Not what…or why…but WHO?

John 14:1-14

Even though we are now starting the fifth week of Easter, the lectionary scripture text for this week places us back during Holy Week, prior to Jesus’ crucifixion.

In John 14, we are at the last supper, where Jesus is giving his farewell talk to his disciples.

  • He has already washed their feet and explained why…
  • He has pointed out that one of them would betray him….and Judas has left.
  • He is about to tell them about the Holy Spirit who would come in new ways because he would no longer be with them in person.

First, Jesus offers words of comfort and encouragement:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions. I’m going to prepare a place for you.”

Jesus knows he is soon to die. He must end this daily existence with his disciples. He offers here words of comfort and encouragement.  Yet, the disciples do not seem comforted or encouraged. When he states in v. 4 – “You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas objects – “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way??”


To this Jesus responds “I am the way and the truth and the life.”

When Jesus says in verse 7: “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

But Philip responds “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”


Jesus answers him: “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.”

“My whole life among you has been an attempt to reveal the Father. To explain my Father. To show you God. If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen God.”

In each case, Jesus offers himself.

“You want to know the way? I AM THE WAY. You want to see the Father? Look at me. If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father.”

To each question the disciples had, he offered a relationship. A relationship with himself.

We have questions too, don’t we?

  • In verse 12 Jesus says to his disciples (and of course to us) – that if we have faith, we will do the same things that he has done. In fact, we will do greater things than these…… what does that mean?  The disciples were confused…..and so am I. What did Jesus mean?
  • In verse 14 Jesus says “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Really? What does that mean? I’ve experienced many times that I prayed for something in Jesus’ name and didn’t receive it.

Of course, we have other questions as well:

  • Why am I struggling with cancer?
  • Why is this happening?
  • Why did she die so young?
  • Why don’t you love me anymore?

And the questions could go on and on. What are your questions today? Sometimes God DOES give us clear answers and tells us the details. But often, not.

But just like in this passage – we are ALWAYS offered a relationship. God’s presence. He doesn’t whisk us out of our problems. Or quickly give us satisfactory answers to every question. But he DOES offer his presence, friendship, and support. In short – a relationship – that we can depend on.

“Trust in God. Trust also in me.”

(the above is a summary of the message shared during worship on May 7, 2023.)