Title: A WORD OF COMFORT AND A WAY TO THE FATHER
Text: John 14:1-31
You rarely run into anyone that doesn’t want to go to Heaven. But every day you find people who like to define for themselves the way to get there. I call it “Convenient Religion,” which is defining yourself the requirements God has for entry into Heaven and who you need to follow to get there. Such self-styled religions are like the sand on the seashore. Rewriting the requirements is not only foolish; it’s blasphemous and futile. No amount of redefinition will change what we must believe in order to get into Heaven. Getting into the Kingdom of Heaven is the most important thing you can do in this life. It’s best not to play around with philosophical ideas about how to get there, but to stick with the revealed Word of God and take His Word at face value.
Sincerity won’t get you in. Wise, mystical guides won’t get you in. No amount of good works piled up will get you in. If Jesus says there’s only one way in, then anything short of that is just that…short! Wouldn’t it be a bummer to sincerely follow a wise guide, working vigorously to be righteous, all to find out you were following the wrong path? Bummer! “Sorry, you thought you bought a ticket to Paradise, but this train is going to Death Valley!” Read text.
1. What does Jesus say we need to do in verse 1 if we have a troubled heart? (The object of the trust of your heart will either leave you troubled or at peace) What’s the context of the preceding verses that puts this in perspective? (13:37-38 It was becoming clear by their dialog that Jesus’ destination could only be reached through death. Peter was ready (so he thought) right then to lay down his life and go with Jesus.) What does it take to be ready to be a martyr for Jesus? In the end, how did Peter die?
2. Jesus reassures the disciples that in due time they will get to be with Him. In fact, He is going to prepare that place for them. Is the immediate dwelling place of the departed spirit (following death) our final destination? Luke 16:19-26; Rev. 20:14-21:2
3. Jesus states that when that final resting-place is prepared, He will return and take us to that place. Do we know when that will happen? Matt. 24:17, 31, 36, 43-44 If we don’t know when, what’s the next best thing to be ready? Matt. 24:46
4. In verse 4 Jesus states that they already know the “way” to where He was going. Thomas is disturbed, stating that if they didn’t know “where” He was going, how would they know the “way.” What is the “way”? (The way to God lies in the knowledge of the truth about Jesus and embracing it in your heart.) Jn. 14:6; Acts 9:1-2; 18:25-26; 19:8-9, 23; 22:3-4; 24:14-15
5. According to Jesus, how much different is He than the Father? Jn. 14:7,9; 8:19; Col. 1:13-15; Heb. 1:1-3
6. In verse 9 Phillip gets a little rebuke for not grasping the oneness Jesus has with the Father after having been with Him the last three years. Is it possible to live next to someone and not really know them? What’s happened if something is missed that was there all along? (We weren’t listening intimately – we listened with only one ear, misunderstanding them.)
7. What does Jesus mean in verse 10 when He says He doesn’t speak on His own initiative? and “the Father abiding in Me does His works”?
8. What depth of truth do you see in verse 11? (Jesus lives in perpetual union of purpose with His Father, so His words and actions are the Father’s words and actions.)
9. In light of all the miracles Jesus performed, what could He possibly mean in verse 12 that we would do even greater works? Acts 2:4-11, 41; 4:4; 5:14-15; 6:7; 19:11-12
Insight: God expressed Himself through His sinless Son. But for the Spirit to use sinful human beings as agents of God in this world is a greater wonder indeed!
10. Is verse 13 a blank check? Explain. (First we must conform the content and motivation of our prayer with all that Jesus is; then pray with full confidence.) What’s the power in asking in Jesus’ name? (Father/son, auto dealer illustration)
11. For several verses, Jesus connects obeying His commandments with loving Him (v. 15, 21, 23, 24). What insights can you share about the connection between the two? (Obedience is a love response, not a dutiful conformity; if you do not love God, you will not obey Him; our obedience is an indication of the reality of our love; love of God keeps us from straying.) Eph. 6:4; 1 John 2:3-5
12. Jesus states that after He leaves the Holy Spirit will come as a helping comforter. How can we realize His presence more and tap the resource that’s available?
13. What does Jesus mean in verse 19 that the world will no longer see Him, but the disciples will? (We will see Him after we die if we belong to Him; we will go to where He is after death.) Jn. 11:25; Col. 3:3-4
14. Who is the other Judas mentioned in verse 22? Lk. 6:16
15. How does it make you feel when you read that God comes to make His abode in you? (14:23) Rom. 8:9-11
16. What implications come to mind when you read verse 26?
17. How is the Lord’s peace different from the world’s peace? (The world’s peace depends upon peaceful circumstances, therefore temporary, and sometimes a false security; God’s peace comes even in the midst of unsettling circumstances.) Jer. 8:11 How did Jesus demonstrate peace that catches your attention? According to verse 27, it we are letting God’s peace rule, should there be no room for a troubled heart or fear?
Insight: The Holy Spirit’s presence makes it possible for us to choose not to be troubled or fearful, but we must make the choice not to compromise with the world. He is the unbreakable link of our living relationship with the Lord.
Time and again the disciples watched Jesus display peace when they were fearful. Twice on stormy seas He said, “Peace. It is I.” He even said to the stormy waves, “Peace, be still!” and the waves calmed down. In just 4 days from our text, Jesus was going to come back to them from the dead and say, “Peace be unto you.”
But without the final victory over the prince of this world (Satan), lasting peace would not be possible. Out of an expression of His love for us and a surrender of His life, John concludes this chapter with Jesus stating the ruler of this world was coming (v. 30), but He is anxious take on the final battle and conquer the enemy. He states in verse 31, “Come on. Let’s go.” It’s as if Jesus is rolling up his sleeves and He knows He’s going to win, so let’s get it on! The forces of evil were assembling their final assault, but He’s ready to go and meet them!
What spiritual determination! What spirit of sacrifice! What strength of character to obedience! What an expression of love!
Hallelujah! What a Savior!