Setting the Stage
John 14:1-6 is preceded by the humble washing of the disciples feet by their Lord and master, foreshadowing the glorious death he shall partake in and exemplifies his loving servanthood to his disciples. In the same night of this intimate moment, Judas leaves and betrays Jesus for material wealth, and Jesus predicts the unfaithfulness of Peter in his last moments (further discussion on the betrayal of Peter and the Longsuffering of Christ, click here). He also instructs his disciples that the time has come for him to leave them, and where he goes, they cannot follow. Therefore, going into chapter 14, the disciples are confused and troubled. They do not know what their beloved Teacher means when he says “Where I am going you cannot come.” They are also struck deeply when they hear of Peter’s time of failure as a follower of Jesus. Often in following Jesus, we end up here too. Confused. Doubtful. Scared. Deeply troubled. John 14:1-6 provides a deep rooted comfort beyond the mundane, rooting our assurance in the riches of our glorious inheritance provided by following Jesus.
Heavy Hearts rejoicing in deep truths
“Let your hearts not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” -John 14:1
There are moments in life when it seems like the sun is shining bright upon our faces, and everything is going great. At these moments, our hearts are full of joy. There are other moments in life where we experience agony, doubts, insecurity, and pain. In these intense moments when it feels like our faith is fading, John 14:1-6 provides us with five deep comforting and life-transforming gospel truths.
- Jesus goes to the Father’s house to prepare a room for those who believe in Him! (V. 2-3)
“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 where I am you may be also.” -John 14:2-3
Jesus tells his disciples that his Father’s house has many rooms and there is one for each of them and for each of us who believe. There are some important things to glean from these two verses: First, we will be in the Father’s house, not some hotel or our own separate house, but we will be in his house and part of his family. Second, Jesus is the one who goes and prepares a room for us. This is not some hired hand who prepares the room for us, but our beloved Lord and savior. Finally, we will be with Jesus face to face. Our deep love and delight in the person and work of Christ will become full when we appear face to face with our Lord. Therefore, since God prepares a place for us, let us rejoice in our adoption, anticipating our glorious inheritance as sons and co-heirs with Christ. Therefore, let our hearts not be troubled, but believe God has prepared a place for us in the riches of our glorious inheritance in the saints.
- Jesus is the only way to receive everlasting life and pleasures forevermore! (V. 4-6)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” -John 14:6
In the beginning of his ministry, Jesus calls his disciples by saying, “Follow me” (Mark 1:17; 2:14). At the end of his ministry, Jesus tells his disciples, “Follow me” (Jn 21:19, 22). Jesus, in the gospels, put a special emphasis on following him. A term he frequently applies for those who follow him is “disciple”. According to Jonathan Parnell, lead pastor of Cities Church, “The standard definition of “disciple” (noun) is someone who adheres to the teachings of another. It is a follower or a learner. It refers to someone who takes up the ways of someone else” (To read more on what it means to be a disciple, click here). Therefore, when Jesus tells the disciples that they cannot follow him where he is going, they are troubled. Confused. They were probably thinking “Lord, we are your disciples. We are going to follow you wherever you go.” Peter actually conveys this thought to Jesus, and he responded by telling Peter that he shall deny him three times. But Jesus goes on to explain to the disciples of something more profound. He says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” They were confused and troubled because their beloved Lord was leaving them, but they did not understand at this moment that God was about to explain how he has provided the Spirit who will guide them into the way (Jn 16:13).
In John 16:7, he says, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” This Spirit is the Spirit of truth who will convict us of sin and righteousness (Jn 16:8-10). It is only by the power of the Spirit of the living God that we as believers can follow Jesus.
It is better that Jesus goes so he can open the way to the Father through the Holy Spirit. Hebrews 9:8 tells us that if the Holy Spirit had not come, the way into the presence of the living God would be closed to us. But Hebrews 10:19-20 says, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great high priest over the house of God,” let us draw near to God, remain faithful to our confession, and stir up the believers (summary of Heb 10:22-25). As believers, since Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, the way to the Father has been opened for us. We can boldly approach the Father in prayer and be confident that he hears our prayers. John 14:6b says, “No one can come to the Father except through me.” He is this new and living way. Therefore, during this moment of trouble and sorrow not everything makes sense, but later on, after the Lord goes to the Father and the Spirit makes a home in the disciples, it will all make sense. Therefore, let our hearts not be troubled but believe in Jesus as the only way to everlasting life and pleasure forevermore.
- Jesus is the truth that sets us free! (V. 6)
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” -John 8:31-32
Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in John 8:31-32 that if you abide in his word, you are truly his disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Jesus said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6a). To follow Christ is to know Christ and abide in him. Romans 6:6 says, “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” Before we believed in Christ, we were lost in sin and did not seek after God (Rom 3:10-12). We were by nature children of wrath and took delight in wrong, rejoicing in our perverseness (Eph 2:1-3; Prov 2:14). The Bible describes this as being enslaved to sin. Being enslaved to sin is when our evil desires entice us and drag us away. John 8:34 explains how the one who sins is enslaved to sin. Therefore, these evil desires produces sin and sin produces death (Jas 1:14-15). We are surrounded in the domain of darkness, having traded the truth for a lie, living in death (Col 1:13; Rom 1:25).
