Gospel: John 14:1-14
Epistle: 1 Peter 2:2-10
Lesson: Acts 6:1-9; 7:2a, 51-60
Psalm: Psalm 146
CLB Commentary – Rev. David Rinden
John begins with chapter 13 to reveal to us Jesus’ last words before the cross. Chapters 13-17 open up for us the mind of Christ as he leaves his disciples. In these passages Jesus lays out before us his love for his followers. Perhaps best known of all are the words in chapter 14:1-14, our text for this Sunday.
With the first paragraph (verses 1-4) Jesus tells us there is a place waiting for all disciples who trust him. There is no need to be troubled in heart and mind. Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us. He also tells us he is coming back to receive us so that we may go to be with him. How kind of Jesus to give his disciples this reassurance. We also profit from these words with the knowledge that we are also included in this promise. Your listeners will be greatly comforted as you lay out this section of the text.
However, some of your listeners may have the same question that Thomas had (v.5) “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” After all, there is probably no more important question than this!
Jesus doesn’t disparage the question or the questioner. He gives (v.6) a clear answer to help Thomas, and all other questioners, to know clearly the way to eternal life: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Some do not like this answer of Jesus. It is much too narrow! Is Jesus really the only way to the Father? The Bible teaches that he is not one way among many! The disciples went on to boldly preach this message. See Acts 4:12; Hebrews 10:19-23; Luke 1:69; Luke 2:30; John 10:7-21.
The disciples had another question, this one voiced by Philip: “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” It wasn’t framed as a question, but in reality it was: “Lord, will you show us the Father? We don’t need to know more than this!”
Jesus’ answer is simple: The evidence of his miracles speak for themselves. What is more, whoever has faith in Christ will do greater things! Further, he will answer any prayer in his name. In other words, he will do anything his disciples ask for according to his will. Can there be any better place to be than the will of the Triune God?
While we are still in the Easter season with all its joy over a Savior who is alive, the texts now help the hearer adjust to the truth that Jesus will not be with his disciples in the flesh, but he will be with them and he will not abandon those who follow him.
The following outlines may help you: (The first one is by Henry J. Eggold in Lectionary Preaching Resources, Series A)
Theme: Rejoice That You Are a Christian. I. You have the assurance of Heaven; II. You know the Father; III. You can do greater works than Jesus.
Theme: The Legacy of Jesus. I. A God Who Cares (1); II. A Heavenly Home (2-4); III. Plain Directions to this Home (4-11); IV. Work to Do (12-14).
Theme: “Trust Me”—Jesus. I. Trust Me, There is room in God’s house (1-3); II. Trust Me, I Am the way to God’s house (4-6); III. Trust Me, If you have seen me you have seen the Father (7-11); IV. Trust Me, I will enable you to do great things (12); V. Trust Me, You may ask anything in my name and I will do it (13-14).
Theme: Three Truths God Wants You to Know. I. That He Cares for You (1); II. That He is Preparing an Eternal Home for You (2-3); III. That the Way to Heaven is Plain (4-6).