John 14:1-14 Healing for My Heart
PROBLEM: My heart can feel troubled; it can hurt. (John 14:1)
I don’t know about you, but my heart can ache at times. My heart hurts when I think about people who don’t want to know Jesus Christ. My heart hurts when I see Christians act in complete disobedience to the Word of God. My heart hurts when I feel betrayed by people who said I could trust them. I don’t say this just as a pastor. I say this as a Christian.
I’ll also confess this: A week doesn’t go by, even a day doesn’t go by sometimes when I question death. I don’t question the existence of an afterlife. I question why I can’t feel heaven. I question about my faith sometimes and I need assurance. I perform a few funerals and I start to ask questions like this.
Now don’t misunderstand me here. I believe and trust in Jesus Christ. He has changed my life. He has made my life an adventure that I would never have picked. He has given me blessings that I would never had seen had I tried on my own. At the same time, I have heard real heartbreaking stories. Stories that would hurt anybody’s heart.
Jesus doesn’t deny the hurt that my heart feels. He just wants me to be assured that my hurts can be overcome. Jesus wants to give me healing for my heart.
Healing for my heart comes from trusting Jesus is Who He says He is – God. (John 14:1)
How can I get healing for my heart? I need to trust in God, and also in Jesus Christ. Many people want to trust in a little god. They want to trust in Someone who is bigger than themselves. People want to know that there is meaning in life and that this meaning can be accomplished. Sometimes, that little “god” is themselves. Society will say that you can solve your own problems. You can heal yourself. You can overcome your troubles.
However, the Bible says here that if my heart is troubled (and it will be at times), God the Father and Jesus the Son (because they are equal to each other) are Who you trust. You trust God. You trust the God who sent His Son Jesus Christ.
Now this is an exclusive claim. Jesus equates Himself with God. Jesus is saying He is God. He is also saying that for my heart to be healed I have to trust Jesus as God. Jesus is not just a good man. He is not just a wise man. He is not just a just man. He is the God-Man.
Healing for my heart comes from trusting that Jesus is beyond death. (John 14:2-3)
The disciples’ hearts were troubled about death and the afterlife. When I feel troubled about death and the afterlife, I go to this verse. Now some theologians claim that this is a rapture verse. “I will come back and receive you” is language for the rapture. That can be a possibility. However, I like to think that Jesus took His carpentry skills home and then built us all one big house.
When I was a kid, I was told that there would be mansions where we would live. This is an “Americanized Super-Sized” theology. The reality is that Jesus compares Heaven to a house – one house. Our place in heaven is compared to a room. So there is this big house in heaven. God owns the house. But has the key to unlock the door into the house of heaven.
Healing for my heart comes from trusting that Jesus has made a way for us to go beyond death. (John 14:4-6)
When Thomas still insists that they do not know where Jesus is going and asks how they can know the way, Jesus declares His great conclusive “I am.” For all of the “I am’s” of the Gospel—”water,” “bread,” “light,” “resurrection and life”—are caught up in Jesus’ saying, “I am the way”. There is no other door to life with the Father. Jesus is the one gate by which men may enter His Father’s fold. He is the Way because in Him the truth of the Father is revealed, not in concepts or ideals, but through coming to know Him. To know Jesus is to know His Father. So life comes through this truth.1
Jesus tells us that God has a big house called heaven. He has made space for you and me in that big house. Jesus says that He has the key. But the question come up: “How do we get there?” This is a question of direction. Thomas – the one who doubted later – asks a very logical, normal question. “My GPS can’t show me heaven, Jesus.” You say that I know where you are going Jesus? I don’t know where you are going Jesus. I don’t know where heaven is.
Jesus has the right map. He knows the right directions. If Jesus has gone beyond death and will come back, then He knows the way.
Have you ever gone somewhere for the first time? Who do you ask for directions? You ask the person who has been there before. You don’t ask someone who doesn’t know where you are going. You ask the person who has been there before.
You don’t ask people who don’t know where they are going. If you want to know where I live, you ask me. You don’t go ask the mayor of Seligman. You don’t go to the governor of Missouri. You ask the person who lives in the home. I know the best way to get to my house.
The same is true with Jesus. You don’t ask the guy who is still in the ground. You don’t ask Buddha where heaven is. You don’t ask Mary where heaven is. You don’t ask Muhammad where heaven is. You don’t ask anyone who isn’t coming back. You don’t ask Mr. Science where heaven is. Mr. Science has never been to heaven. You don’t ask Mr. Atheist about heaven. He doesn’t believe it is true. You don’t ask Ms Mystic. She has only dreamed about heaven, but she has never been there. You ask Jesus about how to get to heaven. That is His home. He has the best directions.
