Empty Cross Ministries
The Gospel of John
This whole chapter centers in the promise that Christ is the One who gives the believer comfort, not only in His future return but also in the present with the ministry of the Holy Spirit (verse 26).
The scene continues to be the upper room where the disciples had gathered with Jesus before He was arrested. Judas had been dismissed (13:30), and Jesus had begun His valedictory address to the remaining 11.
The world of the disciples was about to be shattered, they would be bewildered, confused and ridden with anxiety because of the events that would soon transpire. Anticipating their devastation, Jesus spoke to comfort their hearts.
John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”
Chapter 14 of John and chapter 1 of John are my two favorite chapters in the entire Bible. Chapter 1 lets us know beyond a shadow of a doubt who we are following. Chapter 14 brings hope of everlasting life and promises of a better life here while we are preparing for our home in the sky.
Instead of the disciples lending support to Jesus in the hours before His cross, He had to support them spiritually as well as emotionally. This reveals His heart of serving love. “Troubled”, Faith in Him can stop the heart from being agitated.
“Let not your heart be troubled” refers to Peter, Jesus having just told him of his imminent denial of his Lord (13:38). But the larger reference is to all the apostles, through whom Jesus is going to lay the foundation of the church. His comfort also includes instruction about His departure, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the promise of spiritual power, of answered prayer and of peace, but especially the promise of His return.
(Verse 1 above), is the most used Scripture in the Bible as text for a funeral. When Jesus spoke this to the disciples, they had great sorrow in their hearts, because they had just been told that Jesus would soon leave them. Notice the very first word says “let”. That word means that these disciples and we as well, have power to let.
When Jesus tells them “let not”, He is telling these disciples, you have it in your power to not be troubled, now don’t do it. Jesus specifically mentions the heart. What we are, issues from our heart. It appears from the very first verse, that we have the power to not be troubled in our heart.
Faith is the opposite of fear. If we trust God, we know that everything that happens to us is for our good, if we are a Christian. Jesus knows these men believe in God. His only concern at the moment, is that their faith in Him being Messiah will be shaken when He is crucified.
Jesus is saying to them; remember I am God the Word, and God the Son. He is saying; don’t let this apparent defeat cause you to doubt Who I Am.
John 14:2 “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
This is a beautiful statement here, to all believers in Christ. All the believers in Christ, both male and female, are the bride of Christ. When I read verse 2 above, it brings to mind what happens when a Jewish man and woman are betrothed. The groom goes away to build a home for his bride.
When the Father examines the home, and says it is ready, the groom comes back to the edge of the city, blows a trumpet on the side of the mountain and the bride goes out to the groom. Isn’t that a beautiful example of how it will be when Jesus comes back and blows the trumpet in the sky and we go to meet Him?
He will come back when the Father says it is time. Jesus is away now preparing mansions for His bride (the Christians). He is preparing a place for us and when His Father says the time is right, He will come back for us and take us home with Him.
Heaven is a place and the eternal hope of the saved. Scripture describes it as a beautiful city where the redeemed will live for eternity. The activities in heaven include singing (Rev. 15:3); worship (Rev. 5:9); serving (Rev. 22:3); ruling (2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 22:5); fellowship with others (Matt. 17:3) and eating (Rev. 2:17).
The quality of existence in heaven is a life of fellowship with God (Rev. 22:4); a life of rest (Rev. 14:13); a life of service (Rev. 22:3); a life of growth (Rev. 22:2); and a life of worship (Rev. 19:1).
The glories of heaven belong only to those who have personally trusted Christ for their salvation. Christians who work to win souls are gathering friends who will spend eternity with them in heaven.
John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
His departure would be for their advantage since He was going away to prepare a heavenly home for them and will return to take them so that they may be with Him. This is one of the passages that refer to the rapture of the saints at the end of the age when Christ returns.
The features in this description do not describe Christ coming to earth with His saints to establish His kingdom (Rev. 19:11-15), but taking believers from earth to live in heaven. Since no judgment on the unsaved is described here, this is not the event of His return in glory and power to destroy the wicked (Matt. 13:36-43 and 47-50).
Rather, this describes His coming to gather His own who are alive and raise the bodies of those who have died to take them all to heaven. This rapture event is also described in (1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). After being raptured, the church will celebrate the marriage supper (Rev. 19:7-10), be rewarded (1 Cor. 3:10-15; 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:9-10), and later return to earth with Christ when He comes again to set up His kingdom (Rev. 19:11-20:6).
Christians all over the world are eagerly waiting the time when we can go and be with Jesus. Jesus is preparing a place for us right now, and when God the Father says the time is right, Jesus will be coming back to get us so that where He is, there we may be also.
People like Stephen, who have been martyred for the name of Jesus, are already there. In Revelation, we read of this. They are saying “how long?”
John 14:4 “And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”
This is what Jesus has taught about ever since He began. He has said “No man cometh to the Father, but by me.” He has spoken a lot about heaven. Jesus has kept no secret that He came from heaven and will return to heaven.
John 14:5 “Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?”
