"I am the way the truth and the life"
In our last study, Jesus and the twelve disciples were sitting by the table.
Still in that setting, the supper is over, Judas has departed, and all the disciples are bewildered and shocked by Jesus statement that even Peter would soon deny Him.
The Messiah will be taken captive this same night. But, with words of supernatural calm and confidence, Jesus comforts and instructs the remaining eleven.
"I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life," John 14:1-31
Verse 1: "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me."
Believing in God, and believing in Jesus, are one and the same.
Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, is the way to the Father, and to Heaven. Through His sacrifice, He atoned and paid for all our sins.
It was not apparent to the disciples, but things were proceeding according to plan, and Jesus had everything under control. However, Jesus, realized their anxiety and concern, and in the following Scripture began to offer His Divine comfort, peace and assurance.
Verse 2:-3: "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? 3And 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."
Jesus was not making a statement of uncertainty when He said, "If I go." He was saying that, as surely as I go, so certainly will I return and receive My own.
Although some scholars disagree, most think the above Scripture is referring to Jesus' second coming, or the rapture.Verses 4-6: "And you know the way to where I am going." 5Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way? Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
"The Way the Truth and the Life"
"Jesus is the way:" To the Father and Heaven. Early Christianity was known as, "The Way." It was the way to Heaven then, and is 'the way to Heaven' now. "(no one comes to the Father except through me)."
"Jesus is the Truth:" The truth was brought to light when Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies concerning Himself, proving He was who He claimed to be. Many manuscripts in early Christianity used the word, "Truth" when referencing God.
"Jesus is the Life:" A few years back I read where some small seeds had been excavated out of an Egyptian pyramid. When the seeds were planted they began to grow. They grew because they contained the 'Gift of Life,' placed there by the Creator.
Jesus provides the "Gift of Eternal Life." In a previous study He described it as, the Fountain of Life, life that never ends. It's His gift to us.
Verse 7: "If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."
The deity of Jesus is declared throughout this Gospel; knowing Jesus is equivalent to knowing God.
They knew Jesus, but not as well as they might and should have. They knew him as Jesus, but did not know that God was in Him.
By Jesus saying, "From now on," means they had now obtained enough information to know that He was Lord.
God honors true sincerity, even when it includes doubt. Jesus had a tremendous mission to fulfill, but it was beyond the ability of the disciples to understand, (until later).
After Jesus' mission had been fulfilled, and the disciples empowered by the Holy Spirit, they could see and comprehend God's plan from beginning to end; and they wrote fluently about it. The "Gospel of John" is a perfect example.
Verse 8 "Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us."
Although Philip was slow to understand, his statement very likely represented the thoughts of all the disciples.
Verse 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'
There is something in natural man that is reluctant to accept Jesus as, "Almighty God, in human form."
Nevertheless, could Jesus, "the Way the Truth and the Life," have made His deity any more clear than when He said, "Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father?"
Some scholars believe Philip had hoped to see a, "theophany," (the appearance of a god to a human, sometimes in human form).
That was not so far from what the Jews had also wanted.
Verses 10-11: 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. 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
Jesus is, "God the Son," a member of the Trinity. He and the Father are one.
The works/miracles that Jesus did, were not done by the power of, "Jesus the man," but, by the power of, "Jesus the Son of God" - through the power of the "Father," who constantly dwells in Him.
Like Philip, we can believe in Jesus, either because He was a part of the Trinity, and had proven it, or because of the miracles He performed.
Verse 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."
What a fantastic, yet challenging Scripture! After all, what miracle could we do that would be greater than raising Lazarus from the dead, or of paying for the sins of the world by dying on the cross?
After Jesus returned to heaven He sent the Holy Spirit to indwell each and every Believer, through His born again Followers, He can now be in every part of the world.
At Pentecost, three thousand souls gave their life to Christ, under the power of the Holy Spirit.
Verse 13: " Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."
In the "Old Testament" the word, "name" often meant reputation or renown. When God acted on account of His Name, it was said that His actions were in defense of His honor. (EX 5:23)
Verse 14: "If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it."
Jesus used the word, "Me" in this verse. This suggests that prayers might be offered directly to Jesus; and, to the Father, in Jesus' name.
Personally, I pray to the Father as directed by Jesus; but I also pray, and talk to Jesus, as directed above, (and I do that a lot).
This reminds me of a little story l sometimes tell of when I, as a young boy/man, would drive the boss's truck, and all the workers would do as I said, (actually as the boss had said).
That was because the boss's name was on the truck, so I was delivering the messages in the boss's name and authority. Jesus had been sent by God, and that's what He was doing.
If we had time, we could go a lot deeper into this.
Here is the story about Speaking in Jesus Name
Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
Verses 15: "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."
"If you love me." Faith is priceless, and at times may even seem to supersede Love. Yet, the greatest commandment is to love.
