Troubled Hearts No More (John 14:1-14)

Troubled Hearts No More (John 14:1-14)

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MPS: God unburdens the hearts of His disciples providing for them a heavenly home by revealing Himself through Jesus Christ and empowers them for mission through the Holy Spirit.

Disciples are comforted by their God-given home. (1-4)

As we continue we see Jesus’ comments here are a continuation of His previous comments regarding His impending betrayal and Peter’s denial. The disciples are troubled by the thought of Jesus being betrayed and the thought that any of them might deny Him. Jesus in His tenderness calls His disciples to believe in Him just as they believe in God. In the midst of their trouble, sense of doubt and defeat, Jesus calls them to trust and believe in Him. Despite Peter’s denial and the scattering of the disciples, Jesus would be their comfort. He would be their treasure.

The disciples are also unsettled as they know that Jesus is about to go away. He will be betrayed and leave them. Naturally they might consider Jesus’ call to believe a bit untimely. Why might we believe? You’re going away and one of us will betray you. Then Jesus gives them the reason for His departure, which is the preparation and securing of a home for His people. Not only is He going to prepare for them a place but He will bring them there.

The preparation of a place points to the cross and resurrection. There is no place for God’s people without the cross. There is no comfort or joy. There isn’t even the presence of God in the way that we enjoy it today. This isn’t pointing to the Second Coming as other passages might. John is describing for us the comfort that is found in the presence of God that’s given to God’s people by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The place for God’s people is absolutely the New Heavens and New Earth, but the place for God’s people is the presence of God. That presence is given to us by His Spirit.

So no matter your lot in life. No matter what you think about yourself or others think of you. Despite your victories and failures. Your home is with God. Your comfort is with God. Your image is with God. Your treasure is Christ.

Jesus is the mode, reality, and source of our God-given home. (5-7)

Even though Jesus assures His disciples that they know the way, Thomas reveals that he doesn’t even know where Jesus is going. Therefore, how could he know the way? Jesus then informs Thomas that The way to his new home is by following Him. For Jesus to be the way one must have faith in Jesus. Paul describes for us in Romans 10 what this kind of faith looks like, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” To follow Jesus is to first have faith and belief in Jesus. The only way to God is through Him.

Next we see that Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God by which a Christian is able to exist and participate in the Kingdom. This means that one can never come to God apart from the work of God. There is no end around. There is no backdoor. Jesus is the only way, He is the truth. That means that no work can justify one before God. You can’t earn your way to Heaven. You can’t reject God and still be accepted by Him. You are only part of the Church, the Kingdom of God, because of Christ.

Many who profess Christ and presumably become participants in the Kingdom of God grow weary or tired of their participation. They become tired of not only hearing the truth but being in the truth. They allow themselves to get lulled into a sense of self-satisfaction and self-gratification that they begin to question the Truth. I don’t mean that they have doubts or ask questions. I mean that they begin to question whether Christ is truly the only way to God. Should I really follow Christ? Can’t I worship God in the way that I desire? I can live this life on my own. I don’t really need Jesus. Surely as long as I’m a nice person then God will be okay with that.

This mentality is easy for some to slip into. It negates, however, the truth in this passage that the Christian’s life source is Jesus himself. The follower of Jesus is truly made new by Jesus. The follower of Jesus finds their calling, direction, comfort, joy, meaning, image, and fullness in Christ. The follower of Jesus is unable to live their life without Him.

Everyone has that one thing they can’t live without. I’ve known people who say that they just can’t live without their favorite coffee mug, chapstick, cellphone,  or family. Personally I can’t imagine living without my favorite beard comb. I keep it in my truck and I brush my beard almost constantly while I’m driving. Last year I got onto the highway on the way to take Jackson to hockey practice and all of a sudden I got a call from Jason Warren who at the time Jhobe also had practice. He was calling to give me a hard time for two reasons: I was driving a bit fast and he caught me combing my beard. I can’t live without that beard comb.

All too often I think we forget that we truly can’t live without Christ. That to live without Christ is to not know Christ, find our home in Him, and ultimately it is a rejection of Him. As followers of Christ He is really the only thing that we can’t live without.

 Disciples will accomplish great works that reveal their great God. (8-14)

Philip asks Jesus to see the Father as a way of proof and encouragement. The disciples don’t yet grasp the reality that Jesus is God. To see the Father is an incredible request but one that comes with precedence. The greatest gift in the OT was to see a glimpse of God’s glory and presence. So Jesus here explains again to His disciple that He is God’s full revelation. The disciples are privileged to see God right in front of them. To see and witness Jesus is to see and witness the Father. Unlike Moses who would climb Mount Sinai to dwell in the presence of God and hide His face so that he wouldn’t be blinded by God’s glory, the disciples here see the full glory of God. 

Jesus has performed countless signs that pointed to His divinity. Each miracle built on the other until His work would culminate at the cross. If you want a picture of Jesus’ glory revealed prior to His death and resurrection then you must turn to the Transfiguration in Matthew 17. God speaks to Peter, James, and John as they witness Jesus with Elijah and Moses. Verse 2 says that, “he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.” This was a temporary display of Christ’s true nature and glory that would be fully realized at His resurrection.

For today Jesus’ disciples continue to have all they need to experience and witness the glory of God. He reveals Himself in Jesus and Jesus is revealed in His Word. We don’t need fresh revelations or supernatural signs. We need the Holy Spirit’s supernatural work through God’s Word in the hearts of God’s people.

Then Jesus says something very strange. He says that His disciples will do even greater work than what they’ve seen. This doesn’t mean that they will do something more impressive than healing the blind or walking on water. We must understand that Jesus’ ministry was to Israel, that’s who He first went to and those who would come to faith were mostly Jewish. His disciples’ great work is to bring the Gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth.

This is understood by all who believe and isn’t a promise for only the Apostles. Therefore, we understand that each of us here today is a partaker of this great promise to do great work. Many more will come to believe in Jesus by the work of His disciples. The Church will grow by Jesus’ followers spreading the Word about who and what Jesus has done. The work and glory belong to God but the vehicle by which it moves along is His disciples.This is a daunting task of course, one that is impossible if left up to the wisdom and strength of men. For this reason we see that Prayer is central to the great work of disciples where they are to ask God for help in glorifying His name. This is often taken out of context in order to justify someone’s request for wealth, fame, or good health. However, in proper context we see that Jesus promises to give us all that is needed to accomplish this work by prayer. We are to ask in His name. Our motives should be aligned with God’s. His glory should be our aim. The accomplishment of these great works will never be divorced from prayer.

 

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