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5th in Series on the Da Vinci Code

John 13:31-14:14    
The Exclusiveness of Jesus

by Dan Ahlenius, pastor
Lake Chelan Baptist Church
Chelan, Washington

INTRODUCTION

I invite you to turn in your Bibles to John 13:31, this morning. As most of you know, or at least remember, Today we will be finishing our series concerning what we believe the Bible says in answer to Dan Brown's heretical book, The Da Vinci Code. Dan Brown tries to teach in his book that all religions are valid paths to be right with God and that basically each man must find the Divine Spark in each of us in order to attain that level of spirituality. And earn for ourselves eternal peace and happiness, basically that we can reach God on our own, in fact, that we are actually gods ourselves, which is nowhere taught, or even implied in the Bible. Therefore, this morning we will be considering how Jesus Christ is the exclusive way, or the one and only way, that any man, woman, or child can find favor, forgiveness, and peace with the Creator God who created this entire universe and all that is in it. We began our series considering how the Bible, with our current 66 books is inspired by God as the very words of Jesus Christ. Next, we looked at how Jesus Christ is God and has always been God because He is the Word that was with God in the Beginning according to John 1. Then we also studied how Jesus was both fully human and fully divine, but that He was celibate, or unmarried to any woman and definitely not to Mary Magdalene, one of His disciples. And last week on Easter Sunday we considered how Jesus was truly Resurrected from the grave out of 1 Corinthians 15. Finally, this morning we will bring our series to an end and look at something that many people in our society use to call Bible-Believing Christians narrow-minded and dogmatic, namely because we hold that Jesus meant what He said when He declared that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no man may come to the Father but through Him. Consequently, let us look at the discussion between Jesus and His Disciples as they struggle with the idea of Jesus leaving and their inability follow Him at that particular place and time. May we consider the exclusive claim of Jesus that He is the only way to eternal salvation and peace with God.

READ JOHN 13:31-14:14

I.  Jesus is Going Away (13:31-14:2)

A.  Jesus Predicts His Imminent Death (vs. 31-35)

1) In verse 31, we read that someone had departed from the presence of Jesus and His Disciples that apparently caused Jesus to start teaching the Disciples during the course of The Last Supper in the Upper Room there in Jerusalem.

2) And if we read the previous paragraph in verses 30 and previously, then we would be reminded of the scene whereby Jesus had just told Judas to go and do what the Devil had put in his heart to do, namely to betray his Lord and Master.

3) Therefore, in verse 31, Jesus watches Judas as he leaves to betray Him and then He turns around to the remaining 11 Disciples and explains that the Son of Man is glorified and likewise so is God the Father.

4) Moreover, in verse 32, Jesus clarifies what He is saying and explains that when He glorifies the Father then the Father will glorify and lift Him up, meaning that Jesus will shortly be restored to His former heavenly glory that He left behind to come and be the Redeemer of Mankind.

5) Next, in verse 33, Jesus delivers a blow to the gut and informs His Disciples that His time is very short with them and that He will be leaving for a place that they will not be able to follow Him.

6) Can you picture the Disciples all scratching their heads wondering where Jesus could, or would go where they have yet to follow Him, because they have left everything to follow Him around Palestine for the last 3.5 years?

7) Finally, in verses 34-35, Jesus throws them another curve ball and becomes Jesus the Teacher again.

8) He very plainly informs His Disciples that He is giving them another command before He leaves them, and He expects them to love one another, or to look out for one another's best interests before one's own.

9) And as verse 35, explains when this happens then the world around the Disciples will be convinced of their identity and will be convinced that they have been with Jesus because they have the same attitude and disposition of love for one another as Jesus Himself, constantly demonstrated during the short period of His public ministry.

10) Likewise, this same command is directed to those in this room who have ask Jesus to become their Savior, because He is also now our Lord and Master, and we are expected to obey and implement every teaching and command in the Bible as we strive to please Him.

B. Peter is Confused (vs. 36-38)

1) In verse 36, Peter the brazen and quick-to-speak Disciple has to open his mouth and ask the question that all the Disciples must have been thinking, but were to afraid to ask, "Lord, where are you Going?"

