The farther we travel
down this road of life the greater is the
realization that this is not our home––heaven is.
The disciples of Jesus
had good reason to be "troubled" because as they
reclined at the table a few moments earlier He spoke
of the traitor in their midst (13:21), and His
leaving them and going where they could not follow
(vv. 33, 36). Jesus saw in their faces that night
confusion, hurt, disappointment, fear, frustration
and bewilderment. Their world was caving in around
them like an earthquake.
The conversation in
chapter fourteen follows in form closely to the
preceding chapter. The conversation continues to
flow as Christ prepares His disciples for the day
ahead. He comforts them by telling them His
departure is to His Father's house, with a view of
preparing a place for them and then coming again to
those who know the direction of the journey.
It is most unfortunate
that there is a chapter break between 13:38 and
14:1. Jesus is answering Peter's question in
13:36-37 that refers back to Jesus' words about His
departure in v. 33. The disciples are "troubled"
about what Jesus has been revealing to them about
His death and resurrection (13:33).
Jesus is consoling His
disciples and revealing a greater understanding of
Himself to them. As G. Campbell Morgan remarked this
is one of those passages, "We might indulge in many
speculations, not profitable." We will guard against
strange imaginations, but make strong application of
these truths to our personal daily experiences.
THE PROBLEM OF A
"Do not let your heart be
troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me" (v. 1)
These are the words of
the Good Shepherd comforting the hearts of His
troubled sheep. "You believe in God, believe also in
Me" is the revelation of His own heart to them.
The disciples were
perplexed and fearful and Jesus had told them
earlier, "Where I go, you cannot come." Peter asked,
"Where are you going?" Thomas said, "We do not know
why you are going, how can we know the way?" Philip
said, "Show us the Father, that is sufficient."
Thomas was perplexed about the way, "How can we know
the way, if we do not know where You are going?" The
disciples that night could not comprehend continuing
The very center of their
personal life was extremely troubled. Their emotions
were boiling over with raw feelings. "The hearts of
the disciples were tossed like waves in the wind by
the words of Jesus in 13:38)," says A. T. Robertson.
"They were losing Him,"
says Morgan. "After three and a half-years in His
close company, traveling here and there; watching
Him, listening to Him; now He was going; they are
going to be left. That was their trouble . . . He
told them He was going to suffer. He told them He
was going to die. He told them He was going to
resurrection. They never seem to have grasped the
fact of the resurrection."
The night before His
crucifixion Jesus slowly stripped away the veneer of
a utopia. He completely destroyed their fantasies.
In its place He gave them a greater revelation of
In no way did Jesus
intend for His disciples to be escapist, or to live
in utopia, or some nebulas dream world. He did not
suggest in any way that we would reach a spiritual
plateau in which all trouble would disappear and we
would live the rest of our lives in perfect serenity
and peace. Jesus never suggested that if we followed
Him we would never again experience trouble,
disappointment or trials. A little later that night
He said just the opposite. "These things I have
spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In
the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I
have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
"Let not your heart be
troubled" is present subjunctive with the negative
indicating the stopping of an action in progress.
"Stop it. Stop it now!" "Stop being troubled in your
Seeing them reacting
deeper and deeper in despair Jesus said, "Wait! Stop
it now! Stop being troubled! Stop letting your
hearts boil over. You are forgetting who I am. You
believe in God; believe also in Me. You are not
alone; I am with you. You are secure because I am."
Jesus did not promise
them their troubles were going away. He told them He
would be with them in the midst of their troubles.
He would be their stabilizing force and strength. He
did not tell them some foolish make-believe
philosophy that their pain, suffering, evil and sin
didn't exist. Thinking beautiful thoughts won't make
these things go away.
Stop for a moment. What
is flooding your troubled heart today? What does
Jesus see going on in His presence right now? The
hurt of those disciples that night was no different
from the hurts you experience today. Jesus was
telling those disciples to give Him those "troubles"
that were boiling over and flooding their hearts.
His death was no make-believe; it was real. They
felt the trauma of it before them. Jesus recognized
what they were experiencing and gave them comfort.
THE PERSON WHO
You "believe in
God, believe also in Me" (v. 1b).
It is probably best to
take both occurrences of the word "believe" in verse
one as imperative. Continue to believe and in this
way not let your hearts be troubled. "You believe"
is best translated, "keep on believing in God and in
Me." "Believe in God, believe also in Me."
A. W. Pink wrote, "'You
believe in God,' who in invisible; you believe in
His love, though you have never seen His form; you
are conscious of His care, though you have never
touched the Hand that guides and protects you.
