1.  “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

The Lord, in the previous chapter, had said some things to His eleven disciples that had disturbed them greatly.  He had revealed that one of them would betray Him, and though somehow they had failed to connect that to Judas, it still would have weighed heavily on them.  He had talked about leaving them, and that where He went they could not come.  These were men who had given up their lives that they had had before to follow Him, and they were prepared to keep on doing so for the rest of their lives.  To hear that He was leaving them would have been a terrible shock, and something they were not at all prepared for.  Then, finally, the Lord had revealed to Peter that he was going to deny he knew the Lord three times before the rooster crowed that morning.  Peter was an enthusiastic follower of the Lord, and such a statement would have filled all the disciples with dismay.  Yet now the Lord speaks to comfort these men whom He had chosen and that He loved.  He tells them to not let their hearts be troubled.  What a command to give, in the light of such disturbing news as He had been giving them!  But then He tells them why they should not let their hearts be troubled.  They should believe in God, and also believe in Him.  Notice again the equality Christ makes between Himself and God.  They should believe in the One as much as the Other.  And that, their belief in God and in Jesus Christ, is what should keep their hearts from being troubled even in this darkest of times.

2.  “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

This exact phrase, “my Father’s house,” only occurs twice in the New Testament.  The only other occurrence of the word besides this one is also in the book of John, chapter 2 verse 16.

And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”

Here, Christ speaks of His Father’s house.  And here, what His Father’s house is is plain.  What He calls the Father’s house here is the temple of God in Jerusalem.  There just can be no doubt about this.  So if it meant the temple of God in this passage, it must mean the temple in John 14:2 as well.  This is a general rule we should keep in mind as we interpret Scripture: that if the meaning of a phrase is unclear in one place, we need only find it in another place where its meaning is clear, and thus we can establish what it means.  It is not right to take an unclear occurrence and simply interpret it as meaning whatever we want it to mean, as many do here.  They want this passage to be telling us about heaven, and so they bring heaven into this passage with little regard for whether or not it fits, either logically, dispensationally, or according to the laws of proper interpretation.  Yet for those of us who seek the truth, the meaning of this phrase here cannot be questioned.  Christ was not going to heaven to prepare a place for them there.  Rather, Christ was going to prepare a place for them in His temple.

The word “mansions” here is the Greek word mone.  This word occurs only twice in the Scriptures.  The second occurrence is in John 14:23, which reads:

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

The word for “home” here is the Greek word mone.  It does not mean a mansion, or even a home.  The word carries the idea of the place where one carries out his business, like our English word “office.”  What the Lord was saying here is that there are many “offices” in the temple, and the disciples would have one of them because He was going to prepare a place for them.

Where was He going to prepare this place?  He was going to the cross.  And it was there He would prepare a place in the temple for His eleven disciples.  In the past, generally only priests or Levites had a place there.  Yet once Christ had paid the penalty for sin for all men, the way would be cleared for any Israelite, no matter what tribe he was from, to have a place in God’s holy temple.  The place that these men would have was prepared for them, not by Christ going to heaven, but by Him paying for their sins on the cross.

3.  “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

Now He reveals another truth to them: that if He goes to prepare a place for them (which we know He did!) then He will come again and receive them unto Himself.  And He did do this.  He came to them the very day of His resurrection!  In John 20:19 we read of this, that the same day He first appeared to Mary, that that very evening He appeared to His disciples in the room where they were gathered for fear of the Jews.  Then, in verse 22, we read,

22.  And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Here we see that He does receive them unto Himself, making them recipients of His Holy Spirit and therefore His representatives on earth.  Now, it might be true that He was only with them a short time after His resurrection, and that He will not forever be with them, that where He is, there they may be also, until the millennium and His final return.  Yet certainly we cannot pretend that He did not come again to them, or that He did not receive them unto Himself at that time, for He certainly did!  And, for part of forty days at least, where He was, there they were also!

For a fuller discussion of verses 2 and 3, see my message on “In My Father’s House.”

4.  “And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

They knew this (or should have known it) because He had revealed it to them.  He was going to His death, and the way He was getting there was through arrest, trial, and crucifixion.  This is as He had revealed it to them, and so they knew it.

5.  Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”

Thomas protests that they don’t know this.  They don’t know where He is going, and so how can they know the way?  Thomas treats this as if the Lord is taking a journey, and thinks that if they know the way then they can follow Him.

6.  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.

The Lord had already told them that He was going to His death.  He also had told them that where He was going, they could not come.  Thus, Thomas’ question was not relevant, and so the Lord did not answer it.  Instead, He pointed out to them this great truth, and one that is so important for us all to realize.  He told that the He is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.

In Greek, there are two “and”s here, although in our translations there is usually only one.  This is a Biblical figure of speech called “Polysyndeton” or “Many Ands” by The Companion Bible.  This figure is used when many important elements in a list are all preceded by “and,” and it is used to emphasize each member of the list and to confirm the importance of each.  It is never used when there is a climax to a list, such as when the last element is the most important, but only when all the elements are equally important and equally to be emphasized.

