New Song | Bring Out The Dead

I'm flying too far, too fast.
I'm a speck on the horizon, and you're a footnote in my mind of greater things.
Pages will be written based on your inspiration.
Inspire me. Breathe your breath on me.

Bring out the dead as an example to the masses.
If there's anything left to say I'm not sure what it is.
Will hope come and save the day again?
Will hope come and save the day again?

I know why you dress in black and I'm not OK with your intentions.
Nothing you can do can bring him back to your loveless inventions.

Bring out the dead as an example to the masses.
If there's anything left to say I'm not sure what it is.
Will hope come and save the day again?
Will hope come and save the day again?

Like a ghost it brings me to the floor like death.
I'm cold and unprepared breathing smoke for breath.
Like a ghost it brings me to the floor like death.
Like a ghost it brings me to the floor like death.
Like a ghost it brings me to the floor like death.
Like a ghost.

Bring out the dead as an example to the masses.
If there's anything left to say I'm not sure what it is.
Will hope come and save the day again?
Will hope come and save the day again?

Tonight I wrote this song with pieced together short poems I've been writing in a small notebook I keep with me. I really like it lyrically. The music feels like something I would have written 4 or 5 years ago, but I strangely like it. I picked up my old Epiphone that's missing a string and my low E is tuned to a C then everything else is relatively in standard. Weird I know, but I really liked the feel it gave the chords. Here's the link for the free MP3 download.

Thought This Was HIlarious.


Solitude | Pt. 1


"Where shall the world be found, where will the word resound? Not here, there is not enough silence."
- T.S. Eliot

"So I think I'll stay caught up in silent prayer, I believe in silence our hearts speak the same word."
- Blindside | Silence

The lyricist and frontman of the band Blindside sings something very true in those lines. How often is it that I am caught up in silent prayer. Prayer without any distractions of noises. Prayer that is so silent and still and alone from all other things that in those moments our hearts speak the same words as God in that He moves in us and speaks to us in the silence and solitude.

Solitude has a great deal to do with getting away from normal distractions in order to quiet oneself and listen for the voice of God. Silence then is a large part of this as well. Foster writes, "Our fear of being alone dries us to noise and crowds. We keep up a constant stream of words even if they are inane. We buy radios that strap to our wrist or fit over our ears so that if no one else is around at least we are not condemned to silence." Giving further instruction on the discipline Foster continues, "We can cultivate an inner solitude and silence that sets us free from loneliness and fear. Loneliness is inner emptiness. Solitude is inner fulfillment. Solitude is not first a place but a state of mind and heart."

So how does one experience or take part in this discipline of solitude? Do we just sit around silent staring at walls or what? "Simply to refrain from talking, without a heart listening to God, is not silence." Our time alone in silence must be intentional. It must be for the purpose of honing in on the supernatural voice of the Creator of the Universe who is longing to speak to us if we are willing to listen. Solitude is a mindset of being.

Foster gives some great advice concerning how to move into a lifestyle that reflects the discipline of solitude. "Discipline yourself so that your words are few and full. Become known as a person who has something to say when you speak." This is something I would like to be marked by. I've known, and know, men who I consider to be plethora's of wisdom when they speak. They may not say much, but when they do you'll wish you had a pen and paper ready to write it down and remember it. Foster challenges the reader to "Try to live one entire day without words at all. Do it not as a law but as an experiment. Not your feelings of helplessness and excessive dependence upon words to communicate. Try to find new ways to relate to others that are not dependent upon words. Enjoy, savor the day. Learn from it." I may try this one before I'm through with this discipline. Keeping a journal of the things God speaks to you in the silence is also recommended.

Overall the spiritual discipline of solitude is designed to strip away the noise in our lives and focus us in on the voice of our God.

For my first experience with the spiritual discipline of solitude I'll be spending 20 minutes "caught up in silent prayer." I've brewed a cup of decaf coffee and I'm planning on just sitting and enjoying it while listening for God to speak. If you would like to participate in this discipline yourself a good way to begin in prayer is to simply pray something like this: "God I'm here. I'm silent in Your presence. I'm here to listen and hear Your voice if You are willing to speak." Then remain silent with your heart tuned in and focused on God's voice and what He has to say to you. Write down what He speaks to your heart.


For starters lets just say I may be the most easily distracted person I know. I've been sitting on my living room floor in silence trying to focus on God's voice with my decaf coffee just as I said I would and it felt like every single distraction possible came my way. My Macbook started making update noises, I had forgotten to turn off the sound so I came over and turned that off. Then my cats wouldn't leave me alone and decided it was time for me to interact with them. So I shooed them away and continued on in my silent prayer. Then every single noise that I normally don't hear because I'm making my own noise seemed like it amplified. The clock on the wall ticked louder than ever, my fish tank's water filter began humming like a bee buzzing around my head and it seemed like even my own heavy breathing was loud enough to distract me. I tried my best over the last 20 minutes to focus in on God's voice. This stuff takes time and practice though so I don't know that I'd call this attempt a failure... simply a step forward in my journey into spiritual disciplines. I may try this discipline again tomorrow morning and perhaps in the afternoon as a rest from the day... we'll see. Blessings.

A Change In Disciplines

Until recently my final two disciplines I would be taking part of in my study of the spiritual disciplines were solitude and watching. However with finals week approaching the idea of take 3 all nighters to pray just didn't seem like a wise choice. While I would still at some point like to participate in the discipline of watching I'll be removing it from the line up. It will be replaced with the discipline Foster calls The Discipline Of Study. I'll write more on it when I reach it. This week I'll be taking advantage of moment ins solitude and blogging about my experiences. Thanks for staying with me on this journey. I really appreciate your comments and thoughts along the way. Thanks so much.



