Jesus’ Last Words to His Disciples – The Way, The Truth, The Life

Text — John 13:31-14:14


  1. Introduction
    1. After Judas leaves the room to go to the High Priest and betray Jesus, Jesus has an intimate conversation with the eleven. The crux of the conversation is that He is going away, back to the Father. There are four themes that he keeps returning to:
      1. He is going back to the Father
      2. Believe in Him
      3. Love one another
      4. Ask anything and I will do it
    2. Because these themes are interwoven and repeated we will take them up in detail when it seems most natural. We may neglect a theme in one exposition, but expand on it in another.
    3. Let us look more closely at what Jesus has to say to not only the Apostles, but to us.
  2. Exposition of the text
    1. The New Commandment, John 13:31-35
      1. Verses 31-32 are the Jewish poetic device we call a chiasmus:
        a Now the Son of Man is glorified
        b and God is glorified in him.
        b’ If God is glorified in him,
        a’   then God will glorify the Son in himself,
        and will glorify him at once.

        1. The purpose of the device is for emphasis and to hold the verse in memory.
        2. So Judas leaves and the plan to execute Jesus is set into motion. Jesus says, I am going to be glorified and will glorify the Father and the Father will be glorified and will glorify the Son.
        3. But the reference is that He and the Father will be glorified by His death and resurrection.
      2. 33 He states plainly that He is going away and they cannot come now.
      3. 34-35Because He will not be among them He gives them a “new” commandment.
        1. In what sense is this a new commandment? In Lev. 19:18, which Jesus sites as the Second Great Commandment is “love your neighbor as yourself.”
        2. What is new about it is that the way people would know that we are his disciples is that we love one another. Not simply that we love one another, but we love one another like Jesus loved us. He laid down his life for his friends.
      4. Peter’s Question John 13:36-14:6
        1. You say you are going. Why can’t I follow you now?
          1. Verses 14:1-4
          2. Answer, you can’t come now, but you will come later, trust me!
        2. First reason for going: 14:1-4 to prepare a place for them
        3. Second reason for going: 14:12 in going “ask anything in my name and I will do it.
        4. Third Reason for going: 15:5-11 so that He can send the Holy Spirit
      5. What Peter and the disciples failed to understand was that Jesus had to go back to the Father. He had accomplished what the Father sent Him to do. However, their mission was not completed. They could not come until they had finished the work they were called to do.
      6. Verse 14:2 “In my Father’s House are many rooms . . .
        1. Jesus is drawing on a familiar practice of his disciples from Galilee, especially those from Capernaum.
        2. When a couple became engaged, he went to his father’s house and added a room for him and his wife.
          1. As he was making the living quarters ready, the bride was preparing herself for the wedding.
          2. When they were finished then she came into town with all of her bridesmaids in a joyful procession to the canopy where they were wed.
        3. Jesus says to them, I’m going a way to prepare a place for you so that where I am you may be also.
      7. Thomas’ Question: We don’t know where you’re going, how can we know the way? Vv. 14:5-7
        1. Verse 6a Jesus’ reply: “I am the way; I am also the truth and I am also the life.
          1. The problem with Thomas is that he failed to grasp what Jesus had plainly told them not only on this occasion, but on other occasions before, he was going back to the Father. The only way back to the Father was to leave this life. Peter seems to have grasped this when he declared, “I am ready to die for you.”
        2. Verse 6 The way to the Father is through Jesus Christ.
          1. We are so used to literal language it’s difficult to understand what Jesus is saying. But it is a comprehensive way of saying, “Believe that I lived, died and resurrected so that you can be reconciled with the Father. You will live a life of faith until you come to the Father. Then your faith will be lost in sight.
        3. No one comes to the Father except through me.
          1. Many chaff at these exclusive claims, but we must take them seriously.
          2. Abrahamic faith: Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness.
          3. Cornelius’ faith: God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. Acts 10:34-35
        4. Philips question: “Show us the Father.”
          1. It is here that we begin to see the Trinity. Jesus came. His actions, His words, His character all reveal what God is like – we can see Him.
  3. Conclusion
    1. The question confronting us is do we trust Him?
      1. If we believe there will be certain actions and attitudes that follow of necessity.
      2. Are you on the way loving your fellow Christians; keeping Christ’s commandments? Or are you self-deceived in thinking that you can pick and choose what you will do and obey and still go to that place prepared for you.