'Believe, also in Me;' . . . In like manner you must
have full confidence in My existence, my love, and
care, even though I am no longer present to sight.
This comfort remains for us; this is the faith in
which we are now to live: 'Whom having not seen, you
love; in whom, though now you see Him not, yet
believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full
of glory' (1 Peter 1:8)."
W. E. Vine, "It is a
faith that goes much farther than an acceptance of a
truth, it cleaves to the Speaker." Our highest
occupation is with Christ Himself and our personal
and increasing knowledge of Him. This is reinforced
and strengthened by our experiences of His dealings
"Believe in God and
believe also in Me." "Believe in God and in Me
believe marks the development of the idea," says
Westcott. Let your faith find its rest in Me. "In
Christ belief in God gained a present reality. The
simultaneous injunction is of faith God and in
Christ under the same conditions implies the
divinity of Christ. The belief is 'in Christ,' and
not in any position about Christ."
Jesus uses strong present
imperatives, "Keep on believing in God . . . keep on
believing in Me."
A. W. Pink admonishes
"But it should be
remembered that the Lord was speaking not only to
the Eleven, but to us as well. . . "Believe in God,"
O Christian. Let not your heart be troubled, for thy
Father is possessed of infinite power, wisdom, and
goodness. He knows what is best for thee, and He
makes all things work together for thy good. He is
on the Throne, ruling amid the army of heaven and
among the inhabitants of the earth, so that none can
stay His refuge and strength, a very present help in
trouble. . . "If God be for us who can be against
us?" Believe in God. Believe in His absolute
sovereignty, His infinite wisdom, His unchanging
faithfulness, His wondrous love. "Believe also in
Me." I am the One who died for thy sins and rose
again for thy justification: I am the One who ever
lives to make intercession for thee. I am the same,
yesterday, and today, and forever. I am the One who
shall come again to receive you to Myself, and you
shall be forever with Me. Yes, "Believe also in me!"
The deity of Christ
Faith in the deity of the
Son of God is fundamental to Biblical Christianity.
When Jesus put the question to His disciples, "Whom
say you that I am?" Peter answered, "You are the
Messiah, the Son of the living God." On the strength
of that reply Jesus affirmed His purpose of building
His church. From that time every true disciple and
apostle defended to the utmost the utter Deity of
the Lord Jesus.
God compelled three
worlds to bear their testimony to the truthfulness
of who Jesus is. From Heaven the voice of God the
Father was heard, "This is My beloved Son in whom I
am well pleased." On earth the centurion testified,
"Truly, this was the Son of God." Even the devils of
hell shouted, "Jesus, You Son of God, what have we
to do with You?"
Henry Van Dyke said, "The
early Christians looked at God through Christ; they
did not look at Christ through a preconceived idea
and a logical definition of God. True development of
theology . . . was not abstract; it was personal and
practical. The doctrine of the trinity came into
being to meet an imperious necessity. That necessity
was the defense of the actual worship of Christ, the
actual trust in Christ as the Unveiler of the
Father, which already existed at the heart of
Christianity. It was recognized instinctively that
the loss of this trust, the silencing of worship,
meant the death of Christianity by heart failure.
Every speculation which threatened this result;
every theory of human nature or the Divine nature
which seemed to separate the personality of Christ
from the personality of God, was regarded by the
church as dangerous and hostile."
Thomas Babington well
said, "It was before the Deity, embodied in a human
form, walking among men, partaking of their
infirmities, leaning on their bosoms, weeping over
their graves, slumbering in their manager, bleeding
on the cross, that the prejudices of the synagogue
and the doubts of the academy and the pride of the
portico and the forces of the lictors and the swords
of their thirty legions were humbled in the dust."
It is only before such
Deity that men fall, smiting their breasts and
declaring, "God be merciful to me the sinner."
THE PLACE THE
COMFORTER IS PREPARING FOR US
"In My Father’s house are
many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would
have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you"
(v. 2). This is His present occupation. "I go to
prepare a place for you." Heaven is a place and it
is a place where God the Father and Jesus are
residing. It is His present location.
Jesus referred to the
Temple as "the house of God" on various occasions
(Matt. 12:4). He spoke of it as His own house,
assuming the place of God. The Jerusalem Temple was
still in the process of being built and was not
finished until ten years after Christ's death.
