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I and the Father are One - John 14:1-15

Posted on October 1, 2017

I and the Father are One

John 14:1-15

Scripture Reading:

John 14:1 – 7

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 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?  3 And 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. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Introduction:

Background

  • The night before His death, Jesus addresses His eleven disciples in the upper room.
    • Knowing that the shadow of the cross is upon Him
    • Knowing that He would soon be separated from His Father and that was weighing on His heart
    • Jesus focus was not on what He was about to experience but rather He focused on His concern for the disciples whose world was about to be shattered into pieces
    • Have you been there? Has your world as you knew it at some point in your life just lay in pieces in front of you and you wonder how you will ever go on?   
      • Your company gets bought out and you lose your job as they downsize
      • You get fired
      • A spouse walks out on you
      • Tragic death of a spouse
      • Health / Financial crises
  • The disciples were already hurting and very anxious about Jesus saying He was going to leave them
  • These 14 verses lay a foundation of comfort for what these disciples were about to face

Job 14:1

“Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble.

Matthew 6:34

“Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

John 16:33

33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Acts 14:22

22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

Purpose: Every Christ follower must understand fully their position in Christ, their eternal inheritance and share their heavenly wealth.  

Transition: These words Jesus spoke to His disciples are for us as we face an ever-darkening culture that is headed to madness and insanity. They will comfort us and provide hope in the midst of tribulation and persecution. Let’s look at the verses we just read in detail.

Jesus reveals the Father to show all the way to heaven – John 14:1-7

  • A place in heaven for you

John 14:1 - 2

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 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? 

  • Let not your hearts be troubled
    • The disciple’s hearts were troubled alright
    • The Triumphal Entry earlier this week
    • Jesus announces He is going to die in John 12 and 13
    • During the Last Supper
      • Jesus washes the disciple’s feet and brings conviction upon them for the pride they are displaying
      • Jesus announces one of them would betray Him
      • Jesus says that Satan would be working against them – Luke 22
      • Peter would deny Him
      • All of the disciples would flee – Matthew 26
      • Jesus showed He was troubled and filled with anguish
  • He is saying here, stop being troubled – shaken / stirred up
  • Jesus knew their hearts. The heart is the center of one’s emotions, will and personality. He could sympathize and show compassion for them.
  • Give them hope by saying put their trust in Him alone and don’t worry. He is about to promise them the Comforter/ Holy Spirit is coming in this chapter and chapter 16

Quote: “There are no crown-wearers in heaven who were not cross-bearers here below” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon

  • In verse two He gives them hope by saying that the separation from Jesus will not be permanent!! He reassures them that He is telling them the truth.
  • In His high priestly prayer, He prays to His Father that they and all who believe in Jesus that they will join Him one day.
  • Notice the phrase in verse 2 “My Father’s House”. In the Bible heaven is described numerous ways
    • A country due to how large it is – Hebrews 11:16
    • A city because of the large number of citizens – Hebrews 12:22
    • A kingdom where God is king – 2 Timothy 4:8; Daniel 4:37
    • An inheritance to be gained and promised to be kept for us – I Peter 1:4
    • Paradise because of its indescribable beauty – Revelation 2:7
    • A place of rest – Hebrews 4:1 – 11 R.I.P.
      • No more sin, sorrow, Satan and no fear of death
  •  Jesus also talks about His Father’s house
    • Not mansions like so many Christian songs have mentioned
    • But dwelling places. It is the picture of the Father adding rooms to His house
      • It is a place of intimacy because over and over in scripture we read that God wants to dwell with His people. Heaven will be no different
      • It says there will be many rooms for ALL of the redeemed
      • Revelation 21:9 – 27 describe the New Jerusalem coming out of the sky to earth
      • 2 million square miles (half the size of the USA), for the base / foundation and then it is a cube in shape. Lots of dwelling places
  • In verse 3, Jesus speaks I believe and the commentators believe of the rapture of the Church not His second coming with judgment. He is coming for the dead in Christ and the believers who are alive at that time.
  • It is interesting that Jesus is a carpenter while here on earth and He says in the NT that He is building His church and He is building a place for us in heaven.

Illustration: Going home to visit my parents. Going to heaven for us as Christ followers should be like going home to a familiar, happy place.

Picture of my house

  • Coming home
  • We should be excited about heaven and all that it holds for us
    • Like the Cubs winning back to back World Series
    • White Sox going from last this year to first next year
    • Iowa and Iowa State winning the Big Ten and Big Twelve respectively and playing to a 4-overtime tie in the same season
    • A wife or husband for your son or daughter
    • Graduation for your children
    • A new grandbaby
    • A promotion
    • Sam’s club – samples / foreshadowing of what you can expect. It is a taste of joy

Quote: “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses

  • You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity – Francis Chan

Song: Home by Chris Tomlin

John 14:3

3 And 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 thought they knew He was leaving and that they knew where He was going.

