The Way, the Truth, and the Life[a]
Jesus, the Way, Leads to the Father[b]
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You place your trust in God.[c]
Trust also in me.
2 In my Father’s house
there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you
that I am going to prepare a place for you?
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again
and will take you to myself,
so that where I am,
you may also be.
4 You know the way
to the place I am going.”
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
Jesus, the Truth, Reveals the Father[d]
6 Jesus replied,
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father
except through me.
7 If you know me,
then you will know my Father also.
From now on you do know him.
You have seen him.”
8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, it will be enough for us.” 9 Jesus answered,
“Have I been with you all this time, Philip,
and you still do not know me?
Whoever has seen me
has seen the Father.
How can you say,
‘Show us the Father’?
10 Do you not believe
that I am in the Father
and the Father is in me?
“The words that I speak to you
I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me
is doing his works.
11 Believe me when I say
that I am in the Father
and the Father is in me.
But if you do not,
because of the works themselves.
Jesus, the Life, Communicates the Spirit[e]
12 “Amen, amen, I say to you,
the one who believes in me
will also do the works that I do,
and indeed will do even greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.
13 Whatever you ask in my name I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If you ask me for anything in my name,
I will do it.
15 “If you love me,
you will keep my commandments.
16 And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you forever,
17 the Spirit of Truth
whom the world cannot accept
because it neither sees him nor knows him.
But you know him,
because he dwells with you
and will be in you.
18 “I will not leave you orphans;
I will come to you.
19 In a little while,
the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me.
Because I live,
you also will live.
20 On that day, you will know
that I am in my Father,
and you in me, and I in you.
21 “Anyone who has received my commandments
and observes them
is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me
will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him
and reveal myself to him.”
22 Judas (not Judas Iscariot)[f] asked him, “Lord, why is it that you are revealing yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him,
“Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him
and make our abode with him.
24 Whoever does not love me
does not keep my words.
And the word that you hear
is not my own,
but that of the Father who sent me.
25 “I have told you these things
while I am still with you.
26 However, the Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all
that I have said to you.
The Peace of Jesus[g]
27 “Peace I leave with you,
my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives
do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled;
be not afraid.
28 “You have heard me say to you,
‘I am going away,
and I will come back to you.’
If you loved me,
you would rejoice
that I am going to the Father,
for the Father is greater than I.[h]
29 And now I have told you this
before it happens,
so that when it does happen
you may believe.
30 “I will no longer talk at length with you
because the prince of the world is coming.
He has no power over me,
31 but the world must come to understand
that I love the Father
and that I do
just as the Father has commanded me.
Get up! Let us be on our way.
- John 14:1 Facing the death of Jesus, or facing our death, we might be shaken by fear. After all, without God is not existence for us a flight from the useless to nothingness? We have, then, to meditate on this chapter 14, where the themes are intermingled too numerously to discern the whole universe of meaning each verse opens to us. Yes, there is fulfillment, but it comes from God; it is abiding in God, truth in God, life from God. The symbols tell us that the fulfillment comes about in the communication of life from the Father, from Jesus, and from the Spirit.
- John 14:1 The departure of Jesus ought not to become a time of discouragement amid hostility or uncertainty. The departure opens to all people the possibility of being in communion with God. Jesus gives the disciples the light and the life to enter this communion: he is the way not only through his teaching but also through his presence and his being—but what do we call the way and the goal of life for us?
- John 14:1 You place your trust in God: this could also be translated as an imperative: “Place your trust in God!”
- John 14:6 We can reflect upon the mystery of God to struggle to develop a better understanding of our life and the meaning of the world. But our power to discern cannot establish any certainties on our own. To know the Father, to discover what he wants for us, and to enter into his communion, we first have to look on Jesus, on his work, and on his love. Only the gift of the Son reveals the love of the Father in its fullness.
- John 14:12 Here is a beautiful hymn on what it means to be Christians. They are not nostalgic survivors of a great experience that is past. In daily life, with its insults and interrogations, they remain in true communion with Christ and continue his work—i.e., they bear in his name the testimony of salvation and the testimony of truth. This communion, unceasingly renewed, gives them strength to cope with attacks of despair, falsehood, incomprehension, and nothingness—what John often calls “the world.”
In this effort, which is never finished, they are uplifted by a new and constant presence of God: the Spirit. It is the Spirit who gives Christians the power to experience the divine presence in their inmost being, because the Spirit makes them live in the participation of God. It is the Spirit who gives Christians the courage to obey, as Christ did, the will of God, who is love, truth, testimony. It is the Spirit who makes them penetrate the heart of the words and acts of Jesus in the questions and debates of life.
The Spirit is the consoler of Jn 16:5-13. The Greek word Parakletos means an advocate, one who aids by his power and advice. In the situations and struggles of living as a Christian, the Spirit supports us so that we may remain united with God and bear witness to him before the world.
- John 14:22 Judas (not Judas Iscariot): Jude Thaddeus (see Mt 13:15).
- John 14:27 Christ’s departure is imminent. Is the triumph over evil that the Passion effects merely a spectacle? No, this departure expresses Christ’s free decision to do the will of the Father and to be at the Father’s side, which is his true state of being. Such is God’s peace, whose way and meaning are opened for believers. Yes, there is a fulfillment and a happiness for us—it is this that the word “peace” evokes in the Bible. It is not found in the satisfaction of the passions. True peace is a divine gift, to which Christ gives us access in our communion with God.
- John 14:28 The Father is greater than I: this does not refer to the trinitarian relation between the Father and the Son. It probably refers to the fact that Jesus was sent by the Father and that the messenger (in the Hebrew mentality) is inferior to the one who sends him.