The Footsteps Of Faith: Based On Romans 4

“Faith is the basis of all relationship and effectiveness in the Christian life.”

-Dr. Michael R. Mitchell

What is faith? According to Hebrews 11:1 (NCV) –Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.” It is with this faith that we thrust forward into the thoughts about what faith means for every individual on the planet. Have the basics of faith in Christ changed over time? Do they change based on cultural shifts or norms? Let’s take a look at Paul’s account in Romans 4 of Abraham’s faith for some clues to how this all comes together.

Faith More Than Works: The Faith Of Abraham

Paul begins his topic by addressing how Abraham was made right with God. In verses 2 and 3 Paul writes on how Abraham was made right with God not by works but by faith. Paul goes on in 14 & 15 to say that if it was the law, or works, that saved Abraham then faith in God is worthless. Paul concluded that Abraham was made right with God though his faith and not through anything he did.

It’s the same way today; we are not made right with God through our works. We are made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

Circumcision and Baptism: Outward Expressions Of Inner Faith

The other question that arises with Abraham was, “Does circumcision make you right with God.” Paul gives Abraham as an example stating that circumcision is not what made him right with God rather it was his faith in God.

A modern expression of circumcision would be baptism. Baptism doesn’t make anyone right with God. Infant baptism doesn’t save the baby. Baptism, as was circumcision, is an outward expression of inner faith.

Faith In Christ: One Death For All

Finally Paul’s examples of Abraham are not just so we can remember Abraham or to make Abraham’s name famous but so that all could know that we are made right with God through faith. Paul closes with these thoughts “God will accept us also because we believe in the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. Jesus was given to die for our sins, and he was raised from the dead to make us right with God.”[1]

[1] Romans 4:24b-25 (NCV)


Fasting | Pt. 3

I've always been told that "fasting" can be done with something other than food. That one could fast from say, video games, music, technology... you name it. So I decided to break the food fasting and switch to fasting from blogging for a few days in order to see the difference between the two types.

Obviously this fasting was easier to take part it. I'm a pretty avid blogger and thought it would be more difficult but, honestly it wasn't. With food, hungry comes much quicker than with technology. However I found myself having more time to think and pray in the times when I would normally be blogging. While normally I'm blogging about the things that I'm praying and thinking about it was nice to just have me and my thoughts for once. While food fasting is much more focusing that technology fasting, not to mention food fasting is the only one that Jesus talks about - maybe because there wasn't blogging available.


Fasting | Pt. 2

There's not to much more I can actually say about fasting, within the context I will be experiencing it, than I wrote about yesterday. There are different kinds of fasts from food. There's a Daniel fast in which one only eats vegetables and water for a time. There's a lemon & honey fast in which the participate can boil water and make a lemon/honey tea to drink if energy is feeling low. These are both called "partial food fasts". A true fast which I wrote on earlier means to abstain from food for a certain period of time with the purpose of replacing that time with prayer. Today I will be replacing a different meal with a time of prayer.

"So this is morning. It's when I spend the most time thinking about what I'm giving up."
- Jack's Mannequin

This morning I woke up about 6:45 to pray. I decided breakfast would be the meal for me to fast. I wanted to know what it felt like to start my day with a time of fasting. I'm again fasting and praying for our student ministries department and staff for wisdom and discernment into where God would have us move in the coming months to make what we do more effective for the Kingdom. I'm fasting for our students that those who don't know Jesus Christ as personal Savior would come to know him. I'm praying that our current students would invite their unsaved friends to church so they can have an opportunity for us to share Christ with them. I'm praying for my fellow pastors and staff: Tom, Jeremy, Aaron, Aaron, Jordan, Brian, Stephen, Jason, Tammy, Lynsey, and Caiti. I'm praying for protection for their integrity. I'm praying that God will keep them close to His heart. I'm pray that God will guide each one of them into a greater understanding of who He is in order than they can communicate that truth and live it out among their families and friends. I'm praying for them to have lasting relationships with the students in their focus groups. I'm praying for them to be surrounded with and feel the love of God on an entirely new level. We need clarity.

I will say that this morning is much harder than lunch yesterday to fast. I'm really tired. I keep getting distracted thinking about coffee and falling asleep. It's takes a much harder effort for me to wake up early and fast than it does for me later in the day. This is something to keep in mind for more lengthy fasts, it's good to know that mornings will be harder. They're also more beautiful. I've been watching the sun come higher and higher in the sky as I've been praying. I've watched it bring color and life to the creation below it. I pray that God will bring the same color and life to our student ministries department. I pray that He will give us a fresh wind and fire of His Holy Spirit and that we would move forward without inhibitions.



Fasting | Pt. 1


"Fasting helps us keep our balance in life. How easily we being to allow nonessentials to take precedence in our lives. How quickly we crave things we do not need until we are enslaved by them"
-Richard Foster

I have to be honest here. I've tried fasting before. However, I don't know that I've ever done it successfully. "In Scripture the normal means of fasting involved abstaining from all food, solid or liquid, but not from water." I tend to have a problem with setting, in retrospect, unrealistic personal goals for myself and really getting down about it. When I first read Foster's section of fasting I thought about going on a 21 day food fast all together. (yikes) After some prayer and intelligent thinking I came back down to the realization that I didn't have to go that extreme starting out. In fact Foster discourages me from doing so. He believes that starting out in a 24 hour period fasting is generally easiest from "lunch-to-lunch". This would mean that breakfast would be eaten on the first day and dinner the second. Fasting can also be done in short periods. I've known men to fast a single meal in a day to spend that time in prayer over a decision they needed to make or a need that needed meeting.

The first experience I ever had with fasting came through a friend of mine named Abby who in our middle school years after a youth camp decided that God was calling her to go on a 40 Day Food Fast. Abby was and is a smaller girl. There wasn't much weight to her and I remember thinking that this food fast might kill her. I couldn't help but be so absolutely perplexed as to how someone could go without eating for 40 Days. She did it. All 40 Days. She drank water and took some vitamin supplements as recommended by her doctor but she did it. This inspired me then as it does now. "In most cases fasting is a private matter between the individual and God. There are, however, occasional times of corporate or public fasts." There were times in the history of Liberty University's formative years in which founder Jerry Falwell called the student body to fast for certain things. I'm sad to not have been a part of some of those years and stories but, I rejoice in what God has done because of those times of fasting and praying for His work to be done.

Is fasting commanded? It seems that in Jesus teaching on the Sermon on the Mount that "giving prating and fasting are all part of Christian devotion. We have no more reason to exclude fasting from the teaching than we do giving or praying." "Jesus stated, "When you fast..." (Mt. 6:16). He seemed to make the assumption that people would fast, and what was needed was instruction on how to do it properly."

Are people who fast closer to God? I'm not sure to be honest. I don't think it makes anyone more "holy or righteous" than anyone else but, there is something to be said of denying yourself the basic needs of life to rely exclusively on being "fed" by God's voice and your time spent with Him. It's important to remember that fasting should never be done out of vain reasons (wanting to loose weight) but out of a specific desire or event to be prayed over. Fasting is a way to help show God we're serious about our prayers. We're willing to work towards the completion of the things we're asking Him to help us do rather than sitting back, "rubbing the lamp" and waiting for our "God Genie" to arrive, snap his fingers, and give us our three wishes. We must be willing to move into action. Fasting helps communicate our seriousness if not truly instill it in our own hearts and minds.

I will be taking part in 3 partial fasts over the next few days. Normally I'd keep these times to myself and private as I spoke of earlier. It's merely for the purposes of this blog that I will include the details of my experiences. I will begin today by fasting one meal, lunch. I'll be heading down to the prayer room in the PowerSource room and spending about an hour in there praying for our student ministries staff meeting today. It's my desire to see God really move in the lives of our students. I would like God to reveal to us as a staff areas in which we can improve and how we can improve and maybe even where we need to get out of the way a little bit to let God be God.


My experience today has been a hungry one both physically and spiritually. I spent much of my lunch hour thinking about our staff meeting today and praying for clear minds and hearts. I headed down to the Living Proof room later than I had hoped. I got down there and opened my notebook to the list of the problems we had identified from the weeks before. It was a bit overwhelming. I spent the next few moments praying over those problems and our conversation to come. It felt good to be so focused on one thing as I prayed.

Our staff meeting went fairly well. We didn't solve the problems of the universe but, we weren't expecting to. Our conversation did seem fairly united on one thing. It was good to all be focused there. Not sure we made too much headway and I think these discussion will be going on for some time. It's my continued prayer we'll follow God's leading there.

To be honest I felt pretty attacked in the meeting early on and didn't say too much after but merely observed and took notes. There wasn't anything new for me to say that we weren't already discussing. I wonder if the attacks came because of me fasting or if it was something else. I take refuge and shelter in my God and King. I hold fast to Him.

I'm off to a bass lesson then home for a good bit of reading tonight.


ReBlog - "I'm Through With Christianity" - Geoff Surratt

Geoff is the Pastor of Ministries at Seacoast Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Since the election Newsweek has resorted to running more and more sensationalistic headlines each week. A few weeks ago the cover screamed "WE ARE ALL SOCIALISTS NOW" followed by "STRESS COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE"; the editors have obviously decided the only way to survive the digital onslaught is to follow as closely as possible behind The National Enquirer. I'm sure "ANGELINA JOLIE GIVES BIRTH TO 72 YEAR OLD MAN!" is not far behind. So when I got this week's issue I was reluctant to read the cover story, The Decline and Fall of Christian America. Since Christopher Hitchens, author of God is Not Great, How Religion Poisons Everything, has recently become a regular contributor I knew that Newsweek would take great delight in the latest statistics showing that religion in America is sliding into the abyss. What I did not expect was to be heartened by the article.

You see, I am one of the many Americans who would no longer describe themselves as a professing Christian. I cannot in good faith associate any more with what the label Christian has come to represent in America. Christianity is now a set of political views, a way to distinguish different groups of people (Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus), a movement to impose a certain view of morality on others regardless the condition of their hearts.

In order to be a faithful Christian I can only vote for politicians who say they hold the party line on the right issues. It does not matter if I agree with their economic views, their foreign relations policies or their theory on education; if they pass the Christian litmus test they are my candidates. The fact that voting for these Christians again and again has produced little change, in fact we see abortion more acceptable and gay marriage legalized at a faster pace, can't be factored into the equation. As a member of the Christian party I have to toe the line.

Christianity in America seems to be led by self-appointed spokesmen who attack others without charity, seek places of prominence wherever they go and live outrageously extravagant lifestyles. They are so important that they can't possibly be expected to fly with commoners on commercial airlines. One leader needs a jet that costs $3000 an hour to operate so they can get from one Christian event to another and be home in time to record their Christian television show. But it is my duty to defend them because they are on my team. Jesus' commands to serve, to do acts of kindness in private and to prove your discipleship by pure love for others seem to be secondary for Christian leaders in America.

The main goal of Christianity in America is to build a Christian society where Christian values are taught in the schools, Christian morals are enforced in the workplace and Christian laws are followed in the courtrooms. And if Christians can't force non-Christians to act like Christians, we'll just build our own separate society. We'll shop in Christian stores, buy from Christian salesmen and live in Christian neighborhoods. And if we need to we'll buy guns and defend our Christian values to the death.

I am flawed in my faith and every day I make mistakes that I am ashamed of. But I love Jesus more and more the older I get, and I love the church with all my heart; I just can't buy into the Christian thing anymore. So I quit. I am resigning from the Christian party, the Christian club, the Christian religion. I am going to devote the rest of my life to loving God with all my heart and loving my neighbor as myself. I am going to spend all of my energy learning more about Jesus so I can follow him as closely as I can. Every day I am going to pick up my cross and follow Jesus; I am going to try be a light in my community and salt in a desperate world. I'm just not going to be a Christian anymore. Are you with me?


An Exegetical Blog On John 14:1-15


This paper will examine part of Jesus farewell discourse to His disciples, John 14:1-15, in order to show the main purpose of this passage being to draw Jesus followers, (past, present, and future) closer to Him, and to explain His expectations concerning their manner of obedience.

Main Idea & Outline

John 14:1-15. The main purpose of this passage is to draw Jesus followers, (past, present, and future) closer to Him, and to explain His expectations concerning their manner of obedience.

An Introduction To The Gospel Of John

The Background Context Of John 14

I. Troubled Hearts & Trusting God (John 14:1-3)

II. The Way (John 14:4-6)

III. The Father (John 14:7-11)

IV. I Tell You The Truth (John 14:12-14)

V. If You Love Me (John 14:15)


An Introduction To The Gospel Of John

What comes to mind when one thinks of the term “Gospel”? For most, it probably brings images to mind of “something in the Bible” or absolutely nothing. While those who grew up with a religious background in Christianity will have at least a brief knowledge of what the term “Gospel” means most without this background won’t know or understand the term.

So what does “Gospel” mean? “The English word gospel (from the Anglo-Saxon god-spell, i.e., God-story) is the usual New Testament translation of the Greek evangelion.”[1] This gospel normally implied the telling of good or joyful news. This is fitting in that “In Christianity, a gospel is to be generally one of the first four books of the New Testament that describe the birth, life, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus. The four canonical texts are the Gospel of Matthew, Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Luke and Gospel of John, probably written between 65 and 100 AD.[2] They appear to have been originally untitled; they were quoted anonymously in the first half of the second century (i.e. 100 - 150) but the names by which they are currently known appear suddenly around the year 180.[3][4]

For the purposes of this study, the Gospel of John will be the main focus. “The Gospel of John unceasingly inspires and fascinates students and scholars”[5] This paper will examine part of Jesus farewell discourse to His disciples, in John 14:1-15, in order to show the main purpose of this passage being to draw Jesus followers, (past, present, and future) closer to Him, and to explain His expectations concerning their manner of obedience.

While there is little question that the author of the Gospel of John is in fact John, there are some who disagree with John’s authorship. One such scholar, William Domeris does not hold that “the Beloved Disciple” is in fact John. Nor does he believe that John necessarily wrote the Gospel of John. Rather, Domeris simply refers to the author of the Gospel as “The Evangelist”. Referring to the purpose of the Farewell Discourse, Domeris writes, “…the Evangelist added the Farewell Discourse to the Gospel so as to legitimate not only his presentation of Jesus, but to secure his position in the community as the rightful successor of the Beloved Disciple.”[6] While this opinion of John’s authorship is not the common view it is a one to mention.

The Gospel of John was written during a period of time in which the temple had been destroyed in the earthquake that took place at the crucifixion of Jesus. “The question of what would now become of Judaism was in everyone’s mind. John’s answer is clear: he hoped to encourage Diaspora Jews and proselytes to turn to Jesus, the Messiah who fulfilled the symbolism embodied in the temple and the Jewish feasts. For John, the temple’s destruction this becomes and opportunity for Jewish evangelism.”[7] This is why John is the only gospel in which so many of the Jewish feasts are included. Jesus is shown as the fulfillment, or the perfection of those feasts. John is using cultural context to point the Jewish people toward Jesus as the Messiah. He “considered this to be an opportunity to present Jesus as fulfilling the void left”[8] by the destroyed temple.

This mindset of drawing people to Jesus as the Messiah is one of the major themes in the gospel of John.

The Background Context Of John 14

John 14 takes place immediately following the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, the washing of the disciple’s feet, and Jesus talking heavily about his death quickly approaching.

The Eucharist refers to the institution, which began:

at the Last Sapper, Christ took bread in his own hands, blessed it and said these words over it: "Take this, all of you and eat it: this is my body which will be given up for you". And the broken Bread, which had become in a sacramental way his own Body he distributed to the Apostles. In a similar way he brought about the transubstantiation of the wine into his own Blood, and distributing it to the Apostles, said:

Take this, all of you, and drink from it: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all men so that sins may be forgiven". And then he added: "Do this in memory of me".

