“Don’t be troubled, but trust me because I, myself, will be your dwelling, and I’ll get you there.” John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself.” I think that’s probably the most important statement in the paragraph of John 14:1–7. “And where I am, you may be also. I will take you to myself.” This shifts the focus of this paragraph from place to person.
What’s the essence of heaven? I don’t mean the totality; I just mean the essence. Answer: the immediate presence of Jesus. Or ask it the other way around. What is the immediate presence of Jesus? Heaven. “I go this night through death for you. I go on Easter Sunday, out of death for you that I might be your dwelling place. I will become your room. I am your room in your Father’s house and I am not yet prepared for that.”
“You don’t need to be troubled. You don’t need to have an unholy turmoil.”
“I must go prepare a place for you so that, when I come, I can take you to me — and where I am, you will be. I must go prepare one who can intercede with his blood. I must go prepare one who has no death anymore — not the slightest vulnerability any longer to any pain or any death.
“I must become that in the next three days, or I will not be a place for you to abide forever. I must pay all your debt and remove all your wrath, so you have the safest room in the universe, in the presence of a flaming, holy God who wills to be your Daddy. So I’ve got work to do tonight and I will do it. I will become. I will prepare. I will prepare me. I will prepare me in these three days and I will come and take you to me — your place.”
Don’t use this Scripture to show that when Jesus comes back at the second coming, he will take you to heaven. It does not say that. It says, “I will come again and will take you to myself.” And where will Jesus be? He will descend with a shout, with the archangel’s cry. We will rise to meet him in the air. He will come and establish his kingdom on the earth, and we will be with him forever in heaven. We’ll be here and eventually the earth will be transformed into a new heaven and a new earth and we, with risen bodies, will live forever in his presence. And our room will be here because he will be here.
“So Peter, Philip, Thomas, trust me. Trust the Father. You don’t need to be troubled tonight. You don’t need to have an unholy turmoil. I’m going to get ready for you and I’ll come. I will come, and I will see to it that you’re mine.”
Now, those arguments for my being free from unholy turmoil seem far away, like death or the second coming. And right now, I don’t know how to deal with my kids. I don’t know what to do with this marriage where there’s so little trust and affection. I don’t have a job. My faith is failing. My health is failing. I’m lonely. I’m not quite connecting with these arguments about the second coming and maybe death when he’s going to take me to be with him. That’s good news for that, but is there anything tonight?
So now, Jesus does something surprising, which he does over and over. John 14:8: “Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.’” He didn’t say, “I hope I get to see the Father at the second coming,” but “Would you show us the Father now?” And then he says that amazing statement, “That would be enough.” That’s the same word as in 2 Corinthians 12:9, where Christ says to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you.” That’s the feel of this word. “If you just show us the Father right now, we’ll make it through the night. That’s enough.”
“I will be with you always, and not just at my return.”
“Don’t be troubled, Philip, or anyone else. Don’t be troubled. Trust me, because the very Father who has a place for you in his house, where his children live, is with you now in this room and when you go home tonight.”
John 14:7–11 make something crystal clear because it repeats it six times in different words. I’m going to read all six of them to you, and by the time I’m done reading all six, you’ll get the point.
“If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.” (John 14:7)
“From now on you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:7)
“Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip?’” (John 14:9)
“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9)
“Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?” (John 14:10)
“I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” (John 14:11)
“So, Philip, here I am. Is that enough? You said it would be enough. You said, ‘Show us the Father and it would be enough.’ You’ll never have any more than this because I will always be the radiance of the Father. He’s invisible. Is this enough?”
But we, in the present day, might say, “Well yeah, he was there that night, and he went away and he hasn’t come back yet. So what’s close, now?” He was close enough to touch that night. The Father could be touched on his face. We beheld this life. We touched. We saw the life. Not now you don’t. So do we all leave and say, “Well, that’s really good news, and we’re going to make it to the end and at the end we get him”? No, there is one more argument in John 14:16–18.
“Don’t be troubled, but trust me because I will be with you always, and not just at my return.” In John 14:16–17, the same issue is still brewing: “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” What does that mean? It means, “I’m with you and I will be in you in the Helper. I will be the Helper. The Holy Spirit and I are one also.”
“There are no orphans in his family. There are no abandoned children in his family. You’re not alone — ever.”
John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” “I am with you now physically. I will be in you then spiritually, because when the Helper comes, he is the Spirit of Jesus as well as the Spirit of the Father. Can you think of a text in Paul that makes this crystal clear to you? It’s Romans 8:9–10: “You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”
You’re not in the flesh, you’re in the Spirit. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him, but if Christ is in you, you’re alive. The Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and Christ are all interchangeable, which is why Jesus says in John 14:16, “We’re going to send a Helper. I’m not going to leave you as orphans. I’m going to send a Helper. You don’t have to wait until the second coming to have the Father and to have the Son. I’m going to send a Helper.”
Then he says in John 14:18, “I’m not going to leave you as orphans; I’m coming to you.” This promise is why Matthew 28:19–20 says, “Go and make disciples. Baptize them. Teach them to observe all that I’ve commanded you. And behold I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
“Yes, I went up in the clouds. That’s right, I did. And I did not leave you.” There are no orphans in his family. There are no abandoned children in his family. You’re not alone — ever.
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