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John 14:1-14 Notes

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OVERVIEW of John

Written by John around 90-94 AD
Content: Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God told from a post resurrection perspective. The incarnation reveals God and the cross, with the subsequent resurrection makes life with Him and in Him possible.
Jesus - in his life and death on the cross reveals God's love for humanity and redeemed humanity, ; discipleship means to "remain in the vine" and to bear fruit (love as he has loved) - the Holy Spirit will be given for his people to continue his work.

TIPS for reading John

Contrasting with the synoptics... where there is emphasis on the K of G, the emphasis is on Jesus himself as the life - "the Life who gives eternal life".
John writes about Jesus in light of what he experienced and learned about Jesus after the fact.
Plus, his detail is Shaped by when he is writing this (90-95 AD), in response to false prophets who are denying the incarnation and the saving significance of Jesus' death and resurrection AND who are marked by a failure to love others (cf. 1 John).
John's passion in the retelling of Jesus' story is threefold:
1. Deeply rooted in history as Jesus being the Messiah, confessed by the disciples and confirmed by Jesus. Thus the I am sayings are full of OT allusions like, the shepherd, the vine, the bread and where Jesus steps in to Israel's role himself as well as Israel's kingly shepherd ... fulfillment of messianic hopes with the festive celebrations hidden to us but clear to his readers.
Feast of tabernacles 0 special water purifying rite in the temple... came to be interpreted in a Messianic way as pointing to the giving of the Spirit by the Messiah... it is on the greatest day of this feast that Jesus cries out, let anyone who is thirsty come and drink... ().
2. Jesus is the son of God... the Jewish Messianic title from ... now understood as the 2nd person of the trinity... in Jesus, God himself... has become present by the incarnation...
3. The pathos of the Gospel which is to be found in the Jewish rejection of their messiah - because of the claims of his divinity ... Jesus died for the Jewish nation that rejects him, even though they are in the best position to believe in him, and the whole world.

Literary Context of John 14

Jesus manifest his presence to his disciples (John 1:19-2:12)
Jesus manifest his presence to the world ()
: The First Passover
The temple cleansing
(1) Divides people who believe and those who don't
(2) Jesus replaces the locus of God's presence as the new temple (1:51)
Jesus Final Passover - the Son of God dies for the sins of the world (13:1-20:31)
Jesus' table talk with the disciples have three themes here:
I am going, you are staying, you will continue my work, but you can't do it alone and will need my Spirit
Jesus is going back to the Father (1-10)
They are staying to continue his work (11-14)
He will return to them in the person of the Spirit (15-31)

Jesus comforts his disciples before he leaves.

John 14:1–4 NIV
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
(1) Jesus commands them NOT to let their hearts be troubled.
Why would they be? He is (3) leaving but will "come back" (when?)
The disciples have been with Jesus for three years and are anticipating his setting up of the Kingdom of God (politically) so this news would come as a shock.
How does Jesus desire to comfort these troubled hearts?
He says to BELIEVE in God, also BELIEVE in me.
He explains the rationale for such a belief in GOD and JESUS... (vs. 2)
"My Father's house has many rooms" - ref to the temple (2:19)
In other words, the place where heaven and earth meet and the location where God dwells among his people has plenty of room for you... if there was not "going to be room" (for the disciples) ... Jesus would not have said so?
Q: Why would they assume8 this is where they would "want to go" (3)? Does this have significance in the est of the Kingdom of God in their view?
Jesus says he is (vs3) "go" and "prepare" a place for you...
... and he will "come back" and "take you" to be "with me" that you may "also be where I am",
You "know the way to the place where I am going" (4)
BELIEVE GOD, BELIEVE ALSO IN ME
MY FATHER"S HOUSE HAS MANY ROOMS
I AM GOING TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU
I WILL COME BACK AND TAKE YOU TO BE WITH ME
YOU KNOW THE WAY TO THE PLACE WHERE I AM GOING
(Therefore, THAT is the reasons why your hearts should not be troubled by my departure...without me going, you will not be able to have access to my father's house which has many rooms, one of which is being prepared for you and I need to go and come back to then take you there...)
QUESTIONS:
Jesus is vital part of God's house being available for disciples to come home (, 28-29) - what is "the way" (12:26... the way of following Jesus, specifically in serving the Father and in this case, it leads to suffering? They cannot go where he is going ( ). Jesus assumes they know by this point?
Maybe it's because Jesus is the son of God, they have seen the Fath

Key Words from John 14:1-4

Father's House (2)
Father’s house Jesus is referring to the heavenly abode, where God the Father sits enthroned (). Jesus had already declared God’s symbolic earthly dwelling, the temple, to be insignificant in comparison to God’s work through His new temple, Jesus (see ; compare on ). This and Jesus’ condemnation of the conduct of the earthly keepers of His “Father’s house” establish Jesus as a better, heavenly alternative ().
The Jerusalem temple was an earthly representation of God’s heavenly dwelling. When talking with David about the possible construction of the temple, God even calls it a “house for my name” (). David later calls it a “house for the sanctuary” (; compare ). Jesus’ imagery here would have been familiar to His disciples.
dwelling places There is room for many people in God’s kingdom and His heavenly abode, where those who accept Jesus dwell eternally.
Here, Jesus is likely drawing on imagery of God’s people dwelling in the wilderness in His presence, after the exodus from Egypt (). alludes to Jesus as the fulfillment of God dwelling among His people.
will come again Jesus is describing an event that will occur after His ascension to God’s heavenly abode (v. ). Consequently, this refers to His return to earth, not His resurrection.
Prepare - ἑτοιμάζω
Troubled - ταράσσω - “Agitate, move, disturb” is used for things like water (, ; , ; ; Hippocrates, Aff. 55.3), for the stomach or intestines,1 and for mental uncertainty and confusion, as with Peter’s guards, worried about the escape of their prisoner (ēn tarachos ouk oligos, ). With respect to individuals, tarassō usually expresses simple uneasiness mixed with fear: Zechariah (), Herod (), the apostles frightened at the sight of Jesus walking on the water (; ) or resurrected (), or disturbed at the prospect of the Master’s departure; the faithful are upset by heterodox teachings (; = ). These connotations of disquiet, fear, dismay, and confusion match those of secular Greek, and of biblical Greek when the frame of mind resulting from a dream is being described. The person’s mind is always troubled (etarachthē hē psychē autou, ; ; ; ).

Jesus the Way to the Father

John 14:5–14 NIV
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
vs. 5 - Thomas responds to Jesus words intended for comfort... we don't know where you are going... so how can we know the way?
Thomas uses the word Lord here - does he see him as Messiah, Rabbi or prophet?
For many people, we know Jesus is special, but we're not sure how special and how relevant He is to our human dilemma.
Thomas is
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
I am ... this is pretty arrogant to our world isn't it? What is the way to and aren't their multiple ways to the divine...?
The way
The truth
The life
No one... not a single person, comes to the Father... who is Jesus' Father? Why would people want to come to Him? Did Jews call God their Father? Or was this a reference for Israel to see God as their father and Israel as His son? If this is the case, this seems unfair and exclusive... what about all of the other good religious people out there?
What makes Jesus unique to have such access?
If you really know me... (many do not really know him, if they did they would know that he is the Son of God, reflecting the will of God the father and calling people to eternal life through Him).
How will we really know Jesus... as the Son of God?
Jesus is saying clearly, in verse 7... from now on you know Him (God the Father)... and have even seen Him (even though he is invisible apart from me being in the flesh).
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
What is Philip asking Jesus to do? "Show us the Father?" Maybe like Moses was shown the glory of God or Elijah... ?
In other words, Jesus, we think you are special... but still, if we got a little bit more concrete evidence...
I would ask the same... show me more! Let me see Him with my own eyes...
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Look at my life, my teachings, my miracles... you have seen the Father.
What are the ways Jesus has shown Philip that He reflects the Father?
In other words, when we look at the life of Jesus, the living God is revealed in His Son... in the flesh.
The reason why Jesus is the way, the truth and the life is in part, because those who have witnessed his life, see that He is the Son of God and knows the Father like no one else can.
And what is the Father like... according to Jesus? What separates Jesus' credibility from every other faith figure out there?
10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
What does being "in the Father" actually mean?
At the very least... Jesus words are not based on His own authority, because they are from God the Father himself through His Son who is...
"living in me"
"who is doing his work"
Therefore... Jesus' reply to Philip points to Jesus' unity of mind and mission with the Father... which speaks to his seeing the Father as He sees jesus.
11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.
Commands them to believe in Jesus and Father's unity... at the least, if not on his word, on the evidence of the works themselves.
They are signs to believe that Jesus and the Father are "one".
12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
Jesus turns this reply into an explanation of the reward of faith in Him...
They will do works I have been doing (ministry)
Even greater things
Because Jesus is going to the Father.
13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
AND... Jesus will do whatever they ask in his name (authority)
FOR THE PURPOSE... that God may be glorified in the Son (honored).
ASk for anything in His name... He will do it.
The context expects His discples to ask for things, in His authority (name) and Jesus "going back to the father" will now be able to do it THRU his followers... so that the father will be glorified...

Meaning of the Text

teaches that in light of Jesus' departure (to die on the cross), Jesus comforts his disciples with the fact that it is for their and others benefit. Jesus and the Father are one, if they have seen him, they have seen the Father and it is Jesus, the Son, who is the only one who, being the way, the truth and the life, can and must go to prepare everyone's room at home to be with the Father and come back to take them to be where He is as well as give them the power to continue even greater works of service than Him.
Theological statement:
Jesus is the only way to come home to God and have life with God now.
Jesus is our Father's way to come home to Him and enjoy life with Him now.

What is the single most persuasive idea?

What am I the person to share this message?

I live in a world where I want to believe many roads lead to God.
I live in a world where I want everyone to get along and believe whatever you want as long as you don't hurt people.
I live in a world where I want the American dream and a satisfying spiritual life.
I live in a world where I have friends and family members that I consider "good" people and the last thing I want to do is irritate our relationship over a difference of opinion.
And yet, I have found since the day I can remember handing my life over to Jesus at age 8 years old... my life has been transformed and is still being transformed into something far more beautiful, real, exciting than I could ever have imagined on my own... and it has not bee as a result of rule-following or perfect obedience... far from it... it has been throughout a a life of stumbles, mistakes, joys and tragedies... through it all, I have found that what I once thought may have just been my parent's faith... unintentionally forced upon me... has actually been a journey filled with doubts, questions but also confirmations and celebrations because of the audacity of Jesus' hold on my life with this highly questionable statement... "I am the way the truth and the life... no one comes to the Father except thru me... "
I am the perfect person for this message because my story has been a journey of faith that has questioned my faith, challenged my faith, abandoned my faith and one of continually come back to faith because of this audacious, arrogant and totally intolerant claim of Jesus that He is the way, the truth and life...
For many of us, maybe this is your story too. As offensive as Jesus is... as controversial as he is ... maybe there is something to this highly questionable claim that should cause us to rethink our cultural perspective that their are multiple ways to get a hold of the divine, the universe, even God himself... maybe it's not just whatever works for you, whatever cultural background you inherit or religion or non-religion gives you a sense of purpose...
Today, I want us to look more closely at this highly questionable claim and consider the implications if it's actually true...

What do my people already believe about this topic?

For the Believer... I think they believe that it is true but there are times, we wonder if it is or not. We meet good people. People we love who believe in different things and there is a desire to accommodate for some of us. That sounds good, they're good people... I'm sure God sees that.
For others, this claim has become the basis for self-righteous behavior. I'm in, you're not. So not only does jesus' words ring arrogant in it's own right, you have believers that act as if they are a part of a club no one else is invited into... and the result can be unfortunate, failing to invite people to explore and test out if Jesus is right at the risk of being associated with spiritually arrogant belivers.
For others, there are some that see this idea as a ticket to heaven... but as you read the following verses, you realize that Jesus's purpose is for those who follow Him to not only come home to God but also have the Spirit of God to do "works greater than these" Jesus has done. Jesus isn't just inviting us into another social justice cause... His Spirit thru His people is the CAUSE to bring healing and restoration to the whole planet, all for the glory of God.
For the skeptic... this is the source of intolerance, exclusivity and unfairness in their eyes... it is even offensive to some... but Jesus is inviting people to believe in Him... and if not, to look at the works He has done themselves... in other words... He is not afraid of skeptics, doubters questions... he is inviting us to take an honest look at who He is, what he has done and who he claims to be ... but it requires an open heart... there is no question Jesus is special but just how special is the issue? Thomas and Philip demonstrate faith but they too aren't clear on how special Jesus is... he responds to them and it's the same response he gives to us today, the seeker and the skeptic.
For the seeker... Jesus is interesting but what does he actually mean that He is the way, the truth and the life? Like we learned last week, 85% of young outsiders see Christians as hypocritical... who wants to follow a guy that leads me to be a hypocrite or maybe that's not Jesus at all... what does it mean for Jesus then to be my way, my truth, my life? Would it really answer my questions about life? My purpose?

What do I want them to do?

For me...
Believer - Worship ... greater works than these... serve Him by serving others
Struggler - Come back
Skeptic - Ask, Seek, Knock... Keep coming back, write down your questions, join Rooted... God isn't afraid... try Jesus on... follow Him in your life
Seeker - I believe
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