Resurrection Dwellings (John 14)
John 14:1-14 - “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 14:2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you . . 14:5 Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” . . . Philip *said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 14:9 Jesus *said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? . . . 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 14:13 “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14:14 “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
1) See the Story in John - More than any other Gospel, St. John’s blessed Gospel reveals the emotions of Jesus through his dialogue with other men at the heart level. Like a modern novelist, John advances the Story of Jesus through the dialogue.
2) Hear the Shepherd in John - This is no where more true than in John 14. Jesus is both pastoral and critical to Thomas and Phillip. He has at once a sinking heart and a commanding voice calling forth faith. “How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 14:10 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 14:11 ‘Believe Me that I am in the Father.’”
3) Marvel at the Shaman in John - Jesus is not saying the “Western individualist” (in the late 20th century Pentecostal tradition) who believes in Me will do each work that I do: water into wine, healings from blindness, lameness and such, resurrections, taxes from fish mouths, and even Greater Miraculous restorations of middle earth . . . He is saying the works that flow from abiding in the Father will be greater in the body of corporate believers (i.e., the Church) so that we (collectively) will do these kinds of works and even greater works (collectively) than Jesus works.
4) Believe the Signs in John - St John culminates in the Eighth Day sign of the new creation (7 + 1 signs beginning with water to wine and ending with the Resurrection Gardener). In chapter 14, Jesus was about to preview this (8th Day) new creation, when He was interrupted just as He was to tell of the dwellings (hotel rooms) in the house of the Father. Jesus would have explained that they had queen size beds and a minibar, but then the fears, doubts and disbeliefs of the disciples interrupted Him. He would have then gone on to explain that “while staying at the Heavenly Hilton, your new creation state is being renovated [it’s England/its Lancaster!].” Because of their doubts, Jesus then shifted into a new conversation of the matters which quieted their hearts, though not for long.
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more