2) And all Jesus wants to tell them is that they cannot follow at this time.

3) It is almost as if Jesus was trying to lead them along to ask the right questions so that He would have their complete and undivided attention, one of the reasons that I like doing interactive Bible Studies because it helps everybody remain focused and not as easily distracted.

4) Next, in verses 37-38, we read the famous declaration of Peter about how willing he was to die for Jesus, whereby Jesus, knowing the future, informed His dear Disciple that before the Next morning he would betray his declaration and his Lord.

5) Consequently, Jesus informs Peter that He had better watch what promises He made if He wasn't completely confident that he could back them up.

C. Jesus Goes to Prepare a Place For Us (vs. 14: 1-2)

1) Once again in verse 1, Jesus demonstrates His uncanny habit of changing gears often in His teaching and conversations with His Disciples.

2) In verse 1, Jesus anticipates that when His Disciples discover what the course of the next day will hold their hearts will be troubled, as we know they all fled in fear when Jesus was arrested later that evening and crucified on the Cross the next day.

3) Consequently, Jesus saw the need to explain that they needed to trust in God the Father and also in Him.

4) Furthermore, in verse 2, Jesus speaks about His knowledge of His Father's House in order to assure them that there is plenty of Room reserved for His Followers. 5) Some translations say that there are many mansions, or dwelling places there for the Children of God.

6) However, it really doesn't matter whether we have mansions, homes, or a little lean-to setting against the side of the Heavenly walls. Because the important thing is that we will be in the direct presence of the One, True God, Amen!!!

7) Therefore, Jesus' promise to those 11 Disciples and to each one of His disciples here Today, is that Jesus had gone back to Heaven, sat at the Right hand of the Father, and has prepared a place reserved just for us in God's Eternal Kingdom.

8) And I must admit that I don't care if I have a little shanty or a big house, because either way most of my time will be spent at the feet of Jesus Christ, where I will delight in His presence forever.

II. Jesus Explains How to Follow Him (14:3-7)

A. Jesus Will Come Back For His Own (vs. 3-4)

1) In verse 3, Jesus clearly told His Disciples that after He has prepared as place for them, which was accomplished on the Cross and His Resurrection and Victory over the Grave, then He will come back and escort us to our new Eternal Abode.

2) And as verse 3, tells us we will be with Jesus where He is.

Thus, the Disciples will only experience a temporary separation from their Lord and Teacher.

3) To use an analogy, I picture what Jesus doing as kind of like when an immigrant comes to America and leaves his family back in his country of Origin. He comes to America, works hard, and prepares a place to bring his family so that they can be reunited with Him in the Promised Land.

4) However, in verse 4, Jesus makes a verbal assumption that the Disciples understand and are clear on where Jesus is really going.

B. Doubting Thomas is Confused (vs. 5-7)

1) In verse 5, Thomas stands up as the spokesman for this bewildered bunch of Disciples and asks the obvious question.

2) The Disciples had still to fully comprehend why Jesus had come teaching, preaching, and performing miracles.

3) They still had not grasped the fact that Jesus came as God's Divinely inspired plan for the Redemption of Mankind through His substitutionary death on the Cross where He died for our sins and as He overcame the power of Death and Sin when He was Resurrected from the dead 3 days after being placed in the Tomb.

4) As a result, Jesus saw the need to clarify in the Disciples' minds who He really was in verse 6.

5) Jesus explains that He is Three different things in verse 6.

a) He is the WAY, meaning that He is the entrance, or access into God's Temple, Presence, or Heavenly Abode. He is the only possible opportunity for fellowship with God the Father because He is the only one who can resolve the Sin problem that separates us from the Wrath and Justice of God.

b) He is the TRUTH, meaning that He is the revealed reality of God. And He is the Truth not merely stating the truth. We must come to Him as the Truth, in Him is no lie, error, deception, or falsehood.

c) He is also the LIFE, He is the air that all of God's creatures breath, He is the breath of life that was breathed into Adam and each person since the Creation. READ JOHN 6:35, whereby Jesus had previous taught the crowds that symbolically we can feed off of Him to be spiritually nourished.