It is love, not faith that fulfills all the commandments. In 1 Cor. 13:2, Paul said, though one might have all faith, he would yet find it worthless without love.
Isn't this chapter so rich!
Verses 16-17: "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17even 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 in you."
This is one of the first statements indicating that the Believer is to be indwelled by the Holy Spirit.
The disciples would recognize the Holy Spirit because He already dwelled with them, in Jesus. They had seen Jesus identified with the Holy Spirit on many occasions, such as, the descending dove at his baptism.
The concept of the Spirit being in the disciples was dogmatically affirmed from the very first; however, those who have not been born again cannot receive the Spirit, nor are they capable of seeing or recognizing Him.
Verses-18-19: "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."
In the Old Testament, orphans were powerless and needed a legal defender. It is in this context that Jesus comes to them, and leaves His presence in them by the Holy Spirit.
"I will come to you," is not speaking of the second coming, but of His coming to His followers in the form of the Holy Spirit.
Verse 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."
This is a prophetic statement concerning the resurrection. Just as He died, was buried and then resurrected, so do we, symbolically die, are buried, and resurrected in baptism. And we will live in eternity with Him.
Verse 20: "In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you."
In that day it will all come together. Believers will understand what it means to be at one with the Father and the Son.
"You in me:" We are perfected in Christ. Other than seeking Christ and becoming born again, there is nothing a sinner can do to be accounted righteous in the sight of God.
The identification of Believers with Christ, is exactly the same as the identification of Christ with God. God is in Christ; Christ is in God; Christ is in those who have been born again, and they in Christ.
The loss of personal identity in order to find justification, was what Jesus was referring to when He said: "He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it," (Matt 10:39).
"The Way the Truth and the Life" was speaking of, "Eternal Life."
Verse 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."
Keeping Jesus' commandments is an indication of our love for Him.
This is very similar to verse 15 with Christ's loving whom the Father loves, and the Father's loving them that love Christ.
"Manifest myself to him:" Israel believed, and rightly so, that God had given them a special revelation in the Law that the nations of the world did not have.
Verse 22: "Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?"
This is not the Judas who betrayed Jesus, but, is believed to be Thaddeus. We don't hear much about Thaddeus, but Bible background sources tell us he is the one who brought the Gospel to Armenia. (A small country located south of Russia, near the Black Sea).
So Thaddeus wants to know how it is that they would be able to recognize Jesus, and the world could not.
The disciples had many questions. They still did not comprehend Jesus total mission, or that His death on the cross would be a manifestation before the whole world, and (not only for the Jews).
According to John 3:16, Jesus' death was for all the world.
Verse 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."
Jewish teachers taught that God's presence resided in a special way among those who studied His Law.
That God dwelt in His temple and among His people, was standard Old Testament teaching. His laws were written in the hearts of His faithful, and His Spirit moved among His prophets.
Verse 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."
This is a repeat of what Jesus had been teaching in John 12:14-15. John 14:23.
There were numerous occasions, where Jesus was forced to repeat what He had previously taught.
The disciples were confused because they did not understand the true nature of Christ's Kingdom; a misunderstanding that would not be cleared up until after Pentecost.
Verse 25-26: "These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26But 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."
Jesus, realizing the human weaknesses, again promises the Holy Spirit, and again tells them that the Holy Spirit will not only teach, but will also bring remembrance and comprehension to His sometimes difficult to understand doctrines.
Verse 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.
Jesus speaks these tremendous words of peace squarely in the middle of the greatest storm of evil ever to appear on earth. Later, we see Paul expressing this kind of peace while writing from a dungeon in Rome.
This is the peace described in, Philippians 4:7 that "passes understanding." There is no logical way to explain the peace received from Christ.
Verses 28-29: "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. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe."
Jesus was strengthening and comforting his disciples. Attempting to help the disciples to understand He begins by telling them the Father is greater than He, and that He will be crucified, and after that will come His resurrection and ascension to the Father.
He wanted them to know these things, so that when it happened they would remember and believe His Words, and understand His mission.
Verse 30: "I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me,"
Satan is, "the ruler of the world." Another similar reference to Satan is found In John 12:31.
It was impossible for any man to take Jesus life, but satan had done his best. Then, Jesus announced that no one would take His life; instead, He would lay it down of His own accord, (John 10:17,18).
Scholars believe that upon hearing these Words Satan realized he was beaten, and began exhausting every satanic resource to make Jesus' death shameful, repugnant, and humiliating.
And our last verse:
Verse 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."
Regardless of the pain, shame and suffering, Jesus declared that He would do as the Father had commanded. Then He said, "rise, let us go."
This concludes our study of, "The Way the Truth and the Life."
Our Next Study Is:
"The True Vine"
Jesus teaches, "that love and joy are perfected in Him" - the world will hate those who follow Him - and promises a "Helper," (the Holy Spirit).
Gospel of John Bible Study, Main Page
The Names of Jesus