Part 1: Two ways of looking at things concerning death, the kingdom of God, and heaven.
2 When the righteous increase, the people rejoice…(3) he who loves wisdom makes his father glad…(6)…a righteous person sings and rejoices.
John 14:1-4 has been a go-to for pastors when it came time to prepare a sermon for a funeral. I have used it myself. As I read it yesterday, I saw something that I had not seen before. Let’s look:
14 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”
So, Jesus is leaving to prepare a place for the apostles (i.e. sent ones). He promised that He would come back for them when it was ready. Let’s analyze this passage using the H.E.A.R. method from my church’s new discipleship book, “Growing Up,” by Robby Gallaty.
H. – Highlight: This passage was borne witness by John as others wrote it down (see John 21:24). It was to the 11 apostles in the upper room on the day of Christ’s crucifixion (for us, it would have been the night before; their day began at sundown).
E. – Explain: Jesus was preparing His disciples for the upcoming events of crucifixion, death, and resurrection. Jesus had washed their feet, gone through the meal and His unveiling of the New Covenant, and had given them the new command of loving each other as He had loved them. Jesus was about to establish His kingdom and He wants His disciples with Him. Because of our inclusion in His priestly prayer, specifically 17:20, we can confidently say that Jesus is coming back for us, too, to take us to where He is.
A. – Apply: This passage gives me great peace in the death of loved ones and in my own eventual demise.
R. – Respond: Jesus, I live my life knowing that the hope of spending eternity with You is real and imminent.
Let’s take a look at the rest of the chapter. In 14:18, Jesus said that He would not leave them as orphans, but would come to them. Also, in 14:28, He said again that He was going away, but would come back to them. What does this mean? Jesus may have been referring to the coming of the Holy Spirit–OR… Tune in tomorrow as we look at the rest of Jesus’ discourse.
Abba, Your Word is like Aslan’s country: Over every hill is a new and larger vista. Jesus, You are like a huge, multi-faceted diamond, and every time I look at You, I see a new facet. Keep opening our eyes, Lord. We want to see You and know You ever more clearly. Amen.