The longest account of Jesus’ teaching at and after the Passover meal is in John’s gospel. Five chapters of doctrine, encouragement, warnings, and reassurance come from Jesus’ lips, and it is impossible to do justice to them all in these notes! So I will just comment on a small selection of verses that mean something in particular to me…
14:4 “You know the way to the place where I am going” – We know the way because we follow Jesus, not because we have some kind of extra-terrestrial ‘satnav’! He and the Father have already prepared a wonderful home for us, and it is reserved and kept safe, ready for us to take our place when the time is right. There is a possibly that these verses about ‘My Father’s House’ refer to the present age, rather than the Age to Come, since, later on in verse 23, Jesus goes on to say: “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them – which is certainly to take place in the present age and refers to the sending of the Holy Spirit at and after Pentecost. However, most commentators regard the ‘Father’s House’ as being in the Age to Come (the Heavenly Kingdom) for all believers.
Thomas panics and says that he doesn’t know the way, but, again, Jesus says “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No-one comes to the Father except through me”. He is the guaranteed way to God, and he is the only way to God! We don’t need to have a mental map of our great journey – we simply need to stick closely to the Son of God, who is our heavenly guide.
Do you want to see what God is like? Look at Jesus. He not only mirrors the Father, but he literally embodies the Father. “I am in the Father and… the Father is in me” (v10). His miracles are sufficient evidence of the truth of that statement. And if you truly believe in him, you will do the kinds of things he did, and you will do even greater things than those. If that seems improbable, consider that when the Spirit was given, the life and power of Jesus came to inhabit the bodies and souls of those who believed in him – and the Spirit still does so now. Faith in the Son of God, and asking the Father in his Name, are the keys.
14:18 “I will come to you”. Jesus is still doing all those great deeds, now through us, as we are empowered by his Spirit within us. As we obey his teaching (14:23), He and the Father will make their home inside us – yes, really inside us – and will live out their lives of power through our lives. If we have a saving faith, then we truly have the Holy Trinity living within us; so if we want to pray, we don’t even need to shout!
14:27 “My peace I give to you… do not let your hearts be troubled… do not be afraid”. Well, that’s an order, folks! God has commanded you not to be troubled or afraid – therefore don’t be. The world has moved on from fear of a pandemic to inherit a pandemic of fear, which comes directly from the Evil One! But we should refuse to receive this poisoned chalice. Since the ‘Prince of this world’ (the Devil) has no hold over Jesus, then he has no hold over us either, on the basis that we are joined to Christ. In fact, the Devil was himself a key part of God’s plan to reveal his Son to the world and to enact the strategy of salvation. The all-wise Creator God had all this in hand and knew what he was doing. Today he still knows what he is doing in our lives, as he works to make us live like Jesus and to become like him.