Summary: Jesus on the way to His ultimate sacrifice prayed for unity among His followers
The meal is finished, the lesson has been taught and the example set. Jesus now sets his eyes upon his final task. He slowly stands up from the table and moves towards the door.
His remaining disciples look at his countenance and see sadness washed across his face instead of love and compassion. His eyes are full of sorrow and lack the brightness and joy that was always present before. His broad shoulders that were always held up with strength now appeared weighted and weakened by inner pain.
The disciples looked at each other than at their Master. Concern was etched across the disciples faces. They called out to Jesus their voices tripping over each other. “What is wrong?” they asked. “Have we done something to displease you?” “Are you sick?” Eleven different questions, but all wanting to know the same thing, why is Jesus so sad?
Peter then asked, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus responded, “Where I am going you cannot follow.”
Even so, Jesus invited the disciples to walk with him. As they left the upper room, Jesus began to speak. He told the disciples of the grandeur of heaven. He spoke of the mansions that were being prepared for them. He told them that one day they will join Jesus at his father’s house. He told them they will even know how to get there.
Some of the disciples were confused. They thought Jesus was talking in riddles. They asked more questions seeking clarification. “How will we know how to get there if we don’t even know where you are going?” they asked. Jesus answered by telling them that to get to the Father’s house they had to go through him, Jesus. Because He was the way He will light the path they must travel. All they needed to do was believe in him and trust him.
Well, of course they trusted him they replied. Yet, questions could still be seen in their eyes. Confusion still reigned in their minds. Uncertainty still led to hesitant steps on their part.
Jesus could see it. He knew they needed more guidance, more time and more training. He also knew that time was rapidly slipping away. The path he now walked was quickly coming to an end. His journey was almost completed.
Philip then boldly asked, “Show us the Father that we may see him.”
After three and a half years, they still didn’t know. Yet, these same men would be the nucleus of a new church. These men would be the spark that shines the light on the Savior. But, Jesus could see they weren’t quite ready and time was short. Yet, he also can hear their concern for him. He could see they were troubled by his comment that he was leaving. More importantly they could see his sorrow and his sorrow was deeply felt by them. Yes, they may think they are not ready for the troubles to come. Perhaps, they are correct because it is doubtful they were prepared to see their master whipped, beaten and spreadeagled on a cross. They still could not understand what Jesus was alluding to about what he would suffer. Yet, emotionally they were more ready than they knew. They had compassion. They had love and concern for their brother. Though they may not be willing to take his place they were willing to share his pain.
He began to tell his disciples about the assistance and guidance that would be available to them. All they had to do was ask and believe. He told them about a Comforter, a Guide, a Spirit of truth. This Helper will finish the job of training them. He will make certain they understood what it is they must do. He will ensure they are properly equipped and have all the tools. Indeed, He told them that everything He, Jesus had done on Earth, they too will be able to do. All this so the Glory of the Father will shine forth. Look at John 14:12 and John 15:7. If they abide in Him and He in them they will do even greater works than He.
Can you imagine what must be going through the disciples minds by now? First Jesus tells Judas to go do what he must after Jesus announced that someone would betray Him.
Then He gets down on His knees and washes their feet.
Then He tells them He is leaving.
Then He tells them His Father is preparing mansions for all of them. And where Jesus goes they must follow, eventually.
When they ask how do they get there when they don’t even know where there is, He tells them He is the way.
Then He tells them when He leaves another will come to finish their training. But, the Helper is a spirit. Not a problem He says, as long as they believe in Him, Jesus. He tells them obey His commandments and allow the spirit to dwell in them, they will do even greater works than he did.