John, p. 646.


Copyright © 1985-2017, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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