The public ministry of Jesus was drawing to a close. His sacrificial death on the cross lay ahead. I would suppose one of the most difficult things he would need to do would be to inform and warn his disciples on the events that would be happening soon.
These were the men Jesus had called to follow him. Their following consisted of making drastic changes in their lives and lifestyle. Their previous jobs and families were left behind when they made the decision to follow Jesus. Our Lord knew of the changes that had come to them. He knew how they had trusted him and followed him, even in times when it wasn't easy. Jesus needed to use the right words spoken in the right way to assure them everything was going to be all right.
For a moment, put yourself in their place. You give you allegiance to Jesus. You have walked away from the people and the life you previously knew so you could follow him. You grew to trust him because you had heard his teachings, witnessed his miracles, and believed his truth.
Then Jesus called his band of believers to him and made the announcement, "I am going away and you cannot go with me." What a letdown! The announcement he made to them caused them to question their loyalty, and wonder if they had made the right decision when they became a follower.
John 14 records the comforting words Jesus shared with these men, and they have become words to be shared with all of us when we face disappointment, discouragement, or sorrow. "Let not your hearts be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. My father's house has many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place I am going." Note three things Jesus promises which to bring comfort the them, and to us.
1. I am going to prepare a place for you. The devotion of these men to Jesus had been demonstrated in their trust of God and now Jesus encourages them to trust him, too. While their discouragement was because of their lack of understanding the approaching death of Jesus, the promise was given that their faithfulness would bring the reward of a place in the father's house. Perhaps when we feel discouraged and let-down, we need to be reminded of that promise for us.
2. I am going to come back. Jesus wanted them to know his return to earth would be for the specific purpose to take them with him, where they could be together with him. Of all the promises we have in this life, the greatest is the promise that Jesus is going to come back to take us home with him.
3. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. This claim of Jesus provides the sustaining power his followers needed to keep on keeping on with their lives and testimony. In like manner, we find strength in making Jesus our way, truth, and life, even as we face difficulties and disappointment. Life lived on the basis of this promise of Jesus, is a life that becomes a blessing to countless others. Have a great weekend.