In preparation for prayer meeting… July 22, 2018
1-3: In these verses Jesus calls His disciples to have faith before their trial, since soon Jesus must face the cross. Verses 2-3 teach us about he assurance of our salvation. This is the greatest gift that we can ever receive. Just like in Luke 20:10 Jesus tells His disciples that they should rejoice not that the spirits submit themselves to the disciples, but rather that their names are written in the book of life. Jesus says that there are many mansions (not just rooms), where He will come to gather His people. Projecting forward to the end of time that where He is, there will we also be.
4-7: Jesus tells His disciples that they also know where He is going and that they also know they way. However, Thomas displays his hardness of understanding of where and in what way Jesus is going. In verse 6 Jesus says one of the most profound statements of the Gospels. Jesus is the truth, the life, and the way. He is the Alpha and the Omega (Rev. 1:8), the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Jesus was with the Father at creation (John 1), but He will also be there at the end. He is also the Way. Following Jesus is the way. That is why Jesus also commands His disciples to do His commandments, if they truly love Him. One can only know God by knowing Jesus, the Son. If we have seen Jesus, we have also seen the Father. There is no salvation outside of Jesus. But Jesus is enough, to get us through from the beginning to the end. Jesus is the way, and the only way.
8-12: Now it is Phillip’s turn to express his hardness of understanding and doubt. He also does not understand how Jesus is the way. Jesus deals with Phillip’s little faith just as He did when John the Baptist was doubting in prison. Just as in Mt. 11:5 Jesus mentions the works that the Father has done through Him (the lame walk, the blind see, etc.). God has done so many wonderful things since the beginning of time that we have no reason to doubt or to have fear. The one who believes in Jesus shall do even greater things than what He has done on earth. Calvin explains it this way, that after He ascends into Heaven He shall continue to work (e.g. at Pentecost, Acts 2), through His believers, diffused through the church.
13-15: Jesus reassures us that whatsoever we ask in His name, He shall give to us. This He does do that the Father may be glorified in the Son. We must have faith that God will give us our requests, because He is more than willing to help His people in whatever need they have. However, as verse 15 points out, we must ask it with an obedient heart. God will not bless rebellion, He will not bless the greedy who look upon Him only as a slot machine. We must first seek the kingdom of God, and then all these things will be added unto us (Mt. 6:33).
16-18: Lastly Jesus speaks more word of comfort. Namely that He will leave not leave us by ourselves but will leave another Comforter. Just as the son of God comforts us by His sacrifice on the cross, so will the other Comforter be with us, and will abide with us forever. He is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, Who will guide us unto all truth (John 18:38). Again, Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the way, the truth and the life. In all these verses we can see how the three persons of the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy spirit all work together to comfort and guide God’s people.
With this testimony and great reason for trust in God, let us now turn to Him in prayer and ask humbly, yet boldly for our needs.