1"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going."
5Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."
8Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."
9Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
15"If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."
22Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?"
23Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
25"All this I have spoken while still with you. 26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
28"You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, 31but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
"Come now; let us leave. (NIV)
This is one of the wonderful passages in John. There is promise, great promise. But there is also a wonderful picture of what it looks like to walk with Jesus, to put one’s faith in Jesus.
Jesus knows that things are about to get very confusing for the disciples and all the followers of Christ. The next three days and even after the resurrection are going to be a time of wild emotional swings. Jesus tells them in advance, “do not let your heart be troubled.” And then he follows that up with a command, “trust in God, trust in Me.”
There are three great promises in this passage. The first is that there is plenty of room in heaven for all and that Jesus will not leave us on this earth. He will at the right time come and take us to that new home. Second is the promise that in the meantime, while we wait and work and love, Jesus will give us a great peace. It is the peace of Christ. The peace that passes all understanding. And the finally he promises to give us the Counselor, the Holy Spirit to guide us and help us while we wait for that time where Jesus will take us home.
But we also see among the promises that Jesus connects himself to the Father. This is one of the hardest concepts to explain – the Trinity. Jesus says that He and the Father are one and the same. If you have seen the Son, you have seen the Father. If you trust the Son, you trust in the Father. They are two persons, but the same whole. And the Counselor is just an extension of that same person. It is one of the divine truths that we do not have language to explain.
And then there is Jesus saying what it looks like to trust in God and to trust in Jesus. Jesus simply takes us back to Moses and the giving of the law. In Moses final sermon to the people before they crossed into the promised land said this:
“The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.” Deut 28:12-14 (NIV)
This was the a very simple statement, obey the way of the Lord. Do not turn from it, even a little. Jesus says the same thing. In verse 15, Jesus says, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” He says this again in verse, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.” Obedience is one of the foundations of our faith. It is a response to love, not an action required to be loved. There is a big difference in the two. God loves us first. We must always remember that.
And the other great thing Jesus tells in this passage is that we will do greater things than he did if we simply walk in faith with him. We need to believe this and not sell ourselves short. Jesus was trying to get the disciples to not doubt themselves. We too need to hear this.
God loves each of us. God wants each of us to do great things. And God wants us to follow him.
What is your idea of obedience to God? Do you think you can do greater things than Christ? How do you experience Christ’s love? These are things we should contemplate regularly.
Blessings and Peace