"I am the way the truth and the life."
In our last study Jesus and the twelve disciples were sitting by the table.
In this study the supper is over, Judas has departed, and all the disciples are bewildered and shocked by Jesus statement that that even Peter would soon deny Him.
The Messiah will be taken captive this same night. But Jesus, with words of supernatural calm and confidence, reassures, comforts and instructs the remaining eleven He had chosen to take His message to the world.
In terms of eternity, and our life in Christ, most people find comfort and an reassurance the following three verses.
John 14 "I Am the Way, and the Truth,
and the Life"
Verse 1: "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me."
According to this scripture believing in God and believing in Jesus are one and the same thing. 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.
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."
In saying, "If I go," Jesus is not making a statement of uncertainty. He is saying that, as certainly as the Lord shall go, certainly will he return and receive his own.
Although some scholars disagree, most think that the above scripture is referring to Jesus' second coming, or the rapture.
The second coming of Christ:
I come again ... The second coming of Jesus is dogmatically affirmed throughout the New Testament, as in Acts 1:11; 3:21; 2 Thessalonian's 4:13-17, etc., the second coming of Christ is one of the foundational teachings of Christianity.
Remember, these are not complete lists.
What will Christ do upon His return?
What is Christ doing now?
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."
Here Jesus speaks of "The Way," "The truth" and "The life"
"Jesus is the way" to the Father and heaven, the only way. In the early days, Christianity was known as "The Way," It was 'the way to heaven' then and is 'the way to heaven' now. And by Jesus saying "no one comes to the Father except through me" makes it the only way!
"Jesus is the Truth," He presented the truth, and the truth was brought to light when Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies concerning Himself, proving He was who He claimed to be. In fact in early Christianity many manuscripts use the word "Truth" when referencing God.
"Jesus is the Life," everlasting life: A few years back I read where some small seeds had been excavated out of an Egyptian pyramid and were planted and actually grew.
Not to demean our great scientists and archaeologists, and although the seeds had been well preserved for thousands of years, the reason the seeds grew was because they contained the 'Gift of Life' placed there by the creator. And when planted, those seeds containing the gift of life began to grow.
Through Jesus we receive the "Gift of Eternal Life," the fountain of life He described so beautifully to the woman at the well, life that never ends. It's His gift to us.
Verse 7-8: "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 whole Gospel, and here is another example; knowing Jesus is equivalent to knowing God.
By Jesus saying "From now on" means they had now obtained enough information and faith to realized that Jesus is Lord.
But God honors true sincerity, even when it includes doubt. Jesus had a tremendous mission to fulfill, one that was beyond the disciples or any other earthly ability to understand, until later.
After His mission had been fulfilled the disciples had both hindsight, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, could see and comprehend God's plan from beginning to end, and wrote fluently about it. (this book, 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 seemed to be slow to understand, his statement probably represented the thoughts of all the disciples.
Verse9: "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 that Jesus was actually Almighty God in human form.
But could Jesus have made His deity any more clear than when He said "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father?"
Some scholars believe that Philip had hoped to see a theophany (the-oph-a-ny) (An appearance of a god to a human; a divine manifestation.) When we think about it that was not so far from what the Jews were asking for.
10Do 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.
Jesus tells Philip that the works/miracles He 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 because He was a part of the Trinity and had proven it, or because of the miracles He had done.
Verses 12-14: "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. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it."
Isn't this challenging scripture a fantastic revelation? It's difficult to know exactly what Jesus meant. 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 dieing on the cross?
Perhaps it is because after Jesus returned to heaven He could now be in every part of the world through His followers who have His Spirit within them.
During His life on earth He was basically restricted to the limitation of his physical presence, but now His Holy Spirit is here in His name.
After Pentecost, when the power of the Holy Spirit was given, three thousand souls gave their life to Christ. This was approximately 47-49 days after the resurrection of Christ.
Regarding verse 13, where Jesus said "in my name": In the "Old Testament" the word "name" often meant reputation or renown, so when God acted on account of his name it was said that His actions were in defense of His honor. (EX 5:23)
In prayer, calling on a deity's name simply meant addressing him In this context "in His name" means something like; those who seek His glory and speak accurately for him, who are genuinely His authorized representatives.
In Verse 14, Jesus said Ask in my name: Jesus used the word "Me" in this verse. Many believe, that although Jesus gave specific directions that we should pray to the Father, as in "The Lord's Prayer" and using the words "Our Father in Heaven."
This suggests that prayers might be offered directly to Jesus, as well as addressed to the Father in Jesus' name.
Personally, I pray to the Father as directed by Jesus; but I also pray, and talk to Jesus, and I do that a lot.
Do you remember the little story last week about when I would drive the boss's truck 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, that's what Jesus said He was doing. He had been sent by God.
If we had time and it wouldn't get us off track in our study we could go a lot deeper into this.
Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
Verses 15: "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."
"If you love me." Doesn't it seem that faith has somehow superseded Love in Christianity, yet the greatest commandment is to love. It is love, not faith that fulfills all the commandments. In 1 Cor. 13:2 Paul said that 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 the believer is to receive and be in dwelled by the Holy Spirit. Various references are made of the Holy Spirit, including: Counselor, Helper, Advocate, (defending attorney- with Satan as the prosecutor), intercessor.
The disciples would recognize the 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; the world cannot receive the Spirit, because it is not capable of seeing or recognizing Him.
Verses-18-19: "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 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."
In the Old Testament orphans were powerless and needed a legal defender. In this context 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 speaking of a little while when the world would not see Him, is prophecy 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."
Jesus is saying that in that day it will all come together, you will understand what it means to be at one with the Father and the Son.
You in me: We are perfected in Christ. There is nothing apart from Christ a sinner can do to be accounted righteous in the sight of God.
The identification of believers with Christ as revealed in this verse is exactly the same as the identification of Christ with God. God is in Christ; Christ is in God; Christ is in Christians; and Christians are in Christ.
And 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). He 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."
This is very similar to verse 15 with Christ's loving whom the Father loves, and in 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 Judas is believed to be Thaddeus. We don't hear much about Thaddeus, but he is said to be 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. Even at this point the disciples had many questions. They still didn't comprehend Jesus total mission, or that the death on the cross would be a manifestation before the whole world, not only the Jews. But we know from John 3:16 that 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. And, that God dwelt in His temple and among His people, was standard Old Testament teaching, as was that His laws were written in the hearts of His faithful, and that 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.
We have seen many times in this scripture where Jesus is forced to repeat what He had previously taught. The confusion of the disciples was due to their misunderstanding 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 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. Here he is telling them that the Father is greater that He is, and that He, Jesus, will be crucified, after that will come His resurrection and ascension to the Father. He is telling them so that when it happens they would not be surprised and that they will know where He is, and will believe.
Verse 30: "I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me,"
Here Jesus says that 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. Satan had done his best to take Jesus life. 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 Satan then realized He was beaten and began exhausting every satanic resource in making 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 declares that He will do as the Father has commanded. Then He says "rise, let us go."
Some disagree as to when and how Jesus taught the following three chapters. It is possible they were spoken immediately within the following ten or fifteen minutes, as they were leaving.
So next week we can study: John 15, (the whole chapter). Jesus declares that He is the True Vine - teaches more about love and says that "that love and joy are perfected in Him" -tells of the worlds hatred for those who will follow Him - and again promises the "Helper," the Holy Spirit.
Gospel of John Bible Study