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The events of John 14 take place in the hours leading up to Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion. These are the last, crucial hours that Jesus spent with His disciples. As He worked to reassure them, Jesus told the apostles that He was going to God and would return to bring them to God, 14.1-3.
But the disciples were confused, as evidenced by Thomas’ question in 14.5 and Philip’s statement in 14.8. While the disciples had some knowledge of who God was, it was limited. They were filled with doubt, uncertainty, and fear. Jesus reassured them that if they knew Him, they know God. The underlying principle through John 14.1-14 is that Jesus is God.
Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father,’ John 14.9. Jesus not only testified to who He was, but this fact was communicated by the inspired apostolic writers. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power, Hebrews 1.3a. Paul that Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, Colossians 1.15, 2.9.
Christians are being transformed into the image of Christ, Romans 8.29. As we do, we become more like our Father. As members of His royal family, we are expected to glorify our Father. To learn how to do this, we must look to Jesus and follow His example, so that (we) might follow in his steps, 1 Peter 2.21b. What did Jesus teach us about His Father? How can we become more like the Father?
Jesus Illuminated His Father Through Teaching
Nothing that Jesus spoke was by His own authority. As Jesus taught inside the temple during the Feast of Booths He referenced the source of His teaching. He said, My teaching is not mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory, but the One who seeks the glory of Him who sent Him is true, and in Him there is no falsehood, John 7.16-18. Jesus’ entire mission was to bring glory to His Father. There was not one hint of selfishness in the Savior. Every word He spoke revealed His Father’s will. If we wish to know more about God, we need to closely examine what Jesus said.
What can we learn from the statements of Jesus in John 8.28, 38, and 40?
If we heed the words of Jesus, what will that bring? See John 12.49-50.
Today, if we wish to help those in a dark world see God, we need to hold up the words of Jesus. Every word He spoke should be met with careful examination. Do we see God in His teaching on the Sermon on the Mount? In the way He forgave sin? WIth the way He hurt and experienced grief over the unbelief of the Jews? Do we share His view on the repugnant and vile character of sin?
Jesus Illuminated His Father Through Works
In John 9, Jesus exited the temple and came upon a man who had been blind from birth. Jesus spat on the ground and made mud with His saliva. Then He anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. The man returned with healthy eyesight, 9.6-7. This was an incredible miracle, so much so, that many were astonished. After being questioned by the Pharisees about being healed on the Sabbath, the formerly blind man testified to the power of Jesus: If this man were not from God, he could do nothing, 9.33. There was no doubt that what Jesus did was from God. What we see is a God who lives to make life new. Literally, the man was hopelessly blind. He was destined to spend the rest of his life unable to provide for himself, depending on the charity of others. Now, due to Jesus’ compassion, mercy, and love – the man was essentially given new life. Set free from the bonds of blindness, he could now go forward glorifying God by the new opportunity he had.
John 5.30-47 contains an interesting story about the works of Jesus. For the works that the Father has given Me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about Me that the Father has sent Me, John 5.36. Every action, every miracle, every decision that Jesus made was done for a distinct purpose: illuminate His Father.
Read John 10.22-42. In whose name did Jesus work? See 10.25.
What was the purpose of Jesus’ work? See 10.38b.
If We Want to Know God, We Must Look to Jesus
How strong is our commitment to be like Jesus? As His disciple, we must become like our Teacher, Luke 6.40. Do we have the commitment of Paul? But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead, Philippians 3.7-11.
Regular self examination is necessary. How did Jesus live? What was His character? What was His focus? Did He live for Himself? How did He demonstrate kindness and compassion? How did he react to sin? The answers to all of these questions shows us who God is. Be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God, Ephesians 5.1-2. Make this the top priority in your life. This is accomplished by imitating Jesus, 1 Corinthians 11.1. Are we committed to making a decision to reflect Jesus in every choice? Every day?
When we reflect Jesus, we become a partaker in an incredible promise. In John 14 when Jesus’ responded to Philip’s question, He did not give him a sign. He called for Phillip to strengthen his faith. Do you not believe…., 14.10a. Christianity is all about faith. Whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father, 14.12. While this passage has primary application to the 12, there are some applications for modern Christians. What would be greater than the miracles worked by the apostles? Well, consider the spiritual work that has been going on since the day of Pentecost. Think of the power of the gospel as it has spread around the world, touching life after life. This is our work! Think of the power of prayer as disciples lift themselves and the lives of those around them before the throne. Think of the power of encouragement as we inspire and support those around us on our journey to heaven. Think of the way God has worked to place you where you are in order to bring glory to Him in the best way you can. He is working His purposes in you. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen, Ephesians 3.20-21.
For Thought and Reflection
- What are some ways you can strengthen your commitment to become a better imitator of God?
- Describe Paul’s commitment to know Jesus. What can you learn from this?
- How are you currently allowing God to reflect through your life with:
- The way you regard others?
- The way you share Jesus with others?
- The way you treat your family?
- Today’s lesson has helped me spiritually by:
- How Do People See Me?
- What Type of Legacy Are You Building?
- Serving God from the Heart
- 10/28/2012 - Lesson 08: How Jesus Prepared Others
- Building Your Spiritual Legacy
- No Authority Except from God
- Leave a Legacy
- Beware How You Walk
- The Transfiguration