One Way to the Father
Author: Kenneth O. Gangel
Week of July 23, 2017
In May 1981 writer William Saroyan lay dying of cancer. Picking up the phone next to his hospital bed, he dialed Associated Press and said to the reporter who answered, “Everyone has to die, but I always thought an exception would be made in my case. Now what?”
The thought of death troubles human beings and always has, even when it is not their own. Jesus had just spoken to the disciples about His death (13:33, 36), and they were troubled. Now He said to them in essence, “Stop worrying” (14:1).
The danger with troubled people is not that they will believe nothing, but that they will believe anything! To avert such loss of truth and certainty in His disciples, Jesus turned their minds to the Father. The word Father appears twenty-two times in chapter 14, and twelve of those are in the first thirteen verses. Jesus offered the personal touch of a heaven where the Father lives, personally prepared by the Son and containing enough room for all who would follow Him.
These verses teach an exclusive Gospel. No universalism, the hope that everyone will someday be in heaven, but a narrow way—salvation through Jesus alone (v. 6). Still confused, Philip wanted tangible evidence, the privilege of seeing the Father (v. 8). But that is precisely what he had seen for three and a half years; anyone who has seen Jesus has seen the Father, for They are one.
Once again John’s Gospel reminds us that believing is seeing. And such faith will be important for these men who would do even greater things than Jesus had accomplished (v. 12). How was that possible? Certainly their ministries were greater in geography, number of converts, and length of time. But the power of those ministries (and of ours as well) centered in the risen Lord and their dependence on Him.
Remember: Jesus’ wonderful promise is just as true today as it was that day: “You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it” (v. 14).