John 14:1-14 – Believe in Yeshua, the Same as God

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POSTED 06 NOVEMBER, 2017

“‘Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 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. And you know the way where I am going.’ Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?’ Yeshua said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.’ Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.’ Yeshua said to him, ‘Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.’”

reproduced from Salvation on the Line, Volume I

The discussions recorded between Yeshua and His Disciples at the Last Supper or Last Seder, prior to Yeshua’s betrayal, arrest, sentencing, and execution—are profoundly important for Bible readers approaching His relationship to the Heavenly Father, as well as His nature. That Yeshua has a very significant association with God the Father, is certainly realized in His statement, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me” (John 14:1, NRSV), which can also be rendered with, “Trust in God; trust also in Me” (TLV). Here, when encountering pisteuete eis ton Theon kai eis eme pisteuete, “you believe in – God, also in me believe” (Brown and Comfort),[1] Yeshua has definitely asked His immediate followers to express the same degree of confidence and surety in Himself, as they would the God of Israel. How would any of us be viewed, as mortal humans, if we were to ask those we were closely associated with to believe us or trust us, to the same extent as the God of the Bible? Many people would indeed consider us to be certifiably insane!

It could be conceded that “believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1b), could be stated by a supernatural, yet created figure, to express significant surety regarding a number of important activities where God could authorize a highly exalted member of the Heavenly host to oversee or superintend something limited happening on Planet Earth. However, when Yeshua speaks of returning to His Father’s House and preparing a place for His own (John 14:2-4)—whether that place or topos is viewed as some kind of dwelling, or as a future position of authority—that there are future, eschatological factors in view, nudges one in the direction of Yeshua being more than a supernatural, yet ultimately created entity. When questioned by Thomas, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” (John 14:5, RSV), Yeshua responded with something possessing extreme soteriological importance: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6, ESV.)

Yeshua’s statement of John 14:6 is correctly taken—while inclusive in the sense that all people are welcomed by the Lord into His care—as an exclusive claim of salvation only originating from Yeshua of Nazareth. The only way that any human being can experience reconciliation with God the Father, is through the atoning work of Yeshua the Messiah. The later statement of Hebrews 10:20 may be thought to parallel John 14:6, as there is “a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh.” The severe error of the ecumenical movement tends to be a gross allowance for believing that reconciliation with the Creator, can take place today among those of other religions which do not recognize the God of Israel or His Messiah as supreme—advocating an “all paths lead to God” schema.

John 14:6, when reviewed from the source text, does convey something much more than just being an exclusive claim of salvation originating from Yeshua. It unavoidably says egō eimi hē hodos kai hē alētheia kai hē zōē. As noted by Kruse, “This statement contains the sixth of seven ‘I am’ sayings with predicates in the Fourth Gospel (6:35, 48, 51; 8:12; 10:7, 9; 10:11, 14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1, 5).”[2] While there are doubtlessly aspects to be further explored regarding “the way, the truth, and the life”—all of which involve the reconciliation of mortals to their Creator—the source text of John 14:6 employs the egō eimi or “I am” formula of the burning bush theophany of Exodus 3:14. The fact that Yeshua bid His Disciples to believe in Him, the same as God proper—and now He can forthrightly tell Thomas, “I AM the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6, PME)—serves together as strong evidence of Yeshua’s integration into the Divine Identity.

To be sure, Yeshua does not act as an independent agent, all alone and on His own. Yeshua informs the Disciples how “If you have come to know Me, you will know My Father also. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him” (John 14:7, TLV). Yeshua is perplexed, particularly at Philip, as He has been present with the Disciples for a number of years, and they have not yet realized that if they have seen Him, then they have seen the Father: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9, NIV). Yeshua further specifies how He and the Heavenly Father are interconnected, mainly highlighting how the words He speaks are those of His Father: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak from Myself, but the Father abiding in Me does His works” (John 14:10, PME). It is fair to recognize that the Son is the Father’s Agent on Planet Earth; but it also has to be recognized “that I [am] in the Father and the Father in me is” (Brown and Comfort),[3] hoti egō en tō patri kai ho patēr en emoi estin.

Yeshua directs His Disciples, in that they must “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves” (John 14:11, NIV). Remember, the Disciples did not have the knowledge of having witnessed Yeshua’s resurrection and triumph over death at this point, so Yeshua highlighting the great works He had performed, was imperative for them to maintain some level of trust and belief in Him, with traumatic events just about to transpire. And, Yeshua further says that as He goes back to the Father in Heaven, there will be greater works witnessed—which they will perform—in His name (John 14:12-13). The fact that Yeshua does say, “If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it” (John 14:14, NRSV)—when He could just as easily have directed the Disciples to ask for anything in the name or authority of the Heavenly Father, Adonai or YHWH—serves as an indicator of how closely intertwined and inseparable the Father and Son indeed are. Here, the One who has not come on His own (John 14:10), nevertheless does tell His Disciples to ask Him, in His own name, for miracles to take place (John 14:14). And, such will bring glory to the Father via the Son (John 14:13).


NOTES

[1] Brown and Comfort, 379.

[2] Kruse, John, 297.

[3] Brown and Comfort, 380.

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