Read This Week: John 14
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; also believe in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you also may be where I am. I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:1-3, 6 NIV.
A pastor once stood up at a funeral to memorialize a longstanding church member. The former congregant was a respected person in the community and the church. He had been a devoted husband, Father, brother, and friend. He lived a good life, positively impacted people, and served others in ministry and the marketplace. Many people attended his funeral to pay their respects and support those closest to him. When the time of the eulogy came, the pastor walked to the podium, said a few opening remarks, and then read these verses:
Jesus said, Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; also believe in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am.
And then he stopped right there. The minister didn’t go any further. In his attempt to offer hope to family and friends about the eternal destination of their dearly departed loved one and to offer the same to the listening audience, he left out the best part. He omitted the part of the passage that ties everything else together, that makes the promise of heaven in the presence of God possible. He inexplicably disregarded verse 6: I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
The best part is that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. That’s the central message of the Gospel. Without verse 6, nothing else has veracity or promise. Without the best part, eternity loses its assurance, and life loses its meaning and purpose. Without verse 6, hope beyond the grave is just an optimistic thought of a dreamer. Without the best part, life is nihilistic at worst and whimsical at best. If Jesus is not the way, the truth, and the life, then no one is coming to the Father, and the expectation and joy of an eternity in God’s presence would not lend beauty and meaning to a life lived for Him.
The best part of the story is that we can know Jesus Christ and have a relationship with God. Without its reality and power, we don’t get the infinite enjoyment of the Father’s House. Without the sureness and authority of verse 6, the place He speaks about in verses 2-3 will not be there. The certainty and capacity of Jesus’ words, let us know that He is coming back. This fact is how we don’t let our hearts be troubled.
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Life is in Him, and He has gifted that life to us. Jesus is the source of the light of this life and the author of eternity. He spoke the words of life and said we might have it more abundantly. Through Him is communion with Almighty God. He is the truth and the only way. Verse 6 is the best part. Please don’t leave it out.