The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 156

Passion Week ~ The Upper Room ~ Part 5

In our last post, we continued to examine the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. This post continues to explore the events that may have occurred on Thursday.

The Way to the Father

Yeshua reiterates to His talmidim that faith in Him alone will bring salvation. He uses another metaphorical “I am” statement – this time that He is the way, the truth, and the life.

“Don’t let yourselves be disturbed. Trust in God and trust in Me. In My Father’s house are many places to live. If there weren’t, I would have told you; because I am going there to prepare a place for you.

In My Father’s house refers to the heavenly abode, where God the Father sits enthroned (Isa 6:1–6). Yeshua had already declared God’s symbolic earthly dwelling, the Temple, to be insignificant in comparison to God’s work through His new Temple, Yeshua. This and Yeshua’s condemnation of the conduct of the earthly keepers of His Father’s house establishes Yeshua as a better, heavenly alternative (see Yochanan 2:16).

Since I am going and preparing a place for you, I will return to take you with Me; so that where I am, you may be also. Furthermore, you know where I’m going; and you know the way there.” T’oma said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you’re going, so how can we know the way?” Yeshua said, “I AM the Way – and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me. Because you have known Me, you will also know My Father; from now on, you do know Him – in fact, you have seen Him.”

Yeshua said,“I AM the Way – and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” This challenge strikes at the heart of non-Messianic Judaism’s denial of Yeshua as a Messianic mediator. Some try to ignore this challenge by denying its authenticity: either the Gospel of Yochanan is historically untrustworthy, or the words are not Yeshua’s but were placed in His mouth by early church theologians. This view, of course, denies the divine inspiration of the Brit Hadashah.

Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it will be enough for us.” Yeshua replied to him, “Have I been with you so long without your knowing me, Philip? Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father. This apparently contradicts Yochanan 1:18 (“No one has ever seen God”) and Yochanan 5:17–30, focusing on the distinctions between the Father and the Son. The paradox is resolved by Colossians 2:9: “In Him,” Yeshua, “bodily, lives the fullness of all that God is.” The human mind is stretched beyond its limits in trying to cope with the idea that the Creator of the Universe and one of His creations, a human being named Yeshua, are to be identified with each other. The language of the Brit Hadashah, as it treats this issue, shows that God has great respect for our difficulty in apprehending this. The Brit Hadashah NEVER says directly, “Yeshua is God.” Nor does it say, “Yeshua is only a man and not God,” except in the mouths of His opponents. The Brit Hadashah adds insights in one place and another, “line on line, precept on precept, here a little, there a little” (Isaiah 28:10, 13).

 10 Don’t you believe that I am united with the Father, and the Father united with Me? What I am telling you, I am not saying on My own initiative; the Father living in Me is doing His own works. 11 Trust Me that I am united with the Father, and the Father united with Me. But if you can’t, then trust because of the works themselves. 12 Yes, indeed! I tell you that whoever trusts in Me will also do the works I do! Indeed, he will do greater ones, because I am going to the Father. 13 In fact, whatever you ask for in My name, I will do; so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me for something in My name, I will do it. 15 “If you love me, you will keep my commands.  [1]

If you ask me for something in my name, I will do it. Elsewhere Yeshua instructs His followers to pray to the Father (Yn 16:23, Mt 6:9). But here, Yeshua has just taught that He is one with the Father, who is living in Him and doing His own works through Him (vv. 10–11; also 10:30, 17:21–23); we also know that Yeshua does just what the Father tells Him to do (5:17–30). So petitioning Yeshua is tantamount to petitioning the Father. Yeshua, the divine Son, is the divine agent of the Father, no less God than the Father, and therefore justifiably addressed in prayer. We are to make our requests in Yeshua’s name, that is, as His followers, on His authority. This is necessary because He alone is sinless (Romans 3:23); except for prayers of repentance, God does not obligate Himself to hear the prayers of sinners (Isaiah 59:1–2, quoted in Ro 3:23N). Finally, we know from 1 Yn 5:14 that to expect our prayers to be answered, the things we ask for must accord with God’s will.

In our next, we continue to follow Yeshua into Yerushalayim for His Crucifixion by the end of the week and continue in The Upper Room.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Yochanan14:1–15.

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