Jesus said to His disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. … I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:1, 6
In an effort to avoid offending anyone, some merchants choose to display the word Believe instead of Merry Christmas or Happy Easter. But what do they want us to believe? Believe their store is the best place to shop? Believe whatever we want? Believe in ourselves? Believe in God?
Jesus knew His disciples’ faith would be severely tested in the days following the Passover meal they were eating with Him. Jesus was about to be betrayed, arrested and crucified. Would the disciples remember all He had told them about what would happen? During the three long days of silence when He was entombed, would they remember what He had said about being raised from the dead?
What did Jesus want them to believe? He told them that in His Father’s dwelling were many rooms (NIV)—also translated mansions* (John 14:2-3). He said He was going there to prepare a place for His disciples (including us), and that He would come back and take us to be with Him. Then He added, “You know the way to the place where I am going (v.4).
Thomas said, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” (v. 5)
“I am the way and the truth and the life,” Jesus replied. “No one comes to the Father except through me” (v. 6). God had told Moses that no one could see His face and live (Exodus 33:20). In order for unholy people to come into the holy God’s presence, a way had to be prepared.
Many of the rituals God gave Israel illustrated such preparation. For example, a perfect, unblemished lamb had to be sacrificed in place of the people. Jesus, the perfect, sinless Lamb of God, was about to be sacrificed to make permanent atonement for sin. Through His death and resurrection, He provided the way for us to enter God’s presence.
Do you believe that Jesus is the only way to God?
So much of what Jesus asked the disciples to believe was invisible: God the Father, heaven, resurrection from the dead. What visible evidence did they have that these things were true according to John 14:8-11?
Read John 8:34-47. What would prevent us from hearing what Jesus is saying?
Peter, in fear, denied knowing Jesus. Later, he boldly prayed for the healing of a man lame from birth and spoke to the religious leaders and thousands of others. How do you account for the change in him recorded in Acts 4:1-22?
For more on what Jesus in the Upper Room said to the disciples and to those who live between the times—between the First and Second Coming of Christ, see Appearing in Glory, Part 2 under Dig into Words.
Nancy J. Baker
This devotion is part of a Lenten/Easter series: The Upper Room Teachings under Dig into Easter