What is the Father's is
likewise the Son's and the Son prepares the abode
and will come and convey those for whom it is
"The Father's house" is
"the spiritual and eternal antitype of the
transitory temple (2:16)." The earthly temple
included in its courts many chambers (1 Kings 6:5,
6, 10; Ezek. 41:6).
B. F. Westcott says,
"Heaven is where God is seen as our Father. We dare
not add any local limitations, even in thought, to
this final conception." The Jewish idea of heaven
was an enormous palace with many rooms connected to
He resides in His
Father's House and when Jesus says "believe in Me
also" He bring out His absolute deity in a most
unmistakable manner. Martin Luther said, "Here you
see plainly that Christ Himself testifies that He is
equal with God Almighty; because we must believe in
Him even as we believe in God. If He were not true
God with the Father, this faith would be false and
A little later Jesus will
say, "He that has seen Me has seen the Father" (v.
9). The force of this statement was: Have you never
yet understood who I am? He was the visible Image of
the invisible God. In Him dwelt all the fullness of
the Godhead bodily (Col. 1:19; 2:9).
The only way we ever
arrive at a true knowledge of the Father is by our
knowledge of the Son. If we have a true
understanding of the Son we will know the Father.
You cannot know the one without the other. If our
knowledge of the Son is limited, so will be our
understanding of the Father. Jesus Christ is "God
manifest in the flesh." He is "God with us."
Jesus Christ "claimed as
His own the emotions of the heart to which only God
has a right and only God can satisfy. Faith in
Christ and faith in God are not two, but one, said
Alexander Maclaren. "Jesus Christ does not merely
set Himself up by the side of God, nor are we
worshipers of two Gods when we bow before Jesus and
bow before the Father; but faith in Christ is faith
in God, and faith in God which is not faith in
Christ is imperfect, incomplete, and will not long
last. To trust in Him is to trust in the Father; to
trust in the Father is to trust in Him."
If Christ's return seems
to be delayed, it is because He is engaged in
preparing a place for the object of His love. The
Groom is getting the home ready for His Bride.
There was "no room" for
Jesus in the inn when He was born in Bethlehem;
however, He has provided plenty of room for us in
His heavenly home. There will be plenty of rooms for
all who are saved by grace through faith in Him.
There is room for all who will believe. In heaven
the believing sinner will never be shut out.
The word translated
"mansions" is an old word for meno, meaning
to abide, abiding places (cf. v. 23). There are many
resting places in the Father's house (oikia).
This is a picture of heaven given to us by Christ.
"It is our heavenly home with the Father and with
Jesus," says Robertson. The Father's house is the
simple word for a permanent dwelling place, a place
of abode. In the Father's "house" there are many
"mansions," simply an abode.
G. Campbell Morgan said,
"In My Father's dwelling place there are many
abiding places. The dwelling place is greater than
the abiding places. All the abiding places are in
the dwelling place."
George Adam Smith helps
us understand this picture: "Herod's Temple
consisted of a house divided like Solomon's into the
Holy of Holies, and the Holy Place; a porch; an
immediate forecourt with an altar of burnt offering;
a Court of Israel; in front of this a Court of
Women; and round the whole of the preceding a Court
of Gentiles. Chambers for officials, and a meeting
place for the Sanhedrim. Against the walls were
built side-chambers, about 38 in all."
Morgan says, "There were
many abiding places in the Temple. I believe that
the temple as a figure of speech and symbol was in
the mind of our Lord when He said, 'In My Father's
house there are many abiding places.''' We are
reminded in the book of Hebrews the Temple was
patterned after things in heaven. The Father's house
has many permanent dwelling–places.
It may well be the word
is referring to resting places, "a place of stay,"
or "stations" along a great road where travelers
found refreshment. "The contrasted notions of repose
and progress are combined in this vision of the
future," says Westcott.
Jesus was stressing the
idea of permanence and that heaven is a place where
the Father is. That is security for the troubled
heart. Here the Father's house is plainly not on
earth. It is the heavenly home to which Jesus is
going and in which He promises His people a place of
permanent rest (12:26). He will come and personally
take His followers to this rest place in heaven. He
is going to get a place ready for them and will
return to take them there to be with Him. This will
be the consummation of perfect and permanent
fellowship (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
Our loved ones who have
died in Christ have gone to a place where we will be
reunited with them. This is very personal touch of
compassion. "I go to prepare a place for you" (v.
