BY MIKE MURRAY
John 14:1-7 ESV
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; belive also in me. 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? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going. Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do now him and have seen him.”
Before I offer some insight on these verses, I want to offer some thoughts on the context before and after this passage. In John 13, we have the famous footwashing story. While I do love this passage because I think it definitely shows Jesus at his prime as a servant, I don’t even want to pretend to understand all of it. I think this is one of many passages in John that can only be properly understood through many hours of studying and with the help of the Holy Spirit’s illumination. However, it is clear here that Jesus loved his disciples deeply and wanted to demonstrate that through servitude. John tells us in 13:1 “…having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the very end. Jesus knows his life on earth is coming to a close. He loved more deeply, holistically, and sincerely than anyone who ever lived. He could have very justifiably began to check out at this point, but he didn’t. To show the depths of his love for his 12 closest friends, he offered them all the love he had until he took his final breath on the cross. It is also clear in this passage that Jesus is modeling what it looks like to be a servant for the disciples, in 13:13-16.
Going back to the passage at hand: 14:6…
I am the way
And the truth
And the life.
No one comes to the Father except
As I have looked over this passage many times, a few key things stick out to me about it…
- The simplicity of Jesus’ response to the question “How can we know the way?” In our culture of the modern day church, we like things to be black and white. We want the step by step plan of what it looks like every day to follow Jesus and love him and be the “good Christian” that all church goers strive to be. So Philip asks this question because he wants the details. He wants the step by step plan to the place Jesus is going, so he can follow him. But, God rarely operates that way and Jesus does not respond in the way that Philip expects. Instead of giving him the “10 steps to heaven” that he asks for, Jesus says, “No. You don’t need that. All you need to do is fix your eyes on me. Remember the way I just demonstrated love by washing your feet, and remember the new commandment I gave you to love one another as I have loved you. I am the answer you are looking for. You don’t need to look any further than me. Just stay close to me, and you will know the way, and you will see the Father.”
- I love this response that Jesus gives because it is SO relevant to our society today. It probably was so confusing/frustrating for Philip. Actually, we know it was, because Philip proceeded to say, “Show us the Father” in verse 8. So often when I pray, I want a detailed plan in the specific circumstance in my life that I desperately need the Lord’s wisdom on. Yet, I don’t get that most of the time. What I do always hear is simply: “Look at me. Stay close to me. Read my word. Talk to me. Listen to me.”
You may be in a season of life, like I am now, where you might be feeling helpless in your situation, wondering where God is, and wondering why he isn’t showing you exactly what to do. To you, I offer the same encouragement of this passage: Look no further than Jesus. Stay close to him. Don’t just make time for him, give your time to him. Read the Bible intently and seek God’s illumination over the pages. Allow the Lord to transform you spirit of chaos into a spirit of peace knowing that he is Lord over all your circumstances, and he will.