The path to the father's House: A brief commentary from John 14.1-14

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AMORIM, Ramon Augusto [1]

AMORIM, Ramon Augusto. The path to the father's House: A brief commentary from John 14.1-14. Multidisciplinary Core scientific journal of knowledge. 03 year, Ed. 06, vol. 06, pp. 28-40, June 2018. ISSN:2448-0959


This brief comment is intended to introduce some of the implications of one of the best-known parts of the farewell speech of the Lord Jesus, as depicted by the evangelist John. The focus is the analysis of John 14.1-14, taking into consideration the natural Division of the text, some grammatical implications and the context.  Its main goal is to be a tool to serve those who seek to understand the text in question and evangelize those who perhaps have an interest in knowing the Lord Jesus. Despite deep and fundamental issues to the faith, your language is simple, enabling even the most unassuming reader understand your message. Were consulted authors as Donald a. Carson, John f. MacArthur, and Frederick f. Bruce. The biblical quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the new international version (NIV).

Keywords: John 14, the House of the father, Jesus Christ.


The events narrated in the surroundings of John 14 occur at the end of the last week of the earthly Ministry of the Lord Jesus, when he meets with his disciples for the last time before your passion, death and resurrection. Earlier this week, the Lord had come to Jerusalem with his disciples to the celebration of the Easter festivities. He came riding on a Colt and on this occasion was cheered by the crowd, who gave testimony to be the King of Israel, the descendant of David. It is narrated in 12 to 16 verses of Chapter 12.

On a Thursday night without precedent in human history, the Lord speaks to her, some time before to experience moments of profound agony and pain. In the next few hours, he would be betrayed, abandoned by his disciples and denied by one of his best friends; He would be judged unlawfully and wrongfully condemned the spit and lashes, the scorn and death. Knowing the fate that awaited him, the Lord Jesus grieved deeply, as revealed verses 27 of Chapter 12 and chapter 13 21. Still, showed deep love and sincere affection for those whom the father had given him, as shown in the beginning of the narrative of this meeting, which happens in verse 1 of Chapter 13, which […]says: "knowing it was your Jesus time havin[…]g loved his own who were in the world , loved them to the end ".

Gathered in the upper room, that farewell meeting, the Lord Jesus got undressed and humiliated, washing the feet of his disciples, including Judas. It symbolized the spiritual cleansing that he would bring to spill your blood, the precious blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. After, the Lord Jesus walked away from among them the traitor, what happened so that Satan has taken the body of Judas Iscariot (13.21-30). And without the presence of the Lord Jesus went to comfort the remaining with his last words before he died, showing that, after your departure, they should, above all, show love for each other. It is in verses 31 to 35 of Chapter 13[2].

The disciples or Apostles, showed deep anguish, fear and despair. This is more in evidence when the Lord Jesus tell them clearly that he would let them, leaving to the Father, without which they could follow him (13.33-36). The anguish, the fear and despair of the Apostles have increased even more in front of the word that Jesus said to Peter, that is, that he would deny no less than three times before the singing of the rooster.

You can imagine the anguish, the fear and anxiety of the disciples to learn that, after three years of company, the Lord Jesus was about to abandon them. Maybe they said: "But, Sir, we left everything to follow you and now you're leaving us?!"

In response to the anguish and despair of the disciples, the Lord Jesus continues to your series of speeches to the end of Chapter 16. "The practical purpose that night, in that moment, was decreasing anxiety of the disciples"[3]. This part of the speech, chapter 14, until the verse 14, has been divided in several ways. I would like to follow the Division that seem more natural to the text, that the fragments into three: the first part, which shows the way to the House of the father, the verse 1 to 7; the second, which shows that the Father is seen in the son, the verse 8 to 11; and the third, which is a stimulus to work and prayer, verse 12 to 1[4]4.

1. The path to the father's House

When the picture of confusion, worry and despair in which the disciples were and the anguish of the Lord Jesus are placed in evidence, it is possible to see the beauty with which he heads to his. Instead of requiring support in face of the anguish of the cross, the Lord supports, comforts and instructs his disciples, revealing the depth of your lov[5]e. After all, the son of man came to serve and give your life for many (Matthew 20.26-28). Although he himself was distressed, your sincere affection outside demonstrated to his disciples when he addresses them with the words of the first verse: "don't disturb the heart of you. Believe in God; believe also in me "(v. 1). His words would be of comfort to the disciples and made reference to the faith because only faith in Jesus Christ can calm a heart upset and disturbed[6]. There is an interesting discussion about the translation of the word be[7]lieve here in this verse. Two things are clear: first, there are several ways to translate it; Second, it is impossible to define what's desired way grammatically by John to write. Without going into the merits of the discussion, I would like to adopt here the position of the two occurrences are imperative, as well translated the new international version (NIV): "believe in God; believe also in me. " That is, the disciples should continue resting in God, by believing in him, deeper in him, and, obvious and consequently also in Jesus Christ, because he never had left and wouldn't be in this moment of anguish that he would. Jesus would let them, it's true. More would leave with them your love, your joy (15.11) and your peace (14.27[8]).

