Summary: This passage speaks of a person, a preparation, a place, and a promise (Outline taken from Eddie Lawrence of Sermon Seedbed; funeral for Catherine Thies)
Message from John 14:1-6, one of 2 Scriptures Catherine mentioned
This passage speaks of a person, a preparation, a place, and a promise
1. A person
Many in today’s world tell us, “Believe in yourself.” Roy T. Bennett in his book, The Light in the Heart said, “Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.” I am the worst sinner that I know. I am capable of much evil, more than you could imagine. No, I need to have faith in someone holier, greater and more noble than I. Need to believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This is whom Catherine believed in, whom she had faith in, whom she trusted in.
Faith in Jesus Christ is the difference maker for all eternity. John 14:6
2. A preparation
Jesus is making preparations for us. This going was begun by Jesus’ death on the cross and completed at his ascension. His death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven, are all essential parts of going to the Father to prepare a place for his disciples.
Since Jesus is making preparations for us we need to make preparations to meet him. This brings me to the other verses that Catherine wanted at her funeral. In John 11 a friend of Jesus, Lazarus, is dead. Jesus goes to be with his sisters Mary and Martha. Martha is the first to meet him and Jesus and Martha have a conversation before joining everyone else. In that conversation Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”” John 11:25, 26, NIV. These verses are a paradox. Through Jesus we will never suffer eternal death, being separated from God. If we believe in Jesus we will live, even though we die physically. If we believe and live in Jesus we will never die, never be separated from God. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38, 39, NIV.
First step is to believe. John 3:16
From this we repent. “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret” 2 Corinthians 7:10, NIV.
We confess like Martha did- ““Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”” John 11:27, NIV.
These are things that Catherine did many years ago. What a joy it must have been for Catherine to see her two daughters baptized. Brenda was baptized just a few years ago. Tell the story
3. A place
In Bible days, the groom would prepare the place where he and his bride would live and then he would go get her and bring her to their new home.
Imagine a young man and woman just married. The young man comes home one day and says to his new bride, “Close your eyes, I am going to take you somewhere for a surprise.” She closes her eyes. He takes her on a journey. The anticipation grows. Finally they arrive at the destination. The husband escorts her out still with her eyes closed. He then says the words she is now eager to hear, “Now you can open your eyes!” She opens her eyes and before her is the most beautiful dream house she has ever seen. He says, “It’s for you. I built it for you.” She throws her arms around him and kisses him. She is so excited. They walk on up to the front door where he stops her. He then sweeps her into his arms and carries her in their new home. The door closes behind them as they experience life together in their new home. Now, I know that Marlin had a big part in building the house on High Street but it probably wasn’t that dramatic. Think about them living in that house and then Marlin died in 1983. Sad but the family was still together, minus one. Think about Erma Jean and Brenda and Catherine living there and missing Marlin. Through Jesus Christ, one day they will all be together again. One day Jesus will come and receive us to himself and present us our new home. A mansion.
4. A promise