Thomas was a skeptic. He had to be shown facts, as when he said he would not believe unless he could touch Jesus’ nail scarred hands. We see here, a man who has to have facts before he will believe. No wonder people called him doubting Thomas. He either doesn’t realize Jesus is speaking of heaven, or else he just has to hear it in exact words from Jesus.
Jesus is not only the way for us, but for Himself, as well. The death of His body on the cross made way for His Spirit body to enter heaven. Our way is to believe who He is, and also to believe that He did rise again. He is our resurrection and our life, as He told Martha when He raised Lazarus from the dead.
John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
This is the sixth “I am” statement of Jesus in John (see 6:35, 8:12, 10:7, 9; 10:11, 14; 11:25; 15:1, 5). In response to Thomas’ query (in verse 4), Jesus declared that He is the way to God because He is the truth of God (1:14), and the life of God (1:4, 3:15, 11:25).
In this verse, the exclusiveness of Jesus as the only approach to the Father is emphatic. Only one way, not many ways, exist to God. I.e., Jesus Christ (10:7-9, Matt. 7:13-14, Luke 13:24 and Acts 4:12).
Jesus does not tell them about the way, nor does He show them the way. He does not even guide them along the way. He says He is the way!
Jesus leaves no doubt. We must believe in our heart, and confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, and that He rose from the grave.
1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.” “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:” “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
Jesus has to come and get us for us to go with Him. He is our way. We know that He is Truth, and we also know there would be no eternal life without Him. Jesus has made the way open to the Father for us when He died on the cross.
The middle curtain leading to the holy of holies was torn from the top down, making the way open to all who believe in Jesus.
Matthew 27:51 “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent:”
You see again, Jesus is the Way. Our eternal life lies in His hands.
Verses 7-11 – “From henceforth ye know Him”: They know God because they had come to know Christ in His ministry and soon in His death and resurrection. To know Him is to know God. This constant emphasis on Jesus as God incarnate is unmistakably clear in this gospel.
John 14:7 “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”
We have talked about this before in this series of lessons. Jesus is a reflection of the Father. He is just like the Father. Their wills are the same. God is a Spirit. Their Spirit is the same.
He is saying in this, there is no difference in what I say and believe than in what the Father says and believes. He is saying, the Father and He are so much alike that there is no noticeable difference.
John 14:8 “Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.”
Jesus is the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
Colossians 2:9 “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”
We see here (shy, quiet) Philip, wanting to see a vision or wanting to see a sign of the Father. Perhaps, he was not there any of the times that the voice came from the Father in heaven. We know the Scriptures tell us that no one can look upon the face of Father God and live.
This is probably not what Philip is saying. He is saying; show us a vision or a manifestation of the Father. Philip was not present at the transfiguration; only Peter, James, and John of the disciples were there.
Of course, the cry of all Christians is that we might know and see God. This then is a longing within each of us. We know many of the Old Testament prophets had visions of God and the heavenlies.
John 14:9 “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”
Jesus had been revealing the Father and the Father’s will ever since He came to the earth. He says to Philip, have I given you such a shallow view of the Father in me, that you do not yet see the Father in me?
There are no attributes of deity that the Son does not possess. This statement is most powerful. Everything that is true of God the Father is also true of the Son. The doctrine of the Trinity in the New Testament may be inscrutable, but it is also inescapable.
Jesus’ mission on earth was to make followers of God have a better view of who He is, and what His will is for our lives. The pattern of Jesus’ unselfish life shows us the Father in Jesus better than any mirror could show.
John 14:10 “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”
Jesus is trying to make it very clear that the Father totally approves everything He has said and done. This is part of the mystery of the three in one.
1 John 5:7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
John Chapter 14 Questions
1. What does the word let tell us about verse 1?
2. What does chapter 1 of John show us about Jesus?
3. What does chapter 14 bring hope of?
4. What is the most used Scripture in the Bible at funerals?
5. What state of mind were the disciples in when Jesus spoke verse 1of chapter 14?
6. Faith is the opposite of ________.
7. What we are, issues from our _________.
8. Jesus knows the disciples believe God, but what is Jesus’ concern?
9. In whose house are many mansions?
10. What will Jesus be doing in heaven?
11. What is He to the Christian besides our intercessor?
12. What will all Christians be (whether male or female), to Jesus?
13. When He prepares the place and the Father says it is time, what will Jesus do?
14. What should all Christians be eagerly awaiting?
15. Who was one of the first martyred for Jesus?
16. Where is he now?
17. “And whither I go ye know, and the ________ ye know.”
18. Who said to Jesus “…we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
19. Who was a skeptic?
20. What three things did Jesus tell Thomas He was?
21. In 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, what do we read that we call the rapture?
22. Where do we read that the curtain separating us from God the Father was torn from the top down?
23. Jesus said, if we knew Him, we should know whom, also?
24. Who asked Jesus to show him the Father?
25. What does Colossians 2:9 tell us about Jesus?
26. How does Jesus answer Philip?
27. In verse 10, what is Jesus trying to make perfectly clear?