This is how the mystery of Christ remains among us through the Sacrament of the Eucharist. The mystery of the Redeemer of the world who gave himself up for us all, offering his Body and Blood in the Sacrament of the Cross.[9]

Jesus is telling His disciples that He is leaving them and that the Paraclete, or the Helper sometimes translated the Comforter, will be coming in place of Him. There’s no doubt that for the disciples many of them are confused and scared, many may have still not understood that Jesus was speaking of His own death. It is in this setting that the characteristics of the Paraclete, paraklētos, are revealed. One learns that:

The Spirit has been sent by the Father in Jesus’ Name (14:26) and, as proceeding from the Father, the Spirit of truth was also sent by the Son (15:26; 16:7). There is a most remarkable unity in the three divine Persons to answer all our needs: God the Father is "the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort" (2 Cor. 1:3). God the Son is the Comforter, and God the Holy Spirit is the other Comforter, who provides "the comfort of the Holy Ghost" to the assemblies (Act. 9: 31) and brings also to every Christian the consolation in Christ, the comfort of love and the fellowship of the Spirit (Phil. 2: 1).

But there is more: the Holy Spirit takes that which is the Lord's to give it to the disciples (and in turn to us), for the Lord's own glory (16: 14-15); He guides us into all truth (16: 13). He teaches us all things (in the NT epistles; 14: 26); He brings all things to our remembrance, whatsoever the Lord had said (in the gospels; 14: 26); He testifies also of Christ (in the Acts of the apostles, which are in fact the acts of the Holy Spirit; 15: 26); finally, He will show us things to come (in the book of Revelation; 16: 13). Altogether, the Spirit bears witness concerning Christ, the rejected Son of Man, but now glorified in heaven (15: 26). As a consequence, the disciples will bear witness about Christ, being themselves eyewitnesses of His sufferings. [10]

It is not Jesus intention to leave His disciples unattended and alone. This is why we see Him explaining the role of the Holy Spirit as the Comforter here. “Jesus departure will not leave them as orphans; just as God was present with them through Jesus, he will continue to be present with them through his Spirit.”[11] It is by this that the modern reader is also comforted in knowing that God has not abandoned mankind without hope. Instead He has provided the ultimate sacrifice for sin through Jesus and the Holy Spirit to dwell in the hearts of those who know and love and worship Him.

It is in the hearts of those people that Jesus longs to reside and hold position in. Jesus longs for all to know Him and have a relationship with Him that is growing and moving and shaping them to become more like him. He longs to draw us close to Himself and He longs to show us how to live lives that are rooted in His truth.

Troubled Hearts & Trusting God

“1 Jesus said, "Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me.”2 There are many rooms in my Father's house; I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going."

Imagine sitting down to dinner with some close friends, this dinner is really more about the company kept and the conversation than any meal; though the basics of hot bread and drinks are there for all, when suddenly your host who you’ve known for three years and have built a strong bond with stands up and announces, I want you to know I’m leaving and you’ll never see me again. I’m going to die. It is with a similar scenario that John and the rest of the disciples found themselves in at the last supper.

Even though “It is Jesus who is heading for the agony of the cross; it is Jesus who is deeply ‘troubled’ in heart and spirit… on this the night of nights, when of all times it would have been appropriate for Jesus’ followers to lend him emotional and spiritual support, he is still the one who gives, comforts, instructs. For they too are troubled,”[12] It is with this emotional weight in mind that one must approach Jesus, words to them following this statement. In a room filled with troubled hearts Jesus chooses his words carefully. “1 Jesus said, "Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me.”[13]

Jesus understood completely the millions of questions running through the minds of His friends. The first thing He does is to comfort them. He takes them back to the foundation of their faith in Him, trusting God. Jesus gives His followers hope in knowing that though He is leaving, it’s not forever. He is merely leaving for a while to prepare a place for them when He returns.

This places, rooms in His Father’s house, which Jesus has gone to prepare; are often called “mansions” in some translations of this passage.

“The Greek word for “room is monai (from monos, “alone, single”), designating a single dwelling unit.” “In Jesus day, many of these dwelling unites were combined to form a mansion. It was customary for sons to add to their father’s house once marries, so that the entire estate grew into a large compound (called insula) centered around a communal courtyard.”

The point in talking about the future rooms is to encourage His disciples that the rewards beyond this life are many! The cost of following Jesus for the disciples would go on to cost many of them their lives. Jesus knew this would be the case. He had even taught whoever followed Him would be persecuted and hated by the world. He knew how difficult the future would be for His friends and wanted to encourage them.

Jesus’ promise to come back for his followers is one of the central cruxes to the Christian faith. If Jesus never returns and isn’t who He says he is there will be a large number of people who have devoted their lives to a lie. The disciples trust in Jesus. They’ve learned that He is God and has their best interests at heart. He beckons them to follow Him to this place He’s prepared for them, remarking that they “know the way”. It is from this point that Jesus begins to explain “the Way”.

The Way

“5 Thomas said to Jesus, "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. The only way to the Father is through me.[14]

Though Thomas is asking Jesus the way, or the directions, to where Jesus is going; Jesus is saying something completely different. Jesus is saying that the way to the Father is in fact a relationship with Him through the shed blood of the Son, Jesus Christ. Obviously Jesus had not yet been to the cross, but after the conversation He had just had with them over dinner it seemed that Jesus was hoping some bells would go off someplace in their minds to connect two and two.

