How Can We Know the Way?
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: In what is known as the Farewell Discourse, Jesus encourages His disciples by telling them that they should believe in Him just as they would believe in God the Father. He informs them that He is going away to prepare a place for them, and He will return so they can be with Him forever. When Thomas asks for directions to this place, Jesus responds by saying He Himself is the way, the truth, and the life. Philip then seeks added comfort by requesting to see the Father, to which Jesus points to Himself as distinct from but no less divine than the Father. With these words of confidence and comfort, Jesus then informs the disciples even in His absence, they will continue His ministry in ways that surpass what they have already seen. Jesus’ words thus offer comfort to us as well, as we serve Him and wait for His return.
01. Jesus comforts His disciples with the promise of preparing a place for them.
02. Jesus confronts His disciples with the claim of divine authority.
03. Jesus challenges His disciples with the call to grow in their faith until He returns.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. Why were the disciples troubled over Jesus’ departure? How could they expect to face the future without Him? In what ways does Jesus comfort their troubled hearts? How does His comfort to them apply to us today as we face troubles in the world?
2. One of the things that Jesus has been doing since His ascension is preparing a place for us. Where is this place? What is this place like? See Hebrews 12:22 and Revelation 21-22 for further insight. How is this place better than the world in which we live? Note that Jesus promises to come again. What event does the Bible use to describe the return of Jesus? See 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 for further insight.
3. Consider Philip’s question and Jesus’ response in John 14:8-11. Why did Philip want additional confirmation about Jesus’ claims? What did he misunderstand about Jesus’ identity and authority? Are there things about Jesus that you still do not understand even though you have been a disciple of Jesus for a long time (verse 9)?
4. How does John 14:6 summarize the gospel? In what way can you use this passage to start a conversation with a non-Christian regarding the claims of Jesus? What other claims does Jesus make in this section that can also be used to start a conversation with a non-Christian? For example, what is the underlying basis of Jesus’ claim in verse 1? What is the underlying basis of His claim in verse 3? How do such claims challenge the worldview of someone who thinks all religions are equal?
5. What is your first take on the claims of Jesus in John 14:12-14? Do these promises, when read on the surface level, seem to correspond with reality? What does Jesus actually mean by these claims? How has the gospel expanded farther and wider since Jesus has gone to the Father? What does it mean to ask for something in Jesus’ name—is it just the final thing we say before we say, “Amen,” or does it mean something more?