As a base to comfort the heart of his, the Lord Jesus does two things. First, it features an reality. Later, he makes a promise to respect this reality. The reality is the father's House and the promise is that the disciples would have a guaranteed place to stay in this House. He says: "in my father's House there are many rooms; If it were not so, I would have told you. I will prepare a place for you "(v. 2). The Word addr[9]ess, as is the case here of verse 2, occurs just a new testament again. And she's in verse 23. The your most common sense is "a place to stand", and going on several places like this in a House, room, rooms, or even apartments are pretty natural translations[10]. These places to stay, available only to the followers of Jesus, found in his father's House.

Now, what and where would be the House of the father? In 2.16 "my father's House" is the Temple of Jerusalem. Obviously, taking into account the context and the actual construction of the discourse of Jesus, there is no reference to the temple, or at any place on Earth. The father's House is the place promised throughout Scripture as the fate of those who believed in Jesus and, by faith, have received the remission of sin, having undertaken to follow you all the days of my life. The father's House has more than enough space for all these[11].

Unfortunately, the message usually heard today bring misconceptions about what is heaven. Instead we heard that the father's House with respect to the enjoyment of being transformed and in the presence of Jesus, the main focus has been, many times, in what theoretically believers will get there. For many the sky is a kind of heavenly amusement park with unspeakable pleasures infinite variety. In short, many believe that the father's House is a land of pleasure, like Neverland or Disneyland. There can be no greater nonsense. This whole idea is a way simply human and carnal consider eternity. Isn't that what the Scriptures teach.

It doesn't take much effort to point out that when talking about the House of the father, the Lord Jesus is not concerned to demonstrate the beauty or the quality of your rooms. The text says: "and when I go and prepare a place, come back and take you to me, for you are where I am" (v. 3). Its intention is to show that, at his father's House, in a timely manner, the disciples could enjoy once again of your glorious presence. In fact, earlier this week he said that his slaves would have the privilege to follow you and enjoy your company (12.26). In this way, it would be he himself who he'd personally to the father's House.

The disciples were worried when Jesus said he would leave for the Father. Here, the Lord shows that there would be no cause for such concern, because in the end they would greatly benefit from this match. The reason of your departure was to prepare them a place. After, he'd come back to be reunited again and to take them with you to enjoy forever of your company[12]. This reunion is described as the moment when the Lord will descend from heaven to gather believers alive, not before resurrecting the dead believers, through a supernatural Rapture, the consummation of the communion between the Lord and those who belong to him. There is evidence of this magnificent event in 1Corinthians 15.51-54 and 1tessalonians-4.13-18. However, it is important to remember that, even if the reference of the Lord here is to return your supernatural, for the believer, death is to meet the Lord in the House of the father, as 5.8 2corinthians that says: "However, we are in full confidence, preferring to leave the body and dwell with the Lord "(ARA); and Philippians 1.23:[…] "having the desire to depart and be with Christ, which is incomparably better" (ARA).

After that the beauty of the father's House is in your presence forever, the Lord Jesus makes a statement that lets the disciples, especially Thomas, somewhat confused. He says: "You know the way to where I'm going" (v. 4). It is true that many manuscripts of the Bible bring a text a bit bigger here. In versions in Portuguese, which best conveys this situation is the Almeida revised and corrected (ARC) which says: "even you know where I'm going and know the way." Almost all the most ancient manuscripts, except on[13]e, bring the reduced text. The sense of the longer text is importa[14]nt because it builds the path to the next question of Thomas more soft, "Lord, we don't know where you're going; How then can we know the way? " (v. 5). In other words, it's like if you say, "You know the way. Therefore, do not need to meet the target ". To which Thomas replies, "just a moment, Sir. That doesn't make sense. If we don't know what is the fate, how can we know the way? "

Responding to the question of Thomas, Jesus uses your sixth statement "I am" [15]in the Gospel of John. He says: "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me "(v. 6). Jesus is the only way of access to God. Your uniqueness as for this purpose is indisputable. There is only one way to the father's House and your name is Jesus Christ.

He is the unique way because only he is the Incarnate Word, the revelation of God himself, as John said in Chapter 1. God has no other way to show themselves to humans except for your Word, writing or incarnate. So the human race can only approach-if the God through the word, "who became flesh and dwelt among us" (1.14-ARA).

Jesus is not only the path to the father's House. He is the truth of God, your complete revelation, the fullness of the Godhead, the image of the invisible God. He is the true God and eternal life "(1 John 5.20), manifested to turn himself in on life in the world" (6.51).

One of the most beautiful comments on this passage is written by Thomas a Kempis, in your work the imitation of Christ, from the 15th century, which says:

Follow me. I am the way and the truth and the life. You cannot walk out of the way, it is not possible to meet outside the truth, cannot live outside of life. I am the way by which you must go; the truth in what you must believe; the life in which you must put your hope. I am the way, the truth, infallible, inerrant the endless life. I am the straight path, the absolute truth, true to life, blessed, not created. If you stand in my way will know the truth, and the truth will set you free, and take possession of eternal life.[16]

Reach the presence of God through Jesus Christ is the only way to meet him[17]. That's exactly what Jesus says: "If you really knew me, you would know my father also. By the way you know him and have seen "(v. 7). What did Jesus mean by these words is that the disciples arrived at the knowledge of the Father and that only they can because they met the Son. The clear reality of this is that, in the son, they were having a direct relationship with the Father. Besides, even if they had known the Father in the three previous years through your ministerial relationship with Christ, know even more through the sacrificial death and resurrection of the Lord[18].

2. The indivisible relationship between father and son

After the presentation of the path to the father's House, Thomas leaves off and, now, Philip goes to talk with the Lord. Philip proved somewhat ignorant or even innocent before the previous affirmations of Jesus. The Lord had clearly exposed the level of your relationship with her father to say that knowing the Child would also mean knowing God, that otherwise would be inaccessible[19]. Either through ignorance or innocence, Philip gave occasion for Jesus to explain clearly even greater depth of your link to the Father. Philip asked: "Lord, show us the Father, and that enough" (v. 8).

Jesus responds to the request of Philip showing a truth that is continuous in the Johannine Gospel: the indivisible relationship between the Son and the Father. In 1.18, John says: "no one has ever seen God: the only-begotten God, which is in the bosom of the father, who is revealed". At 5.36, we find Jesus saying: "I've got a testimony greater than John; the works that the father gave me to complete, and that I am performing, witness that the Father has sent me. " At 8.38, he says: "I'm telling you what I saw in the presence of the father". At 10.15, he says: "just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and give his life for the sheep ".  At 10.30: "I and the father are one". In 10.38: "s[…]o that they can know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father". At 16.15: "Everything that belongs to the father is mine." At 16.28: "I came from the Father and entered the world; now I leave the world and return to the Father ". At 17.11: "Holy Father, keep them in thy name, the name that you gave me, that they may be one, just as we are one". And 17.21: "Father, may they all be one, as you are in e and I in you." Here's a plethora of texts only in the Gospel of John which could be used by the Lord to remember Philip that he already knew the Father and therefore your request had been granted.

Reaffirming this truth the Lord Jesus says: "You don't know me, Philip, even after I have been with you for so long? Who sees me sees the Father. How can you say, ' show us the Father '? You do not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? " (vv. 9-10b). The questions of Jesus are, obviously, all rhetorical and did not require a response from Philip. Proof that Jesus offers to show that he is the Father are unanimous on one purpose is indisputable: he spoke and did what the father wanted him to say and do. He says: "the words that I say it's not just mine. On the contrary, the Father, living in me, is your work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe because of the same works "(v. 10B-11).

The disciples, as evidenced by the placement of Philip even in the face of all previous revelation of Jesus, were too late in understanding many truths exposed by the Lord. However, as you can notice in your testimony later, they they did not show difficulties in believing and announce such truths, since they had been understood. Even if at first they had trouble understanding the biblical doctrine of the Trinity as exposed by Jesus, later they announced directly and indirectly in their ministries. See as examples the following texts: Romans 8.14-17; .30 15.16; 1Corinthians 2.10-16; .14 .19 .20 .15 6.11; 12.4-6; 2corinthians 1.21-22; 13.13; Ephesians 1.3-14; 4.4-6; 2Tessalonicenses; Tito 3.4-6; Peter 1.1-2; Judas 1.20-21.

3. A stimulus to work and prayer

After saying that he would go to his father's House, that would prepare them to place, and that, when the time came, he would return to take them with you; After talking to him is the only way to the Father, mainly because he and the Father are one, the Lord Jesus says that another major benefit of your departure would be in the fact that his disciples would be enabled to continue the Ministry he started , making even bigger than his works. The text says: "he who believes in me will do the works that I have performed also. Will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the father (v. 12). In 5.2, after curing the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda, the Lord Jesus said that he himself would make works larger than that. Now the disciples receive a promise that they would do greater works than Jesus did.

Obviously, Jesus is not saying that his disciples would have more powers than he, but would perform major works in extension and range. The focus here is clear. Jesus is not only the physical miracles, bu[20]t mainly the miracles accomplished through the spiritual work of the Holy Spirit who, after your departure, would inhabit the believers, by granting them power (acts 1.8). In fact, only through the action of the spirit is that the disciples would be prepared to carry out such works larger than those of Jesu[21]s. And this is comforting in the face of Jesus because the comforter, the Holy Spirit, would only be sent when Jesus left, as we report the verses of chapter 26 and 39 of Chapter 7. An important issue here is that the works of the disciples would be larger too that would be carried out on the basis of the complete works of the Lord Jesus. About it, Donald Carson says:

In short, the works that the disciples perform after the resurrection are larger than those made by Jesus before your death, to the extent that those belonging to an era of clarity and power introduced by the sacrifice and exaltation of Jesus. The words of Jesus and his work was somehow veiled during the days of your flesh; even his closest followers, as the previous verses make clear, understood only a part of what he was saying.[22]

The fulfilment of the promises of Jesus is narrated in the book of acts. For example, in the early days after the departure of Jesus to the Father, after a sermon, 3000 people were baptized. From there, the narrative of acts shows how the action of the Holy Spirit was instrumental in the efficiency of the testimony of the disciples around the world. And, no doubt, they impacted the world (acts 17.6), herding more followers to the Lord Jesus than during your personal Ministry in Galilee and Judea. These larger works are still the works of Christ, but made without your physical presence; made, Yes, the spirit within the followers of Jesus[23].

Another consolation received by disciples is the fact that, to give continuity to the work of the master, they would receive from the hands of the Father (cf. 16.23) whatever it took, when asked in the name of Jesus. The text says: "I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the son. What you ask in my name, I will do "(v. 13-14). Unfortunately, many misrepresenting this text and, on the basis of this interpretation fails, they formulate a theology of prayer completely anti-bíblica. They have seen the name of Jesus as an amulet that ensures that absolutely everything in prayer request will necessarily be serviced as requested. According to them, when a petition is made to God is not answered, it's for lack of faith that you ask.

However, when the text is parsed with the minimum criteria, it is possible to notice that the Lord's purpose is to provide the prayer as a resource for which they ask the Father to give continuity to your work[24]. In other words he is saying: I am leaving to the father's House prepare a place for you. Soon I will be back to pick them up for us to be together. For now, you're going to continue my work until the moment I get back. And for that you continue my work, I will provide an important resource for you to use for the benefit of my Kingdom. This feature is prayer. Use it for the purposes of my Kingdom, my glory. If you use so I always hear.

In other words, ask in the name of Jesus is not just using an expression at the end of a prayer. It is, above all, talk to God with the purpose that your Kingdom is continuously expanding and, as a consequence, glorify the Father and the Son[25]. You can see that is exactly (if not exclusively) once the prayer is used by the Apostles in your life and Ministry. Let's see the following texts as examples: 8.15 Acts; 13.3-4; Romans 15.30-31; Eph 6.18-20; Colossians 1.9; 4.3-4; 1tessalonians-3.9-10; 5.25; 3.1 2Tessalonicenses-2; Hebrews 13.18.

Conclusion and applications

In the light of the truths presented throughout this brief commentary, it is possible to reach some conclusions. Perhaps the clearest of them is the fact that the Lord Jesus is the great comfort of the Christian, even amid the anguish, despair and fear. This comfort is guaranteed not only by the certainty of the return of Christ. It's not just a consolation future and prophetic. It is also present in the now. That means that today the believer can enjoy the consolation of Christ[26]. First, because it is the only way to the father's House; then, because it enables them to give continuity to your work by providing great features to it. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a comfort without equal. And as if that weren't enough, I'm sure Dad hears our prayer through Jesus is something that does not fit in the human vocabulary.

A wonderful thing to know is that Jesus Christ will come back despite the faults and failures of your people. The promise of your glorious return is not subject to anyone's actions. He will come back and point. In due course, it will appear in the sky and meet their elected representatives that, from then on, they will be forever in your glorious presence.

Maybe some stay distressed or fearful to hear words like that. Maybe you feel insecure or unprepared to meet him. It must be remembered that before the anguish of the disciples, was precisely the promise that Jesus would return to take them to the father's House that comforted.

The sure one of the rooms that Jesus was preparing at his father's House can be experienced through repentance of sins and the clamor for the mercy of the Lord. That to enjoy this sure will live a life of joy, directed by the Holy Spirit; will receive from the hands of the Lord all the resources necessary to give continuity to what Jesus began; will announce your Kingdom and your Word for all the days of your life; and finally, when the time comes, will to the father's House, where you will enjoy your glorious presence for eternity.


BRUCE, F. Frederick. John: Introduction and commentary. Biblical Culture Series. São Paulo: new life, 1987.

BUSHELL, Michael S.; Tan, Michael; WEAVER, Glenn l. Bibleworks 8. 8.0.013 z version 1. Norfolk: Bibleworks, LLC, 2004.

CARSON, Donald a. John's comment. São Paulo: Shedd publications, 2007.

KITCHEN, K. A.; PAYNE, D. F.; HARRIS, b. f. Ostracas and Papyri. In: the new dictionary of the Bible. Volume III. Portuguese Editor: Russell p. Shedd. São Paulo: Edições new life, 1966.

LEE, Augustus Nicodemus Gomes. The Father's Home, and the way there. The Gospel Coalition. Available at: Accessed on: 25 August 2017.

MACARTHUR. John Fullerton, Jr. MacArthur study Bible. Barueri: Bible Society of Brazil, 2010.

[1] The author is a graduate in theology by Brazilian Baptist College (FBB); is professor of Biblical Hebrew and Portuguese Language Notions in the Biblical Theological Seminary Thompson (STBT) and exercises the Pastoral Ministry in the Congregational Bible Church of Vitória da Conquista (Urbis I).

[2] LEE, 2015, s.p.

[3] LEE, 2015, s.p. (Free Translation)

[4] BRUCE, 1987, pp. 255-258.

[5] CARSON, 2007, p. 487.

[6] MACARTHUR, 2010, p. 1417.

[7] πιστεύετε is the form of the present indicative active of the second person singular and also present active imperative of the first-person singular verb πιστεύω. According to Donald Carson, whatever the correct translation, the text relates Jesus with the Father as a proper object of faith, what makes your Christology is formidably high (CARSON, 2007, p. 488).

[8] BRUCE, 1987, p. 253.

[9] μοναὶ is the plural of μονή, word derived from the verb μένω, meaning to remain, stay.

[10] BRUCE, 1987, p. 255.

[11] CARSON, 1987, p. 490.

[12] MACARTHUR, 2010, p. 1417.

[13] The single oldest manuscript which brings the long text is the first edition of the Papyrus 66, or Bodmer II (c. 200 ad), an ancient manuscript of the NT that contains John 1.1-14.26 (KITCHEN, PAYNE, HARRIS, 1966, p. 1197). To your Second Edition brings the text shorter. (BRUCE, 1987, p. 256)

[14] According to Donald a. Carson, "even though the longer 8seja reading of dubious authenticity, the shorter reading must be understood in the same way". (CARSON, 2007, p. 491-additional note)

[15] In narrative construction of your Gospel, John highlights seven claims of the Lord Jesus about himself: I am the bread of life (6.35 .51); I am the light of the world (8.12; 9.5); I am the door of the sheep (.9 10.7); I am the good Shepherd (.14 10.11); I am the resurrection and the life (11.25-26); I am the way, and the truth, and the life (14.6); I am the true vine (.5 15.1).

[16] THOMAS a KEMPIS apud. BRUCE, 1987, p. 257.

[17] BRUCE, 1987, p. 257.

[18] MACARTHUR, 2010, p. 1417.

[19] BRUCE, 1987, p. 257.

[20] According to Donald a. Carson, the works that Jesus had done and even greater works that his disciples would do cannot legitimately be restricted to made of humility (13.15), acts of love (13.34 .35) or to the proclamation of the words of Jesus (v. 10). For him, the works can refer to more than the miracles of the Lord without, however, delete them. (CARSON, 2007, p. 496)

[21] MACARTHUR, 2010, p. 1417.

[22] CARSON, 2007, p. 496.

[23] BRUCE, 1987, p. 258.

[24] MACARTHUR, 2010, p. 1417.

[25] MACARTHUR, 2010, p. 1417.

[26] Ibid., p. 1416.

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