2). He speaks of His personal return even though His
spiritual presence would never leave them. These
words give great comfort to us who have loved ones
who have gone before us into heaven. Our loved ones
who have gone from us have simply gone into another
abiding place, but the one they have entered is a
permanent one in eternity. Our present earthly
dwelling place is temporary. Christ opened the way
into heaven by his death, resurrection and
THE PURPOSE OF THE
COMFORTER FOR US
"If I go and prepare a
place for you, I will come again, and receive you to
Myself, that where I am, there you may be also" (v.
3). He, who predicted His own going, promises His
return. The pronoun is emphatic, "I as you have
known Me––am going."
I go and prepare a
Christ will come to
receive His own and we will always be with Him. He
says, "If I go, . . I will come again." A
large crowd of people, probably the 500 who saw Him
at one time, saw Him go up from their presence, and
He will come again and receive us to Himself (Acts
1:11; 1 Cor. 15:6). He was taken up; He went in
person; He went visibly; a cloud received Him;
angels attended Him. As He went, so He shall come!
"Every eye shall see Him!"
Jesus goes ahead of us
and opens up the way for us (Heb. 6:20). He is the
"forerunner." It was customary to send someone ahead
to prepare a place to stay and make arrangements for
meals. Jesus had sent Peter and John to make ready
for the Passover meal (Mk. 14:12; Matt. 26:17).
Jesus is our Forerunner (prodromos) in
heaven. He is busy preparing a place for us. He
leads the way and takes us into the Father’s
Jesus is in heaven and He
has not only prepared a place for us but also He is
the forerunner who has prepared the way and made it
safe. Heaven is a safe haven where we will always be
with Jesus. The way Jesus traveled was the cross,
resurrection and the ascension. Jesus not only
prepared the place, He comes and takes us by the
hand and says, "Come, I'll take you with me there."
When He is the way, you cannot miss it!
I go . . . and I am
coming back for you
"I go to prepare a place
for you . . . I come again" is in vivid present
tense giving full assurance of the future facts.
Jesus is coming again.
Christ will take us from the place of meeting in the
air into the Father's house to be with Him in His
presence forever. We will be with Him "within the
veil" (Heb. 6:20). Jesus "will receive you to
Myself"––literally, "and I shall take you along
(para) to My own home" (cf. 13:36). A. T. Robertson
says this is a "definite promise of the second
coming of Christ. This blessed promise is fulfilled
in death for all believers who die before the Second
Coming. Jesus comes for us then also."
Vine reminds us that
Jesus is speaking of the time of the rapture of all
believers at the completion of the church. It is the
time of the consummation.
The idea of Christ's
Presence (Parousia) is distinctly implied
here. B. F. Westcott makes a good application of
this promise to us.
But though the words
refer to the last "coming" of Christ, the promise
must not be limited to that one "coming" which is
the consummation of all "comings." Nor again must it
be confined to the "coming" to the church on the day
of Pentecost, or to the "coming" to the individual
either at conversion or at death, though these
"comings" are included in the thought. Christ is in
fact from the moment of His Resurrection ever coming
to the world and to the church, and to men as the
Risen Lord (1:9).
This thought is expressed
by the use of the present I come as distinguished
from the future I will come, as of one isolated
future act. The "coming" is regarded in its
continual present, or perhaps it may be said,
Side by side with the
constant coming, realized through the action of the
Holy Spirit in the life of the church (v. 26), is
placed the personal, historical, reception of each
believer (I will take you to Myself) fulfilled
With that application let
me make it very clear that yes, I believe Christ is
referring to His own imminent, personal, visible
coming in glory. Christ's departure is the condition
of His return. He will return because He ascended to
heaven. Christ will not fail His disciples.
The purpose of Christ's
appearance is plainly affirmed. His appearance is
Jesus purpose of leaving
and coming again is that "where I am you may be
also." This is the purpose of His departure and
return. It will be heaven for the believer to be
where Jesus is and with Him forever. The Presence of
Christ involves the vision of His glory (17:24) and
carries with it the participation in His nature (1
John 3:2). One day we will be like Him and in His
presence for all eternity.
When Jesus Christ
prepares a permanent dwelling place for us, He also
prepares us for that place. God uses the trials and
"troubles" in our lives to prepare us for heaven.
Pressures are a part of life and we can rest assured
that it is the process God is using to perfect us
(Phil. 2:13; Eph. 2:10; Jas. 1:2-4). How pure is the
gold coming out of His furnace today?
THE PATH TO THE
FATHER'S HOUSE IS MADE PLAIN BY THE COMFORTER
"And you know the way
where I am going." Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do
not know where You are going, how do we know the
way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the
truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but
through Me" (vv. 4-6).
