JESUS IS GOING AWAY TO PREPARE A PLACE
HE PROMISES HIS FOLLOWERS A HELPER
THE FATHER IS GREATER THAN JESUS
Jesus gives the faithful apostles reason not to be troubled over his departure: “In the house of my Father are many dwelling places. . . . If I go my way and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will receive you home to myself, so that where I am you also may be.” The apostles, however, do not grasp that he is speaking about going to heaven. Thomas asks: “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
“I am the way and the truth and the life,” Jesus answers. Only by accepting him and his teachings and imitating his life course can one enter the heavenly house of his Father. Jesus says: “No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Philip, listening intently, requests: “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Philip seems to want some manifestation of God, like the visions that Moses, Elijah, and Isaiah received. However, the apostles have something better than such visions. Jesus highlights that, replying: “Even after I have been with you men for such a long time, Philip, have you not come to know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father also.” Jesus perfectly reflects the Father’s personality; hence, living with and observing Jesus is like seeing the Father. Of course, the Father is superior to the Son, for Jesus points out: “The things I say to you I do not speak of my own originality.” (John 14:8-10) The apostles can see that Jesus is giving all credit for his teachings to his Father.
Jesus’ apostles have seen him do wonderful works and have heard him proclaim the good news about the Kingdom of God. Now he tells them: “Whoever exercises faith in me will also do the works that I do; and he will do works greater than these.” (John 14:12) Jesus is not saying that they will perform greater miracles than he did. They will, though, carry out their ministry for a much longer time, over a much greater area, and to far more people.
Jesus’ departure will not leave them abandoned, for he promises: “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.” Moreover, he says: “I will ask the Father and he will give you another helper to be with you forever, the spirit of the truth.” (John 14:14, 16, 17) He guarantees them that they will receive the holy spirit, this other helper. That happens on the day of Pentecost.
“In a little while,” Jesus says, “the world will see me no more, but you will see me, because I live and you will live.” (John 14:19) Not only will Jesus appear to them in bodily form after his resurrection but he will, in time, resurrect them to be with him in heaven as spirit creatures.
Now Jesus states a simple truth: “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. In turn, whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will clearly show myself to him.” At this the apostle Judas, who is also called Thaddaeus, asks: “Lord, what has happened that you intend to show yourself clearly to us and not to the world?” Jesus replies: “If anyone loves me, he will observe my word, and my Father will love him . . . Whoever does not love me does not observe my words.” (John 14:21-24) Unlike his followers, the world does not recognize Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life.
Jesus is going away, so how will his disciples be able to recall all that he taught them? Jesus explains: “The helper, the holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach you all things and bring back to your minds all the things I told you.” The apostles have seen how powerfully the holy spirit can work, so this assurance is comforting. Jesus adds: “I leave you peace; I give you my peace. . . . Do not let your hearts be troubled nor let them shrink out of fear.” (John 14:26, 27) The disciples have reason, then, not to be troubled
Evidence of God’s protection will soon be seen. Jesus says: “The ruler of the world is coming, and he has no hold on me.” (John 14:30) The Devil was able to enter into Judas and get a hold on him. But there is no sinful weakness in Jesus that Satan can play on to turn him against God. Nor will the Devil be able to restrain Jesus in death. Why not? Jesus states: “I am doing just as the Father has commanded me to do.” He is certain that his Father will resurrect him.