1. Jn. 13:31-16:33 was spoken by Jesus in the night when He instituted the Lord's Supper and went to the Garden of Gethsemane. Even though He knew that He was facing suffering and death, Jn. 13:31-16:33 is a passage of remarkable serenity. It is followed by the prayer of Jesus to the Father, Jn. 17. Perhaps the pastor should read Jn. 13:31-17:26 before he begins his work on this sermon.
2. An ancient commentator said: "The disciples knew it well, but on this occasion they did not know that they knew it." Read the questions by Peter, 13:36; Thomas, 14:5; Philip, 14:8; and Judas, 14:22. The disciples had spent three years with Jesus. Perhaps we think that they should have learned enough so that they would not ask such questions. But when times of sorrow come, Christians often forget what they have learned. We do not enlighten ourselves. Only the Holy Spirit can do that through the Word of God. When times of sorrow come, the comfort of the Gospel may slip from us.
3. Jesus was a very gentle teacher. He taught His disciples again and again. The disciples were like children who easily forget and must be taught again and again. That's the way it is today. Pastors must be gentle with the people. The people are like children who need much tender, loving care. When times of sorrow come to the people, the pastors must gently teach them again and again.
4. The thought of vs. 1 is repeated at 14:27. The world does not give lasting peace as does Jesus. Only the peace of God in Christ can quiet our fearful and guilty hearts. Just believe Jesus' Word. Vs. 1.
5. In vss. 2-4 Jesus speaks immediately of the purpose of His mission. Going to prepare a place for us means His suffering, death and resurrection. By doing that He prepared a place for us forever. He wants us to be with Him forever. He will come again to take us to Himself. That is the main message of God in the Bible. Many OT saints are already there because of what Jesus did. Read Heb. 12:1-2. Heb. 5-10 tells us what Jesus did for us. Heb. 11 speaks of OT believers. Then comes Heb. 12:1-2. Ps. 15:9-11 is prophecy of Christ. See Acts 2:25-28. And it is a promise to us of everlasting life. Job (19:25-27) knew that he would rise from the dead and live with God forever. Paul had a desire to depart and be with Christ. Php. 1:23. Peter (I Pet. 1:4) speaks of our incorruptible inheritance in heaven. The book of Revelation gives us many pictures of everlasting life. How did Jesus comfort His sorrowing disciples? With everlasting life. Thomas and Philip (vss. 5 & 8) showed their weakness by their questions. But they were not afraid to ask Jesus. They knew that He would not be harsh. To Thomas He gives the wonderful answer: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." There is only one way. There is only one truth. There is only one life. Jesus Christ. Philip asked a disappointing question. Jesus gently reprimands him. He had taught the disciple often that Jesus is very God of very God. But Philip had forgotten. So do we. We need to hear the Word daily to remind us again.
6. In vss. 10 and 11 Jesus speaks of Himself being in the Father and the Father being in Him. That means that He is true God by nature. In 17:23 Jesus says: "I in them and You in Me." Jesus and the Father are one in essence by nature. We are one with Jesus by grace. He lives in us.
7. Vs. 10 speaks of Jesus' Words and works. His Words are not of Himself. They are of God. And the Father, by His union with Jesus, does His works, His miracles. Jesus' Words and works work faith in us. Pastors must preach Jesus' Words and works. They cause faith in people.
8. At Jn. 7:34; 8:21; 13:33.36; 14:5 and 16:5 Jesus speaks both to the Jews and then to His disciples about going to the Father. That means that He would suffer and die. The Jews did not understand. The disciples were filled with sorrow. But the Father had planned Jesus' suffering and death to save mankind. Therefore Jesus says: Do not let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you. And I will come back and take you with Me so that you can be with Me." Do not be sad.
THEME: Jesus Is The Way, The Truth and The Life
All people are lost. All people are confused. All people are sorrowful. But they need not be. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Jesus came to comfort them. Jesus came to make them rejoice . Even Jesus' disciples, in the night when He was betrayed, were confused and sorrowful. That is clear from the questions of Peter, Thomas, Philip and Judas. Jesus tells them: "Sorrow has filled your heart." 16:6. And several times He says: "Let not your heart be troubled." We are just like the disciples. Often we feel lost, confused and sorrowful. Let us listen to Jesus Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
I. JESUS IS THE WAY
Thomas said to Jesus: "Lord, we don't know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Often Jesus had predicted His suffering and death but the disciples had forgotten. Now He says: "Just believe in Me. I am the Way." What Way? The important Way to live and to die. Jesus said at Mt. 7:14: "Narrow is the Way that leads to Life and few are those who find it." It is narrow because it is the way of God, according to God's Word, not according to the dreams and theories of people. How does one quiet a fearful heart? By believing in God and Jesus. Vs. 1. How does one quiet his fears about the future? By listening to Jesus who says: "In My Father's house are many mansions. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to Myself so that where I am also you may be." And then He adds: "And where I am going you know the Way." Jesus went the way of sorrows and suffering so that we can go the way of peace and everlasting life. Jesus is the Way.
II. JESUS IS THE TRUTH
There is no truth in Satan. He is a liar and a murderer. Jn. 8:44. All unconverted people in this world are children of the devil. Read Eph. 2:1-2. Unconverted people are dead in their trespasses and sin. They walk in these sins according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air (the devil). The devil is the one who now works in the children of disobedience. Satan causes people to be lost in lies. He even sometimes snatches the Word of God away from believers. Lk. 8:12. He goes about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour people. But Jesus is the Truth. He came to tell us the truth about ourselves and about God. He came to show us our sins and the need for salvation. He came to tell us that no one can come to the Father in heaven except through Jesus. He came to tell us that He has prepared heaven for us. He came to tell us that if we believe in Jesus we also believe in the Father. He came to tell us that He and the Father are one in essence. There are two persons, Father and Son, but there is only one God. He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. He came to bring us God's Word, God's Truth. He once said; "Your Word is Truth." Jn. 17:17. Jesus' Truth comforts us in our sorrows, guides us in our fears and assures us that He is the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life for the sheep. Why did He rise from the dead? He said: "Because I live you too will live." Jn. 14:19.
III. JESUS IS THE LIFE
The wages of sin is death. Rom. 6:23. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Rom. 3:23. But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. 6:23. And the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. All will die but Jesus has saved all and offers them eternal life. Jesus told the sorrowing sisters: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, even though he dies, he will live. And he who lives and believes in Me, shall never die." Jn. 11:25-26. and then He asks: "Do you believe this?" And we answer with Mary: "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, Who has come into the world."
Jesus is the Way , the Truth, the Life. He is everything.