John 14:4 - 5

4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”

  • Thomas wants to know where are going after you die and how can we follow?
  • If they could not go with Him right now, how would they know the way to go? Good question!!
  • They had all the information at their disposal but they could not put it together until after Jesus ascended to heaven
  • A pathway to get to heaven

John 14:6

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

  • Here is the sixth of seven “I Am” statements in the Gospel of John

Seven Messianic Claims

  1. 1.    I Am the Bread of Life – Chapter 4
  2. 2.    I Am the Light of the World – Chapter 8
  3. 3.    I Am the Door of the Sheep – Chapter 10
  4. 4.    I Am the Good Shepherd – Chapter 10
  5. 5.    I Am the Resurrection and the Life – Chapter 11
  6. 6.    I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life – Chapter 14
  7. I Am the True Vine – Chapter 15
  • Jesus alone is the way to God
  • Jesus alone along with the Father of course is the source of truth
  • Jesus alone possess life because again, He and the Father are the creator and sustainer of life. This is life now abundantly and for eternity in heaven.
  • This statement is again reiterating the purpose of this Gospel throughout the entire book
  • I want to say very strongly and emphatically here that Jesus is not saying I Am a Way or I Am Pointing a Way to the Father.
  • His saying: “No one comes to the Father except through me,” wipes away any other proposed way to heaven—good works, religious ceremonies, costly gifts, etc. There is only one way, and that way is Jesus Christ.

I Timothy 2:5- 6

5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

  • It is very interesting to note that in the early days of the Church, the early believers were described first, not as Christians but belonging to “The Way” in numerous places in the book of Acts. Here is one example

Acts 9:2

But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

  • Back in those times, you might tell your neighbor that you go to the Church of the Way. They would say “The Way”? What does that mean? Then they would share how Jesus is the ONLY Way to God and to heaven. That is me speculating speaking in Greek at the time.
  • In verse 7 we read

John 14:7

7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

  • Jesus is addressing His eleven disciples, He gives another full claim of deity and equality with God to them
    • We will talk about what the word know means later but suffice it to say here, the word know appears 141 times in this Gospel
    • There are four meanings and uses for the word know in the Bible
      • Here He is using the form of the word know to mean someone who has a deep relationship with someone.
      • Cutting to the chase, Jesus is saying if you have a deep relationship with me and you have seen me, you have a deep relationship with the Father and you have seen Him
      • To know and see Jesus = To know and see the Father
      • “From now on” – From this point and time forward. After the cross, resurrection and ascension you will understand all this in the near future.
      • Your depth of growing in your relationship with the Father will flourish after I am gone and I have sent the Holy Spirit.
      • How would this assurance of going to heaven help to calm the disciples’ troubled hearts? Dr. James M. Gray put it beautifully in a song he wrote years ago: “Who could mind the journey, when the road leads home?”
      • The assurance of a heavenly home at the end of life’s road enables us to bear joyfully with the obstacles and battles along the way.
      • Paul had this truth in mind when he wrote, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18). - Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 350). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Application: Are you excited enough about your eternal home to show others the way home with God?

Jesus reveals the Father by His words and works

 John 14:8 – 9

8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 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’?

  • If you have seen me you have seenthe Father
    • Apparently, Jesus answer satisfied Thomas but now Philip speaks up
    • Philip wanted what we all want; a visible appearance by God the Father
      • It would be enough to satisfy our faith completely if God showed up and revealed Himself
      • Haven’t you felt that way sometimes? Haven’t you just wished you could talk to God directly?

Illustration: Steven Scalise words were encouraging as he returned to the House of Representatives on Thursday. First things he talked about was God and the power of praying to your Creator.

  • We see in verse 9, one of the most staggering claims by Christ
  • His words were a stinging rebuke to Philip and the disciples whose faith was wavering. Jesus words were showing signs of His sadness toward them for not fully believing and embracing Him
  • To the disciples, Jesus failed to live up to His messianic expectations
  • What did the author John say about Jesus at the beginning of this book?

 

 

John 1:18

No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.

