saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and
how can we know the way?" (John 14:5).
chapter in which the above words occur is a chapter of
questions. Mental perplexity prevails on the side of the
disciples. Strange things are being said to them; things
which represent the complete reversal of all their deeply
rooted ideas; things which turn their world of
expectation upside down. Disappointment, despair,
disillusionment, and grief strive to submerge them.
"We know not." "How know we?"
"Show us." "What is come to pass?"
These are some of their bewildered ejaculations. But they
are only a very few of the many questions which are
covered by the comprehensive answer. Indeed, a whole
future life is embraced by what these questions elicit
from the Lord.
Firstly, He makes it clear that the answer to their
questions is not - in the first instance, nor in itself
at all - a matter of teaching, doctrine, truths, or
traditions, but union with a Divine Person; "I
am"; "He that hath seen me, hath seen..."
To have a living union with Christ in some indefinable
way brings the answer to all questions. That is a
statement of fact, and we shall wallow in our mental
quagmire, and get deeper and deeper, until we come to
know by living relationship through spiritual new birth
that all-inclusive Person.
next thing in the answer is that the Way is inside.
"I come to you." "I in you." It is
not a matter of precepts and legal systems imposed from
the outside; but One dwelling within Who is the power of
the Way. The Way, the How, the What is all answered by a
Life Way, a Truth Way, Who governs from within, and just MAKES
us know. This is not conscience. Conscience
says different things to different people. To the
conscience of one a thing is wrong; to another there is
no trouble about that thing (see 1 Cor. 10:23-33). But
Christ within will say the same thing to all, and
everything becomes a matter of obedience to Him. This may
deliver from the bondage and tyranny of an imperfectly
enlightened and instructed conscience, and all the
terrors and misery suffered therefrom.
do we know anything at all as to God's mind, as to right
and wrong according to it? The answer here is: "I am
the... life" (v. 6). "Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give unto you" (v. 27). In brief, it is
by life and peace within, or the contrary. When we are in
the will of God, when He has gained His place over our
own will, there is a sense of life and peace. When there
is conflict between our wills, our ways, our souls and
God, there is unrest and inward death. The Lord in John
14 is speaking of the coming day of the Spirit (in which
we now live) and He says, "He shall be in you."
The Spirit witnesses to the will of God by life. We KNOW
God and Christ in terms of what they are - life; and
where that life is dominant there is peace.
4. Then there comes the change from head
to heart. "Love" - verses 23, 24, 28.
"Heart" - 1, 27. A heart relationship, i.e.,
that of love: not a head relationship, i.e., that of
question: is the key to spiritual knowledge. Love for
Christ opens the door to His self-revelation and
5. The place of faith. Verses 1, 10, 11,
12. In effect the Lord says, If you will trust Me, trust
My Spirit within you, I will see that you get where I
would have you - "I AM the way"; I
will see that you come to know all that is necessary to
realise the purposes of my Father - "I am the
truth"; I will see that you do not go under but
triumph - "I am the life," and "Because I
live, ye shall live also."
First published in "A Witness and A Testimony" Magazine, Nov-Dec 1947, Vol. 25-6. This version from
"This Ministry" - Messages given at Honor Oak -