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John46 – There is life after death

Thomas states to him, “Lord, we have not discerned to where you are going away. How are we able to discern the pathway?” (John 14: 5)
The incident we’re again reading about here took place on the evening which led into the day of crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth around AD 30 in Jerusalem. John, the first century eye-witness biographer of Jesus (who saw him die and knew him well after he rose again), is recalling it all.

Immediately before Thomas’ complaint above, Jesus had said that he was going to his father’s house to prepare a place for all eleven of them. And he had added that they had “discerned the pathway” which Jesus was taking to go back to that house above – the pathway of his cross, death and resurrection. What was it that Thomas had not understood about that?

Jesus states to him, “I myself am the pathway, and the truth, and the life. No one comes towards the Father if not through me. If you had known me you had known my Father and from now you do know him and have discerned him.” 

This answer to Thomas explains, first, the only pathway that Thomas (and the others) may take if they are ever to reach the father and the father’s “house”. The pathway is Jesus himself. No other. They must ‘piggy-back’ on him to reach the father’s house.
Jesus also lets Thomas know the identity of the father. The father is Jesus himself. No other. 
“My Father's house on high, / Home of my soul, how near, / At times, to faith's foreseeing eye, / Your golden gates appear!” (James Montgomery, Scottish newspaper editor and poet, 1771-1854)
Philip states to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it satisfies us.” Jesus states to him, “I am with you so long a time and you have not known me, Philip? The one having discerned me has discerned the Father. In what way do you state, ‘Show us the Father’? You do not believe that I in the Father and the Father in me?” 

Understandably Philip, another of the eleven disciples present at the last supper, asks to be shown the father. The father is “discerned” as Jesus.

“The messages that I myself state to you I am not speaking from myself, in fact the Father staying in me is doing his works.”

“The messages” of Jesus include his “works”. In fact his whole way of life, compassionate miracles, mercy and righteousness are the deeds and character of the father.

“Believe me that I myself in the father and the father in me; in fact, if not, believe through the works themselves.” 

Jesus asks the eleven, if they cannot discern that he and the father are one and the same, instead to believe in God “through the works” being done by him, especially his cross which would display God’s mercy and justice within the next few hours.

“Amen, amen I state to you, the one believing into me, the works that I myself am doing that one also will do, and will do greater than these in that I myself am departing towards the Father and that something which you may ask in my name, I will do, in order that the Father may be glorified in the son. If you may ask me something in my name, I myself will do.”

Two doubly true statements from Jesus about two facts. 

“"Forever with the Lord!" / Amen, so let it be! / Life from the dead is in that word, / It’s immortality. / "Forever with the Lord!" / Father if it’s your will, / The promise of that faithful word, / Even here to me fulfil.”  (James Montgomery, Scottish newspaper editor and poet, 1771-1854)
First statement, his departure through the cross to his father will result in these eleven men themselves doing even greater works than he, Jesus, was able to do during his three years of service and teaching in Galilee and Jerusalem. 

Second, after his departure, they may ask him then – in his name ask him – to do whatever “in order that the father may be glorified in the son”. That which they ask in that name and for that purpose he will do. 

There is life after death. And there is a pathway to it.

Sinner Syvret

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