"Because they had seen
Jesus who is the Son of God, the Image of God, and
like God (1:18). Hence God is like Jesus Christ. It
is a bold and daring claim to deity. The only
intelligible conception of God is precisely what
Jesus here says. God is like Christ," notes
Jesus’ disciple Thomas
said, "We do not know where it is. How do we know
the way?" Jesus said, "I am the way." He said, "I am
the truth." All the secrets of the universe have
their final solution in Christ. He is also the life
of the Father's house. He is the truth and the life
because He is the way. "No one comes unto the
Father, but through Me."
Philip said, "Show us the
Father and it is enough for us." Jesus said, "He
that has seen Me has seen the Father."
In the person of Jesus
Christ we see God upon the cross. "There is nothing
so incredible as this in all the world. . . No one
would ever have dreamed of a God who chose the cross
to obtain our salvation" (Barclay).
Christ is the only
Way to God.
Jesus Christ is the way
to God and the only way. Any other path than that
which leads to the cross of Jesus will never come to
the Celestial city. He is the Incarnate Son of God
and therefore the only way to God the Father (John
1:1, 14, 18).
To know Jesus Christ is
to know both the goal and the way. In the fullest
sense He is our way, guide and strength and beside
Him there is none other.
Jesus alone is the way to
God. Make it explicitly clear, "No one comes to the
Father, but through Me" (v. 6b). The apostle Peter
filled with the Holy Spirit said in Acts 4:11-12;
"He is the stone which was rejected by you, the
builders, but which became the chief corner stone.
And there is salvation in no one else; for there is
no other name under heaven that has been given among
men by which we must be saved."
Christ is the door and it
is marked plainly, "Whoever believes in Me shall not
perish, but have everlasting life."
Christ is the
absolute Truth of God.
Jesus is the
personification of Truth. It is Truth in which is
summed up all that is eternal and absolute. He is
the embodiment of Truth. Only Jesus could say, "I am
the Truth." He is the full realization of the
self-revelation of God. When you look into the face
of Jesus you look into the face of God. To see Jesus
is to see God. He is the complete, perfect
revelation of the Father.
Apart from Jesus Christ
there is no good news. The Gospel is centered in the
person and work of Jesus Christ. When we preach
Christ crucified we preach the Gospel. The preaching
of the truth in the person and work of Jesus sets
men free. Jesus said, "I am come a Light unto the
world." He is the spiritual light that shines in a
world of depravity and spiritual darkness. Jesus
said, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall
set you free." He was saying you will know Me and in
Me you have your freedom from the penalty and power
Would we know the Truth
that sets men free? It is the person of Jesus
Christ is Life
Life everlasting is in
Christ alone. Every believer can say from the depth
of his heart of Jesus, "I never knew what life was
until I saw it in His eyes." Jesus give us His life
Do you want the abundant
Life that overflows with life? Jesus said, "Him that
comes to Me I will in no wise cast out." It is only
through Jesus Christ that we can approach the
Father. There is no other way to Him.
"I am the way and the
truth and the life." Jesus is not only the way to
God; He is the absolute truth of God. There is no
one else to turn to. Jesus is "the true God
and eternal life" (1 John 5:20).
Jesus Christ utters a
single sentence that clears our path to heaven.
Jesus said, "I am the Way, I am the truth, and I am
the Life. No man comes to the Father, but through
Me." He is our Mediator who has provided the way by
His incarnation, life, atoning death, resurrection
and ascension (Rom. 5:2; Eph. 2:13, 15, 18; Heb.
Thomas `a Kemphis wrote
in the Imitation of Christ:
"Follow thou Me. I am the
way and the truth and the life. Without the way
there is no going; without the truth there is no
knowing; without the life there is no living. I am
the way which thou must follow; the truth which thou
must believe; the life for which thou must hope. I
am the inviolable way; the infallible truth; the
never ending life. I am the straightest way; the
sovereign truth; life true, life blessed, life
uncreated. If thou remain in my way thou shalt know
the truth, and the truth shall make thee free, and
thou shalt lay hold on eternal life."
Jesus is the only way to
the Father in heaven. He has come to take us to the
Father. Everything is ready. All we have to do is
follow Him. He has prepared the way.
Jesus Christ takes us by
the hand and leads us; He strengthens us and guides
us personally every day. He does not tell us about
the way; He is the Way. Jesus says to you and me,
"Come, go with me and I will take you to heaven. I
will lead the way. Come, I will take you there
Title: John 14:1-6
Comfort for Troubled Hearts
Series: People in the
Life of Christ