Author: Ron Graham
Jesus says that he is going back to heaven to prepare a place for his disciples; and that he will come back again to take them there (John 14:1-6).
Life can be very troublesome; and if not troublesome, then tedious. It is normal for us to look for what lends meaning to our lives, and gives satisfaction. For some reason, most people refuse to look to Jesus to give meaning to life and peace to their hearts; they look elsewhere. When we listen to Jesus, however, we find the answer to our quest. He encourages us to replace the anxieties and confusion in our hearts with a simple but absolute belief in him. His promises give meaning and purpose to our lives, greater and higher than anyone or anything else can offer. His promises are absolutely real and true.
Jesus says, "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me" (John 14:1). Here Jesus makes himself equal with God. He is implying that anyone who believes in God must, to be consistent, believe also in him. Jesus isn't suggesting that we have two faiths, one in God and the other in Jesus. Rather, he is telling us to have a complete faith, not a half faith —faith in God but lacking faith in God’s Son.
To those who say to Jesus, “Why should we believe in you?” Jesus gives no answer in this verse (John 14:1) other than the implication that he is equal with God. But further down Jesus said, "Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me, or else believe me because of the very works that I do" (John 14:11). The miracles that Jesus wrought proved that he is God’s Son and is worthy of our faith and trust.
The result of believing in Jesus is peace. Our hearts are no longer troubled and anxious. We may have sorrows, we may have uncertainties in life, but we have the compassion and power of Jesus to help us through, and knowing this gives us peace and hope and strength.
On another occasion, Jesus said, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29).
Christ’s promise of peace reaches far beyond this life, and into eternity. He assures us that he left this earth and went to his Father’s house in heaven to prepare a place for us. "In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you; I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2).
This wondrous promise gives our lives meaning. Instead of viewing this life as a few decades in which to accomplish something and then die forever, we understand that this life is a short though difficult journey to an eternal home where we can accomplish everything good and satisfying, and die never. As Jesus said to Martha, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live" (John 11:25). Jesus also said, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16).
To know that there is a place for us in God’s own eternal home —well what more do we need to feel fulfilled and at peace?
To believe in this promise of a place in our Father’s house, it helps for us to know how we are going to get there safely. Jesus assures us that he himself will personally return, gather us up to him, and escort us to our new home. "Since I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:3).
Jesus says that nobody can come to the Father except through him. "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me" (John 14:6). Unless we are in that blessed gathering that Jesus himself escorts to heaven on that last day, we have no other way of getting there and will never see our Father’s house. How do we become one of those who are assured of this escort to heaven? Jesus himself tells us what is required, as follows...