Have you ever had someone invite you over to the house, but then forget to give you directions or the address? Unless you know the person to be absent-minded, you might suspect that they don’t really want you to come. I myself have made such a mistake, but Jesus didn’t. When He invited us to join Him in heaven, He told us exactly how to get there.
But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through His name.John 20:31
John 14 continues the conversation Jesus was having with His disciples at the last supper. They’re still sitting around the table, in no hurry to leave. Judas has left to arrange the betrayal of Jesus; and the Master—knowing His earthly ministry is almost finished—passes on some final words of instruction and comfort to the remaining eleven disciples.
“Don’t let your heart be troubled,” He says. “You believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I’m going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And you know where I’m going, and you know the way.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we don’t know where You’re going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me.”
This was not new information. When Jesus spoke with Nicodemus, He said, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son: that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (3:14-17).
Later, as He rested at the well in Samaria, He said to the woman there, “Whoever drinks of this water shall thirst again: but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst. But the water that I shall given him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (4:13-14).
While speaking with the Jewish religious leaders, Jesus said, “Search the Scriptures: for in them you think you have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Me. And you will not come to Me, that you might have life” (5:39-40).
One day Jesus fed over five thousand people with one little boy’s lunch. While the food was still settling in their stomachs, He told them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger; and He who believes on Me shall never thirst” (6:35).
Another day He said, “If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes on Me, as the Scripture has said, Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (7:37-38).
Men brought before Jesus a woman taken in the act of adultery. They tried to trick Him into either breaking the law or hurting His influence among the people, but Jesus did neither. Instead, He convicted them of their own sin and forgave her of hers. Then He said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (8:12). A little further in the same conversation, He said, “If you do not believe that I am [God in the flesh], you shall die in your sins” (8:24).
Shortly before giving a blind man his sight, Jesus declared, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (9:5). He would later tell His disciples (and all believers by extension) that we are the light of the world. That’s why we’re here—to let our light shine in this dark world (Matthew 5:14).
Jesus transitioned to another illustration when in their walk they came near a sheepfold. He said, “Truly, truly I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber…. I am the door. By Me, if anyone enters in, he shall be saved” (10:1,9). He went a step further by stating, “I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep…. I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine… My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone pluck them out of My hand” (10:11,14,28).
When Jesus’ dear friend Lazarus died, He and the disciples went to see the family. Lazarus had been dead four days by the time they got there, but Jesus called him out of the grave and restored his life to him. Then He said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (11:25-26).
On another day, referring to the crucifixion that would take place very shortly, He said, “If I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to Me…. He who believes on Me, believes on Him who sent me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. I am come a light into the world, that whoever believes on Me should not remain in darkness” (12:32,44-46).
Now, on this very night of the last supper they would partake of together, Jesus says, “Where I’m going, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow Me afterwards” (13:36).
Now we come to today’s passage, where Jesus tells them, by way of preview, just a little bit about this wonderful place called heaven. Apparently, they haven’t heard anything Jesus had been saying to them for the past three years. Well, to give them the benefit of the doubt, it was a lot to take in—especially now that Jesus was talking about dying and leaving them. I’m sure they were distressed and greatly troubled. The next thing He says will give them comfort when the time comes to finally say goodbye to their Master. We’ll come to that part next time.
I recently heard on the radio that a large percentage of young people in conservative God-honoring churches do not believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven. My friends, these are not children who have never been to church. These are the ones who grew up in church! Oh, how sad to be exposed to the truth of the gospel every Sunday, and then to die and be eternally separated from God! Jesus IS the only way into heaven. He is the Light, the Door, the Shepherd, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. You who believe this, why aren’t you telling others? Why aren’t you telling your own children? It is my prayer that you’ll get a glimpse of how short this life really is, and how little time we have to tell people about Jesus: the only way to heaven.
This week’s reading:
This week’s memory verse
Because I live, you shall live also.John 14:19b
Photo taken at Princess Beach in Destin, Florida, 2019