John 14:1–14, 27–29 comment (0)
December 12, 2013
By Dale Younce
Related Scripture: John 14:1–14, 27–29
Explore the Bible
Professor of Christian Ministries, University of Mobile
John 14:1–14, 27–29
Many modern people think that Jesus is one among many ways to God. However, Scripture teaches that Jesus is the only way to God. Some believers have not thought carefully about the issue that He is the one and only way to a right relationship with God. Adults will benefit from this lesson by considering what Jesus Himself taught on this critical subject.
The Way to Be With God (1–6)
In view of His approaching departure, Jesus gave the disciples instructions to calm their fears. First He encouraged them to trust Him just as they were trusting God the Father without seeing Him, so they could trust Jesus after His departure. Second in the future they will be with God where He dwells. “My Father’s house” refers to heaven, where there are many dwelling places. Third Jesus is going to prepare heaven for the disciples. At Calvary Jesus, by His atoning death, prepared believing sinners for an eternal heaven; now He announced that He is going to prepare heaven for His followers. Heaven truly is a prepared place for a prepared people. Fourth Jesus will come again to take His people to Himself. In the unfolding history of salvation, this is the first mention of what is commonly called The Rapture.
In response to Thomas’ question, Jesus stated one of the most profound and emphatic truths of His ministry. There are not many ways to God; the way is not by keeping commandments, morality, religious ritual or church membership. There is only one way to God, a personal, by faith relationship with Jesus Christ. We can have a right relationship with God only through trusting Jesus.
The Way to Know God (7–11)
Jesus explained to His disciples that to know Him is to know God the Father because He and the Father are united in essence and in action, a mysterious union that exists between the Father and Himself. After Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples would understand better that Jesus is God the Son and that to know Him is to know God the Father. To look at Jesus is to look at the One who perfectly displays the Father. We can be confident that, when we come to know Jesus by trusting Him, we also come to know what God is like and what He did to provide a way of salvation.
The Way to Pray to God (12–14)
Jesus promised His disciples that by believing in Him, they would do greater works than He had done. In the Book of Acts there is found the record of apostles performing miracles of physical healing similar to those of Jesus. But the record also includes greater miracles — the conversion of 3,000 people on the day of Pentecost, the salvation of many Samaritans, the salvation of the Ethiopian eunuch. The “greater works” refers to the world-proclamation of the gospel.
Jesus also promised His disciples that they could pray in His name. This does not mean to attach His name to the end of prayer; it means to ask according to His mind and will, things that will glorify God, benefit other people and work for our spiritual good.
The Way to Enjoy God’s Peace (27–29)
As preparation for His leaving, Jesus gave His men God’s peace. Shalom, the Hebrew word for “peace,” has a much larger meaning than the mere absence of war or distress. It includes such ideas as wholeness, completeness, health, security and prosperity. God’s peace results in joy and contentment. The world’s peace is selfish, temporary and inadequate. His “Shalom” is abundantly forever.
When Jesus said, “The Father is greater than I,” He was not denying His own deity (John 10:30) nor was He denying His equality with God. During His earthly life, Jesus limited Himself by a human body; for that period of time He voluntarily laid aside the independent exercise of His divine attributes (the insignia of His glory) and voluntarily submitted Himself to God the Father. During those years of His earthly life, God the Father was greater than Jesus in the sense of His position, but not in the sense of His Person.