Passage: John 14:1-7
Guide for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection
On the night before Jesus’ death, all seemed dark for his disciples. Jesus’ impending betrayal loomed over them, as well as his unsettling reminder that he would soon be “going” away from them. Into this troubling context, Jesus spoke words of courage to his disciples: “Let not your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1). Throughout John 14-16, which is often called the “Upper Room Discourse”, Jesus’ aim is to strengthen the hearts of his disciples on the night before his death, both for their comfort, and for their fortitude in the mission that would soon be theirs.
As was the case for his first disciples, we too face anxious times—on the world stage, in our nation and community, and even in our personal lives and families. We too can be strengthened by Jesus’ words on his final night. In John 14:1-7, Jesus wants to strengthen us by showing us three things—his heart, his home, and his way.
First, Jesus discloses to us his heart. This can be observed by his care for his disciples on the most challenging night of his life. Jesus himself was “troubled in spirit” (13:21) and said “my soul is troubled” (12:27) on that night—thus, if there was ever a time where Jesus could have made things “all about him”, it was then. And yet his heart was entirely wrapped up in concern, not for himself, but for his disciples—fortifying them in their troubles. A God with this kind of heart is a God who we don’t possibly need to hurry, and a God we have every reason to trust. He can’t possibly be against us, and he is working out a plan greater than we’re able to see.
Jesus also shows us his home. He strengthens his disciples by telling them that though he was “going”, he was actually going in order to “prepare a place for them” in “(his) Father’s house” (14:2-3). Though he doesn’t give many details about this home in his “Father’s house”, it is first and foremost a place of welcome—a place where we belong—and a place where Jesus’ himself desires to be with us. He is referring here to the welcome we will receive in heaven, and his “going” (to death, to the cross) will itself be the means of preparing our access to this place. Though we often don’t feel like we “fit” in this world, we can be strengthened by the knowledge that an eternal welcome awaits us—that Jesus wants to be there with us and paid a great cost to get us there.
Finally, Jesus shows the way of getting us there. Though the disciples couldn’t understand this at the time, Jesus himself is the “way” of getting us there (14:4-5)—we need nothing more and nothing less than trusting reliance on Jesus himself to get to where Jesus is going. And yet, Jesus is not just trying to get us “somewhere” apart from him—but is giving us himself! He is not only the way, but he is the “destination”—he is the best part of heaven. There is nothing else he can give us that will truly satisfy us outside of himself, because he is “the life” we’re looking for (14:6).
We truly have so much reason for courage in these times. Jesus’ heart is for us, Jesus’ home awaits us, and he will bring us to himself there.
- See Jesus’ Heart (14:1)
- See Jesus’ Home (14:2-3)
- See Jesus’ Way (14:4-7)
Group Discussion & Personal Reflection Guide
Re-read the passage(s): John 14:1-7
See Jesus’ Heart (14:1)
1) INTRO: Read these passages as a group: John 13:21-30, 31-35, 36-38. How do you think these events and conversations factored into the mood of that final night? What were the several things that the disciples were troubled about? And what were some of the things that the disciples were having the most trouble grasping on that night?
2) Re-read John 14:1-2. In the sermon, Pastor Bobby said that Jesus’ command to “believe in God; believe also in me” is a call to transfer our trust onto Jesus, and translates more literally to “believe into God; believe also into me”. How can you tell when you’re “transferring your trust” onto Jesus in a challenging situation, and when you’re not? What are some of the symptoms or warning signs for you that you’re not fully “believing into Jesus”?
3) Is there a specific area or situation where your heart is “troubled” right now? What would it look like to “believe into Jesus” in this situation?
4) In the sermon, Pastor Bobby said that we can see Jesus’ heart through observing his own concern for his disciples, even on the final night of his life. What does Jesus’ concern for his disciples tell you about his character? How does this help you trust in him?
5) What would be observable about a church body who deeply “believes into Jesus”? What would its relational climate be like?
See Jesus’ Home (14:2-3)
6) Re-read John 14:3-4 and meditate slowly on these verses together. Consider:
• What is the “Father’s house”?
• What does the imagery of “many rooms” convey about God’s welcome for us?
• Why does Jesus say, “if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you”? What does he want to assure his disciples of when he says this?
• What did Jesus have to do to “prepare” a place for us?
• What does Jesus’ promise to “take us to himself…that where I am you may be also” tell us about Jesus’ heart and desires?
7) In the sermon, Pastor Bobby talked about the concept of “thrownness”—the idea that we’re “thrown into” a life where we don’t often feel like we fully fit, or fully belong. Have you ever experienced this before? What was it like? How is the truth that “heaven is a place where we belong” a comfort to you in this?
See Jesus’ Way (14:4-7)
8) Re-read John 14:4-7. What did Thomas misunderstand “the way” to where Jesus was going? What did he misunderstand about who Jesus himself was?
9) What did Jesus mean when he said that he himself was…the way? The truth? The life?
10) In the Sermon, Pastor Bobby said that “Jesus is the best part of heaven”—that he himself is “the life” we’ve always longed for. Therefore, he has nothing better to give us than himself. If you’re honest, is this how you often view Jesus, and the role he plays in your life? Or have you ever realized a desire to use Jesus to give you “something else” you really want? How might you grow in the enjoyment of Jesus himself?
Additional Application Questions
Q) How else would you like to engage with God this week?
Q) How can you tangibly care for those in your community this week, both inside and outside of the church?
Spend time praying for yourselves, our church community, the North Shore community, and our nation and world—particularly those most vulnerable.