Why would Jesus make that statement? And then pivot to what’s in His Father’s house? It’s obvious by all the pushbacks He’s received by declaring that He’s the Son of God, and that He and God the Father are one and the same, that He was speaking to an audience that was struggling with someone familiar to them as God’s Son. They knew His family well, so this wasn’t about convincing but an invitation to believe. (See John 10)
In chapter 13 of John’s gospel, Jesus was speaking to His disciples about what He was about to face and that He’d be leaving them. But He also wanted them to believe that He was who He claimed to be.
“I tell you this beforehand, so that when it happens you will believe that I AM the Messiah.”
John 13:19 NLT
That phrase is repeated often throughout the gospels.
These men had no problem believing in God. But the concept of a man asking them to believe in Him in the same way that they believed in God was a challenge, and still is today. People are being murdered every day for believing in Jesus as the Son of God. Everyone has some form of “a god” but only one religion has God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. What’s amazing is that they had no problem believing in a God they had never seen, but Jesus with whom they had interacted, seen all the miracles He had performed, handled and touched as Peter so eloquently wrote, had to be impressed upon to believe in Him also.
He wanted them to know that He was sharing firsthand knowledge of where He was returning to, and that the promise of them joining Him later was also real. They could understand the concept of house and mansions, he wanted them to know that this heaven was a literal place. It wasn’t based on a fairy tale like childhood stories. If you believe in Me also, the One who makes all this possible, you’ll have a place in Father’s house.
It’s interesting to note that by telling them to believe in Him, He was building a foundation against unbelief. He knew that the same opposition He faced as the Son of God, would eventually find its way to them as they sought to convince men to believe also in Him. As we read through the New Testament beginning with Acts of the Holy Spirit (the apostles) we found that everything they suffered was because of the Name of Jesus. Paul in his last writing to Timothy emphasized the importance of remembering what the message was all about. It’s also worth noting that, you don’t read suffering for God anywhere, why? Because to believe in a god is status quo, but to believe in Jesus Christ is dangerous, no matter where in the world you are. Let’s read what Paul told Timothy.
“Always remember that Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead. This is the Good News I preach.”
2 Timothy 2:8 NLT
Always remember. Believe in God, believe also in Me. When the Islamists are murdering Christians, the one and only order they give is not to renounce a god, but to renounce faith in Jesus. If we’re all supposedly believing the same thing, serving the same god, then why the fear of the Christian faith? Aren’t we all Christians? Apparently not! Believing in Jesus and the cross is offensive to many. In Acts 7 before Jewish zealots murdered Stephen, what brought them to the boiling point? He was doing fine until he said these words:
“And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!” Then they put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him”
Acts of the Apostles 7:56-57 NLT
They were well aware of the history lesson of their ancestry so they listened intently. Scholars that they were. Until he dared to mention the Son of Man, the One they had hung on a cross for daring to say He was the Son of God. They denied His resurrection, happy to have gotten rid of Him. Now Stephen dared to say, I see Him standing at the right hand of God! Jesus remembered, Jesus worshipped, Jesus preached, is a death sentence in most countries and will be here in the United States in the not so distant future.
Jesus knew the importance of believing in Him. He also knew the costs. But it is through believing in Him that we’re able to access the promise of Father’s house, it is through believing in Him that we’re granted eternal life. There’s no other way or Name that provides salvation. God the Father has highly exalted that Name, healing, total wholeness is through that hated but glorious Name. So believing in God is intricately tied to believing also in Him. So what do you believe? I know people who love God but struggle with believing in or accepting Jesus for who He claims to be. This isn’t just a Jewish problem- it’s a people problem.
Paul reminded Timothy to always remember and teach this Jesus. A reminder for us as well. Jesus said also in John 14.
“Just believe that I Am in the Father and the Father is in Me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen Me do.”
John 14:11 NLT
When it comes to the truth of who Jesus is, you needn’t argue, just live Him. This is how we show the world that we who believe in God, believe also in Him.
Let us pray🙏 I want you to get in the habit of not repeating what I say, but praying your own words from a believing heart. I know most of you are, but I have no idea how many are being reached with these messages. As the Holy Spirit leads I’ll include a prayer, but you go ahead I’ll join with you...Father in the Name of Jesus..
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit