The way to the Father

The disciples by now surely knew that Jesus was soon to die. He therefore comforted them by saying he was going to his Father to prepare a permanent dwelling place for them, and one day he would return to take them to be with him for ever. He had told them often enough that if they followed him as loyal followers, they would share in his final victory (John 14:1-4).

Thomas misunderstood, thinking that Jesus was speaking of a physical location and a physical journey. He wanted Jesus to show them the way so that they would have no difficulty in following him later. Jesus explained that the ‘way’ to the Father was through the Son. Jesus had brought the truth of God and eternal life to the human race, and to know him was to know God. To know the Son was to know the Father (John 14:5-7).

Philip also misunderstood. He wanted a special revelation of the Father, though he should have known after more than three years with Jesus that Jesus and the Father were inseparably united. Jesus’ words and actions were the Father’s words and actions (John 14:8-11). Jesus may have been about to die, but God’s work in the world was not about to end. When Jesus returned to the Father he would send the Holy Spirit, and through the power of the Spirit and prayer the disciples would do even greater works than Jesus had done. Jesus’ ministry had been limited to a few years in Palestine, but his disciples would travel to other countries and reach the whole world for God. Jesus’ return to the Father would bring in a new era (John 14:12-14).

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