5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
(John 14:5-14 NIV)
Jesus has just promised His disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them, and would come back to take them with Him. Jesus finished with “You know the way to the place where I am going.” (v. 4)
Jesus had hardly finished speaking when Thomas interrupted and asked for more specifics. Jesus gave Himself as the answer: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (v. 6) Jesus again tells His disciples of the unity between Himself and the Father.
Jesus had barely answered Thomas’ question when Philip interrupted: “Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus replied, with His tone more of a disappointment than of a chastisement. “Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father.” Jesus then recaps His previous teachings and reminds Philip of the unity between Himself and the Father. To see and experience Jesus is to see and experience the Father.
Jesus begins verse 12 with His familiar “pay attention” phrase: “Very truly I tell you” (KJV, “Verily, verily I say unto you”). Jesus then makes His disciples four promises:
- whoever believes in Me will do the works I have been doing (v. 12)
- they will do even greater things than what I have done (v. 12)
- I will do whatever you ask in My name (v. 13)
- You may ask me for anything in My name, and I will do it (v. 14)
This is quite the list of promises! These promises were made to Jesus’ disciples, and they apply to us today as well. These promises are obviously not for self-promotion or self-indulgence or any other selfish motives. Our motives for asking must be pure and God-honoring for Jesus’ promises to apply.
Will we take Jesus up on His offer? Will we choose to live our lives so that we are all about Him, offering ourselves as available to Him for whatever works He would do through us?