Jesus says that he himself is the way. Tellingly, the early Christians we initially called the followers of “the way. Jesus claim of himself being the way (with the implication that no one can come to the Father but through him) is as timely today as it was when our Lord first uttered this statement. For when we live in an age of religious pluralism, when Christianity’s exclusive claims are considered inappropriately narrow, even intolerant, and when pluralism itself has ironically, become the dogma by which all truth claims are judges It has been said that pluralism accepts no absolute truth claims other than it’s contention that there are no absolute truth claims.[15]

Jesus is the way to the Father by the salvation of the soul from spiritual death. It is through this act of conversion from death to life that all people are able to come into a relationship with the Father. “Conversion is a single entity that has two distinguishable but inseparable aspects: repentance and faith. Repentance is the unbelievers turning away from sin and faith is his or her turning toward Christ.”[16]

Jesus says that He is the Truth. There’s no other truth outside of Him. He is exclusive. This flies in the face of those who claim Jesus could be one of many Gods or that there are many paths to heaven.[17]

Seeing that there’s a bit of confusion as to how Jesus could be the way to the Father among the disciples Jesus explains a little bit more about His own relationship with the Father.

The Father

“7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father, too. But now you do know him, and you have seen him." 8 Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father. That is all we need." 9 Jesus answered, "I have been with you a long time now. Do you still not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. So why do you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Don't you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I say to you don't come from me, but the Father lives in me and does his own work.11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or believe because of the miracles I have done.”[18]

Jesus here clarifies the way to the Father. He claims that if one really knows Jesus and has a true relationship with him then they will also know the Father as Jesus. How discouraging it must have been to hear Philip say, “Lord, show us the Father. That is all we need.” These were the men Jesus has poured the last three years into and still they don’t get it. They don’t see Him as the Messiah. Jesus frustration is evident in his reply in verse 9; “I have been with you a long time now. Do you still not know me Philip?” Jesus then explains that the authority in the words He speaks come not just from Him, but also from God the Father.

There have been many different interpretations of who exactly “the Father” is in Scripture and why God is referred to in this light. Postmodern culture has only fuel the fire of these questions. Scholar Gail O’Day has covered the basics of the various views on “the Father” in John 14:8.

O’Day “reviews four dominant approaches to the study of God as "Father" in John: historical Jesus research, feminist inquiry, the relationship of John to early Christian doctrine, narrative critical studies of God as character.”[19] O’Day uses John 14:8 as a starting point for her reviews of the approaches of study. In John 14:8 there is a conversation that takes places between Phillip and Jesus in which Phillip asks Jesus “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Jesus said to him, "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'?"

Jesus seems to be a little bit offended by Phillip’s question. How could he have spent so much time with Jesus and still not know that He was the Father in flesh! It is from this point that O’Day begins her review of the other approaches. It comes across that how we view “Father” in these passages changes how we view everything else about Him.

“In historical Jesus research, to begin with, "Father" is primarily investigated for what it has to say about the prayer language of the historical Jesus and Jesus' mode of addressing God.”[20]

In the review of the feminist approach to “Father”, O’Day looks mainly at the work of a woman named Dorothy Lee. O’Day sums up Lee’s thoughts on “Father” this way, “Her reading represents a type of feminist reading in which patriarchal images are not rejected as antithetical to feminist interests but are reinterpreted as supportive of the most basic feminist values.”[21]

The use of “Father” in early Christian doctrine was thought of this way:

They recognize "Father" as the metaphor that is "most appropriate" for God in this Gospel because "it focuses on the single issue on which everything else depends—God's relationship to Jesus" (52). They conclude that together the two creedal affirmations about "Father" and "Maker of heaven and earth" capture the heart of Johannine theology: for John, the creator of the world, that is, Israel's God, and the Father—the one who is in relationship with the Son—can only be one and the same God (52).[22]

In the narrative view O’Day examines that “This approach has tended to focus on God as a character in the Johannine narrative (e.g., Thompson, Tolmie) and on "Father" as one, if not the main, clue to God's character.” [23]

O’Day concludes with these thoughts, “"Father" is not simply the Gospel's preferred name for God; it is the Gospel's primary metaphor for shaping theological discourse. This larger role of "Father" needs to be examined throughout the Gospel.”[24]

Regardless of the true meaning of “Father” was remains clear is that Jesus is the way to the Father and Jesus is the only way for mankind to see God the Father.

I Tell You The Truth

“12 I tell you the truth, whoever believes in me will do the same things that I do. Those who believe will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And if you ask for anything in my name, I will do it for you so that the Father's glory will be shown through the Son. 14 If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it.”[25]

In these last few verses Jesus is continuing in giving a proof that He is indeed from the Father. He encourages the disciples to remember His miracles or to ask Him anything and He would do it in order to point them to the Father’s glory. “Jesus’ audience is encouraged to “believe the miracles that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and that I in the Father.”[26] The words that Jesus uses when he’s speaking here are almost identical to words that He speaks in John 10:38 to the Jewish leaders that didn’t believe in His Messiahship.
Jesus wants His relationship with His disciples to be “characterized by the kind of intimacy he himself enjoys with the Father.”

If You Love Me

“15 "If you love me, you will obey my commands.”[28]

In recent years there are many Christ-followers who have come into the thought process, through false teaching, that following Christ means a one-way ticket out of Hell and nothing more. These Christ-followers, if you can call them that, are content to sit in a plush seat in an air conditioned building doing nothing but “soaking up the rays” of light and truth that come from the mouth of their pastor.