To illustrate this, suppose I would say to you, “I had the strangest thing happen to me today.”  You then asked me, “What was that?”  I replied, “I went to the gas station, got gas, and then I was mugged by a gang of aliens!”  Obviously, in this list, the important points are not that I went to the gas station, nor that I got gas.  The important part of this list is the fact that I was mugged by a gang of aliens.  Thus, this list would not be one that would use the figure “Many Ands” in the Bible, for the last element is the most important.  This figure is only used when each element of a list is of equal importance, and so it is used to give each member equal emphasis.  Here in John 14:6, the figure emphasizes the importance of each one of these truths: that Jesus Christ is the way, and the truth, and the life.

At the time of the Reformation, this verse was used by many to prove that the way to come to the Father God was not through the Catholic Church and the Pope, as was taught by many at that time, but rather was to come through Jesus Christ.  People were persecuted, and some even died, standing up for the truth that the Lord Jesus and He alone is the way, and the truth, and the life.  Praise God that we are free to teach this, to spread it to others, and to believe it without fear!  May we never cease to be grateful for the fact that we know the only Way to God, the only Source of truth, and the only Giver of life!

Many there are who try to come to the Father in a multitude of ways besides through Jesus Christ.  Some there are who try to come through church attendance.  Others try to come by good works.  Some try to come by religion.  Others try to come by a life of self-denial and meditation.  But whatever the means used, none are acceptable to God.  There is only one way to come to Him, and that is through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Let us never forget this, and let us always work to spread this knowledge to those who do not know, or who have not heard.

7.  “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”

I cannot say, “If you have known me, you have also known my dad.”  I could say this somewhat guardedly if I was so much like my dad in personality that this could almost be true.  Yet even then this would not be the fullness of truth.  Yet in the case of Jesus Christ and His Father, this is the truth.  To know Him is to know His Father.  There is no difference between knowing the two of them, for they are truly one.

Then the Lord Jesus reveals the truth to them: that from now on, they do know the Father, and have seen Him.  What a privilege was theirs!

8.  Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”

Philip gets excited here.  He seems to think from the Lord’s words that He is about to show them some great revelation of the Father.  Thus, he encourages Him to do so, and indicates that a revelation like this would surely be enough to satisfy them.

9.  Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip?  He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

As we saw back in chapter 1 of John, Philip was one of the first disciples called to follow the Lord.  Thus, he had indeed been with the Lord a long time.  Yet in all this time, the Lord asks him, has he not known Him?  For He reveals here a great truth: that one who has seen Him has seen the Father!

Many people get the idea in their heads that God is some old man dressed in white with a long, flowing beard.  They imagine God sitting on a throne up in heaven, and the Lord Jesus, a much younger-looking man, sitting on another throne next to Him.  Yet this is not at all the picture the Bible presents to us.  The fact is that, according to the Scriptures, no man has seen God at any time, as John himself told us back in John 1:18.  We cannot see God, even if we were to go to heaven.  He is not an old man sitting on a throne.  In fact, you cannot see Him at all.  Yet, as John goes on to inform us in John 1:18, “The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”  Thus we see the truth that Christ reveals here: that to see Him is to see the Father.  There is nothing else we could see if we would go to heaven.  All we could see there would be Jesus Christ.  To see Him is to see all of God there is to see, for the rest of God is invisible.  Thus one who has seen Jesus Christ has seen the Father.  For this reason, Philip’s request was just plain wrong.  They didn’t need to be shown the Father.  They had already seen Him, for they had already seen Jesus Christ!

10.  “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?  The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.

Now He questions Philip.  Doesn’t He believe that Jesus Christ is in the Father, and the Father is in Jesus Christ?  And I would ask the same thing.  Do we not believe this?  For Jesus Christ is an extension of the Father.  He comes from God, and He is in God, and God is in Him.  There is no distinction we can draw between Him and God, for the two are in each other.

Having made this staggering statement about Himself, the Lord immediately goes on to confirm the truth of His words.  There are many who have falsely claimed to be God, either out of seeking to lie and deceive, or out of insanity.  Yet the Lord Jesus was not like these, for the words that He spoke were not spoken on His Own authority, but rather on the authority of the Father Who dwells in Him.  And again He makes the crucial connection that proves that this is so: the connection between His words and His works.  It was His works, works that so manifestly could only come from God, that proved the authority of His words.  As the Father Who dwells in Him did the works, so the Father Who dwells in Him gave the words.  The things that Christ did proved His claim.  And they can prove them to us as well, as we read His Word and take them by faith!

11.  “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

The Lord urges them to believe Him that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him.  We might imagine a little pool of water that is connected to and a part of a great chain of lakes.  This little pool, as long as it is still connected to the great body of water that is its source, is part and parcel of that great chain of lakes.  It cannot be distinguished from it.  The water in it is the same as the water in the lakes.  If we were to take a glass of water from it, and could measure to a greater precision than any scientific measurement of the day could hope to do, we could see that water drawn from that pool caused the water level of the entire chain of lakes to lower just a little bit.  That water in the pool is in the great chain of lakes, and the water in the great chain of lakes is in the pool.  There is no difference between the two.  And the same is true of Jesus Christ and God His Father.  He is an extension out of God, just as that pool is an extension out of the great chain of lakes.  Yet He cannot be distinguished from the God Who is His source.

Again, He urges them, if they cannot believe Him simply for the words’ sake, to believe Him for the works’ sake that He did in the authority of His Father.  For those works proved that what He said was true.