6) Then at the end of verse 6, Jesus makes it crystal clear that no person can come to the Father but through Him because He is the only One who can intercede and mediate before God the Father on our behalf, namely because of His work on the Cross and Because He is part of the Triune God-head, because He is God.

7) Finally, in verse 7, Jesus brings His claim to Divinity by explaining to the Disciples that they know God because they have known Him.

III. Jesus Has Shown Us the Father (14:8-14)

A. Knowing What God the Father is Lil{e (vs. 8-11)

1) In verse 8, we have silent Philip speaking his mind as he shakes his head and wants to see the Father God just like He appeared to the prophets and Patriarchs of Old.

2) Then in verse 9, we have Jesus shaking His head in exasperation because God has been walking and eating with them for the last 3.5 years and they had still to put 2 and 2 together and realize who Jesus truly was.

3) If they had seen Jesus in action they have seen the Father, or at least have seen, witnessed, and emulated the very character and nature of God, if not the physical representation of God, because He cannot be seen for He is not physical but is invisible. With Jesus being the only physical representation of God that they would ever see and that we will ever see in Paradise.

4) Moreover, in verse 10, Jesus explains to His Disciples that God is in Him and He is in the Father, as the Father lives in Him by the Holy Spirit and enables Him to teach, preach, and perform miracles.

5) Finally, in verse 11, Jesus declares that the miracles that He has been doing should be evidence enough to prove to His Disciples that He is God Divine because He and the Father are One and inseparable.

B. Empowered By Jesus To Do Greater Things (vs. 12-14)

l) Then in verse 12, Jesus makes a bold promise and explains that further evidence of His divinity will be given when the Disciples find themselves empowered with God's Spirit to do even greater things than Jesus did.

2) What Jesus might mean here is that the scope of the Disciples' ministry, including the geographical area and the number of people reached will be much greater than what Jesus was able to do in only 3.5 years in the small country of Israel.

3) And the reason that they will be able to do great things is because Jesus is returning to the Father to intercede for us and because He will send His promised Holy Spirit to live within us as mentioned in John 14:16.

4) Next, in verse 13, Jesus also leaves His Disciples with another promise concerning His True Identity, because when He returns to God's Right hand in Heaven then He will be able to answer their prayers and requests.

5) However, verse 13, also clarifies in part what requests will be answered, namely those that enable Jesus to glorify the Father, meaning only prayer requests that are according to God's Will and that will bring Him glory, honor, and praise. Read 1 John 5:14-15, concerning praying according to God's Will.

6) Consequently, in verse 14, we can ask anything in Jesus' Name that will bring glory to the Father according to His will and we are guaranteed that it will be done.

CONCLUSION

Overall, this morning I believe that Jesus made it painfully clear during His last meal with His Disciples that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and is the only way to God the Father. Christianity is an exclusive religion because only Jesus could bridge the gap to make it possible for us to have a relationship with God the Father. And as Jesus testified to His Disciples that Night, the miracles that He performed in broad daylight should erase any doubt as to His identity as God Divine. And if He is truly God, then what He says must be Truth. And if Jesus is telling the Truth then all the other religions out there that teach that we can earn our way into Heaven are blatantly false and have deceived people into following after a lie. Only Jesus was capable and willing to pay the price to appease God's righteousness and wrath so that our sins might not keep us separated from the Love of God and being able to enjoy His fellowship, Love, and Peace. Therefore, the challenge is the same Today as it has always been, if you have not called upon the Name of Jesus to accept His offer of forgiveness of Sins, then Today is the Day of your Salvation. However, for those here this morning who are active followers of the Lord Jesus and He is enabling you to do even greater things than He did in numbers and area, then praise the Lord and continue to be faithful in Him.

(c) 2005 Message by Dan Ahlenius, pastor Lake Chelan Baptist Church, Chelan, WA. Dan is a graduate of William Carey College, B.A., New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Master Divinity.

 

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