“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe 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 where 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 know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
This was a troubling night for Jesus and his disciples. Jesus is facing betrayal, arrest, crucifixion, and will ultimately take upon himself the sin of the world. The disciples are shocked at the news that one of them would betray Jesus, that Peter would deny Jesus, that their Master will be going away, and that this time they can’t follow. Yet Jesus remains in complete control and begins to comfort and teach his friends. “You believe in God. Believe also in me.” (v.1) As Jesus begins to comfort his disciples, he calls them again to believe in him. The antidote to the troubled heart is trust in Jesus.
You have a place (v.2-3)
Jesus offers his disciples the hope that he will prepare a place and return to take them to be with him. Jesus isn’t abandoning them but leaving for their sake. In the Father’s house, there is room for them, and the ultimate hope of one day dwelling together there. Heaven is heaven because Jesus is there. The specifics of the accommodations aren’t the main attraction, the presence of Jesus is.
“We do not know the destination. We have no map of what lies beyond the curtain, though theologians—and others—often use language which suggests that we have… We do not know, and cannot know, all that God has prepared for those who love him. It is beyond the highest power of our imagination (1 Cor. 2:9). We do not know the destination; but we do know the way… (Heb. 10:20) (Lesslie Newbigin))
You know the Way (v.4-6)
“You know the way to where I am going.” Thomas gives voice to the confusion in the room. If we don’t know the destination, how can we know the way? Just as heaven is about being with Jesus, our way to heaven, our salvation, is Jesus. Jesus doesn’t just point us in the right direction but is the destination and the way there. Jesus will return to the father through his own death. But in his death and resurrection, Jesus IS the way, the truth, and the life.
This exclusive claim goes against the grain of our postmodern culture, but it is central to biblical faith in Jesus. The popular misconception that it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere is antithetical to scripture and true, biblical faith in Jesus.
You know the Father (v.7-10)
“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”(v.9) We worship one God in three persons: Father, Son and Spirit. This is puzzling for Philip and can be for us too. Hebrews 1:3 says that Jesus “is the radiance of the glory of God, and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” Jesus is eternal God, and the revelation of the Father to us. He is the fullest revelation of who God is. If you want to see God, look to Jesus.
“The antidote to a troubled heart is trust in Jesus.” If this is true, what does that say about the root causes of troubled hearts?
What would it look like to trust in God in a recent anxiety in your life? What would look different?
Why is faith in Jesus exclusive?