  • If you believe in me you will have access to the Father

John 14:10 - 11

10 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. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

  • Speaking directly to Philip we see Jesus using the word “believe” in the singular and in verse 10 Jesus uses the word “believe” in the plural.
  • He is saying go on believing, keep on believing, let your faith grow in me and the Father.
  • Faith in Christ not merely for salvation but faith that sustains you in the Christian life.
    • Your Christian faith and my Christian faith is based on overwhelming evidence
    • Jesus is saying here, evidence #1 look at my character in verse 10. I have the character of the Father
    • #2, see the evidence of who I am by the words I have said
    • #3, see the evidence of who I am by the works that I have done
    • We see the self – testimony of Jesus here, we have the testimony of the John the Baptist that Jesus is the Lamb of God, we have the OT scriptures and all of this is confirmed by the mighty, extensive and irrefutable works of Christ by the Spirit from the Father!!
    • All of this to give you and I access to the Father in prayer.
    • So here is a question to ponder.

Application: Are you regularly using your access to the Father in prayer?

Transition: Now Jesus gives them three promises in verses 12 -15. We will look at two of these promises found in 12 -13 this week as we close.

Jesus reveals the Father through His followers – John 14:12 – 14

  • By doing greater works than Jesus

John 14:12

“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.

  • Jesus is not promising greater works meaning quality of works, powerful works but works to a great extent, to a greater quantity.

Illustration: It is estimated that Billy Graham spoke to about 215 million different people in 185 different countries sharing the Gospel of Christ. The disciples had 3,000 come to Christ just in one day and the Gospel spread to the reaches of the known world through Paul’s three missionary journey’s. Jesus Himself did not travel more than 200 miles from His home and He had limited ministry opportunities with the Gentiles.

  • He is promising that through the power of the Holy Spirit, you will go farther and do more than I have while I was here on earth.
  • What a great promise of hope for Christ followers that we are God’s means and only means to spread His kingdom work. As we each do our part, we are being used of God to expand His kingdom
    • By serving using your spiritual gift
    • By giving money to the church and missions
    • By volunteering to do things such as make food for the fellowship lunch and all kinds of other things
  • Then Jesus reveals the Father through His followers by;
  • By having great faith in Jesus

John 14:13 – 14

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.

  • In the past, Jesus supplied everything the disciples had needed. He had provided food, paid their taxes, and the disciples were amazed at how those resources just appeared after they left everything to follow Jesus.
  • In these 2 verses, He virtually repeats Himself to make the same statement.
  • Prayer would become the means for the disciples to bridge the gap between their needs and His abundant, limitless, and never depleted resources
  • The whole reason for prayer and God’s provision of resources is to bring glory to the Father
  • In verse 14, we see the statement “if we ask anything in my name, I will do it.”
  • What does praying “in Jesus name mean”?
    • It is not a tag line at the end of a prayer to be used like a good luck charm. It is not a guarantee that God will answer your prayer the way you want Him to.
    • When you say “In Jesus name” what you are saying are several things
      • You are attempting to make requests with God will and His purposes for His kingdom in mind

Matthew 6:10

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven

  • Praying in Jesus name is acknowledging our spiritual poverty and left to ourselves and our own resources, we are absolutely deficient. We are coming on the merits of Christ and who we are in Christ in prayer to the Father
  • Also, you are praying with a sincere desire that through your prayer God will be glorified as He answers your prayer
  • In a world of false hopes, false happiness, and false dreams, Jesus is giving you and I hope and confidence with these words
  • Confidence in the fact that God is preparing a place for you and I if we are followers of Christ
  • Conviction that Jesus is the only way to heaven and the realization that Jesus is God in the flesh come down to man
  • It is the undeniable belief that Jesus never fails

Quote: “I have all that I need here and heaven hereafter! How much richer could anybody want to be?” – Evangelist Lester Roloff

  • God looks at you and I as;

Ambassadors – 2 Corinthians 5:20

Living Epistles – 2 Corinthians 3:1-3

Aroma of Life

2 Corinthians 2:14-15

14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing

Salt and Light – Matthew 5:13-16

Jars of Clay – 2 Corinthians 4:7

Clay in the hand of the potter – Isaiah 64:8

God’s masterpiece – Ephesians 2:10

Royal priests – 1 Peter 2:9

Vessels of honor – 2 Timothy 2:19 - 21

Application: Are we trusting God for the greater things He has promised in our life and our church?

Key Thought: We are God’s heavenly representatives on earth to point people to the way home with God.

Slide of a street sign

“The way you store up treasure in heaven is by investing in getting people there.” – Rick Warren

Three Questions to Ponder

1.    Are you excited enough about your eternal home to show others the way home with God?

2.    Are you regularly using your access to the Father in prayer?

3.    Are we trusting God for the greater things He has promised in our life and our church?