““Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. 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.” 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 knew me, you would 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 are not just my own. 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 miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He 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 Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. ” (John 14:1–14, NIV)
Betrayal, denial and now departure. This is the news the disciples have received from Jesus in the past few minutes of conversation. One of them would betray Jesus, one would deny Him, and in the end, Jesus would be going to a place they could not go. To suggest that the disciples were confused and troubled would be an accurate understatement.
And the words of Jesus were intended to bring comfort to their troubled hearts. Although His disciples could not follow Jesus right away, they would eventually go to where He was going and in the meantime, Jesus was making the necessary preparations.
As you and I read this, we probably have the same mental image as the disciples. We picture a physical place… maybe a mansion. It is found at a specific location and it is furnished and prepared for lots of guests. So the question Philip asks is logical, “How do we get there?”
Great question! “Can you at least give us a map Jesus? We definitely want to meet you there, but having never been to this place, we need some directions.”
But Jesus explains, “The destination is a person, not a place. It is not a list of things to do, it is a person to follow. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life.”
What Jesus would accomplish through the cross was not limited to a heavenly mansion. It was life giving relationship with God that would begin at the moment of faith. We don’t need directions to get to this place because we have a guide who has shown us the way and unless we follow him, we will never find what we are looking for.
Jesus then explains to His disciples the unique relationship He has had with the Father, who was living in Him and doing His work. “If you have faith in Me, you will do what I have been doing,” Jesus said.
Amazing! This is the reality of those who have found life in Jesus - His Spirit lives within those who believe in Him so that we may do what He demonstrated in His life and ministry. He made disciples, and we are called to go and do the same. The work He does through us is greater than anything we could ever do on our own. Each day He is still leading us. He is offering to be our guide.
Not through a map or a set of directions, but through a relationship. His Spirit guides us in all truth and life. Are you following Him?