Life’s circumstances can be fearful and confusing. Think of circumstances in your life that would cause you to feel this way. What if I lost my job? What if some sort of physical condition suddenly changed in my or a family member’s life? What if my church closed [hopefully church is a vital part of our weekly lives]? What if financial situations occurred that made me wonder how would we make ends meet? Fearful, confusing, the unknown, what to do would all be natural reactions to these type of circumstances. Is there encouragement when we face such things?
As I read John 14: 1-6, I realize that 11 of the 12 disciples [Judas Iscariot had already left to betray Him] of Jesus were facing these types of circumstances and were no doubt confused and fearful of what the future would hold. These brothers of ours had just celebrated the Passover meal with our Lord Jesus in the upper room. The Lord Jesus will be arrested, falsely condemned, and crucified in a matter of hours. He has been telling them all along that His hour would come to be slain of the Gentiles, rise from the dead after 3 days, and return to the Father. He says that hour is now come.
The disciples have thought all along that Jesus was a political Messiah of sorts. They expected Him to overthrow the Roman rule of Israel and establish His kingdom. They were all going to be His assistants. Remember how they argued with each other as to who would be the greatest in this kingdom? How they debated who was to sit at Jesus right hand? And now Jesus says He is leaving to go prepare a place for them? He further states that these disciples of His know where He is going! It appears they are totally bewildered as Thomas says they don’t have a clue as to what He is saying. I believe these men are afraid and confused.
Our Lord Jesus certainly knows how they feel [and how we feel] and declares that great verse in John 14:6 – “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”. Do you see the encouragement Jesus gives them in His declaration I AM? These men have heard the Lord Jesus Christ refer to Himself as being the great “I AM” of Exodus 3 on a number of occasions. The gospel of John records these for us: 6:35 – I am the Bread of Life; 8:12 – I am the Light of the World; 10:9 – I am the Door; 10:11 – I am the Good Shepherd; 10:36 – I am the Son of God; 11:25 – I am the Resurrection and the Life; 14: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; 15:1 – I am the True Vine!!! He reminds them that He will guide and care for them in every possible way. He went on to tell them that after He left, He would not leave them comfortless, but would send the Holy Spirit to indwell them and remind them of everything He taught. Do you see the emphasis He put on His Word? That is the same for us today! So, as we have daily devotions and study His Word as well as church/Sunday school attendance, we maintain a steady diet of His Word to help us handle every circumstance of life the way He says to.
We know that all 11 of these disciples, our brothers, went on to serve our Lord Jesus the rest of their lives. Be encouraged to follow their lead!