Outline of Passage
I. Jesus and Peter’s Dialogue
A. Peter’s Question
B. Jesus’ Answer
C. Peter’s Rebuttal
D. Jesus’ Rebuke
II. Jesus Tries to Comfort Apostles
A. Belief in Jesus
B. Preparing a Place for Them
C. Jesus Will Come Again for Them
III. Thomas and Jesus Dialogue
A. Thomas Question
B. Jesus Response
Jesus and Peter’s Dialogue
In the first three verses of our text John 13:36-38 make up the conversation between Jesus and Peter, revolve around Peter wanting to know where Jesus is going. Peter wanted to follow or be a companion with Jesus on his journey. Strong’s sheds some light on the word used for “follow.” That word is the Greek word akoloutheo. This word is used 92 times in the New Testament. Strong’s and NASEC concordances are not in harmony for the meaning of the word. The NASEC defines Akoloutheo as: a roadway to follow, followed, follows, or following (3). Strong’s on the other hand defines Akoloutheo as a particle of union and as a road.
The intended meaning is to be the same way as, to accompany, (specifically as a disciple): follow or reach (5). In either case, they both define the word as to follow an object or person. Peter asserts that he is ready to die for Jesus if necessary. Tenney states that “When Peter heard this he must have been totally baffled; he would not question Jesus authority, but at the same time was so sure about his own devotion he could not imagine failure” (Tenney, 143). Peter did not realize that Jesus was talking about following him to His Father (Kruse, 290). Peter had become overconfident in his devotion and in himself. Jesus revealed to Peter what he was going to do when he faced with the trying times ahead.
Jesus Comforts his disciples
The first word in chapter fourteen that needs to be researched is “believe” (pisteuo) we find this word in verse 1. Pisteuo directly translated “believe” is used a total of 250 times in the New Testament. Jesus used this particular word when he was talking about healing such as in Matt 9:28: “When He entered the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord’ (NASB). Jesus also used this word in reference to who he is as in Mark 13:21 “And then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ’; or, ‘Behold, He is there’; do not believe him (NASB). The trouble with this word is it can be used as an indicative or imperative. In the context of John 14:1 the word pisteuo appears to be used as a statement and is not used as a question. Kruse states that the focus is in maintaining trust in Jesus. Kruse also states “that in either case as an exhortation to trust God or they did trust in God will not change the meaning of trusting in Jesus” (Kruse, 291). On the other hand, Tenney states that the first part, to trust in God is definitely imperative and Jesus was trying to encourage the apostles to continue in faith in him because he is the son of God. (Tenney, 143).
The next major word that needs to be looked at is mone (4). Depending on the Bible translation, it is translated as dwelling places (NASB) (NRV), mansions (KJV) (RV), or rooms (NIV). The reason defining this word is important is in determining the context of permanency of the dwelling place. The imagery of rooms in a dwelling place is taken after the oriental tradition of apartments for sons and daughters in the family house (Tenney, 143). This word is only found in the Bible two times. It is found in John 14:2 and 14:23. John 14:2 says “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you (NASB). John 14:23 says, “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him'”(NASB).When comparing the two verses the word “mone” appears to mean God’s home. Kruse states, “When we unpack the metaphor we should not think of rooms in God’s house much less mansions, but the privilege of abiding in God’s presence” (Kruse, 292). Kruse is saying that we should not really expect a mansion or a room but that there will be room for us in God’s presence.
To determine where we will be in God’s presence we have to define the word mone. After we define the word mone which means mansion, home or abode (4) then we must research the word in the same sentence topos which means spot (4) to see if it can refer to the same place. They in essence can be, but neither refer specifically to a place in heaven.
In these four verses, Jesus was trying to strengthen His disciples for the rough road ahead. Jesus was letting them know that his going away was not a permanent separation, only temporary. Jesus was making a place for them in his Father’s house and there they would be together (Kruse, 293). These four verses also answers Peter’s original question. Jesus assumed that they all knew the destination and all the apostles needed to do is follow the road (Tenney, 143).
Click any of the links below to read the other parts in the “John 13:36-14:7 Jesus the only way to the Father” series:
John 13:36-14:7 Jesus the only way to the Father Part 1
John 13:36-14:7 Jesus the only way to the Father Part 2
John 13:36-14:7 Jesus the only way to the Father Part 3
John 13:36-14:7 Jesus the only way to the Father Part 4
John 13:36-14:7 Jesus the only way to the Father Part 5
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