As we look at the conversation Jesus had with his disciples in the upper room, we can understand some of the frustration they were having. Jesus had been their teacher for a few years. They had travelled around as his pupils, learning from him. But they could feel that something was about to happen. He had washed their feet. He had talked about bread and wine representing his body and blood. And he kept talking about going away.
“Do not let your hearts be distressed. You believe in God; believe also in me. There are many dwelling places in my Father’s house. Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going away to make ready a place for you. And if I go and make ready a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that where I am you may be too. And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas said, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?” (John 14:1-5 NET)
Jesus told them not to be distressed – he was going away to get a place ready for them. He would be going back to his “Father’s house” which had many places where people could live. If he was going to get a place ready for them it was so that they could come and be with him. And they knew the way to where he was going.
This confused Thomas – how could they know the way if they didn’t know where he was going? The disciples wanted so much to be with their Teacher, but didn’t understand what he was saying.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you have known me, you will know my Father too. And from now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be content.” (John 14:6-8)
Jesus’ answer was quite simple: they knew the way because he was the way. He was also truth and life. Whatever they needed, it was found in Jesus. He was the only way they could get to the Father. If they had known him, they would also know his Father – and not only did they know him, they had seen him.
This was really confusing! It was Philip who responded this time: if he would just show them the Father, they would be content. That was all they asked.
“Have I been with you for so long, and you have not known me, Philip? The person who has seen me has seen the Father! How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 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 initiative, but the Father residing in me performs his miraculous deeds. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me, but if you do not believe me, believe because of the miraculous deeds themselves.” (John 14:9-11)
Is it any different today? People still struggle to understand who Jesus was. People are looking for a way to have a better life, yet they don’t understand that Jesus is the way. The only way we can have real life, eternal life, is through Jesus. The only way we can find truth is in Jesus.
We need to be pointing people to Jesus, to what he did and what he said. He is the one who is the way to eternal life.
Readings for next week:
22 April – John 11
23 April – John 12
24 April – John 13
25 April – John 14
26 April – John 15