March 15, 2023 – Wednesday
John 14:12-14 NIV
28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.
Jesus is still talking with His disciples, and He repeats (from verses 2-3) that He is going away but will be coming back to them. Then a surprise, in the latter part of verse 28, 28b If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
We know they do love Him, but why then does He say, 28b If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. He may have been gently chiding them for they had not fully understood Him yet as not only the Messiah, but God in the flesh. Perhaps they did not really truly believe in their hearts He would rise after being crucified. That was simply too much to believe at this point even with all they had seen and experienced with Him. If they had fully understood – the Father and I are One – they might have rejoiced His return to the Father.
They did not yet understand the plan and how it was coming to fruition right in front of them. Later, even after His resurrection they would be hiding behind a locked door when He would appear to them and only later ascend into heaven to be with the Father. Only later with the blessing of the Holy Spirit upon them, would they would begin to understand more fully.
What are we to make of His statement, for the Father is greater than I? Perhaps it has to do with Him living as fully human and fully God. Once in heaven He would once again be equal with His Father. His suffering and humiliation would be over – complete. When Stephen was martyred, He would see Jesus in Heaven next to His Father.
Then verse 29, 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. They believe in Jesus as the Messiah, but they cannot yet put their arms around the idea He would rise from the dead after being crucified. This was a form of death the Romans had perfected. How was this to be, even though He said He would rise on the third day? Well after His resurrection and second appearance with Thomas present there no longer was any doubt.
It was as He had told them after all. Thomas had said 20:25b, Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. It was only a week later that Jesus once again appeared among them and in 20:27 said to Thomas, Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe. Thomas sees the reality of Jesus’ resurrection said in 20:28, My Lord and my God! His deity was recognized! And they all truly believed.
Bottom Line: After Thomas’ reply Jesus added in verse 29, Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. We have not seen, yet we believe, thus we are blessed.
Prayer: Almighty God, Thank You for Your Word, so that we may examine what happened and come to faith in Your son and receive His blessing. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver, Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton