We worked through John 14:1-11 this morning in Sunday School. In this opening section of the Upper Room Discourse, Jesus is interacting with His disciples. Responding to Thomas, Jesus makes the seemingly audacious claim to be the only way to the Father (meaning, the only acceptable road of salvation [14:6]). In verses nine through eleven, Jesus is reacting to Philip’s statement related to his desire to see the Father. Jesus says, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves” (14:11). Throughout this portion of Scripture, Jesus is equating Himself with God the Father. He is not denying that God is triune. Rather, He is taking every opportunity to assert His own deity. “Believe Me that I am in the Father.” In other words, Jesus is saying, “Philip, Trust Me when I say that I am God.” “Believe because of the works.” He wanted His student to recall the miraculous events that he witnessed, including the raising of Lazarus just days before (John 11). Like the other disciples, Philip was struggling. D.A. Carson wrote, “The atmosphere in the large upstairs room was tense, unhappy, uncertain” (The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus: An Exposition of John 14-17, Baker Book House, 1980). As He prepared to lay down His life for His sheep (Jn. 10:11), Jesus readied His disciples for the trauma to be experienced in the coming hours and days. As he thought the unthinkable–that Jesus was leaving–Philip was troubled in heart (14:1); he was fearful (14:27). More than anything, he needed courage (16:33). So what was Jesus’ repeated message? Believe (14:1, 11). Isn’t that same exhortation needed today? Our world is filled with tribulation (example: the Tucson shooting on Saturday). Our faith is often challenged. What will we do? Hopefully we will believe the words and the works of Jesus. We have an amazing Lord and Savior. He taught amazing things. He did amazing things. Believe with me!
Check out a great quote on the Quick Takes page.