John 14:1-6 – Jesus, the way the truth and the life

Jesus is still with his disciples at the last supper and he had already washed their feet, given them the new love commandment, told them who was going to betray him and told Peter that he was going to deny him. All this was in chapter 13. These kind of news would obviously create anxiety among the disciples. Jesus, knowing what is in people hearts, saw that the disciples were troubled.

John 14:1-6 (ESVST)
1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 

Jesus seeing that the disciples were worried, told them that they should not be troubled. Different English translations, translate this verse differently. The issue comes in with the statement “Believe in God” which comes after the word “troubled”. Other translations, translate these words as “You believe in God“, others even translate it as “Do you beleive in God?“. It makes sense however that, Jesus in the context of John 14:1-14, is acceptng that that his disciples already believe in God. Jews have always beleived in God and that was never in doubt. It is the belief in Jesus that was the issue. So, Jesus here is saying, I know that you beleive in God. This is also sported by the verb “believe” which is in the indicative mood, indicating that Jesus is stating a fact. Therefore the correct translation would then be “You beleive in God“. 

There are three verbs in this verse namely, “Troubled, Beleive(1) and Believe(2)”. The verb troubled is in the imperative mood, indicating that Jesus is giving a command. The second verb Believe(1) as already indicated, is in the indicative mood, indicating that Jesus is stating a fact. The last verb Believe(2) is in an imperative mood, also indicating a command. 

Having this knowledge, one can now see that Jesus in this verse is commanding his disciples not to be troubled but to beleive in him as they already beleive in God. 

2 In my Father ‘s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 

Again, one of those verses whose translation is not consistent between the English translators. Other translations, translate this verse to say:” If this were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you.” This to me is a better translation. The reason for this is that, I could not find anywhere in the scripture where Jesus told his disciplines that he was going to prepare a place for them before in this verse. So, to translate it as if he had already done so as indicated in the above verse, would be wrong. To translate it like “If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?“, is to make an assumption that Jesus had already told them. I hope you see my point. So, it is therefore correct to translate it as ” If this were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you.”.

So, given this, one can now understand Jesus to telling his disciples that there are many rooms in God’s house, and the implication here is that Jesus is talking about heaven. There are many rooms in heaven. Jesus is telling them that if this was not true, he would not be telling them this. Jesus then tells them that he is going to prepare a place for them. He also told them that he will come again and will come and take them to himself so that where he is, so will they be.

Not a single English translation that I have, and I have about 20 translations, not a single one translates this verse as Jesus having said that he will come and take them one at a time. Now, you must have heard in funerals or in some songs that, Jesus said that he will go and prepare a place for us and come and take us one at a time. This statement is not in the bible. I challenge anyone to show me where it is so that I may accept it. Where does Jesus say that he will come and take us “one at a time?”. 

4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “ Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 

Then Jesus told them, after telling them that he will come and take them to himself that, they know the way to where he is going. In other words, they know the way to God’s house, they know the way to heaven. This is where Jesus is going now to prepare them a place. Thomas then said that they did not know where Jesus was going and how can they know the way. This was a strange question as Jesus just told them that he was going to heaven. So, I am not sure why Thomas would ask that question. Jesus has also told them many times that he was bread of life and he was the Messiah. He came to give them life. He told them about the kingdom of God. So, really I am no sure why Thomas asked this question. Maybe he simply did not understand.

6 Jesus said to him, “ I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Jesus answered Thomas and said that, he is the way the truth and the life. Again here, there are different translations of this verse. Other translations say that Jesus is the way because he has the word of truth and he gives life, while others, say that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Thomas’s question is that, they don’t know where he is going, how can they know the way. This is after Jesus saying that they know the way. So, the issue here is the way. If so, then Jesus’s answer would then be that I am the way. The truth and the life seem to enhance or describe how he is the way. Jesus is the way because he has the truth and he gives life. This makes more sense than to simply sat that Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life. So, the answer to Thomas’s second question of how can they know the way is answered by Jesus when he says, I am the way. 

The first part of Thomas’s question was they don’t know where he is going. Jesus then answered this questions by saying that no one comes to the father except through him. Now, there are two answers in this answer. Jesus firstly is saying that he is going to the Father, answering Thomas’s question but, then Jesus adds by saying that, he is the only way to the Father. This Jesus he said, when he said, no one comes to the Father except through him. 

So, Jesus’s answer to Thomas is simply that, I am the way, the only way to God because I have the truth and I give eternal spiritual life. 

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Posted in John 14, The Gospel of John.

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