Jesus, the path to a relationship with God
Text: John 14: 1-14
Text verse: John 14: 9
This passage is about a relationship with the Father. Jesus says that He will ascend to prepare a place for us with the Father. Then He will return and take us there with Him. Then Jesus says that they already know the way there.
Deeply distressed, Peter says that they do not know the way, because they do not know where Jesus is going. Then Jesus says that He is the way to the Father. No one can go to the Father except through Jesus.
Philip says that Jesus should show them the Father and that will be enough for them, to which Jesus responds: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?”
This conversation shows us that Jesus paves the way for us to have a relationship with the Father again. The problem we face is that we do not really know Jesus at all. Philip has been with Jesus for such a long time. He even performed miracles in Jesus’ name and yet he still does not know Him.
Jesus warns His disciples on another occasion when He says: “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’” (Matt. 7:22)
You can know someone because it is to your advantage, or you can really know the person. We often see this difference in our relationship with our parents.
As a child, you knew your parents. After all, you grew up with them. But when your dad goes to the shop and asks if you want to go along, the first thing you want to know is if you can get something. So, the relationship is based on what you can get out of it.
Then you grow up, you leave home and your relationship with your parents changes. One day you realise that you just want to be with them. You want to spend time with them. Not to get anything – quite the opposite. You give. You give your time. You buy what they need. You look after their needs.
Your relationship has changed from just knowing them, to an intimate knowledge. It is a knowledge characterised by appreciation and deep love.
Jesus calls Philip here to examine himself. In the same way, He also calls each of us to examine ourselves. Has our relationship reached that maturity?
A good test in this regard is to look at what we ask of God and whether we can accept God’s will for our lives (vs. 14). A child becomes rebellious when his father does not give him what he wants. An adult does not care what he gets from his father, as long as he can just be with his father.
If you cannot forgive, make peace with your loss or get over the hurt, it is a sign that you do not yet really know your Saviour.
How do we get to know Him? Jesus says that He is the way, the truth, and the life (vs. 6).
There is only one way to the Father and that is through Jesus. Through the cross, He built the bridge for us to have a relationship with the Father again. That is why we must know Jesus. We must read and meditate on the Word. This religious knowledge and trust in Christ, leads us on the way to the Father. He must be everything to us. Nothing may take His place.
Jesus reveals to us this glorious truth. We are not worthy to have a relationship with the Father, but Jesus came to live the dignified life we had to live. Equally, He also died the death that we had to die.
The result is that He drapes His worthiness over us like a robe. We are cleared of our sin and therefore have free access to God, because Jesus was willing to be cut off in our place. This truth must determine how we think about ourselves.
We can live now. We can forgive and we can get over that relationship that ended, because the healing power of Christ’s salvation is at work in us. We have this relationship with God that heals us from all hurt. Through his love, all our tears are washed away.
It allows us to move on. We can rise because we live in this hope and love of our Saviour.