John 14:1-14 The Upper Room Discourse

Believe Also in Me

As we move into chapter fourteen we soon realize that the chapter division means nothing. This chapter is certainly connected to the last. By this time, Jesus’ farewell address has gotten off and running. The disciples would shortly be scattered by the fear of opposition. During that remaining time in the Upper Room, Jesus would strengthen His disciples with encouraging words and priceless teachings. He would prepare them, as much as possible, for chaos that would follow because “the ruler of this world” was coming and he had nothing to do with the Light. The Lord wanted those disciples to believe; trust in him, trust that there would be a place for them, trust that He had shown them the Father, trust in His works, and to trust in His name.

READ Scripture- This is the Word of God

Believe Also in Me [1]
There is no doubt that the tension was building in the Upper Room. The gathering had started as a celebratory meal which was interrupted by the radical event of the footwashing. Then Jesus went on to announced that He would be betrayed, Judas has left for who knows what reason, and Jesus said that Peter would betray Him before the night was out. The atmosphere was now down-right depressing. Jesus knows that the disciples would have a difficult time digesting all of this and can surely feel the tension in the room. As a result He says, “Let not your heart be troubled.” The same terms that Jesus uses for His disciples, John has already used of Jesus. Look back to 13:21 where it says, “He was troubled in spirit.” What is being described is a natural emotion. When things begin to deteriorate around us, we begin to get anxious. This word “troubled” means to be stirred up on the inside. Have you ever felt stirred up? A good illustration of this is how water can be stirred up. In fact, it is the same word that is used of the Pool of Bethesda is chapter five verse four. It is not a sin for your heart to be troubled, but you must soon collect yourself. Jesus was troubled, that trouble was passed on to the disciples, and Jesus then in effect says, “Do not continue to let your heart be troubled.”

Believers should never remain in a state of dismay because we believe in God. When your spirit is stirred up turn to God, trust in Him. These men that Jesus communed with had believed in God from the time that they could comprehend such. Jesus could say without reservation, “You believe in God.” They not only believed in a god, but were wholly committed to the God of Israel, Yahweh. He was their God. The very foundation of their being was encapsulated in the statement of Deuteronomy five, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”

Jesus then applies that belief that they had in God to Himself. Don’t miss what He is saying here. He is making a massive theological claim. There is no way to escape the divinity of Jesus in the Upper Room Discourse or in the whole of John’s Gospel. The Apostle is obviously fixed on displaying Jesus’ deity. He begins the book this way, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Because of the undeniable testimony of Scripture, we are people who worship the Lord Jesus Christ as God. Jesus says, “You believe in God, believe also in Me.” You see, “Faith in Jesus is not something additional to faith in God” (Morris). Christ puts Himself in the very place of God, as the object of trust and worship. “Faith in the Father in any meaningful sense is impossible apart from faith in” Christ (Morris). As that first chapter says, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” This is truly a high Christology…

A Place for You [2-6]
First and foremost, the disciples had to trust Jesus. He was their Master and Teacher. Second, those men had to trust that they would have a permanent place with Jesus. This night had become very unstable in their estimation. There was awkwardness during the meal and Jesus went on to predict that there would be betrayal and denial from among members of their group. They were disoriented at best. The best thing to do would be to stick close to Jesus, right? Well, Jesus had already told them, “I shall be with you a little while longer” and “where I am going, you cannot come.” Without Jesus they would be deprived of a place in the world. In an extended response to Peter’s question in 13:36 “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus assures them that there is plenty of room for them in the Father’s house. The “Father’s house” must refer to heaven and the word “mansion” is better translated with another word such as “room.” Thus, Jesus is telling them that there is plenty of room in heaven for all of them. In that culture, the father’s house would be the original structure and when the sons married they would then build on more and more rooms. As a result there would be one very large house with many dwelling places for the children.

If this wasn’t the case, Jesus would not have told them that it is. Jesus never questions how things are beyond this world. He knows exactly how things are. He speaks of the Father’s house with full confidence. What preparations needed to be made? After pondering on this for over a week, I am confident that Jesus was talking about the cross. How did He prepare a place for us in heaven? Ephesians 1:7 tells us, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” The cross prepared your permanent dwelling in heaven with the Father.

This casts the picture in our minds of God leading Israel to the Promised Land. Moses testified in Deuteronomy 1:29-33 “Then I said to you, ‘Do not be terrified, or afraid of them. The LORD your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.’ Yet, for all that, you did not believe the LORD your God, who went in the way before you to search out a place for you to pitch your tents, to show you the way you should go, in the fire by night and in the cloud by day.” As God prepared the way for Israel and the place in the Promised Land, likewise Jesus has prepared a permanent dwelling in the presence of the Father for each of those who trust in the sacrifice that He made on the cross.

