Sunday 10 May 2020

Bible Book:

‘I am the way, the truth and the life’ (v. 6)

John 14:1-14 Sunday 10 May 2020

Psalm: Psalm 31


Today’s passage will be familiar to many readers from its use in funeral services, but its relevance is not limited to that context. The passage falls into four parts, each of which builds on what has gone before. A feature throughout is that what seems at first to be straightforward turns out to have deeper significance.

Verses 1-4
In the previous chapter, Jesus has warned the disciples that he is about to leave them and they will be unable to follow (13:33 and 36). He now reassures them that in time they will be able to follow. He goes to prepare a place for them and will return to collect them. When will this be? In the context we think of the resurrection when he returns to the disciples (see chapter 20). But for John, writing years later, and for us as readers, there has been another departure, at the ascension. So there will be another ‘coming’, but whether that coming is to each individual at the moment of death, or to the world at the end of time is left (deliberately?) unclear.

Verses 5-7
Thomas is puzzled. Taking Jesus’ words literally he asks about the destination and the route. Jesus, however, takes the topic to another level. The journey is to God the Father, and Jesus himself is the route, because he embodies truth about God and gives life.

Verses 8-11
Fundamental to the Old Testament is the insistence that God is invisible so Jesus’ statement is striking. God’s character and intention can be seen in Jesus himself. This is a challenge to faith, but the preceding chapters have consistently described Jesus’ miracles as ‘signs’, pointers to God at work in him (v. 11b)

Verses 12-14
Jesus promises that his followers will continue his work and even excel what he has done. "In my name" (v. 14) must not be regarded as a sort of password or magic formula. It implies asking for what Jesus himself would ask.


To Ponder:

  • "No one comes to the Father except through me" (v. 6). What bearing does this have on your attitude to people of other faiths?
  • What might be the "greater works" that Jesus’ followers will be able to do (v. 12)?
  • What might this passage have to say about our reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic?
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