Jesus knew He would be tortured to death within the next several hours. He knew the men around Him had left everything behind to follow Him, that soon they would be consumed by a tsunami of terror and grief. He had one last chance to speak with them. It was time for straight talk. Here’s what He began with:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. 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 that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-4a)
In effect, He said:
A. No matter what happens, don’t panic; God is trustworthy and so am I
B. I am going to fix it so that we can live together with God forever.
C. It really is true that God’s “house” has “rooms” (literally, places for people to move in and live forever).
D. There is no way I would lie to you about this at a time like this.
E. I’ve got to leave you, but I will come back for you.
All of that is comforting. It sounds like what a loving father might say to his family just before he leaves to immigrate to a new country where they will be safe, and where he will bring them as soon as he has a job and a place to live. “Don’t worry! I will come back for you!” Comforting.
But then Jesus said:
“You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:4b)
You can imagine how that comment raised anxious questions:
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:5-6 )
Jesus wasn’t lying about any of that, either.