Summary: In John 14:1-14 Jesus shares with us three promises - 1. Promise of Abiding Peace 2. Promise of an Everlasting Home 3. Promise of ever expanding power through Prayer
Theme: Jesus' Promises
Promise #1 - An Abiding Peace #2 - An Everlasting Home #3 - Ever Expanding Power through Prayer
Grace and peace from God our Father and from Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world!
World History is littered with politicians and government officials making all kinds of challenges and promises. Some of those challenges and promises have been bold and daring ones. Bold ones like the one inspired by President John F. Kennedy back in 1961 when he stated - "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth." NASA made good on that promise when Astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped off the lunar module on to the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969 at 10:56 p.m. (EST) More than 500 million people around the world heard him say, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
Other promises/challenges have not been so lofty nor did they come to fruition. Back in 1988, then presidential candidate George H. W. Bush at the Republican National Convention promised the nation "Read my lips: no new taxes". That phrase helped Bush win the presidency. However, a little more than two years later in the fall of 1990 when the nation was faced with higher deficits and the prospects of severe cuts in government entitlement programs, President Bush agreed with Congress to raise new taxes.
We all know that it's easy to promise something but it can be next to impossible to keep those promises. In our Gospel passage this morning our LORD makes some very direct and distinctive promises. In fact, as you read the passage you discover that our LORD makes four distinct promises to His disciples. Four promises that I believe are still valid today.
But before we look at each of these promises in particular, let's review exactly - WHAT IS A PROMISE?
According to the Dictionary the definition of a promise is the following:
"A declaration or assurance that one will do something or that a particular thing will happen."
In other words, when Our LORD spoke these promises to His Disciples here in John 14:1-14, Jesus was assuring that they would come to pass. Jesus was saying that He would make sure that each promise became reality. Let's look at each of these promises this morning.
I. Jesus Promised A Spirit of Abiding Peace
Our passage this morning takes place immediately after Jesus had washed the disciple's feet and they had eaten the Last Super. As they all continued to sit around the table Jesus revealed to them that in just a little while one of them would betray him. He went on to tell them that in a little while he will have to go away to a place that they cannot come. Quickly we read how Simon Peter objected to all of this news and told Jesus that there was no place that he will not follow Him. He went on to tell Jesus that he would even lay down his life for him. John tells us that Jesus looked back at Peter and answered him with these words - "Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times." (John 13:38 ESV)
Can you imagine hearing all of this after that wonderful Passover meal with Jesus? No wonder the room suddenly was filled with a spirit of fear and anxiety. Jesus had dropped an emotional barrage on all his followers. You can image all the questions that were going on in the hearts and minds of all those around that table.
+What did Jesus mean when He told them that one of them would betray Him? How could any of them possibly turn Jesus over to the authorities? As far as they knew each one of them loved Jesus way too much to betray him or abandon him.
+What did Jesus mean when he said "Where I am going you cannot come? Where in the world was Jesus going? How could Jesus leave them when they had only been together for 3 1/2 years? How could His movement, His message and His mission be over? What would they do while Jesus was gone? When would He come back?
+What did Jesus mean when he told Simon Peter, his #1 disciple that in just a few hours he would even deny knowing Jesus? What was going to happen in just a few hours that would make this man who left his fishing business, that climbed the Mountain of Transfiguration and that walked on water with Jesus suddenly decide to deny Jesus not once but three times?