Studies in John's Gospel -- Part 19
Peace

By: A.J. Higgins, M.D.

Passage: John 14

  How often have you been at a funeral service or graveside and heard the words read "Let not your heart be troubled.  Ye believe in God believe also in Me." ? They are the opening words of John 14, spoken by the Lord Jesus in the upper room on the night of His betrayal. Later in the same chapter the words are repeated serving to bracket and underscore all that intervenes as the means for peace and security. The words were spoken to give peace and comfort.  Like a mighty ocean all that flows between the two occurrences of the expression of Christ was meant to engulf and subdue every doubt and disturbance, reducing the troubled heart to calm and serenity.

  Consider however the scene John 14 describes. It is Passover night. The upper room is the sight for the seventh Biblically described account of the Passover observance. The family gathered round the table is the Lord Jesus and His disciples.  As of old, the Passover meal was a time for questions.  Four questions occupy the time spent keeping the feast.  These however were questions relating to the future, not the past of Israelís history.

    Consider however the scene John 14 describes.  It is Passover night.  The upper room is the sight for the seventh Biblically described account of the Passover observance.  The family gathered round the table is the Lord Jesus and His disciples. As of old, the Passover meal was a time for questions.  Four questions occupy the time spent keeping the feast.  These however were questions relating to the future, not the past of Israelís history.

  The Lord Jesus had spoken of His return to heaven to prepare a place for His own. Thomas always a pragmatist questions, "Lord we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way?" (John 14.5). To his question the Lord responds "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me." (John 14.6).

   Now the Lord Jesus had been speaking of heaven and Thomas knew it.  He was interested however in knowing how he, a man, could be sure of his future destination. The Lord Jesus answered his query with words of unmistakable clarity.  Words that revealed the

AVAILABILITY

of a way. "I am the way..."  In this brief statement the Savior revealed that there was a way back to God.  It was not to be found in a religion or ritual, but in a person.  Try to conceive of the vast difference between simply instructing a lost person as to the way they are seeking and actually taking them yourself.  In the latter case you become the way.  So it is in salvation.  The Lord Jesus did not descend from heaven to tell us about how to get to heaven.  He came to put away sin by His suffering and death upon Calvary, and thus become the way for sinners to heaven.

   But in His words we see also the

RELIABILITY

of what He promises. "I am ... the truth...".  The world is full today of many voices all clamoring to be heard; all promising the elixir of life and happiness to those who will indulge.  Hedonism and humanism, social committal and withdrawal, the new society and the new morality, and a host of others all hold promise for man.  Like a giant pendulum society swings from each new movement looking for truth and reality.  If the words of Christ mean anything then they mean everything.  He is either the embodiment and source of the truth, or the saddest hoax ever perpetrated upon us. His words leave no room for a middle ground.  The work of Christ and the person of Christ are offered to us as sinners with all the reliability of an infallible inspired Bible.

    In His words we learn also the

REALITY

of what He offers. "I am ... the life...".  In Christ is life that is real and meaningful. James, one of the writers in the New Testament asked "What is your life?  It is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away." (James 4:14).  The only thing that will give substance to the vapour-like life of man, that will add value to the brief day of our existence, is the life God intends us to have.  This life begins with a new birth, the result of acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord (John 3.1-16). It flourishes in the atmosphere of the fellowship of God (1John 1:3,4) and finishes in the abode of God (John 14.1,2).

    In vs. 7 of our chapter the Lord Jesus emphasizes the

FINALITY

of the way He opened.  He speaks of "from henceforth...". His work at Calvary was Godís final and total answer to the sin question.  The exclusive and sole way for a man to have peace with God, the forgiveness of sins, and the assurance of heaven at the end of life is by dependence upon the blood of Christ shed at Calvary for sinners. He is not a way, but the way; He is not a temporary way, but the final way to God.

 
 

  

"But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:8