“I Go to Prepare a Place for You” - John 14
Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, why can I not follow You now?” (13.37) Many subsequent questions from Jesus’ disciples indicate their confusion and discouragement. Jesus begins in this chapter to address the confusion with clarity and the discouragement with hope. Our Lord needed comfort, but He was consumed with comforting others.
- The only thing that can calm a troubled (same word used of Jesus in chapter 13) heart is belief.
- Believe is mentioned twice in this verse and communicates trust.
- Jesus is saying, “Cease from being troubled. You trust in God; trust in Me as well.”
- Jesus claimed the Father’s prerogative in giving comfort to the troubled. This is another strong statement revealing His deity. Reliance upon God is the same as reliance upon Jesus.
- The Father’s house is Heaven. There are many mansions or dwelling (abiding) places in Heaven. All believers will be accommodated and none turned away unlike the rude refusal that Joseph and Mary experienced when Jesus came as God incarnate.
- If these accommodations were not real and eternal, then Jesus would have told us just how it was in Heaven.
- The emphasis in these verses is upon a collective abiding with the Lord.
- Jesus was going in order to prepare a place. How would He go? He would be lifted up.
- Jesus went to prepare a place. The going itself prepared the place.
- Jesus was evidently speaking of His return for them at the Rapture rather than His return at the Second Coming.
- Other Scripture clarifies that when Jesus returns at the Rapture it will be to call His own to heaven immediately (1 Thess. 4:13-18).
- In contrast, when He returns at the Second Coming it will be to remain on the earth and reign for 1,000 years (Rev. 19:11—20:15).
- It is where Jesus is that we will be (e.g., Heaven).
- The emphasis in this prediction is on the comfort that reunion with our Lord will bring (cf. 1 Thess. 4:18).
- The greatest blessing of heaven will be our fellowship with the Lord Jesus continually, not the splendor of the place.
- Jesus could say that the Eleven knew the way to the place where He was going because He had revealed that faith in Him led to eternal life (3:14-15).
- This had been a major theme of His teaching throughout His ministry. However, they did not understand Him as they should have (v. 5).
- These four verses answered Peter's initial question about where Jesus was going (13:36). They also brought the conversation back to the subject of the glorification of the Father and the Son (13:31-32).
- Thomas voiced the disciples' continuing confusion about Jesus' destination. Apparently the ‘Father's house’ did not clearly identify heaven to them.
- Without a clear understanding of the final destination they could not be sure of the route there.
- Thomas' question was a request for an unambiguous explanation of Jesus' and their destination and how He and they would get there.
- We take for granted v. 6. Jesus told the disciples plainly that He would die on at least three previous occasions.
- Way, Truth, and Life
- Jesus again gave an enigmatic answer. He had already said plainly that He would die and rise again at least three times.
- Jesus is the Way to God because He is the Truth from God and the Life from God.
- He is the Truth because He embodies God’s Revelation (1.18; 5.19; 8.29).
- He is the Life because He contains and imparts divine life (1:4; 5:26; 11:25; cf. 1 John 5:20).
- “He not only shows people the way (i.e., by revealing it), but he is the way (i.e., he redeems us). In this connection 'the truth' . . . will have saving significance. It will point to Jesus' utter dependability, but also to the saving truth of the gospel. 'The life' will likewise take its content from the gospel. Jesus is both life and the source of life to believers." (Morris, 569)
- Jesus was not saying that He was one way to God among many. He was not saying that He pointed the way to God either. He said that no one comes to God the Father but through faith in Himself. This means that religions that assign Jesus a role that is different from the one that the Bible gives Him do not bring people to God or eternal life. This was an exclusive claim to being the only way to heaven
- It is only because of Jesus Christ's work on the cross that anyone can enter heaven. Since He has come, it is only through faith in the promise of God that His cross work satisfied the Father that anyone experiences regeneration.
- Since He has come, rejection of God's revelation through Him results in eternal damnation (3:36).
- This is the sixth of Jesus’ I AM claims (cf. 6:48; 8:12; 10:9, 11; 11:25; 15:1).
- I am the Way - yet He would hang upon the cross
- I am the Truth - yet the lies of evil people were about to enjoy a spectacular triumph
- I am the Life - yet within a matter of hours his corpse would be placed in a tomb