In one of the Superman movies, Superman saves a man from a burning building. He rescues him from the top floor and is carrying him to safety by flying through the skies. The man looks at Superman and then looks down to the ground. “I’m scared, Superman. Look how far down that is.”
Superman gives him a great answer. “Now if I delivered you from the burning fire, what makes you think I am going to drop you when I’m carrying you to safety?”
If God has delivered you from a burning hell, what makes you think He will drop you before He safely puts you down?2
Healing for my heart comes from realizing that Jesus is God’s Son. (John 14:7-10)
But Philip is not satisfied. He asks for some further sign, some mystical appearance that will finally prove they have really seen the Father. We can almost sense a pained disappointment in Jesus’ answer. After all this time and in all the experiences they have shared, does Philip still not know? Everything Jesus has said and done has been shared out of His life in the Father. Why doesn’t Philip carefully investigate the works He has done and let that lead him to knowing who He is? He will then see the Father through the Son.3
The trend in our generation is to blame our parents for our present perversions, problems, depressions, and difficulties. Such thinking has also infected the Christian community wherein believers are saying, “I can’t relate to the Father because my earthly father ignored me, abused me, or abandoned me.” That is a poor argument and excuse. The issue is not a matter of understanding one’s earthly father. The issue is one of understanding Jesus Christ. If you want to know the nature of the Father, study the Son. The character of one’s earthly father is immaterial. The sole issue is Jesus, for in seeing Him, we see the Father.4
What does it mean to “know the Father”? The word know is used 141 times in John’s Gospel, but it does not always carry the same meaning. In fact, there are four different “levels” of knowing according to John.
FOUR LEVELS OF KNOWING
Level 1: Knowing a fact
Level 2: Knowing the truth behind the fact
John 14:7, John 14:9
The next level is to understand the truth behind that fact. However, you can know the fact and know the truth behind it and still be lost in your sins.
Level 3: Knowing the truth behind the fact in a relationship
The third level introduces relationship; “to know” means “to believe in a person and become related to him or her.” In fact, in Scripture, “to know” is used of the most intimate relationship between man and wife.
John 17:3, Genesis 4:1
Level 4: Have a deeper relationship
The fourth use of “know” means “to have a deeper relationship with a person, a deeper communion.” It was this level Paul was referring to when he wrote, “That I may know Him”.
When Jesus said that knowing Him and seeing Him was the same as knowing and seeing the Father, He was claiming to be God. From now on, they would understand more and more about the Father, even though Jesus was leaving them.5
Healing for my heart comes from seeing God work miracles. (John 14:11-12)
This knowledge empowers them to engage in the same works that they have witnessed Jesus perform, indeed they will engage in even greater works.6
As I trust Him for life after death, as I get to know Jesus through a relationship, I will see miracles happen. I will grow when I can see that God is working in other people around me and even me to do His work. I see someone healed from cancer. It isn’t medical science alone which caused the healing. It is God. I see someone survive a natural disaster, I begin to see God at work.
Healing for my heart comes from answers to my prayers. (John 14:13-14)
There is a clear connection between Believing in Jesus, doing the works He has called us to do, and then seeing answers to my prayers. Many people want to take this verse out of context and say: “I can ask God anything and God will answer my prayers.” That is not true. We have to trust, do, and then ask, in that order.
TRUST —> DO —> ASK
Jesus said it this way somewhere else:
There is a purpose to knowing Jesus, to having assurance of heaven, to observing God do miracles in my life and to the answers to my prayers. The purpose is for God to be glorified.
You can’t ask if you are not doing God’s will. You can’t do God’s will if you are not trusting Jesus. Let me ask you a few simple questions to end here:
Are you trusting Jesus?
Are you doing what He tells you clearly to do?
Are you asking for things which will glorify God in Jesus’ name?
1 Roger L. Fredrikson and Lloyd J. Ogilvie, John, vol. 27, The Preacher’s Commentary Series (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1985), 222.
2 Tony Evans, Tony Evans’ Book of Illustrations: Stories, Quotes, and Anecdotes from More Than 30 Years of Preaching and Public Speaking (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2009), 90.
3 Roger L. Fredrikson and Lloyd J. Ogilvie, John, vol. 27, The Preacher’s Commentary Series (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1985), 222.
4 Jon Courson, Jon Courson’s Application Commentary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2003), 556.
5 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 350–351.
6 Phillip McFadyen, Open Door on John: a Gospel for Our Time (London: Triangle, 1998), 90.