Jesus calls His followers too more than this. If that is all following Christ has been limited to one will find themselves in a rather uncomfortable position upon reading the apostle Paul’s writings in Romans 12:1-2 and Ephesians 4:17-20. Paul lays down a picture of how one is to follow Christ that doesn’t line up with much of what is seen in the modern church. To simply sit doesn’t cut it according to these writings. If one truly loves Jesus they will obey his commands.

The apostle Paul elaborates on this in Ephesians 4:17-20

In the Lord’s name, I tell you this. Do not continue living like those who do not believe. Their thoughts are with nothing. They do not understand, and they know nothing, because they refuse to listen. So they cannot have the life that God gives. They have lost all feeling of shame, and they use their lives for doing evil. They continually want to do all kinds of evil. But what you learned in Christ was not like this.” [29]

Paul lays out some hard things to swallow in this passage for those who are Christ-followers and not obeying the commands of Christ. He calls them ignorant and stupid people, saying that their thoughts are worth nothing of value. Paul abrasively reminds them that this type of living is not what Christ called them to. This could be the case for the modern church in our current culture. Christ-followers have become immersed in the idea that they “go to church” to “get something from it” rather than becoming immersed in the truth that they should “be the church” and “give God their lives in worship”.

Some might align this with what is called the Pareto Principle. The Pareto Principle says that 20% of the people in the church do all the work and are actually growing active members of the church body; they are “being the church”. Then the other 80% are consumers, like sucker fish on the side of an aquarium they gorge themselves on all they can get until they have doubled in size but done little more than slide around sucking glass. This is not how this passage calls the Christ-follower to live.

In the book of Romans Paul shows the Christ-follower the type of life that Jesus has called him to live.

“So brothers and sisters, since God has shown us great mercy, I beg you to offer your lives as a living sacrifice to him. Your offering must be only for God and pleasing to him, which is the spiritual way for you to worship. Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.”[30]

Paul begs the believer in light of God’s great mercy, which is the salvation through Jesus Christ death on the cross, to offer their lives as living sacrifices. Sacrifices in the minds of these men and women would have meant something very different that what may come up in the mind of the modern church. Sacrifice to these people meant finding a lamb or a bull and slaughtering it. In the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament there is a long list of various rules and regulations and sacrificial ordinances that the followers of Yahweh were to adhere to. What did this word sacrifice mean under the new covenant that Jesus had set up when he died on the cross? How were they to offer themselves, as sacrifices, yet remain alive?

It’s no doubt that this way of thinking through the original readers for a bit of a loop. Paul tries to clarify a bit by stating that this living sacrifice is the spiritual way for them to worship. Before Jesus, the only way they could worship Yahweh the infinitely almighty God, was through the system of sacrifices that had been set in place. Jesus changed everything. He made a way for God become “intimately approachable”[31] by His people. It is through this that Christ made a way for the living sacrifice to be possible. This sacrifice wasn’t about the shed blood of bulls and lambs it was a bout the shed blood of Jesus and how to live a life that followed his teaching.

The problem with this living sacrifice thing is that some people thought they could take a break from the hard part of sacrifice, take the modern church and the Pareto Principle, and just cost on through. Or they felt as if they could do certain things saying it was for the glory of God when really it was to draw attention to them. Paul reminds these types of thinkers that this living sacrifice is meant to be “only for God”. He challenges them to a “new way of thinking” this requires taking the natural state of selfishness humans dwell in and giving that desire over to God as a sacrifice.

Christ-followers in the modern church seem to be thinking way too much about themselves than their sacrifices to God. Is this giving God everything? It doesn’t appear to be so. It seems like Christ-followers prefer to be fat and happy to growing in their relationship with their God and Savior. Jesus calls his people too more than this.

So what is the solution? How does the Church fix this problem? A dramatic rethinking of what “the church” is and how it operates must come into focus for Christ-followers. They must stop going to church and start being the church. It begins with asking questions like: “If a church shuts down, would the community know? Or care? Or be different? If the answer to those questions is NO, then the church isn't fully being the church... Hopefully this is changing.”[32]

John, in this final verse, is driving the nail in the board of everything that’s just been said. Jesus just spent time explaining His deity, how because of His love he came to this earth to die for all people. He taught how to know the Way, the Truth and the Life. He opens the door and shows the way to salvation and He finishes with, if you love me… Jesus has just given evidence of all the ways He has loved mankind and why He is deserving of love. The qualifier for Jesus followers is not just to acknowledge this but also, to obey His teachings and commands. It’s implied then on the opposite thinking that if one does not follow these commands loving Jesus is not truly possible.


There is no greater thing in this life than knowing Jesus Christ and having a relationship with Him that is growing. A relationship with Jesus grows and blossoms like flowers. There is some tilling of soil, the planting of the bulb, watering, fertilizing, and eventually growth and new life begin.

The apostle John hopes to communicate, in John 14:1-15, Jesus own words about how to have this type of relationship with Him. This relationship is explained beautifully in a sermon entitled Eternity Is Now by pastor Eugene Ensley:

You see, heaven is where God is, and we are in heaven when we join our life to his in intimate communion and fellowship. As one theologian has put it, "It is not in heaven one finds God, but in God one finds heaven" (Godet). Heaven, therefore, is not a place to go to, but a relationship to participate in. It is not a state of existence we anticipate beyond this life; it is an encounter and fellowship open to us today. [33]

It is the apostle John’s hope that all would experience this life changing daily relationship with an infinitely almighty and intimately approachable God. The only way to this God is through Jesus Christ, who is in fact God. John beckons us to see the Jesus he and the other disciples ate, walked, and entered into relationship with. He doesn’t want anyone to miss out.