But God, who is rich in mercy, send his son to die for us (Eph 2:4). Romans 5:8 says, “But God shows his love for us in that while we still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus put aside his divine authority, taking the form of a servant, lived a perfect life, died a propitiatory death, resurrected from the dead, and ascended to the right hand of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Upon the cross, Jesus Christ was treated as we should be, and we were treated as Christ should be. He took our sin. We received his righteousness. It is in light of this glorious truth, we repent and trust. By believing in the gracious gift of Jesus, we are transferred from the dominion of darkness and enslavement and set free to the kingdom of his beloved Son (Col 1:13; Jn 8:36). Jesus is the truth!
As a disciple of Christ, it is not only our duty and love to abide and know Jesus. It is our privilege and responsibility to make disciples. According to Matthew 28:19-20, we are commissioned by our Lord to make disciples by going to all nations, baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and teaching everything God has commanded us. The disciple’s life is one of abiding in Christ and his truth and sharing his truth with others. Nicolas Mason, co-writer for Christian perspectives, explains following Christ well, he said, “Following Christ is not a road of pride and glory, but a road of humility and denial of self” (See article on the humility of Christ here). Our boast is in Jesus Christ and our service of the gospel is one of humility and self-denial. Therefore, let not our hearts be troubled, but believe Jesus is the truth that sets us free.
- Jesus is the resurrecting life and he has raised us from the dead (V. 6)
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’” -John 11:25-26
Jesus is the life. When Jesus told his disciples he was the life, the disciples probably thought of the moment in John 11:25-26. Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life.” What he means by this is that in Christ we are resurrected spiritually and truly live. Ephesians 2 describes us as being dead in our sins and trespasses, and by nature, we are children of wrath. We are like a dead corpse at the bottom of the sea, lifeless and unresponsive. God, in his regenerate power, has breathed breath into our lungs and made us alive in Christ (Analogy taken from Shai Linne’s song “Election” See here). Just as Lazarus was dead in the tomb, Christ gave him resurrected life. It is the same way with us. Unless God shines his light into our hearts, we will blindly walk this life, rejoicing in our sin. But when God who says “let light shine in the darkness” shines in our hearts, we will truly see him alive and glorious (2 Cor 4:6). Therefore, since God has made us alive by his sovereign grace, we are filled with a deep and inexpressible love bestowed by our glorious redeemer. Our lives are that of sacrifice. Paul, in Romans 12:1, commands us by God’s mercies to live our lives as living sacrifices. Our every breath, movement, and word, should be that of everlasting praise and worship of our King. Therefore, let our hearts no be troubled but believe that Jesus is the resurrecting life and has raised us from the dead.
- Jesus is the ἐγώ εἰμι (V. 6)
“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.’” -John 8:58
At the root of this profound statement of John 14:6, Jesus says, “ I am the.” The phrase “I am the” in Greek is ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ. This phrase is used throughout the gospel of John designating different titles to Jesus. In John 8:58, Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, ἐγώ εἰμι. This is a direct reference to Exodus 3:14. In Exodus 3:14, Moses is talking to God at the burning bush and Moses asks God what shall he say when they ask him his name. God says, “ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ὤν” (From the septuagint), which says, “I am the one who is.” In this statement, Yahweh is saying that he is who he is in his being. Throughout Scripture, one can understand God as being unchangeable (Mal 3:6), eternal (Deut 33:27; Isa 40:28), sovereign (Ps 115:3; Isa 46:9-10), omnipotent (Job 42:2), omniscient (Isa 40:13-14; 46:9-10), loving (Jn 3:16), merciful (Mich 7:18), and just (2 Thess 1:6). Therefore, when Jesus says, “ἐγώ εἰμι” in John 8:58, he is describing himself as God in Exodus 3:14. In every statement Jesus uses of ἐγώ εἰμι, this underlying expression of being the self-existent God is true. Therefore, when Jesus says, “ἐγώ εἰμι the way, and the truth, and the life.” He is illustrating I am the God who provides the way to everlasting life. I am the God who is the truth that sets people free. I am the God that provides resurrection life eternally. In light of this rich reality, let not our hearts be troubled but believe that Jesus is the ἐγώ εἰμι.
John 14:1-6 is a stronghold of beautiful gospel truths that we should bind around our necks and proclaim in the streets. As we live our lives as followers of Christ and the storms and toils of this sin-stained world become overwhelming, let us go back to John 14:1-6 and remember these five comforting and life transforming truths. He is preparing for us our glorious inheritance that we will get to delight in once we pass away from this earth. He has provided for us the way to everlasting life. He has set us free from our enslavement to sin. He has made us alive in Christ. He is the ἐγώ εἰμι. Therefore, let not your hearts be troubled but believe in Jesus.
 William D. Mounce, Basics of Biblical Greek: Grammer (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009), 130.