“His return is as certain as His departure” (Tenney). As Jesus says pointedly, “I WILL COME AGAIN.” There is no wavering in that statement. If Jesus is going to prepare a place for His own, then surely He will ensure that they move in! The children of God will be with Him.

You can read all sorts of materials from other so-called religions on the subject of the hereafter, but I am here to tell you that the Bible has a unique doctrine of eternal life. Here are a couple examples: Islam teaches that in paradise each will have an innumerable amount of virgins and Mormonism teaches that each will become a god in the hereafter with several wives. This is not where we are going and these so-called religions do not teach the way. Christianity is exclusive, which has taken a lot of heat in recent times. The New Testament teaches that we are going to a unique place where everyone will not be and that there is only one way to get there.

Jesus gives us that famous line in verse six in response to Thomas’ question in verse five. He says, “I am the way…” Do you want to talk about the path to heaven or the road to heaven? There is only ONE way: the Lord Jesus Christ. This phrase “the way, the truth, and the life” is what the Jewish rabbis would call the Scriptures. Jesus makes an authoritative statement that we must deal with this morning. There is no indecisiveness on His part, but is there on your part? Either you believe this statement today or you do not. He says that He is the way, are you following Him? He says that He is the truth, do you believe Him? He says that He is the life, are you connected to the source? Hear the Lord speak this day and believe! May your spirit come alive this morning! A road must have a destination and this one leads to the Father. God is our reward- our happiness, our peace, our eternal joy. He gives life to all who trust in the Son.

You Know Him and have Seen Him [7-10]
Jesus is the image of the invisible God. He has declared the Father to us, though no man has ever seen God. He is the Word who became flesh. Yet, these disciples could not come to this realization. I can not be dogmatic about it, but I feel agony in Jesus’ response to Philip’s statement. He says, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me?” No one can show you who God is other than the Man, Jesus Christ. If you know Him, then you know the Father. This is what Christianity teaches: if you are a friend of Jesus, then you are a friend of God. If you trust Him, then you trust the Father. If you worship Him, you worship the Father. Once again, “Faith in the Father in any meaningful sense is impossible apart from faith in” Christ (Morris).

The Works that I Do [11-12]
Even if the disciples could not get a full grasp of what Jesus was talking about, they could believe Him just on the basis of what they had seen Him do. He had done mighty works among them. It would be very difficult to not believe if you had seen Him still the sea, walk on water, feed a crowd of thousands, heal the crippled, and so much more. So Jesus says, “…or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.” Now, in verse twelve, Jesus makes a promise. All the works He had done will be done by those who believe in Him. And He even extends it farther: “…and greater than these he will do…” How is that possible? “…I go to My Father.” Christ’s ministry on earth was very short in length. He had done many mighty works in only three years, but His disciples would work for many years more. They would not do greater quality works, but greater works in quantity.

Ask in My Name [13-14]
It is important to note that Jesus links the great works they would do to prayer. This is exactly what He told them in Mark nine. After failing to heal a boy of demon possession the disciples ask their Master, “Why could we not cast it out?” Jesus responds, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer.” Prayer is a continuing attitude of reliance on Christ. The disciples would not be able to do anything by relying on themselves and most definitely not for selfish reasons. They did not have the power to do miracles in and of themselves. Their source was God Almighty. The same can be said of us. If we are to do anything good in this world, anything that is productive and beneficial, we must rely on Jesus Christ.

Our Lord says, “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” What is it to ask in His name? Is it to say in Jesus’ name at the end of our prayers? Will that guarantee us that our prayer will be heard and approved? I think it is important to say that when praying, but I also think that Jesus means much more by this phrase. We have talked about this before. What does a name mean?
In ancient cultures, and in ours to some degree, a persons name meant everything. It was who they were. When I say the name “Jesus” you should immediately think of all the things that make Him who He is: the Word become flesh, the preacher, the teacher, the healer, the friend, the gentle one, the wrathful one, the advocate, the sinless sacrifice, the life, and on and on.

To pray in His name is to pray in accordance with His person. It is kind-of-like what Paul says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…” If you ask in anything in accordance with His words, attitude, humility, selflessness, person, He will do it!

These verses cover a lot of subjects. We may even be on overload by this time, but the main point is very simple. This is what you need to know: Trust in Christ.

Trust that there is a permanent place for you in heaven, purchased by the blood of Christ.
Trust that Christ has shown you the Father; know Him and you know God.
Trust in the works that He has done. He has done a mighty work in you.
And finally, trust in His name. Pray with all that you have in accordance with His person.

Day after day, moment after moment rely on Him and you will be safe.