There is a song by the alternative punk band, The Wedding, entitled Say Your Prayers that has a line that sums up this passage. “You wanna walk with me? Do ya? Wanna walk with me? Well if you love Me then just love Me don’t just give me pretty words. Lay your life down at the altar, let Me see how serious your are.”[34] The thing that remains then is simple the question, “Will you give Jesus more than pretty words?”


Borg, Marcus J., Reading The Bible Again For The First Time: Taking The Bible Seriously But Not Literally. San Francisco: HarperSan Francisco, 2002.

Burge, Gary M., Interpreting the Gospel of John. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Co., 1992.

Carson, D.A., The Gospel According to John. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1991.

Domeris, William R. "The paraclete as an ideological construct: a study in the farewell discourses." Journal of Theology for Southern Africa (June 1989): 17-23. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed February 13, 2009)

Elwell, Walter A., Evangelical Dictionary Of Theology (Second Edition). Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001.

Ensley, Eugene C. 1965. "Eternity is now: a sermon on John 14:1-11." Interpretation 19, no. 3: 295-298. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed January 26, 2009).

Giglio, Louie, The Air I Breathe. Colorado Springs: Multnomah Books, 2003.

John Paul II, Pope. "Through the Eucharist Christ invites us to." AFER 27, no. 5 (October 1985):310-314. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed February16, 2009).

Köstenberger, Andreas K., Encountering John. Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group, 2004.

Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology (Second Edition). Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1998.

O'Day, Gail R. 1999. ""Show us the father, and we will be satisfied" (John 14:8)." Semeia, no.85: 11-17. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed January 26, 2009).

Sanders, E.P., The Historical Figure Of Jesus. New York: Penguin, 1995.

The Holy Bible: New Century Version. Belgium: Thomas Nelson INC., 2005.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel Accessed 4/18/2009.

http://www.biblecentre.org/topics/jm_the_holy_spirit_in_john.htm (Accessed 2/27/2009).

[1] Elwell, Walter A., Evangelical Dictionary Of Theology (Second Edition) (Grand Rapids:Baker Academic, 2001), 512.

[2]Borg, Marcus J., Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2002), 189.

[3] Sanders, E.P., The Historical Figure of Jesus, (New York: Penguin, 1995), 63 - 64.

[5] Burge, Gary M., Interpreting the Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Co.,1992), 9.

[6] Domeris, William R. "The paraclete as an ideological construct: a study in the farewell discourses." Journal of Theology for Southern Africa (June 1989): 17-23. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed February 13, 2009) 21.

[7] Köstenberger, Andreas K., Encountering John (Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group, 2004), 27.

[8] Köstenberger, Andreas K., Encountering John (Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group, 2004), 28.

[9] John Paul II, Pope. "Through the Eucharist Christ invites us to." AFER 27, no. 5 (October 1985): 310-314. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed February 16, 2009) 310.

[11] Köstenberger, Andreas K., Encountering John (Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group, 2004), 157.

[12] Carson, D.A., The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1991), 487.

[13] The Holy Bible: New Century Version (Belgium: Thomas Nelson INC., 2005), 692.

[14] The Holy Bible: New Century Version (Belgium: Thomas Nelson INC., 2005), 692.

[15] Köstenberger, Andreas K., Encountering John (Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group, 2004), 153.

[16] Carson, D.A., The Gospel According to John. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1991.

[17] There is so much to say about the rise of postmodernism in our current culture. For more on postmodernism D.A. Carson has written a lengthy but well-versed book entitled Becoming Conversant With The Emergent Church.

[18] The Holy Bible: New Century Version (Belgium: Thomas Nelson INC., 2005), 692.

[19] O'Day, Gail R. 1999. ""Show us the father, and we will be satisfied" (John 14:8)."Semeia, no. 85: 11-17. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed January 26, 2009), 11.

[20] Ibid., 12.

[21] Ibid., 14.

[22] O'Day, Gail R. 1999. ""Show us the father, and we will be satisfied" (John 14:8)."Semeia, no. 85: 11-17. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed January 26, 2009), 14.

[23] Ibid. p. 15

[24] Ibid. p. 16

[25] The Holy Bible: New Century Version (Belgium: Thomas Nelson INC., 2005), 692.

[26] Köstenberger, Andreas K., Encountering John (Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group, 2004), 154.

[27] Ibid.,

[28] The Holy Bible: New Century Version (Belgium: Thomas Nelson INC., 2005), 692.

[29] The Holy Bible: New Century Version (Belgium: Thomas Nelson INC., 2005), 754.

[30] The Holy Bible: New Century Version (Belgium: Thomas Nelson INC., 2005), 729.

[31] “Infinitely Almighty” and “Intimately Approachable” terminology taken from Louie Giglio’s book The Air I Breathe.

[32] A comment on a Facebook status by Michael Larkin the pastor of Cinema Church in Hartford, CT.

[33] Ensley, Eugene C. 1965. "Eternity is now : a sermon on John 14:1-11." Interpretation 19, no. 3: 295-298. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed January 26, 2009), 297.

[34] Say Your Prayers by The Wedding is on the album “POLARITY” released on Brave New World Records in 2007. Other standout songs on the album include: I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead and Rebound.